The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), organizations with long histories of serving individuals with LD, have partnered to combat misperceptions that lead to stigmatization and unfulfilled potential in individuals with learning disabilities. Through their collaboration, the groups will build awareness about the nature of learning disabilities and highlight the urgent need for early identification, appropriate remediation, and life-long support for students with learning disabilities so they have the opportunity to become productive and valuable members of our community.
"Pervasive myths and misconceptions interfere with efforts to support and meet the needs of all students and prepare them to become productive members of our workforce," said Jennifer Topple, board chair of the IDA.
Groups Jointly Publish White Paper about Learning Disabilities
Landmark School Headmaster Bob Broudo, a former member of the LDA board, was instrumental in bringing the two organizations together to share resources and advocate for the 2.3 million students in K–12 public schools who are classified as having a learning disability. The IDA and LDA jointly published a white paper to address the misunderstandings about the nature of learning disabilities and the life-long benefit of effective educational interventions. Broudo contributed to the paper.
"The IDA and LDA have been pioneering leaders in the fields of dyslexia and learning disabilities, working toward the same goals of equity in education for all learners," said Broudo. "Together, they present a stronger and more far-reaching platform for creating greater awareness and educational change.”
IDA and LDA recognize that in the absence of accurate and early identification and intervention, individuals with learning disabilities are at grave risk of never accessing their full academic, creative, and career potential. The untapped potential of individuals with learning disabilities is not simply a matter of personal tragedy. Under-serving this significant population has negative economic and society implications.
Beth McGaw, president of LDA explained, "As family, friends, neighbors, employers, and fellow citizens we can help all students, including those with learning disabilities, achieve their potential and lead fulfilling, productive lives.”
Like true Vikings, the Landmark community braved the wet weather to celebrate a great Homecoming day on October 13, 2018!
- More than 200 runners ran, walked, and sloshed through the scenic 5K.
- Participants cuddled rabbits, chickens, and pigs at the petting zoo, while the brave enjoyed pony rides. One over zealous goat tried to join the runners in the 5K!
- Carnival treats were enjoyed by all. It's never too early to indulge in cotton candy!
- More than 60 alumni and faculty reconnected at the 20+ Year Alumni Reunion.
Congratulations to our 5K Road Race winners:
- Overall Male: Dan O'Flynn of Ipswich: 16:42
- Overall Female: Emma Mushnick of Beverly: 20:21 (High School faculty)
- Overall Male Landmark Student: Ryan Shea '20: 17:38
- Overall Female Landmark Student: Olivia Moran '20: 22:48
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
The Anastasia-Murphy Family
The Buddenhagen Family
Brookwood Landscape and Stonework
Hawaiian Jim’s Shave Ice & Company
Jennifer Graham JGPT
Phil Richard Insurance
Todd's Sporting Goods
Jeffrey Gladney ‘06, Alumni Council Member
Taylor F. Patten ‘07, Alumni Council Member
The Torres Family
CHAPMAN'S Greenhouse, Florist, Garden Center & Gift Shop
New England Running Company
Homecoming 2018 Photo Gallery
Photo thanks to Communication Interns (Lydia Jackson, Greta Wright, Isabella Combs) and Saturday School Photography Class (Ms. Graves, Jariah Nolasco, Lily Martin)
20+ Year Alumni Reunion Photo Gallery
Landmark School is pleased to celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Month for the second year running. October has been designated by several organizations, including the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), as a time to focus efforts on raising awareness of this common and often-overlooked learning disability.
Decoding Dyslexia, Made by Dyslexia, and many others are joining forces with us to get the word out, build momentum, and elevate the conversation about what parents, educators, and legislators can do to meet the needs of these bright and curious individuals.
Here are some statistics from the IDA that may surprise you:
- Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that is neurological in origin.
- Approximately 15%-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability.
- 74% of children who are poor readers in third grade remain poor readers in the ninth grade and into adulthood.
This month we are sharing news, information, and insights through our blog and social media to bring greater awareness of this learning disability to our followers. A sampling of what we're sharing includes a five-part blog series called What is a Language-Based Learning Disability, news about Sally and Bennett Shaywitz—leaders in the field, articles about students and entrepreneurs with dyslexia, inspirational messages, and much more.
