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President's Letter June 2023

5 Jun 2023 3:47 PM | Laura Foody (Administrator)

Dear NEALS Members and Supporters,

I am sitting at my desk writing my last President’s letter for NEALS.  My term is ending this month, and I wanted to thank all of you for helping NEALS stay strong these past three years.  It was a challenge to pivot over and over to continue to provide services and support to our members; I am proud to say that we continued to provide excellent programming and networking opportunities while the world processed the COVID pandemic.  Working with the NEALS Board helped me stay afloat during the pandemic and I urge all of you to consider taking on a more active role with this wonderful organization.

I am now looking forward to my professional growth and wanted to share some of my summer plans with you.

I am beginning my summer break with a quick sentence writing workshop by Think SRSD.  This evidence-based program breaks down the writing process into explicit steps.  I am looking forward to better explaining to students how to write high-quality sentences.

This summer, I am working with Horizons at Dedham Country Day School.  I will be providing reading support to students from Boston and Dedham Public and Charter Schools.  This is a great program.  I love to share my joy of learning with students who are not familiar with the independent school experience.  I urge you to investigate whether there is a Horizons program near you and find out how you can help support it. 

I am also taking an online course created by our own member, Caryl Frankenberger.  She has made a wonderful certificate program about how to better address the needs of our diverse learners at independent schools.  Here is a little blurb about it:

Understanding Diverse Learning Profiles is a six-modular online course that people can take at their leisure. We cover the most salient learning challenges (dyslexia, ADHD, executive functioning, processing speed/working memory, anxiety, pink flags of autism spectrum) because all schools have students who have some of these issues.

Our other modules address misconceptions we bring to our work about students who have learning challenges; how to read and interpret psychoeducational/neuropsychological evaluations; questions you can ask in the admissions process or in the classroom to get a clearer understanding of the students you interview/teach; classroom strategies for all learners; and then a case study.

I am looking forward to sharing this program with my school colleagues so that we can learn more about how to accept and support all our students and hope you investigate it as well.

And finally, I am taking a summer course through the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Instructional Leadership.  This program is helping me learn how I can better mentor, coach, and support my classroom colleagues.  I have been very pleased with the coursework I’ve done with Harvard GSE and encourage you to investigate their programs.

Thank you all for being a part of NEALS.  I wish you a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you at our events during the 2023-24 school year.  


Laura Foody

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