A class of developmentally and cognitively disabled students at Parkview Junior High School recently prepared a Thanksgiving feast for 50 people. This is the 5th year that Joan Melissant’s class has prepared a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings at school for invited family and teachers.
While many special education programs stress life skills, Melissant said her class is unique because it places equal importance on academics and life skills. Hosting a Thanksgiving feast incorporates both types of skills, she added.
Ms. Melissant typically teaches academics in the morning and life skills in the afternoon, as well as job skills for the older kids. Her seventh- and eighth-graders go to regular education classes for science and social studies, where they take tests that are modified for them. The eighth-graders pass the Constitution test before advancing to high school.
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