Dozens of students, faculty, and staff participated in Ally Day at the High School on October 11. Student and faculty members of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) handed out "safe space stickers" and encouraged community members to sign the Ally Pledge, which states:
I believe that all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression deserve to feel safe and supported. That means I pledge to:
- Not use anti-LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) language or slurs.
- Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed, or tell an adult
- Support efforts to end bullying and harassment
- Encourage others to be Allies
"Ally Day is a day where we can show pride in and support for the uniqueness of ourselves, our peers, and our community. On this day, we show our support for the LGBTQIA+ community, whether you are an ally within or outside of the community," said Anna H., co-president of the GSA. "It is a great reminder that we should stand together and support each other on our many paths to success."
To Abigail G., Ally Day is an opportunity to "express confidence in my sexuality and help my friends also feel more confident in their sexuality."
Cultivating a Community of Acceptance
As bullying has become an issue of national concern, we feel proud that Landmark has steadily worked to create a community that strives for acceptance, not just tolerance. Many of our students know what it is like to be left out or mistreated in the classroom, and can understand what it can feel like to be ostracized in a community. We hope that events like Ally Day will give needed attention to the struggles of the LGBTQ community, as well as provide a moment to be aware of and grateful for Landmark's supportive environment.
Ally Day is inspired by Ally Week, a student-led program during which LGBTQ K–12 students and educators lead a conversation on what they need from their allies in school. It is sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Showing our support is especially important now, as rates of bullying and harassment increase for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, and these students are four times more likely to attempt suicide.
More than a dozen Landmark High School students volunteered at the 15th Annual Vettes to Vets Day on September 30 to support veterans at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass.
The task was different than in years past. Instead of working directly with the veterans, students processed thousands of donated items for the hospital before they were loaded onto the truck for delivery. Landmark Chaplain Bill Ferguson and teacher Danielle Phillips joined the students on the trip.
"It’s always grounding to interface with those who have served our country. It keeps things in perspective that these people put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf," said Ferguson. "One can’t help but feel a sense of indebtedness. The kids, our amazing, cheerful, willing-to-help-out kids: they were awesome as usual."
Program Has Raised Nearly $500,000 for Veterans
The Corvette parade has grown from 25 cars in 2003 to more than 680 vehicles in 2018. Since Vettes to Vets began in 2003, more than $480,000 has been raised in monetary and non-monetary donations. Funds have been used to rebuild the hospital’s greenhouse, maintain an education center for veterans with free Internet and computer training, build a new hospice unit, and purchase a wheelchair van for recreational outings for patients.
When one thinks about the atmosphere at Landmark School, "community" and "collaboration" are among the first words that come to mind. Both were on full display at the High School campus during Leonardo Day, a school-wide multi-disciplinary event held on October 4.
Teachers and students participated in more than 20 hands-on activities throughout the day that celebrated, reflected on, and mirrored the life and work of Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci, the definitive Renaissance man studied—and in most cases gained renown in—painting, sculpting, architecture, science, math, engineering, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.
Curiosity, Imagination, Ingenuity
Da Vinci led a life of curiosity, imagination, and ingenuity, and those traits were incorporated into each program. The activities included:
- building a bridge with just wood, PVC tubes, and string
- crafting water shoes to walk on water
- creating a camera obscura
- observing mathematical beauty in nature
- baking bread and making cheese and butter
- dissecting a sheep's eye
- making a cam hammer
Organizing such an ambitious event required skills on par with Leonardo himself. Ben DiFrancesco conceived of the idea in the fall of 2017. It took a full year of planning to bring his plan to life.
"Leonardo Day resulted from my research into collaboration and cross-curricular planning as part of my mentorship program," DiFrancesco said. "I was inspired by other faculty who already reach across subjects to do creative things—Bill Chamberlain, Doug Walker, Adam Craig, Brigid Houlihan, and Andrea Meade. STEAM is a constant buzzword in the educational community and this presented itself as a perfect opportunity to showcase its value."
The boys cross country program has been selected to move from NEPSTA's Division 4 to Division 3. Since 2014, the boys cross country team has amassed a record of 25–5 in the Eastern Independent League (EIL), with two EIL Championship seasons (2014 and 2017). Over that same period, the team has produced eight EIL All-League athletes and has been a top three team four years running. In this amazing stretch, the team has also won two Division 4 NEPSTA Championships and seen 12 athletes selected as NEPSTA All Stars. As if that was not enough, the JV team boasts back-to-back NEPSTA Champions and has had 15 athletes selected as NEPSTA Rising Stars (JV All Stars). Landmark is fifth in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) for average place finish. (See the top 15 list below.)
