Commissioner of Education’s visit

October 31, 2019

Massachusetts’ Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jeff Riley, made a special appearance at the Milestones Day School, an accredited and approved Chapter 766 private therapeutic school in Waltham serving students with challenges in executive functioning, sensory integration, and social pragmatics, to gain a deeper understanding of the school’s mission, classroom facilities, and premier comprehensive programming that serves out-of-district special education students from forty-five neighboring districts.

During his visit, Commissioner Riley met with students, staff and administrators of Milestones and toured the school’s multiple classrooms that serve Elementary, Middle, High School, and Post High School students. He participated in a math game with the elementary school students, observed an “escape the room” literacy activity with the middle school students, and witnessed a Halloween-themed STEM experiment in the high school science laboratory.

Kim Rockers, CEO of Milestones Day School, joined Commissioner Riley on the tour as he spoke with students and instructors. “It was more than apparent that Commissioner Riley cares deeply about these students and appreciates the work that our faculty does,” said Rockers. “To show him firsthand the robust therapeutic support and diverse academic accommodations that these students receive on a daily basis was extremely rewarding.”

Commissioner Riley’s tour completed in the Post High School lounge, a mock apartment that supports Milestones’ college and career readiness programs, where he and his staff joined the students in a cooking activity. Throughout his visit, the Commissioner was able to experience the individualized support, integrated therapy, and eclectic curriculum that Milestones Day School and Transitions Services offers all their students.

The commissioner interacting with students in the classroom.

“We love to show people the incredible work being done in our classrooms,” said Elizabeth Dello Russo Becker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps). “Schools like Milestones, and all the member schools of maaps, are always grateful for the chance to help leading policymakers like Commissioner Riley see and experience the complex, valuable work we’re doing and the needs of the students we’re here to serve.”

Originally established in 1994, Milestones Day School is an approved and accredited private school providing a complete education for students by balancing stimulating academics with therapeutic skills. The school’s mission is to ensure that each individual reaches their highest level of success by connecting them to new learning opportunities that help achieve greater independence, foster self-confidence, and create meaningful relationships at school and beyond.

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed hereare the author’s own.

By Jayda Leder-Luis, Patch Contributor