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Another Classroom Added to Teach Skills for Employment
Thursday, October 15, 2015
“They’re off to a great start!” enthused Special and Alternative Education Principal Turina Parker when asked about the new ninth grade classroom in her building.
A self-contained 6:1:1 (six students, one teacher and one aide) ninth grade classroom was added to the BEST (BOCES Employability Skills Training) program this fall at the Southern Adirondack Education Center in Hudson Falls.
Mrs. Parker explained that the classroom was added in response to school district requests for a program for ninth graders who have academic and behavior difficulties and are having a difficult time keeping up with the curriculum. The classroom is comprised of incoming ninth graders and students who failed ninth grade.
“It’s part of the BEST program, just a different model,” said Mrs. Parker. “We are re-engaging them in school. Because it’s a self-contained classroom, the students remain in a group with one teacher instead of changing teachers for subject areas. This allows for extra academic support in the Regents curriculum and less disruption.”
The Scholastic’s literacy program (System 44 and Read 180) is also being used in this class. The Special and Alternative Education division has been using this literacy program since the 2011-12 school year with great success.
Student engagement, lots of hands-on activities, a major focus on inquiry and the use of instructional technology are used to motivate this group of students. Each student has a Chromebook laptop computer and there’s a SMART Board, an interactive whiteboard connected to the Internet, in the classroom.
Furthermore, work skills training (WST) based on the New York Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) credentials are integrated into the program. CDOS incorporates standard soft skills, those personal qualities and attitudes that can help employees work well with others. Group internships provide additional work readiness training.