"This is a direct result of the incredible success the team has worked so hard for over the years," said Brook Sumner, Landmark School's athletic director. "It is a real honor for our team to be pushed into the next division and another challenge before the program. I think they're up to it! Congratulations!"
- Phillips Exeter
- Gould Academy
- Roxbury Latin
- Phillips Andover
- Loomis Chaffee
- Noble & Greenough
- Concord Academy
- Northfield Mt. Hermon
- St. Georgesv
Nevada Fahey ‘21 won the first Unsung Hero Award of the school year. On Friday, September 21, she was honored by her academic advisor, Kathy MacMannis, for her "kind heart and for showing what true friendship means." Nevada provided friendship and support to a Landmark friend who underwent a serious operation over the summer. Nevada kept in touch with her peer all summer, taught her how to play Fortnite, and helped her transition back to school in the fall. While Nevada was caring for her friend at Landmark, she was dealing with the trauma of being evacuated from her home during the natural gas disaster in her hometown of North Andover. "Landmark is lucky to have her as part of the community," MacMannis said.
The results are in! Landmark students voted to elect Student Council officers on September 13. Gillian Garvey won the race for president, Joseph Membrino secured the vice president slot, and Ethan Kerr will serve as treasurer.
Candidates bravely delivered speeches in Ansara on September 12, outlining their platform and explaining what makes them the strongest candidate for the job.
Gillian highlighted her leadership experienced and proposed a project to reduce food waste at Landmark.
"I want to be a voice for ALL students. I am confident in my abilities and have experience working with Landmark Administration, so I’m not afraid to present your ideas and make our voices heard," she said. "And, of course, like every Student Council President before me has attempted, I too will work to loosen the dress code and make our cafeteria food better. "
Joseph drew on his comfort communicating students' concerns and requests to the administration. "I am an active listener and will be your voice to the administration of Landmark," he said. He also promised to pursue improving the offerings in vending machines on campus.
Ethan said one of his priorities is to improve meeting areas on campus. "We will work closely with the administration to investigate whether it is possible to improve public places on campus, such as Lopardo Lounge," he said. "Vending machines and a pool table are two additions that could improve the student experience in Lopardo Lounge, and I am ready to have conversations with the Residential Deans to see if improvements like this could become a reality."
Landmark students are off and running! We welcomed 477 students to both of our campuses and are eager to begin our 48th year.
Last week, day and residential students returned, parents met with Academic Advisors and other key staff members, and everyone engaged in ice-breaking activities that got them reacquainted and quickly brought new students into the fold.
The high school orientation program for day students included an interactive concert by Boston singer Casey McQuillen, who delivered an inspiring performance that incorporated themes of anti-bullying, taking risks, and building self-confidence. Residential students retreated to a camp in New Hampshire for some bonding time while day students remained on campus to complete the orientation activities. Tuesday, Sept. 4 offered the first full day of classes and a full complement of afternoon activities for our 310 students.
"At the Elementary•Middle School we welcomed 167 students to our Manchester-by-the-Sea campus—the largest group ever. What a contrast between the quiet days post-summer school and the explosion of energy once students arrived," said Head of School Rob Kahn. "It's always interesting to see the Orientation Schedule take place as students visit many different stations for pictures, bus evacuation drills, getting-to-know-you games, and meet-and- greets with advisors, deans, and administrators. By lunchtime, all students have taken in a great deal of information and are definitely ready to go home, process the day, and think about their yearly goals.
"In orientation sessions with faculty, we talked about the increased anxiety among students and the ways that a strong school culture and community can allay those fears. One of my hopes is to make a concerted effort this year to use milk break as a community-building tool for faculty. As we continue to grow, the various constituencies, programs, and buildings make it increasingly hard for all faculty to interact. I hope to provide more incentives to bring faculty into the same spaces more often so we can share discussion and common agendas. We will soon publish a milk break monthly schedule including roundtables, focused presentations, and an EMS milk break book club (first up: Maryanne Wolf's new book Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in the Digital World.)"