Over 250 special needs students, ages 3-22, are spending five weeks receiving “direct instruction and related services” based on their individual needs at the Lynn Vocational Tech Institute under the direction of Leanne Palmer, Program Specialist in the Special Education Department.
Students in grades 3-5 spend part of their day reading and exploring books of their own choosing. If needed, an iPad can be used to help the child communicate. In Amanda Lacaillade’s pre K classroom, students were working in small groups to help them with letters and sounds. Amanda Kennedy’s K-2 students were learning science terms such as flexible, liquid and matter. They were able to repeat the words and give examples of each term. This assists them with their English.
Michelle Steele’s class, aged 3-7, was using “weather terms to make a connection to the outside world” in this week’s Splash theme of Energize with Exercise. Since some of her students are hearing impaired, sign language is often used along with speech for better communication. Receptive language is the focus.
Students, ages 18-22, are reinforcing the job skills they have been practicing during the school year. In the Life Skills Lab, they have a mock apartment and a mock store along with an office. Interviewing skills are also important. Michael, a student in the program, has used these skills to help him get a job in a local restaurant as a dishwasher. He said, “I want a job and get paid.”
In addition to the special needs teachers, there are twenty-seven high school/college students who work at the site for the summer. Daniel Morris, a 2018 graduate of Lynn Classical, has worked in this program for two years. He helps not only in the classroom, but assists with the buses and lunches. He has a “good vibe” working with the students.
Overall, these students are able to reinforce skills they learned during the school year while having fun.