Aww the first few days of summer vacation are great! Then you start hearing the repetitive complaints of being bored. Here are some summer suggestions….

summer suggestions.png

Local Zoos and Aquariums

Many local zoos and aquariums have long and short term summer programs/camps.

Zoo New England offers a camp about of their locations (Franklin Park in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham). At both camps. Zoo educators will lead campers through an adventurous week of animal explorations, hands-on activities, animal-related games, and crafts. 

New England Aquarium offers camps for older students. For example, their Harbor Discoveries is an interactive marine and environmental science program that incorporates traditional camp activities. Through exploration of local marine habitats and the Aquarium, and an excitement for ocean conservation, Harbor Discoveries enhances the passion and potential impact that young people can have in and for the ocean.

Local Libraries

Many folks overlook the hidden gems that are their local libraries. Many libraries offer teen hours, story time, STEM activities, activities geared to siblings and/or parent bonding. Some libraries also offer opportunities for older students to work with either younger students or students with special needs.

Check out your local library’s website and/or stop in and ask some questions. IF you don’t see something that is appropriate for your child, ask if they know of an appropriate offering or would they be willing to coordinate something. You will be surprised by how much knowledge these librarians have and are willing to share with those that ask.

Local Recreation Departments

Almost every town/city has a recreation department that offers a wide variety of short-long term offerings. Many towns/cities are also willing to help financially, just ask what your town’s policy is about scholarships. Again if you do not see something that is a ‘right’ fit for your individual child, call and ask if they can accommodate. If they cannot accommodate, don’t be upset. Instead ask them if they know any more appropriate options. Again these folks have a plethora of information and are always willing to share it with interested parties.


it's a new school Year!.jpg

What can you do to support your student?

Develop a “partnership” with your student’s teacher.

As a former classroom teacher, I can assure you that the teachers your student interacts with on a day-to-day basis went into education to make a difference in the lives of their students. When a conflict arises remember that everyone has your child’s best interests at heart and will want to do what is best for them. Try to remind yourself of this while working through conflicts.  

Stay involved with your student’s classroom schedule, activities and special events. Offer support to the teacher and follow through.  Ask your student questions about their school days so that you are not surprised when someone tells you there is a ‘big issue.’  

Encourage your older student to self-advocate.

For older students, encourage them speak up and self-advocate appropriately.  Sit down with your student and read over their together so that they know what it says and what it means.  Have them identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as strategies they think work for them. Make a copy of their accommodations from their IEP, laminate it or put it in a clear sheet protector and then put it in their binder/planner. Then talk to your student about when/how they should use this ‘cheat sheet’ to appropriately self-advocate. For example, maybe they have a substitute teacher who is not aware that you student gets time and a half to complete a test.

Acknowledge your student’s achievements and performance.

Have high but realistic expectations of your student’s school performance. Remind your student of your belief in their abilities and encourage them to develop healthy beliefs and attitudes about themselves. Celebrate their strengths and wins and support them when they have “misses” and/or weaknesses.

 Share your concerns about your student’s performance NOT with the student but instead with their teacher.

What can you do you stay organized and on top of your student's academic needs?

A. Get a large three ring binder and some separators 

B. Set up your binder so that it has a few relevant sections. These are the sections I use:

  1. Current IEP
  2. Correspondence. I break this down further into a section for emails, snail mail and phone logs. 
  3. Report Cards - Progress Reports. Again I break this down further into the four quarters
  4. Behavior
  5. Tests, Assessments and Evaluations. I never throw any of these materials out. 
  6. IEP Goal Tracking. I break this section into as many goals as the IEP states and then I track each goal by the quarter. 

C. Do not write on the originals. If you want to make notes, write them on post-its and put the post-its on the document.

D. Keep all documents in strict chronological order. 

I only keep the most current school year and one past year's worth of material in the binder at a time. I also create a table of contents so I can quickly find documents/information.  I bring this binder with me to all Team meetings. 

Have questions or concerns about your student? Contact us to discuss further:

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549