Weekly Update: March 22, 2024

Weekly Update

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Thank you to the Cotting PTO for providing staff & faculty with an amazing breakfast for Monday’s professional development day!

Information From Cotting School

New Cotting Falcons Fan Gear!

Click here to order yours today!

Last Call for Yearbook Dedication Pages

We have extended the deadline for optional yearbook dedication pages to next Friday, March 29. If you need a new form it can be found here.

Questions? Email yearbook@cotting.org.

Understanding & Fostering

Self-Determination Skills at School & Home

Friday, March 29, 2024

10:30-11:30 a.m.


As part of Cotting’s Family Engagement in Transition Learning initiative, we are excited to invite you to participate in our next family learning opportunity.

The third webinar in this series, “Understanding & Fostering Self-Determination Skills at School & Home”, will be hosted online via Zoom by:

  • Dr. Pam Varrin, Family Support Coordinator
  • Kathy Tyrer, Guidance Counselor
  • Lola Piscopo, Classroom Teacher, Capstone Program

This event is FREE and open to the public. Please use the following link to join us for this webinar on Zoom: bit.ly/3Hvv2Lu

*Time Correction*

New Webinar Added: Exploring Housing Options Together

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Because of the many questions about housing during our other webinars in the series, we have added an extra webinar to this year’s schedule of Family Learning Opportunities for Transition.

Cotting parent Andy Richardt will join us for an opportunity to think creatively about this area of planning. Andy joined Minute Man

Arc in July 2022 as Housing Development Manager, where he has been working on the micro unit model as a creative and flexible path to living more independently. He will talk with us about this model, as well as about traditional housing models.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Please use the following link to join us for this webinar on Zoom: bit.ly/3Hvv2Lu

Lower School and Middle School Luau Party

April 5, 2024, 3-4:30 p.m.

Cotting School Campus Center


Learn more and sign up here by Friday, March 29, 2024.

Questions? Email David Largenton at dlargenton@cotting.org or Marcie Garon at mgaron@cotting.org.

Caregivers’ Corner
Dear Cotting Parents & Guardians,

Starting this week, we are expanding the coverage of the Cotting Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and Cotting PTO, Inc. in the Weekly Update! Although we regularly share information about both Cotting parent/guardian organizations, moving forward, we will be consolidating this information in an easy-to-find weekly feature called “Caregivers’ Corner”.

In addition to the regular PAC & PTO meeting reminders, we’ll include links to meeting agendas, minutes and other organization-specific information to keep you informed and up-to-date on these important organizations. Let us know what you think!


Pam Varrin

Our next PTO meeting is scheduled for:

Friday, April 5, 2024

8:30-10 a.m.

In person in the Board Room and on Zoom. A draft agenda and link for joining online will be sent by email.

Please also mark your calendars for the remaining upcoming PTO meetings, all on Friday mornings from 8:30-10 a.m.:

  • April 5
  • May 3

The February recap/minutes from the Cotting PTO meeting can be found here.

Our next PAC meeting is scheduled for:

Friday, April 26, 2024

9-10 a.m.

In person in the Board Room and on Zoom. A draft agenda and link for joining online will be sent by email.

Please also mark your calendars for the remaining upcoming PAC meetings, all on Friday mornings from 9-10 a.m.:

  • April 26
  • May 24

The February recap/minutes from the Cotting PAC meeting can be found here.

Love Cotting? Let Boston Parents Readers’ Choice Awards Know!

Boston Parents Family Favorites nominations are open! Voting happens in two-rounds, with the first round taking place now through April 6, 2024 at

2 a.m. We hope you will consider nominating us by writing “Cotting School” in the “Special Needs Services & Resources” categories: Special Needs Preschools, Special Needs Elementary Schools, Special Needs Middle Schools and Special Needs High Schools.


The second round opens in mid-April, with voters being able to select from the top nominees in each category. Thank you for your support!


Vote here: bit.ly/BPPFamilyFavorites

Play It Forward

Thursday, April 11, 2024 6-9 p.m.

