Weekly Update: June 2, 2023

Weekly Update

Students looked fabulous and red-carpet-ready for prom!

Information From Cotting School
Cotting Parent Advisory Council

(PAC) Meeting

Friday, June 9, 2023, 9-10 a.m.

This meeting will take place both in person in the Cotting School Board Room and via Zoom online. The link will be emailed out with the agenda.

The PTO Cornhole Tournament Has Been Postponed to October 14

Save the Date! The Cornhole Tournament, the PTO’s inaugural “parents only” social event, has been postponed to October 14, 2023. If you already bought tickets for the June 11 event, the PTO will contact you so you can either get a refund or transfer your tickets to the October 14 event.

Questions? Please contact Kelly De Angelis at kellycottingpto@gmail.com.

Help Us Build a New PTO Website!

Do you have experience building simple websites??? The Cotting PTO needs you!

We are looking for a volunteer from the Cotting community to help us build our website. We need someone with tech expertise who can dedicate a few hours to help us out. This is a one-time, stand-alone volunteer opportunity!

If you are interested in helping out, please contact Kelly De Angelis by email at cottingschoolptoinc@gmail.com.

Community Resources & Events
Friends Matter! Promoting Friendship & Social Connections at School and During the Summer

Webinar, June 7, 2023, with the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC). Presented by Zach Rossetti, Ph.D. Friendships are personally valuable and developmentally important relationships for all people, yet friendships between individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities remain infrequent.

  • This presentation examines opportunity barriers and direct support strategies to promote social connections at school and during the summer.
  • Presenter: Zach Rossetti, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University.
  • A former elementary school special education teacher and inclusion facilitator from New Hampshire, Dr. Rossetti focuses his research on social interactions and friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), specifically the contexts and dynamics of such relationships and how educators and families may facilitate social opportunities.
  • His research also examines the experiences of families with children with IDD by centering on participation and language access in IEP meetings, community participation, family-professional partnerships of culturally and linguistically diverse families and sibling roles and relationships. Dr. Rossetti is personally and professionally inspired by his brother, Todd, who was a huge Boston sports fan, loved dessert even more and had cerebral palsy.

Register here.

Supported Decision-Making with the Arc

Wednesday, June 7, 2023. Join Jonathan Gardner and his mother, Nancy, a member of his support team, as he walks us through the process of using Supported Decision-Making (SDM). Jonathan will talk about the interaction with his medical team, as well as other members who help guide him in everyday life.

Register here.

How To Talk to Kids about Gun Violence

What: Boston Globe “Parenting Unfiltered” columnist Kara Baskin has helped us assemble a live panel version of two of her most important articles that all parents should read: “How to talk to kids about gun violence” and “Will our kids ever be safe”.


Join us to hear Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce, Dr. Neena McConnico, and Dr. Anthony Rao—specialists in child behavior, trauma and exposure to violence—discuss how to answer children’s questions about gun violence and manage our own fears as we try to keep them safe.




  • Dr. Neena McConnico is director of Boston Medical Center’s Child Witness to Violence Project
  • Dr. Patricia Crain de Galarce is director of Lesley University’s Center for Inclusive and Special Education, overseeing the Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity
  • Dr. Anthony Rao is a pediatric psychologist, lecturer and author
  • Moderator Kara Baskin is the “Parenting Unfiltered” columnist for The Boston Globe


When: Wednesday, June 7, 7-8 p.m., live via Zoom


Free with advance registration, which is required.

The event will be live captioned. Certificate of attendance is available upon request to events@discoveryacton.org.

Insurance Coverage for Behavioral Health: Keeping Disabled Adults on a Parent’s Policy Past Age 26

Webinar, June 8, 2023. Free “Lunch and Learn” via Zoom with the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health, UMASS Chan Medical School – Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center.

  • 12–12:30 p.m. on the second Thursday and fourth Thursday of each month
  • Spanish translation available
  • All presentations will be recorded and posted on the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health website

Register and find more information here or contact 800-764-0200.

QBS Training: Safety Care for Families

Virtual Event on Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Safety Care for Families was developed by QBS as a resource for families/caregivers to provide a basic set of prevention skills when working with a person who may engage in challenging behavior. We will meet online to review the essentials part of the manual from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Option to conduct this training in person, as well, if virtual isn’t ideal.

In-Person Event on Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

For families that require training surrounding physical procedures to keep yourself and your individual safe, we will meet in person to review the remainder of the course and complete module 3 .

This course is ideal for families or caregivers of the individuals we currently serve. All participants will be required to fill out training agreements prior to the course electronically, need access to a computer with a webcam for the course and be able to participate throughout the course.

After you complete your registration, you will receive the Zoom link for the virtual meeting on June 8. Cost: $150 for modules 1 & 2, $175 for modules 1,2,& 3

Sign up here.

Accessible & Adaptive Recreation Fair

Artesani Park/Herter Park, Brighton, MA, June 10, 2023, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. With the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Universal Access Program. Free and open to the public.

  • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Universal Access Program provides outdoor recreation in Massachusetts State Parks for all abilities.
  • Join DCR’s Universal Access Program and many other regional adaptive recreation organizations that offer hiking, cycling, power soccer, sport kite decorating and other accessible activities.
  • Enjoy scenic views of the Charles River and social connections while signing up for disability-friendly adaptive summer programs like sailing, kayaking, canoeing, cycling, hiking and more.
  • 2023 Vendors, Supports and Exhibitors TBA

For details or to register, please click here or contact Mary at 413-545-5760 or marcy.marchello@state.ma.us.

Boundaries and Consent Training

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

This course is ideal for teens and adults who need more information regarding establishing boundaries, respecting others boundaries and consent.

Taught by Christina Gravina, BCBA, an experienced sexuality trainer, the participants will learn these topics through discussion, videos and role playing, with additional visual aids to assist. This is part 1 of our Sexuality training series and can be combined with part 2 or taken alone.

Parents are welcome to sit in on the class if they would like to also hear how the materials are presented or drop off and pick up/come with a 1:1. The main objective of the course is to have individuals come away with the understanding of their own boundaries, how to respect others’ boundaries, know what consent is and how to handle situations where others are not respecting your boundaries.

Click here to sign up.

Have a great weekend!


Please share your own resources and questions with Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
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2022-2023 School Year Calendar
Cotting Admissions Information
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