As we close out 2021 and look ahead to 2022, I wanted to share a look back at the last 10 years of F.U.S.E. and all we have accomplished.
In 2012, The F.U.S.E. School opened its doors to our first group of students. We were in the basement of a Lexington church sharing our space with the church’s Sunday School. Our teachers joined a new school with passion to help neurodiverse children and a belief that this school would allow them to teach creatively, support children wholistically, and collectively develop an innovative school that nurtures individual differences. We initially had eight sets of parents who believed in our mission and knew their child needed and deserved something different. Those eight students are now thriving as successful middle school students in both public and private schools around Massachusetts.
F.U.S.E. began as a dream of mine to create a place where children are appreciated and valued for who they are and are supported in their individual development. My dream has evolved into a collective passion for so many inspirational teachers and staff who together have made our growth possible. Here is a look back at how F.U.S.E. has grown, changed, and evolved over the years: And our visions and goals for 2022!!!
2012 – We opened our “shared doors” with the church. We became a non-profit organization and raised money to build our first playground. Our dream became a reality.
2013 – We expanded from one classroom to three classrooms, hired an “in-house” speech pathologist to provide direct services to children and consultation to teachers, and hired a music specialist. We developed as a real therapeutic pre-school program. Our visions were becoming a reality.
2014 – We launched our Transitional Kindergarten program for children who were not developmentally ready for a traditional Kindergarten setting. We became one of the first pre-schools to integrate mindfulness, executive functioning, and cognitive behavioral techniques into the everyday curriculum with direct expert clinical consultation. We were creating a holistic environment that did not exist elsewhere!
2015 – We expanded F.U.S.E. to include a full Kindergarten program but realized we were growing out of our church space and had many more ideas and programs to address.
2016 – We found a new school location and renovated 10,000 square foot space on Hartwell Avenue in Lexington to provide six classrooms for students with one way mirrors for observation and training, a sensory Occupational Therapy space, a gym, therapy rooms, and a HUGE outdoor space. Movin’ on up! We knew we were just beginning the real magic and vision of F.U.S.E.!
2017 – WE MOVED IN TO OUR NEW LOCATION ON ! We were able to doubled our student population which included first grade! We began to do trainings and sharing our ideas and innovations with other educators. We were ready to share our innovative approaches with others to empower professionals and help more children!
2018 – We added KidLink Occupational Therapy (“OT”) as a direct service for children to be able to receive the sensory integration OT they needed to support and develop their regulatory systems. We began to search for our second F.U.S.E. location to service families who could not travel to Lexington because we knew there were more children that we could serve and support.
2019 – We found our perfect home in Norwood! We renovated the space to have three classrooms, a sensory OT space and gym, and therapy offices just in time to open our doors for school!
AND THEN THE PANDEMIC HIT… we stayed strong and supported our families virtually with zoom school and parent support sessions throughout those uncertain days as the world shut down.
June 2020 – WE OPENED AND STAYED OPEN IN A PANDEMIC! Through the work and dedication of our teachers, and most importantly, our children, we were able to fully open our camp in June and school in September 2020 and we stayed open for the entire school year. This could not have been possible without the hard work of our teachers who taught these amazing children to wear their masks and keep socially distant yet still kept them engaged and connected to each other. In an unfamiliar world of social and emotional isolation for many, we were able to maintain our mission of sharing experiences, creating joy, and making fun memories. Our 2021-2022 school year was a complete success!
2021-2022 – We now have three classrooms in Norwood and five classrooms in Lexington and a total of 46 students learning, thriving, and making connections every day. We are blessed to have the most incredibly talented and devoted group of 23 teachers and staff, all of whom make an impact on children’s lives every day.
WE HAVE DONE A LOT IN 10 YEARS AND WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE CHILDREN TO SERVE AND SUPPORT!!
OUR VISION FOR F.U.S.E. IN 2022.
In LEXINGTON – Our hope is to lease and renovate the remaining 8,000 sq.ft of the first floor adding an additional 5 classrooms for early intervention, a conference training space to train educators on our approach, a single use gym and more.
In NORWOOD – Our hope is to renovate our lower level to include classrooms for early intervention, a gym, and a sensory space. Our hope is to expand our playground, add a large sand space and add sensory equipment to our playground to enhance our children’s overall experience.
AND WE WILL SERVE MORE CHILDREN IN BOTH LOCATIONS
LAUNCHING our 18 months – 3 year old play-based developmental programming so children can be serviced early and not sit on waiting lists during these precious months. For these children we want to enhance play, expand communication, and share joy through play in both one-to-one and small developmental peer groups.
EXPANDING to include 2nd grade using the same wholistic curriculum we are currently utilizing. Some children are not yet ready to transition to a large public school setting and our goal is to nurture and support these students so they will thrive in the setting that works best for them.
TRAINING – We will be creating training modules for parents, schools, educators, clinicians, and caregivers to come, observe, learn, discuss, and better understand how to engage joyfully, communicate effectively, and understand children’s individual differences and effectively support them.
The F.U.S.E. Fund is the annual giving program that raises vital unrestricted funds
that directly support and sustain the day-to-day operational expenses not covered by tuition.
Founder’s Circle: $25,000 and above
Builders’ Circle: $10,000 to $24,999
Champions’ Circle: $5,000 to $9,999
Ambassadors’ Circle: $1,000 to $4,999
Friends’ Circle: $999