Ewing Schools Collaborated with The Arc, Mercer for Special Education Career Experience
The Ewing Public Schools’ Structured Learning Community (SLC) Program provides employment, recreational, social, and independent skills for students ages 16-21 in selected special education programs. SLC seeks to offer the highest quality of life learning skills possible in order to achieve maximum levels of personal independence for our students. Components of transition-related services offer the framework for developing a coordinated set of activities which provides students 16-21 (in selected programs) with quality employment and vocational opportunities.
The SLC models current research that supports best practices for the successful transition from school to adult life in all areas. In addition, New Jersey Administrative Code requires Community Based Instruction (CBI) and Structured Learning Experiences (SLE) to be designed as rigorous activities integrated into the curriculum and created for students to demonstrate and apply a high level of academic attainment, develop career goals, and develop personal/social skills.
This summer, the Ewing Public Schools SLC paired up with The Arc, Mercer, a premier agency providing community-based services for people with special needs and developmental disabilities, opportunities to explore jobs, such as: Automotive Detailing, Clerical/Office Skills, Culinary/Food Service, Fulfillment, and Custodial. Ms. Danielle Hickey and Ms. Lauren Wood, teachers at EHS shared, “Students enjoy the hands on experience in a real life setting. The Arc, Mercer provides commercial facilities where students are able to practice daily living and job skills in different career occupation clusters that EHS students would not have access to otherwise. Students are eager to participate in the ‘out-of-classroom’ learning experiences."
Through the support and vision of our Board of Education, Superintendent Michael Nitti, Director of Special Services/Operations/Grant Management Mr. Harold M. Louth, and Business Administrator Dennis Nettleton, the SLC program has expanded to include our own buses which provide flexibility and movement for the SLC program within the community. As we grow, it is the hope and vision of SLC that with direct support while in school, students learn the skills to be successful and independent after graduation.