Join fellow Cotting families, friends and community supporters for a adults only (21+) night of fun and games featuring competitive trivia and an exciting silent auction! All funds raised from Play It Forward help support Cotting School’s athletics and after school programs. These programs fall outside of Cotting’s tuition and we must raise funds to support and sustain these activities each year. Proceeds also provide financial aid for families who otherwise would not be able to have their students participate in these important athletic and social opportunities. Play It Forward is a fantastic opportunity to introduce new friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to the school and show them the incredible strides your students achieve each and every day.

Buy Tickets Now

Save the Dates

  • Play it Forward fundraiser: April 11, 6-9 p.m., Campus Center
  • Project Bridges Employer Appreciation Breakfast: April 24, 9-10:30 a.m., Campus Center
  • Parent Guardian Social/Prom Party: May 17, 7-9 p.m., Courtyard
  • Prom: May 17, 7-9:30 p.m., Cotting School
  • Alumni Reunion: May 19, 12-2 p.m., Campus Center
  • Grandparents’ Day: May 22, 5-6 p.m., Cotting School
  • Art Show: May 22, 6-7:30 p.m., Campus Center
  • Graduation: June 1, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Campus Center

Community Resources & Events

“Shiny Misfits” Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

Join us on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, March 25 at 5 p.m. for a virtual fireside chat between Disability advocate, comedian & author Maysoon Zayid and Samuel and Dan Habib, co-directors of THE RIDE AHEAD, an upcoming film featuring Maysoon. Maysoon will discuss her journey with Palsy, the ‘DisCo’ Movement and her forthcoming book, Shiny Misfits.

Let’s come together to inspire, connect and make a difference. Register now to join us live or view a recording.

Junior Wheelchair Tennis Clinic

Hanover, MA, Sundays, March 24 & April 28. FREE. Clinics focus on beginners ages 18 and under. Learn fun games, drills, skills and mobility. Coaches and volunteers are always welcome.

This organization helps to grow wheelchair tennis among youths with disabilities and increase play opportunities for all players.

Registration is required.

Mental Health Crisis Planning: How to Develop a Proactive Strategy

Webinar, March 27, 2024, with Families for Depression Awareness of Waltham, MA. For caregivers to be effective, they need to have the right resources and support. This is when having a crisis plan–which may include a Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD)–becomes crucial.

  • Hear firsthand experiences of people with mental health challenges who used a PAD to support their journey to recovery.
  • Learn about the key components of a crisis plan and practical strategies for caregiver involvement.


Register here or contact 781.890.0220 or ari@familyaware.org.

FREE Parent/Guardian Training: Planning for Two Generations

Planning for Two Generations centers on the Special Needs Planning Timeline™, from the Special Needs Planning guide co-authored by John Nadworny and Cynthia Haddad. This timeline highlights the various planning pressure points where parents should be aware of changes relating to their child’s benefits, legal and financial issues.

The primary focus is to help parents avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in their own planning. We will also discuss ABLE accounts and strategies for when and how to establish them.

Alexandria Nadworny, CFP®, CTFA, Vice President, Wealth Advisor, Sequoia Financial Group, is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional working with individuals and families to help them plan and invest for their future. She assists in prioritizing the diverse goals that require thoughtful consideration when planning for a loved one with special needs.


Alex is the sister and future guardian of her brother, James, who has Down Syndrome. She has a deep understanding of all the roles and responsibilities that will need to be filled one day. Alex designed a program called “A Team to Carry On”, a framework for parents & guardians to use when planning for the time when they can no longer do all that is required for their child. She is dedicated to educational outreach, frequently presenting workshops for families, and is a sought-after speaker for professional conferences.


Please join us and bring your questions.

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2024

Time: 6:30-7:45 p.m.

via Webinar

(We will send you the Zoom link following registration)

To register for this workshop, R.S.V.P. by

Monday, March 25, 2024

(Please include your phone number and town when registering.)


Wheelchair Basketball Social

Sunday, April 7, 2-4 p.m. at the Andover/North Andover YMCA

Fun games, contests and scrimmages. Players of all ages and abilities are welcome to this free event at the Andover/North Andover YMCA.

