By: Eileen Sullivan and Linda Blundell, Junior High Program Teachers
KLC’s junior high transition classes have enjoyed much success this school year and, as our program continues to grow, we anticipate more exciting times ahead!
As one part of their instructional program, students take part in career readiness related tasks that coincide with the New Jersey Department of Education’s 21st Century Life and Career Standards. Ms. Sullivan has developed our Office Occupations Career Center while Ms. Blundell has developed Café 38 that introduces basic skills the students will continue to develop at the Secondary Program. These functional academic skills include such duties as taking inventories, completing basic financial transactions, completing community shopping visits for restocking and assembly line type job procedures. These activities provide invaluable opportunities for the application of social skills in pre-vocational settings – often referred to as “soft skills” – as well as individualized assistive technology strategies.
We also take as many opportunities as possible to integrate our functional academic instruction in the community during educational field trips. These field trips bring greater meaning to the academic skills we seek to develop. For example, in November, the junior high classes visited the Franklin Institute. The students enjoyed exhibits but the team also took the opportunity to link those exhibits to the lessons taught in the school and by doing so, connected the student directly to the concept embedded in the state standards. We were very proud of our students and are looking forward to exposing the junior high students to more community experiences this year.