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Alumni Families Push Giving Tuesday Campaign Beyond Expectations

Support from individuals for Linden Grove School’s Giving Tuesday campaign surpassed expectations amid a difficult year for many families and businesses. This year response from former LGS parents doubled, helping to raise more than $50,000 in support of current students and families. For LGS staff, the best part of the campaign is receiving updates on LGS alums, some of whom are local and others who are as far away as Australia!

Distance Learning Creates Unexpected Benefits for Speech, OT

Typical speech and occupational therapy (OT) activities don’t adapt well to distance learning. It’s hard to teach a student how to tie a shoe or work on correct pronunciation via a computer screen. Amid these challenges, LGS therapists nevertheless have found unexpected benefits when working with students learning from home.

In distance learning, parents can experience what their students are working on in therapy sessions, and therapists can provide parents with ideas on how to reinforce activities at home. These ideas may be as simple as using a full sentence when requesting something at mealtime or how to help students hold utensils and scoop food.

Specific to speech therapy, students enjoy introducing therapists to siblings or pets and showing off their rooms and prized possessions. Therapists use these opportunities to work on conversation skills, language organization, and vocabulary.

In OT sessions, therapists have found mindfulness activities particularly effective among students learning from home, away from busy classrooms. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can be easier to focus on and engage with, helping students self-regulate and feel better emotionally and physically.

Hatton Foundation Funds Supports, Resources to Aid Self-Regulation

Through the generosity of the Hatton Foundation, Linden Grove School has enhanced existing social-emotional learning activities and supports by initiating new strategies to improve self-regulation among students. Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage energy states, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to increase positive results related to learning, relationships, and personal well-being.

New initiatives include: interoception activities to increase student awareness of and responses to physical and emotional states; Calm Classroom exercises to increase self-awareness, mental focus, and emotional resilience; and an increased number of calm spaces among the school’s middle school and main buildings.

Online Resources Inspire Engagement, Learning

Online resources continue to increase in number and variety, engaging students on a range of topics. Video recordings of books, video shorts, and related activities—to be completed online, in the classroom, or at home—help students learn their ABCs and 123s, understand what is “inside your outside,” consider the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of Squanto, and more.

READ MORE about these activities and others; go to “Inside LGS” or sign up for electronic updates by emailing Christina Waddle.

LGS Middle School Opens Ahead of 2020-2021 Enrollment Season

For a virtual tour of middle school classrooms and more, click here.

Linden Grove School’s new Middle School building opened for students on Monday, November 30. The building has six spacious classrooms, STEM Lab, sensory room, and offices for speech and occupational therapists as well as behavior staff. Moreover, the move of LGS 6-8 grade students from the Main Building to the new Middle School building has created more classroom space for K-6 grade students.

The opening of the Middle School building is especially welcome as LGS prepares for peak enrollment season. Autism prevalence rates increased 10% in two years, according to a CDC report released in March 2020. In the report, the CDC estimates 1 in 54 children as identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an increase from 1 in 59 children two years previously.

Over the next decade, an estimated 707,000 to 1,116,000 teens with autism will transition out of high school, and, if trends continue, their participation in post-secondary education or paid employment will be significantly lower than those of their typical peers or even those with learning disabilities. Linden Grove School’s specialized approach to education helps students with autism develop the skills and the confidence for success in school and beyond.

For information on LGS’s admission process click here.

To schedule a conversation regarding a potential new student, click here.

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

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