Building Bridges 2014 - Spring_WEB
May 19, 2014 | By Rachael Cobb |
More from Rachael Cobb
PAGE 2 High School S.E.R.V.E. Program Annual BI Conference What’s New? This year, we started our first day with sixty-three stu- dents. Spread across three programs, they are strong numbers. However, there are only three new staff this fall. These new members of Soar join a team of many dedicated veter- ans. Adding to the behavioral interventionist team are Jen Gabriel and Ben Cullen. Jen comes to us from NCSS, where she worked in the resi- dential behavioral support team. Ben joins the middle school team from MVU. We are happy to have both new team members. Filling an elementary teach- ing vacancy, is Randy Pike. Randy is not technically ‘new’, as he moved from being a high school BI to teaching our youngest students. He has made a smooth transition and the students are engaged and happy with their new teacher. There were over twenty from which to choose. Not only did our NCSS staff participate in the conference, but there were several that were presenters too. Matt Habedank and Tim Holcomb presented a workshop on group contingencies, while Devin Quinlan and Christie Moffett presented on bullying and harassment. Amy Irish also organized and moderated Soar and NCSS behavioral staff attended the 6th Annual Success Beyond Six Confer- ence, in August. This confer- ence provides valuable informa- tion around behavior, mental health, innovative ways to help struggling students succeed, and integrative ideas for family and schools. The conference allowed staff to select four workshops to attend throughout the day. two behavioral interventionist panels. Lee Trombley, Soar BI, sat on one of these panels and discussed successful ways in which to work with families. Some of the workshops offered centered upon autism, trauma, positive behavior inter- ventions, and engaging stu- dents. The conference was at- tended by almost 500 behav- ioral staff from across the state. participants also prepared meals for a local homeless shelter and as- sisted in Bay Day cleanup. Program coordinators, Devin Quinlin and Brad Messier, both agreed that the summer went bet- ter than they had expected. Both new and returning students ad- justed well to the change in struc- ture and addition of educational workshops. While touring Ben and Jerry’s, students and staff gained a valuable message about hard work. A plant managers spoke about working from beginning employee, going to school while working, and eventu- ally becoming part of management. Also new this summer, was the addition of Student of the Week. The four students selected this summer exhibited the values of the program, challenged them- selves, and were leaders for their peers. These students received prizes for their hard work, such as fishing poles, a Camelback, or even a tent. Those students eligible for the work program toured local busi- nesses and engaged in on-the-job training at the St. Albans Bay Park, Highgate Arena, and Soar’s own greenhouse and gar- den. One student, and the only one to maximize all of his training hours, said this was the best part of his summer. He is currently looking forward to having a job placement for this school year. This summer, the high school programming looked different than years past. During the four week S.E.R.V.E. program, (Service, Education, Recreation, Vocation, and Exposure), students were given the opportunity to engage in recreational activities such as sailing, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, and the challenge course at Arbortrek Adventures. Here, students pushed themselves past their comfort zones and really built self confidence. Students also completed daily journals based on program- ming and met for 3 separate academic workshops. Program Above: New staff mem- bers; Jen Gabriel, Randy Pike (returning but new position), and Ben Cullen are all working in our elementary school Above: A high school student learns about sailing at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center Below: Pictured is a student scal- ing rocks in Bolton, and at the bottom, two students and a staff member descend Smugglers’ Notch after a day at ArborTrek
The NCSS Fall/Winter Building Bridges Newsletter keeps our community up to date and informed about supporting our community and helping to reduce stigma around mental health and intellectual disabilities. Enjoy!