Hockinson School District students spent October celebrating Disability Awareness Month with numerous activities. Here’s a summary of how students at each of our schools participated in the awareness campaign:
Hockinson Heights Elementary School: Counselors went into each classroom and talk to students about disabilities using stories and group discussions.
Hockinson Middle School: A bulletin board was created with pictures of famous people with disabilities. The school also shared information about disabilities in their daily announcements.
Hockinson High School: During announcements, students watched videos featuring individuals with disabilities. These videos included stories from students’ perspective.
For those enrolled in the District’s Special Education program, ongoing activities offer students the chance to work on new skills, to get out into the community and to have fun. Those activities include the following:
- Preschool Special Education students spend time with high school seniors (AKA “Big Friends”). The preschoolers really look forward to the one-on-one attention they receive from the older students, whether during an adventure like a leaf or pumpkin hunt, or simply reading stories or playing outside.
- Special Education staff at HHES discuss how mindfulness meditation can help students generalize self-regulation skills across various settings. They also focus on respectfulness, responsibility and safety in a small group setting to promote self-awareness skills.
- At HMS, Special Education students go on regular community learning trips. By participating in these scheduled community outings, students are able to practice daily living, social and behavioral skills within a variety of settings.
- Special Education students at HHS are now being taught math as a second language. When students begin to understand the vocabulary words used in math, they have an easier time solving problems. Additionally, as mentioned above, students work side-by-side with preschoolers. This is an opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in education to experience what it’s like to work with young people and to develop social skills. Students that participate in this program are able to earn volunteer hours for a job or college application. During the year, students will take field trips to Job Corps and Clark College in Vancouver to get information about various opportunities that await them after they graduate high school.
- Students enrolled in the District’s 18-21 Transition School program spend time focusing on professionalism and job commitment. Students have multiple community jobs that are aligned with their interests. Whether it comes from Burgerville, Walgreens, Holiday Inn, The Quarry, Candlewood, PetSmart or The Humane Society Retail Store, teachers consistently receive positive feedback from local employers about student performance. Teachers continue to work hard with each student so they can have the right tools to do their very best work.
Hockinson School District’s Special Education program is supported by a federal grant from The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). To learn more about the program, contact Keila Dean, Director of Special Education, at (360) 448-6418.