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KCESC Special Education Programs

Newsworthy


T R A N S I T I O N M*I*S*S*I*O*N: - "What's your vision ?"

Transition Mission offers career development options to students who are completing graduation requirements, desiring opportunities to explore community-based life skills through vocational experiences. Focus is on abilities, not disabilities. Individuals learn to recognize their strength and overcome challenges while teaming in activities. Staff support students' personal preferences, while promoting self advocacy. Introducing families to available services, networking with agencies, and facilitating appropriate resources, all aid in preparation of successful adult outcomes. Our team is pleased to have enrollees from 5 Knox County Schools and the Career Center's Job Training Program. Deferred diplomas afford extended public education past 12th grade to attain skills for employment and independence. We provide help to students to find an international teaching job or training post. Instruction and learning environments can be uniquely customized to meet differentiated needs and career goals. Much emphasis is placed on application of knowledge in real-world settings.

Some recent program highlights feature our multifaceted activities and community involvement. In summer, many participated in Ohio Special Olympics track & field events at the OSU campus. Ami Iverson was invited to serve a second term on the Ohio Governor's Council for Disabilities Youth Forum. Several attended day habilitation summer trials hosted by Department of Developmental Disabilities. August: Sharlene and helper dog, Toby, have been invited to be ongoing mentors (weekly) to middle school student and her helper dog, JR. James & Sharlene addressed the Mt.Vernon Nazarene University Education Majors re: differentiated instruction for persons with disabilities, including the accommodations of wheelchairs and canine assistance. Ginny, Doug, Ami and Matt are additionally enrolled in the job training program of the Knox Career Center. Together, with their job coach, they spend four days per week on projects for the Mayor's down town restoration project. The student crew has their own office "headquarters" on Vine Street. Additionally, they do the yearly set up and closing of the Hiawatha Water Park. Students apprentice with cooks early each morning in the high school kitchen to prepare frozen foods fold towels. David & Heidi manage and deliver the breakfast program from the middle school. Employability and work ethics are emphased through off campus work sites that allow students and staff to assume duty rosters at other facilities. Tasks include: vacuming, dusting, windows, restocking paper, cafeteria set ups and library projects. Work sites for crews are: Columbia & Pleasant Elementary buildings, Mt.Vernon Middle School, High School, library, debris eradication, Litter Quitter and Adopt A Highway. Every Friday, our entire team volunteers to maintain the Salvation Army building, their outdoors grounds keeping and county food pantry. We contract mailing projects from the K.C.C.C. Recycling involves used textbooks that we collect from several school districts, dismantling spiral bindings & placing paper in ABTIBI recycle bins. Also, assigned crews, collect all the recycle tubs at Mt.Vernon High School campus, the KCESC, & MVCSD Central Offices.

October was National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. Brittany, Matthew & Amber were featured in news photo & article reflecting their career development program. Also in October, we were invited to be presenters for the county wide"Anti Bullying / Disabilities Awareness " presentation to 5th and 6th graders on the campus of the Nazarene University. Kayla, Kerri & David were especially helpful in a wheel chair simulation. MVHS Principal Kasler implemented a leaf sweeping program that has provided several students with a new work enclave. Julia, BJ, Ginny, Brittany & Amber independently set up shifts and crews to handle the responsibilities daily. Career Center student, Dustin, offers job coaching skills. In Work Based Learning, our class teams with other programs to perform transferrable work skills in assigned shifts at the high school cafeteria. The crews are supervised by multiple paraprofessionals in a rotating schedule to provide students with new job skills in each training area. Each nine weeks success is celebrated by a recognition banquet at a nearby university dining hall. Special education coordinator, Connie Hatley joined students and families for our first quarter event. We have recently acquired permission and training to utilize the Wellness exercise center one day per week. Riche, Brandon, Matthew & Tabby have been able to access the treadmills, stationary bikes & rowing machines.

This is our fourth year in a reciprocal arrangement with Kenyon College Students. Together, this year we have attended their Kenyon Athletic Center, library, book store, art gallery, exercise center, music auditorium, and the old train down by the bike path. They have joined us at: our special olympics practices, Hiawatha outdoor volleyball courts, Brown Family Center and CCL adult day habilitation center. The Nazarene University's outreach, "COSMO" students meet with us weekly at the campus coffee shop. They create and design crafts and activities to interact with our students. We scheduled a work shop from environmental representative of the Knox County Health Department. He has conducted one of two hand-on learning sessions focused on the importance protecting our environment. Our program participates daily in the Mt.Vernon News program NIE- Newspapers in Education.

Our Transition Lab is probably one of the most important endeavors of our program. We can prepare meals, learn food and kitchen safety, practice laundry procedures, experience home maintenance and life skills. Additionally, we have the opportunities and space to apply related learning skills to a real-world employment environment. Recently we have established a simulated business operation through contributions from a local store. High School dances, People First hosted parties and seasonal events have accented our social involvement.