Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!
This year the collaborative will continue to focus on strengthening our community as we enter our third year of partnership with Project Impact. I am excited about all that we have accomplished thus far and I look forward to the next phase of working with the leadership team to finalize and implement a strategic plan. The plan focuses on five areas of capacity building, including: (1) training and development, (2) organizational policies and guidelines, (3) healthy relationships and education, (4) parent and family engagement, and (5) survivor supports and secondary trauma. This partnership will enable us to provide a safer environment for our children by preventing and responding to the sexual abuse of children with disabilities. Additionally, Elizabeth Miller, a behavior analyst at the Collaborative, will now spend a portion of her time as our Equity Specialist. In this role, she will provide consultation and professional development regarding equity and diversity matters relative to students, families, and staff. We have also continued to invest in technology and professional development that supports data driven practices; and that strengthens our ability to differentiate instruction as well as our ability to foster a supportive and challenging learning environment for every student.
As I prepare to welcome you back to work, my enthusiasm is countered by feelings of disillusionment that continue to overcome me in the aftermath of Charlottesville and other recent events that have left individuals feeling unsafe because of who they are as a person. History has taught us the horror that ensues when members of any group are dehumanized. To bear witness to the blatant and violent expression of bigotry displayed in Charlottesville was shocking and a cause for pause. Actions rooted in hate must never be tolerated.
At the same time, the more I reflect, the more heartened and optimistic I feel because I keep coming back to how hard we at SEEM Collaborative are working every day to strengthen our citizenry by teaching our students tolerance and respect for individual differences. My resolve to provide an educational environment that promotes inclusivity, that empowers our students to live their lives with compassion, self-determination and purpose is stronger than ever. I am grateful that you continue to join me in pursuit of this mission and thankful for the positive impact you continue to have on our students’ lives. I could not be prouder to do this work in partnership with you.
I am looking forward to your return! Best wishes for a healthy and productive school year.
CathyCatherine Lawson, Ed.D. Executive Director, SEEM Collaborative 92 Montvale Ave. Suite 3500 P: 781-279-1361 F: 781-279-0292 www.seemcollaborative.org