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LGS Increases Commitment to Creating a Supportive, Inclusive Culture

Central to Linden Grove School’s mission is to provide personalized instruction and a supportive community, helping each child maximize his or her potential regardless of ability or background.

Linden Grove School also recognizes there is more the LGS community can do to encourage in our students and ourselves the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and attitudes to understand and appreciate our differences and our common humanity.

During the summer months, LGS initiated committees comprised of staff, family members, and volunteers to recommend efforts to ensure a supportive, inclusive culture. Committee areas of focus include, but are not limited to, multi-cultural activities curriculum materials, and diversity training for staff and volunteers.

For more information or to get involved, email Mrs. Tennyson, Head of School.

LGS Board Creates Strategy for Growth

To meet growing requests for its specialized education and supports, Linden Grove School (LGS) increased enrollment from 60 to nearly 90 students over the past five years, maximizing the school’s physical capacity.

In response, the LGS Board of Trustees recently approved a three-year Strategic Plan to evaluate and prioritize options for further growth while developing the resources and structural model to support expansion. Additionally, by documenting its growth process, Linden Grove School will serve as a model for education providers outside our region.

Three main areas of focus for the Strategic Plan were identified during a Board retreat in the fall of 2019. Related objectives and strategies were developed throughout the school year by sub-committees comprised of Board members, parents, staff, and community supporters. The final plan was approved by LGS’s Board of Trustees in July 2020

Read additional information regarding LGS’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.

Teaching Students: A 30-Year Vocation

Peg Ballard’s vocation has always been to teach students. It began more than thirty years ago with a small parent cooperative for families whose children did not fit the mainstream education system and continued as the cooperative grew and evolved into Linden Grove School. It continued until her retirement earlier this year.

Ms. Ballard’s dedication showed daily in her classes: in giving careful instructions, in responding to “off topic” comments and calmly redirecting students, and in allowing students the time they needed to process information and formulate a response. Ms. Ballard enjoyed getting to know students and “what makes them tick” — then she knew how to motivate them and help them learn!

Ms. Ballard took joy in her students and activities throughout the school: she cheered students racing up and down the hallways in an “Olympic” relay, and delighted as students entered her room to carefully and thoughtfully take pictures for an art project.

It was always all about the students.

Thank you, Ms. Ballard, for your 30 years of service. You will be missed.

Outstanding Generosity Ensures Cancelled Fundraiser Surpasses Goal

LGS’s 2020 Signature Event netted more than $75,000 — surpassing its fundraising goal — despite the cancellation of the actual dinner and entertainment in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you to everyone who supported the online auction, raffles, and prize drawings.

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Hunt Development Corporation
Supporting Sponsors: BHI General Contracting LLC and Brandicorp LLC
Entertainment Sponsor: Lithko Restoration Technologies LLC
Contributing Sponsor: M. Ellis & Associates LLC
Event Sponsor: Taft Law

Class of 2020 Reflects Diverse Interests, Shared Memories

Linden Grove School graduates reflect a diversity of interests and ambitions. Some look forward to utilizing the skills they developed at Linden Grove School to achieve academic success in high school and perhaps college. Others indicate a desire to continue exploring personal interests and improving their social skills.

Students also differ in their favorite memories of LGS. Some recall creating a racing car using a pumpkin, while others recollect the annual Fall Dance. What they agree on: they will miss their friends and their time together in fun class activities or simply hanging out during lunch.

Top, left to right: Alanya Ozdil with Justin Ulrich at the Fall Dance; Tazz Siekman succeeds in robotics class; Max Hall with classmates Zander Naegele and Ben Bartlett show off their creation for The Great Pumpkin Race. Bottom, left to right: Mrs. Sigurdson helps Erika Thomas measure ingredients for an apple crisp; Tyrone Gray shows off his jersey on Team Spirit Day.

Learning, Supports and Sense of Community Maintained amid Social Distancing

Given only a few days’ notice of a school closure in anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Linden Grove School teachers showed their flexibility in adapting academic lessons to distance learning. As the closure extended through April into May, teachers posted and received assignments utilizing Google Classroom, assignments ranging from subtraction worksheets, to learning about world cultures through art projects, to writing a poem about their favorite food.

In addition to academic assignments, speech and occupational therapists utilized an Internet-based system for weekly 1:1 sessions, and behavior staff provided consultations via phone.

To help everyone stay connected and maintain LGS’s sense of community, video conferencing enabled Morning Meetings for students to share with each other and practice social interactions. Posted images from weekly Spirit Days encouraged fun and helped maintain relationships among students, staff, and even LGS therapy dogs!

Linden Grove School is grateful to staff and family members who helped students stay engaged and connected during this unique time

Students Find Purpose and Happiness in Helping Others

Applied Skills students learn the value of giving through various activities throughout the year. Every Friday in December, for example, students prepared and circulated a “Sunshine Cart” among the classrooms and offices of Linden Grove School and St. Saviour Parish. The cart was filled with treats ranging from homemade muffins to Reindeer Chow. Students then used Sunshine Cart tips, as well as donations from various sources, to create care packages for homeless individuals.

“Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person.”  — Goldie Hawn

 

Left: Preparing care packages for the homeless, left to right: Erika Thomas, Justin Ulrich, Tazz Siekman. Right: Applied Skills students and staff with their Sunshine Cart.

Learning and Enrichment through Reading

Reading is an exercise for the mind. While increasing focus and concentration, it improves vocabulary, memory and comprehension. Reading also encourages empathy, inspires creativity and helps broaden students’ horizons. LGS’s curriculum currently includes the books Holes, The Hobbit, Coraline and Zane and the Hurricane. Depending on the season and students’ interests, teachers may also include books such as The Empty Pot, Balloons Over Broadway or There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom.

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