From the Executive Director

Welcome to our new website! I am excited to now have a place to share with you news and updates about our programs and the services offered by the Collaborative.

We have launched many new initiatives across the Collaborative in an effort to ensure that every child receives the highest quality of education possible. One focus, in particular, is in the area of curriculum and instruction.  Our current efforts include mathematics curriculum mapping, new reading programs at the Ripley School, Therapeutic Learning Center, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, and vocational curriculum for our transition age students.

For the past two years, we have been working on aligning our curriculum to the Massachusetts Common Core State Standards. We have now completed math pacing guides for grades K-8 with common formative and summative assessments that will allow us to track student progress. Pedagogical efforts include continued incorporation of 21st century skills into each child’s learning experience, and we will continue to provide–and improve–each student’s access to the curriculum through the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach to instruction across all SEEM Programs. Through UDL, teachers provide curriculum content in numerous ways, while differentiating instruction and engaging students in multiple hands-on opportunities that accommodates individual learning styles.

In the area of reading, we are implementing new programs at the elementary level.  The Wilson Fundations Program will be implemented at the Ripley school and at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, Visual Phonics will be implemented across the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program to enhance development of literacy skills, and we will be implementing Road to Reading at the Therapeutic Learning Center Program (Prek-8).  Rode to Reading emphasizes explicit, systematic, research-based instruction that helps students understand how letters and letter combinations represent sounds and words.

Vocational Curriculum has been another curricular focus at the Collaborative. This summer, we invested in the four remaining kits from the Project Discovery Transition System – Adapted Version.  These kits contain materials to help students with significant disabilities explore various career fields. Unlike traditional “work boxes,” Project Discovery provides lessons that tie the activities into the student’s academics.  It also comes complete with PDF and MS word files for the curriculum and printed materials  so that teachers can adapt the content to suit the individual needs of each student.  We have been purchasing 4-5 kits per summer. This year, we completed the series by purchasing Carpentry, Health & Nutrition, Mail Handling, and Skin & Nail Care.

I am proud of the programs that we offer, as well as our staff who dedicate their time and energy to providing your children with a high-quality education. We are excited about these improvements and are looking forward to implementing them in the upcoming school year.