Monthly Archives: September 2017

Welcome to Longview: A Letter from the Director

Welcome to Longview in Deerfield NH

On behalf of the entire staff at Longview School, we welcome you to the 2017-18 school year.

As we enter our 18th year of operation and as I look back over the many changes that have taken place, I’m more committed than ever to our goal: to engage students and help them prepare for life after Longview. In fact, Longview’s name arose from a desire to help students gain those intangibles that are so critical to being successful in the world.

The definition of success could be different for everyone, but here’s how I like to think about it. I would rather see a student finish a hike last because he stopped to help others along the way, than see a student reach the peak first because he pushed people aside along the way. We get to choose the type of learners – and people – we are. Longview will help you see that.

Many alumni come back to visit us after they’ve left Longview, and talk about something we’ve taught and tell us they didn’t “get it” until after they had left. But the important takeaway is that they did “get it” and thought it was important to let us know we helped them.

We believe that not all education takes part in the classroom, and not all growth is visible on the outside.

With best wishes for a wonderful year,

Tom Jennings, director, Longview School

New school year, new fun ways to learn

Check out the new website!

We’re excited to welcome preschool students back to Sunrise Children’s Center, and introduce parents to our new website!

We’ve created an online home for Sunrise that looks a little bit more like our school in real life.

We’ve packed it full of resources and information for everyone, along with new ways to contact us and learn about all we offer. And we invite you to take a look and let us know how it works for you.

One of our favorite new features is the event calendar, that will guide you through the year. Look here for information about holidays, celebrations, and other important happenings (such as the hop-a-thon that raised more than $2,000 for two teachers fighting cancer). We’ll also post school closings here along with the usual channels (check WMUR and WZID). In each event entry, you can see important details and download permission forms if you need them.

We are also excited about the photo gallery that will allow you to share pictures of your favorite ray of sunshine (only those with photo release forms, of course) with friends and family.

We aren’t changing anything else right now about how we communicate with students and families. Nancy’s weekly newsletter will still be printed out and sent home with your child, and we’ll provide permission slips and other important documents to you.

Here’s to a great year and new memories!

– Nancy Gagnon, director, Sunrise Children’s Center

Vista Learning Center welcomes first class of students to 2017-18 school year

Photo of Vista Building, an academic program for students with autism

Academic program for students with autism and other learning challenges opens in Southern New Hampshire

Regional Services and Education Center, Inc.(RSEC) recently launched Vista Learning Center, (Vista) a new academic program for students in grades 5-8 who have not been successful in traditional learning environments. Vista is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education for as an academic program for students with autism, speech language impairment, emotional disturbance, and other health impaired students including those with anxiety, ADHD, or school phobia.

“Our focus is on understanding the underlying issue that is prompting behavior issues or other ways of acting out that disrupt a student’s ability to learn and be part of a classroom community,” said Amanda Reed, an educator for Vista. “With a focus on understanding themselves, their community, and social skills, we can create personalized learning that addresses the whole child, not just one part of their life.”

With a capacity of 10 students, a “no labels” policy, and parent involvement integrated into the middle school program’s curriculum, Vista is set apart from other programs for students with learning disabilities. Reed, along with an external community coordinator who helps connect students with social and volunteer opportunities throughout New Hampshire, doesn’t let students use their diagnosis as a crutch.

“We take the time to find out what external environmental factors could be causing a problem,” Reed said. “With autism, for example, something as subtle as a ticking clock could pose a distraction and prompt a disruptive response for a student. When everything else isn’t working, behavior becomes a coping mechanism and our approach is to understand what the student is trying to solve by exhibiting it.”

At Vista, that process happens in real time as issues are addressed as they happen and educators offer immediate feedback for students. This reduces distractions to other students in class while helping students process the external environment in a productive way. The supportive environment mirrors that at Vista’s sister program at The RSEC Academy Middle School, which also helps students with learning challenges be successful. Grading is competency-based (rather than based on the traditional “A” through “F” model) to evaluate a range of skills based on common core standards and grade levels, and includes room to acknowledge growth in social skills and community connections.

“Our job is to discover what might be happening between home and school where those skills aren’t coming through, and work with parents and students to find ways to work through it,” Reed said.

Vista Learning Center is open to students in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, including from the following school districts and school administrative units (SAUs): Amherst; Merrimack; Epping; Raymond; Exeter; Nashua; Manchester; Hooksett; Pembroke; Hudson; Derry; Londonderry; Goffstown; Pittsfield; Concord; Chester; Hampstead; Fremont; Rye; Salem; Windham; Hampton; Northwood; Barrington; Bow; and Deerfield.

Want to learn more about Vista Learning Center? Click here.