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© 2018 ACCEPT Education Collaborative

ACCEPT Staff Newsletter

March 2018 Staff Update

This year marks the 30th annual observance of Women’s History Month, celebrating the contributions of women in history and contemporary society. Women’s History Month originated in Sonoma California and grew out of the celebration of International Women’s Day. The first International Women’s Day was March 8, 1911; the United Nations has held celebrations on this day since 1975.

A Women’s History Month trivia quiz is at the end of this update. A drawing from all correct entries will be held at the end of the month. If you are interested in participating, please submit your entry by March 30th to me. The winner will receive a prize.

School shootings have become an all too common occurrence. In researching ways to be prepared for such an event I came across an interesting article highlighting the approach of Dale Marsden, Superintendent of the San Bernadino schools. As you may remember, there was a mass shooting in December of 2015 in San Bernadino resulting in the murder of 14 people and injury of 24 others attending an office holiday party. A key aspect of Marsden’s approach, which aligns with our focus on civility and building community, is that relationships matter and preparedness is essential. Positive relationships are the underpinning of a safe environment. In such a culture, people are more likely to report aberrant behavior and less likely to act out violently. Our 3(4) Rs (Respectful, Responsible, Ready to Learn, Resilient) help us to build strong, positive relationships.

Being prepared for a crisis will also impact our culture. The more confident we are about our ability to respond to an event, the better the outcome. I know we need additional training to increase our overall feeling of confidence. More details will be available shortly.

A national school walkout has been planned for March 14th to honor the lives of the 17 people killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month. On March 14th, rather than focusing on school violence, I would like us to pause in thanks for the safety of our schools.

At 4 Tech Circle all staff and students will be observing 17 seconds of silence, at 10:00 AM in the Cafegymatorium. Programs in Medway may participate in their school’s observance or choose to come to 4 Tech Circle or hold the 17 seconds of silence in the classroom. If you intend to come to 4 Tech Circle and need transportation, please let me know.

To demonstrate solidarity, people are being encouraged to wear orange. ACCEPT will be participating by providing everybody with orange wristbands.

We should approach this as a teachable event. If we want our students to be informed and active citizens, we need to help them develop the skills needed, including how to apply those skills in an appropriate manner.

News You Can Use:
• There were two winners in our Black History Month trivia quiz: Julieanne Perry and Katherine Snead – Congratulations.

• A number of new staff joined the Collaborative. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to your new colleagues and welcome them warmly.

• Our light bulb fundraising campaign will be kicking off this week. Our Transition students have been preparing informational materials that will be distributed shortly. All of the money raised will be used to purchase ACCEPT gear for all students, and potentially staff, too.

• Thanks to everybody for making our first school picture day a success; I appreciate your efforts. I can’t wait to see the photos.

• Employee Assistance Program (EAP) ACCEPT offers an EAP through e4Health. For more information, or to access services anonymously, call 800-227-2195 or go to (username=accept, password=guest).

• The Fitness Center is open before and after school for your use – please take advantage of this great opportunity.

ACCEPTional Accolades:
• Julieanne Perry #disneydash – Julieanne completed the Disney 10K in an impressive time and reached her fundraising goal for Autism Speaks!

• Eileen Christopher #dispatchertotherescue – Eileen received a commendation from the Department of Children and Family Services for her quick response that made a difference in a child’s life.

• Alexandra DiCicco-Kanbourian #jumpingintoaction – Alex “volunteered” to serve as a monitor when there was a last minute call out.

• Chelsea Medvedeff and Mary Harn – #vactionat4Tech – A super grateful thank you to Chelsea and Mary for spending so much of their school vacation week preparing our new Prek/K room and 1st/2nd grade rooms at 4 Tech!

• C2C and nursing staff – Thank you to all staff who jumped into action to help our student during a medical emergency – calm, cool, collected and followed protocol – you guys are awesome!

• Anastatia Dilling #pitchhitting – Thank you to Anastasia for stepping right up to conduct tours for us at Medway MS (and doing such a great job that the family wants to start asap!).

• Daisy Boyd-Berks #firstresponder – Thank you to Daisy for her quick, in-the-moment communications to keep all our students safe and alert all admin officials in Medway and at ACCEPT about a concern at MMS. Her quick responses kept everyone in the loop and helped resolve the issue quickly!

• Kate Buck #teamworkmakesthedreamwork – A special thanks to Kate for helping fill the role of Behavior Specialist in the PALS programs as well as her Academy program

• Colleen Ryan (and Academy Burke staff) #raisingthebar – Kudos to Colleen (and Burke staff) who have been working to increase inclusion opportunities for our little muffins – students are excelling and spending more and more time with their peers at Medway Memorial – Burke!

Thanks to all for exemplifying the ACCEPT Advantage!

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”J.K. Rowling

If you would like additional details or to discuss anything in this update please do not hesitate contact me.


Marcia J. Berkowitz, Ed.M., M.Ed.
Executive Director

4 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760 (508) 653-6776