Meet Guest Blogger Tim Richmond of Cotting Consulting

Meet Guest Blogger Tim Richmond of Cotting Consulting

Did you know Cotting’s assistive technology, speech -language services, and occupational therapy is available outside of Cotting School?   We sat down with Tim Richmond to learn what’s new in Cotting Consulting, an outreach program of Cotting School that provides solutions for students in their school environment.  Read more from our conversation with Tim about how our consultants can serve your students right in their own schools! 1. What does Cotting Consulting do for school districts? We provide technology focused assessments, consultation, ongoing service and professional development to improve curriculum access and functional independence.  In addition, our consultants can provide expertise... Read More

Cotting Celebrates Anniversary of Landmark Supreme Court Ruling

Cotting Celebrates Anniversary of Landmark Supreme Court Ruling

“Every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.”[1]   Today we celebrate the one-year anniversary of a major US Supreme Court decision, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.  The ruling provides strong support for our efforts as special educators to enable children with disabilities to reach their highest potential.  In summary, the court rejected the idea that Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) provide “merely more than de minimis” (i.e. more than trivial) and instead ruled that it “must offer an IEP (Individualized Education Program that is reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate... Read More

My teachers and friends see everything about me, without labels.

My teachers and friends see everything about me, without labels.

Sometimes people look at me and all they see is my wheelchair. At Cotting School, my teachers and friends see everything about me, without labels. I am smart, I love to learn, I have great taste in music, and I’m really good at making friends. I have Cerebral Palsy, which is a brain injury that makes it difficult for me to control my muscles. In addition to CP I have vision impairments. I don’t see and I don’t speak the way a lot of other kids my age do.  Sometimes adults and other kids assume that I don’t know what... Read More

Social Skills at School and Beyond!

Social Skills at School and Beyond!

Cotting students practice their social skills for use not just at school, but across several different environments, like at home or in the community.  Our team of Communication Therapists have developed a strategy that enables our students to learn generalized social skills that they can practice at school and use as they communicate with family members, co-workers at Project Bridges, or friends outside of Cotting! CTs Jillian Gleason, Christine Rivera, and Katie Simmons explain their approach to this strategy: “Social skills can be a tricky topic to teach, because socializing is very natural.  We adapt our curriculum to be more... Read More

Alum Nick talks MCAS Competency Portfolio!

Alum Nick talks MCAS Competency Portfolio!

We had the pleasure of chatting with Cotting alum, and one time class president, Nick T. recently during his visit to campus! Nick is now a student at Cape Cod Community College, taking four classes and working hard on his degree.  Before college, Nick earned his diploma at Cotting by completing a Competency Determination Portfolio, which is no small task.  This required him to demonstrate competency at a 10th grade level in Math, Science, and English Language Arts.  He spent extra time each week to work on it, and even had to sacrifice participation in after-school activities in order to complete... Read More

Paths to Diploma

Paths to Diploma

Like many things at Cotting School, there are different paths to achievement, paths that are chosen to fit the strengths of the student. These are two paths to diploma that our students have followed: 1.     MCAS test & credit completion Students who pass the MCAS test, with or without accommodations, and fulfill Cotting’s credit requirements will earn a Cotting diploma. Some students, in addition to receiving a Cotting diploma, also earn a diploma from their home district.  87% of students who chose to pursue a high school diploma received one. Other students, however, may require more intensive support to receive a... Read More

Julie’s Blog Inspires & Shares Insights

Julie’s Blog Inspires & Shares Insights

Julie is a student at Cotting School. Like many students, Julie shares her insights through her writing on her own blog. We just read Julie’s latest post “It’s Really Normal to Use AAC” and found it so impactful that we wanted to share it more widely. In her post, Julie describes how she has grown and learned to use her voice, as well as the community of support she has found at Cotting School. Julie enjoys writing to tell her stories and to help inspire others. Recently, our team of Communication Therapists at Cotting School wrote a blog to share... Read More

Cotting Students Share Meaningful Insights in Disability Month Blog Series

Cotting Students Share Meaningful Insights in Disability Month Blog Series

          At the beginning of October, when we began working with a few Cotting School students on a series of student-centered blog posts, we had an idea of how meaningful the project would be, but the project and the reach of the messages our students had to share exceeded our expectations! We are proud of the students who shared “something you might not know about ” in our Disability Awareness Month Blog Series and though we’ve turned our calendars from October to November, we hope you will join us in reflecting on what our students had... Read More

I have epilepsy, lung disease, and a brain tumor, but I don’t let that stop me.

I have epilepsy, lung disease, and a brain tumor, but I don’t let that stop me.

Alexa works hard with her family, her doctors, and the staff at Cotting to understand and take care of her health so she can do all the things she loves to do – riding her bike around her neighborhood, going out to activities with friends, and playing with her sister.  At the top of that list, though, is being a student– the more time she can spend at school, the better she likes it. Even riding the bus to school makes her day. She is proud to say, “I am a really good student, and I love sports, especially basketball.”... Read More

I’ve learned things beyond algebra and division!

I’ve learned things beyond algebra and division!

This week’s student-focused blog celebrating Disability Awareness Month features Alex, a student in Cotting’s Capstone program, who has lots to share about herself. Alex says “At Cotting School I have learned many things beyond algebra and division” and she supported that statement with a long list of examples. Here’s what she had to say: Friendship is about trust. I have made many friends here and have learned how to be a good friend. I also try to make new students feel welcome. I am learning skills so I can live independently and go to college when I leave Cotting. For... Read More

I like to visit the city with my friends!