To register and for more information, contact Kelley at to kohara@mvymca.org.

Check Out iCan Fly

iCan Fly is a parent-founded supportive community for families with special needs. The organization was created to empower parents through specialized learning, counseling, support groups and advocacy services that promote positive development for neurodiverse children.

Cotting School is a proud sponsor of iCan Fly’s upcoming talent show at the Watertown Library. Unfortunately, this event has already reached capacity and sign-ups have been closed. However, we encourage you to join their email list so you can be notified about future events.

Find more information and join their mailing list here.

Save the Date! Disability Connections: A Massachusetts Office on Disability Networking Event

Join the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) for Disability Connections, a networking event for the Massachusetts disability community. Hear about MOD’s latest work promoting accessibility across the Commonwealth, and connect with leaders from local and state government, nonprofit disability services, advocacy groups and all who make up the vibrant Massachusetts disability community.


Disability Connections: A Massachusetts Office on Disability Networking Event

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mass General Brigham Assembly Row

399 Revolution Drive, Somerville, MA

This event will be live streamed on Zoom. It is free and open to the public. Registration will open in February. ASL interpretation and CART services will be provided.

An Evening with Dr. Michael Rich

May 8, 2024 from 6:30-8 p.m.

FREE event

The Gifford School will host an evening with Dr. Michael Rich, MD, MPH, Director of the Digital Wellness Lab and the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

Dr. Rich is an internationally recognized expert in the field of media and families who will be discussing approaches to healthy technology use, and his new book, The Mediatrician’s Guide. We will be joined by other MAAPS schools for this exciting program, which will focus on parent and school staff collaboration (adults only, please). This event is free to attend, and light refreshments will be available.

Registration is required. Questions? Call 781.899.9500

Disability Pride Celebration at Fenway Park

Join the Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays, May 13 at 7:10 p.m. for their annual Disability Pride Celebration at Fenway Park!

Ticket holders who purchase through this special offer will receive an exclusive Red Sox hat with the Disability Pride flag, as well as braille lettering spelling Fenway Park on the brim. Click here for tickets and more information.

The Red Sox are committed to making baseball and Fenway Park accessible. Ballpark and program accommodations can be found on the Fenway Park Access Guide. If you have additional questions about accessibility, please call 617.226.6000 to speak with a Fenway Park ambassador.

Miracle League Baseball for Youth & Teens and Miracle League Baseball for Adults

Acton, MA from May-June. The Adult Miracle League program is for athletes 22 and older. The Miracle League of Massachusetts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides an opportunity for those with disabilities to play baseball as part of a team in an organized, non-competitive league.

Learn more about the Miracle League Baseball for Youth & Teens here.

Learn more about the Miracle League Baseball for Adults here.

Accessible Recreation Fair

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Universal Access Program’s (UAP) 2024 Accessible Recreation Fair

Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Herter Park/Artesani Playground in Brighton.

Come meet an array of regional adaptive recreation organizations and learn about accessible, adaptive and inclusive recreation opportunities in the Greater Boston area and across the state. Learn about adaptive equipment like hiking wheelchairs, beach wheelchairs, and adaptive bikes and trikes. Find out about upcoming adaptive summer programs like kayaking, cycling, hiking and nature activities!

Find more information here.

Northeastern University Study–Ethics of XR (Extended Reality)


Are you a parent, educator, clinician or therapist of kids ages 8-13 with a diagnosis of autism and/or ADHD in the Greater Boston area? We are researchers at Northeastern University studying the ethics of XR (extended reality) technologies, such as VR headsets and PokémonGo, for neurodivergent children who need your help! Participate in a one-time 90-minute in-person focus group, where you’ll play with an XR game, watch videos about XR and have a group discussion about your opinions. Receive a $100 Amazon gift card for your participation.

Please contact study PI, Professor Meryl Alper, at m.alper@northeastern.edu if interested.

Have a great weekend!


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

Helpful Links

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2023-2024 School Year Calendar
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