Tag Archives: Exceptional Children’s Week

Meet Genesis: One of Many Exceptional Students in Marietta City Schools

Genesis_Exceptional students_00025Marietta Middle School student Genesis Juarez loves watching videos of her favorite boy band, Adexe y Nau, communicating with friends on Instagram and SnapChat, and socializing with her peers.  Normal behavior for most teen girls her age, but something that takes a little more effort for a student with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects a person’s muscle tone and ability to coordinate body movements and control their muscles. Genesis requires a wheelchair and is only able to control her left leg and foot.

“Although CP impacts her speech, that hasn’t stopped Genesis from being able to communicate,” says Marietta Middle School teacher Susan Donlin. “With the use of communication software on a tablet, she can access the software she needs for class by either selecting the correct icons with her left big toe while the tablet is on an easel or by using a joy stick attached to her left foot plate.”

And her teacher also tells us that Genesis has a great sense of humor and enjoys making the other students laugh.

“Genesis’ positive spirit and perseverance are a daily inspiration to those lucky enough to know her,” said Donlin.

Genesis is bilingual and speaks Spanish to her family at home.  The school downloaded the same communication software in Spanish on her personal device so that she can communicate more effectively with her family.

This effort is in line with services provided to students with special needs in the district through the Department of Special Services (DSS).

“Working closely with students, their parents and guardians, and educators, DSS works to create building blocks for successful students,” said Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “Through transition programs designed to provide soft skills, work, career, and employment-training opportunities, we want students like Genesis to graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.”

DSS of Marietta City Schools serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, like the technology used by Genesis, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting

Marietta City Schools is using March 4-8, 2019, known as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country, to highlight our incredible and exceptional students and their teachers.

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MHS Exceptional Students Manage Successful Coffee Cart for More than a Decade

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MHS student Darby Parker collects money from a science student during the early morning Coffee Cart delivery. This is the 12th year that the school-based enterprise has been managed by students with special needs.

Every weekday morning, students at Marietta High School can be seen taking a quick break to pick up their coffee and hot chocolate orders as the school’s “Coffee Cart” makes its way down the hallways. On any given day they will meet Darby Parker, one of the leaders of the small business, who helps to organize the orders and collect payments from students and faculty members.

A school-based enterprise operated by students with intellectual disabilities, the Coffee Cart has been in operation at MHS for 12 years with 25 students participating in its daily operations. The cart provides students like Darby with the opportunity to work on the real-life skills they are learning in class and can translate to life after high school such as counting money, making eye contact with customers, greeting customers, prepping beverages, and stocking the carts.  Participating students, like Darby, work on three domains: education/training, employment, and daily living skills.

“Exposure precedes preferences, so it is essential to provide students with the opportunity to try various jobs, skills, and activities, so they can understand what their preferences, strengths, and interests are,” says Angelina Snider, Transition Specialist and Success Coach in the district’s Department of Special Services (DSS). “Participating in the coffee cart provides the students with an opportunity to grow in confidence and their skills. The students interact with almost everyone in the building.  The teachers begin by placing the students in jobs according to their strengths and the students rotate through the jobs throughout their time at the high school.”

“Darby and her peers receive individualized support from their teachers, based on their individual needs,” explains Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “School-based enterprises are essential for students with intellectual disabilities to practice real-world job skills with support while in high school.”

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

Darby_Exceptional Students_00009Marietta serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” says Bealing-Sayles.

So the next time you see the Coffee Cart coming down the hallway, know that it is more than an opportunity to take a break and enjoy a beverage, it is a specially designed program created to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities for our exceptional students so that they graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.

 

Marietta City Schools Recognizes Exceptional Children’s Week 2019

Marietta educators and parents partner to provide opportunities for students with exceptionalities

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents, and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

The Department of Special Services (DSS) of Marietta City Schools serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.  

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” said Ms. Michele Bealing Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS.

Working closely with students, their parents and guardians, and educators, DSS works to create “Building Blocks for Successful Students” through the enhancement of transition programs designed to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities that allow students to graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.

Additionally, DSS works closely with CEC to improve public policy affecting youth and the professionals who work with them.

During Exceptional Children’s Week, MCS will use social media platforms to celebrate the successes of its exceptional students. Follow the district on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.