I like to visit the city with my friends!

Connor has a packed schedule these days.  Even as a busy Capstone student, he manages to find time to be with his buddies from Cotting.  “We go to Boston and visit the Prudential Center” he explains.  “I just saw Finding Dory with Patrick and watched The Polar Express with Justin at the Museum of Science.  I like to have fun with my friends.” Connor, 18, is on the autism spectrum. While building relationships may require more effort for someone with autism, Connor has made many great friends during his time at Cotting.  Besides trips to the city and visits to... Read More

Celebrating AAC Awareness Month at Cotting School

Celebrating AAC Awareness Month at Cotting School

October is here – and though many people may be aware that it is Disability Awareness month, some might not realize that it is also International AAC Awareness month.  The goal of AAC Awareness month is to raise public understanding of Augmentative and Alternative Communication and recognize the vital role these systems play in giving people a voice. This is especially important to the Cotting community, as approximately 30% of our student population uses some form of AAC to communicate.  We witness students every day using AAC to communicate for basic needs, share their opinions, ask questions about lessons, repair... Read More

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Cotting School is proud to join the United States Department of Labor to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October! The Office of Disability Employment Policy explains that “NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.” “Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.” At Cotting, we celebrate... Read More

I’m an enthusiastic learner who worked hard to pass the MCAS!

I’m an enthusiastic learner who worked hard to pass the MCAS!

“I use a wheelchair to move around because I cannot walk,” describes Elizabeth (“almost age 18”). “Because I am in a wheelchair, people assume I am not smart. They make a weird face and they talk to other people around me instead of to me directly.” A few minutes in Elizabeth’s company, however, would shatter that misconception. She is engaging on any subject, but especially about her ability to advocate for herself and her goal of teaching others to do the same for themselves. Using a combination of her own voice, and her fingers flying over her iPhone (which serves... Read More

I like chocolate, sleepovers, and chillin’ with my besties!

I like chocolate, sleepovers, and chillin’ with my besties!

Hello everyone, my name is Sara. I am 18. I use a computer to speak. It has eye gaze so I can select a letter or word by looking at the screen. I have had my device as long as I can remember. My mom says I was four when I got my first high tech device. People react better to me when I have my device. When I don’t have my Tobii device people talk baby talk to me, or ignore me and talk to my mom instead. It is hard for strangers or new people I meet to... Read More

The 2017-18 School Year is Upon Us!

The 2017-18 School Year is Upon Us!

Cotting School is buzzing with anticipation and preparation as students return on September 6th!  We are thrilled to see many of our veteran students back for another year, and are equally excited to welcome several new students and families to our Cotting community! What’s new this year? We’ve had some classrooms shift around this summer, including Mr. Lindblad’s move to the first floor as our new Science teacher!  He’ll teach the Middle School, Upper School, and Capstone students. Speaking of Capstone… this is our newest initiative at Cotting, which serves as a culminating experience for our 18-22 year old students.  It offers an... Read More

Egg Drop!

Egg Drop!

That’s a wrap on summer school week 3!  Before we head off to the weekend, we want to share our visit with Mr. Mitropoulos and Ms. Maimone’s classes as they put some of their science knowledge to the test! This afternoon, both classes learned about the notions of force and impact, part of an Engineering unit in their summer science curriculum.  Both teachers challenged their students to create a padded barrier to surround an egg, that would protect the egg from cracking from a 20 foot drop!  Each student got creative, using paper, tape, and plastic to build a protective... Read More

A trip down “Beacon” lane!

A trip down “Beacon” lane!

For many years, Cotting students published a literary magazine, called the “Beacon,” filled with stories, poems, and art created by our students. Below are a few photos from past publications.  The dates should convey just how long we’ve been publishing!                             Here is an excerpt from Earl Kagan, ’48, in the 1947 edition: “On the whole, television is a very wonderful thing. We can see as well as hear the programs.  It is, in other words, radio plus sight.” Today of course, the topics we’re writing about... Read More

12-Year-Old Creates an App for People with Disabilities

12-Year-Old Creates an App for People with Disabilities

Technology use at Cotting shapes our curriculum in a profound way.  From SmartBoards in classrooms to students’ personal devices, our technology is constantly in use and ever-changing. As new products become available that enhance our students’ experience, we do what we can to apply the newest, cutting-edge apps and equipment. Some of our students’ technology use may happen when they are out in the community, either on a class community trip or at a Project Bridges  work site.  Finding accessible entrances to buildings and parking spaces is so important, and now thanks to a 12-year-old from Iowa, that may soon be a... Read More

Purple Table Reservations

Purple Table Reservations

Purple Table reservations is a new initiative that makes dining out a more pleasant experience for families that may need accommodations.  A Purple Table reservation means that families can dine in a quieter section of the restaurant, perhaps closer to the restrooms, and count on patience and understanding from trained staff.  “Purple Table reservations will provide a new level of comfort to families that have struggled with dining out in the past.  Together, we can make dining out a less stressful and more enjoyable experience for all,”  explains Jenifer Apazidis, Founder of Purple Table Reservations.  She is owner of the Red Raven in Acton, MA,... Read More