Although we focus greatly on providing life and vocational skills training to our students, we reamin a highly academic program. Here's what we're up to...
Your child’s classroom is using Unique Learning System® as the classroom curriculum. The curriculum program has been designed specifically for children with special learning needs. While the foundation of Unique is the academic content standards (reading, writing, math, science and social studies), the lessons are modified to make sure that all children have a way to participate and learn. There is a strong emphasis on life skills that are embedded in each lesson.
Unique Learning System provides monthly units that teachers are able to download from the Unique website. Each month there is a new topic built around a science or social studies theme. There are six grade bands; Preschool, Elementary, Intermediate, Middle School, High School and Transition, so learning is new as children progress through the years. Your child’s teacher has selected the grade level band that matches the ages and grades of the children in his/her classroom. There is also a three-year cycle of new units for each grade band. In that way, your child will have new learning materials even if he or she is in the same classroom setting next year.
Teachers who have worked with special learners have created all of Unique’s lessons and materials. Lessons include stories, chapter books, comprehension activities, writing activities, math lessons for time, money, counting and problem solving, as well as recipes, craft projects and science experiments. Many of the materials are designed in three levels so children of various abilities can actively participate. Materials have been created with SymbolStix™, which is a graphic library of symbols to help children who learn best with picture supports. These pictures can also be seen in books available on our online library called the n2y Library. These books can be used to help support the theme of the monthly unit, to help build your child’s reading skill or for enjoyment. Unique Learning System has several tools that will help the classroom teacher monitor your child’s progress within classroom learning.
The primary goal of Unique is to give each child a way to participate, learn and succeed in the classroom. Please feel free to ask your child’s teacher if you would like to see the materials and lessons. You may also want to visit the Unique website at n2y.com.
The students in the Transitional Career Program work daily on vocational and life skills. Vocational and life skills labs are set up around our school in order to utilize every inch of our learning environment to meet our specialized needs. The labs are organized and maintained by the TCP teachers and support staff, but the students are putting in the real work. Read on for more information...
Health and Fitness
In the health and fitness lab, students explore various ways to keep their bodies healthy. Every lesson starts out with traditional exercises followed by a health lesson designed to meet our students needs. Whether we are discussing personal hygiene or sexual education, our students are all learning about their bodies and how to keep themselves safe and healthy.
In the Office lab, the students learn clerical skills. Some examples of these skills are sorting, collating, making copies, shredding paper, and using a filing system. The students also learn how to use an Ellison machine and laminator. Classroom teachers place orders for the students to fill in the office. The students fill the orders, and then deliver the order to the appropriate room. Students also count and bag box tops to be sent in for school rewards. They can send their friends Birthday, Get Well, and Congratulations cards from the office center. They also learn to label and stuff envelopes.
Social Skills are an important part of our daily curriculum. Our students need to place extra focus on learning and abiding by the social guidlines of our society. In the social skills lab, students practice interacting with their peers and communicating with others. They practice important life skills such as completing a job application, identifying their addresses and phone numbers, and participating in a social community.
Each day our students run a School Store that serves the staff and students of our school. Students work on stocking items, keeping inventory, and helping customers. The School Store sells snacks, drinks, and delivers made to order coffee and tea. Students are able to practice important money skills while in the store as well. This vocational lab is a favorite of the students and showcases their ability to work in a real business.
As our students transition into adulthood, one of the most important skills to master will be cooking for themselves. Each day, students prepare a new recipe by following printed directions and adding measured ingredients. So far, this year's recipes have included apple pie turnovers, instant mashed potatoes, pudding, and macaroni and cheese. During our lab, students also practice proper dishwashing skills and the identification of common kitchen appliances. It is amazing to see how excited they are to create something of their own in the kitchen!
In the apartment lab students practice all of the skills needed to clean and maintain a personal living space. Students practice washing, drying, ironing, folding, and hanging laundry. They also practice making a bed, organizing a desk and entertainment center, cleaning, vacuuming, and preparing for a shopping trip.
In the Personal Finance lab, the students are learning all about money and money management. The students work on counting coins and bills. They are also learning how to balance a checkbook, write a check, order items online, and manage their own personal finances. The students also learn to budget their money for daily needs. They create shopping lists and are required to look up the items and ensure they will have enough money to complete the order.
In the Assembly lab, the students are learning appropriate skills to prepare them for a job on an assembly line. They have the opportunity to practice 1:1 correspondence skills throughout the center. They build projects and are required to assemble sets of manipulatives. Some examples of projects that the students work on in the assembly center are building a sandwich while making sure the appropriate ingredients are used, filling orders for other classrooms, organizing projects into individual bags for lessons, and matching sets from an example.
Within our custodial lab, students learn the importance and the necessity of keeping a tidy and sanitized home and work space. During the lab, the group completes tasks throughout the school including the school apartment, the sensory room, as well as several classrooms. Custodial lab duties include dusting, wiping, sweeping, vacuuming, and organizing. Our goal for the students is to create independence and instill a sense of pride in taking care of their work space.
The Transitional Career Post Secondary Program is housed at the Salem County Vocational Technical School. Partnering with the VoTech has provided so many great experiences for students in our program ages 18-21.
The Transitional Career Post Secondary Program provides the opportunity to experience several career paths. Our students have choices, which include childcare, welding, electrical technology, culinary arts, auto collision, auto technology, woodworking, construction, and many job-shadowing opportunities.
TCP post secondary students learn skills that will better their chances to succeed in the world of work. They are introduced to skills and strategies that will lead to their success with everyday life situations. They will learn to be professional and respectful to co-workers and management.
Students will be introduced to managing their money by learning to budget money for necessities. They will learn how to prepare for job interviews, create a resume, search for jobs, complete professional documents such as W4 forms, and learn the importance of being dependable.
Our students work on task boxes on a regular basis. They are required to complete an activity independently in each task box. Task boxes promote independence for people who require a highly structured environment. The teachers create the task boxes based on skills that the students need to work on for jobs in the community. The goal is to encourage students to be able to take those skills from the classroom to the community. Some examples of task boxes activities are packing, sorting, folding, collating, etc.
Communication is an essential part of our lives and, as a school, we see communication as a top priority for our students. We use various methods of communication to ensure that our students have their voices heard. These methods include Augmentative Communication Devices, Picture Exchange Communication System, and American Sign Language. These methods work in conjunction with developing appropriate social skills. We meet the students at their level of communication and help them enhance their skills to communicate their wants and needs with us and the community.
We use technology in many ways throughout each school day. All of our classrooms are equipped with large televisions and Apple TVs which allow us to project educational material during the day. Students also have access to iPads and Chromebooks. We are constantly trying to find new ways to use our technology to help our students gain access to their environments. Some students use an app called ProloQuo2Go which facilitates communication. Technology is a way for our students to learn about their environment in new and exciting ways.