Friday, February 26, 2016

Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Navigate the College Search

by Amanda Grillo
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I attended a presentation at Curry College called Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Navigate the College Search. Many students who received extra supports in high school because of a diagnosed learning disability worry about whether they will have those supports available to them at the college level. The good news is that there are many colleges that offer varying degrees of supports to students with learning disabilities. When students begin the college search one of the qualities they should look for in the school is the extent of learning disability supports offered. Some schools like Curry College and Dean College offer what is called a comprehensive program. A comprehensive program offers the highest level of support at the college level and has its own separate admissions process. Many of these programs are fee based. Not all students with learning disabilities will necessarily need a comprehensive program. Many colleges offer accommodations, but the student must initiate accessing them when needed. It is important for students and families to determine what supports are necessary in order for the student to be successful. The next step is to ask colleges if those supports are offered and how, when and where the student can access them. The main take away is that there is a college for everyone and students with learning disabilities will still have a wide variety of schools to choose from that can meet their needs. If you would like more information about the college process for students with learning disabilities please contact your child’s guidance counselor.

Curry College PAL Program link: 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ADL Peer Leader Group

by Matt Marenghi

Among the many hats I am fortunate enough to wear, I’d like to use this blog post to boast about my role as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Peer Leader co-advisor at Blake Middle School.

Along with Senora Gonzalez, this is our second year advising the ADL Peer Leader program.  Peer Leaders go through an application process from which they are selected from many, many applicants.  The Peer Leaders received three full days of training from an ADL representative and have since met weekly after school.  Our ultimate goal is create and maintain a community a Blake that is respectful of differences and intolerant of any prejudice or hate.

The Peer Leaders teach lessons to each of the eleven 6th grade advisories.  They gave their first lesson to the 6th graders earlier this month entitled “The Diversity Iceberg” which encourages students to appreciate and explore each other’s personal and cultural identity, especially those qualities which you may not see on the surface.  Here are couple of shots of the Peer Leaders in action:

On March 22nd, the Peer Leaders are excited to attend ADL’s 22nd Annual New England Youth Congress in Boston.  This will give the Peer Leaders an opportunity to meet and work with other groups from throughout New England.  For more information about this event or about the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, please visit the following website:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Break Free From Depression

By Russ Becker

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Did you know that approximately 1 in 5 American adolescents experience depression before the age of 19? Or that of those experiencing depression only 40% will undergo some sort of treatment? The reality of the situation is that depression is a very real concern regarding the lives of our teens, and one that is not being addressed effectively. As a district, Medfield has worked vigilantly to inform students and help those in need through a variety of new curriculum and programs, and this past Thursday, Matt Merenghi and were trained on increasing our ability to do so. We both attended a training for a program is entitled “Break Free From Depression” with the aim of comparing it to our already existing curriculum. The program’s focus lies in increasing knowledge of depression for students while providing resources for those who need more immediate attention. The program provided a consistent message with much of the material that we had already been teaching, but going forward we will reassess our curriculum to examine if there is a better way to disseminate the information. The statistics prove that this is at the forefront of what our students are struggling with, and by attending this training we hope to continue meeting our students needs. Please contact me if you would like to know more about either this program or the existing curriculum surrounding the subject.