Skills for Living Program
The Skills for Living Program is a unique program that specializes in supporting students who have exceptional needs. It provides a classroom environment intended for students with severe and profound cognitive and physical challenges or multiple disabilities. The Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or the Individual Transition Plan (ITP) serves as the basis for an individual curriculum for students who do not benefit from provincial curricula. Individualized programming consists of educational experiences that are functionally appropriate and highly individualized to take into account the unique learning requirements of the students. The Skills for Living Program recognizes the importance of providing students with inclusive and appropriate educational opportunities and experiences. The students work on their IEP goals and do not acquire the credits required to graduate. The students receive a Certificate of Completion for an Individualized Seniors Years Program at age 21. They are eligible to attend the school’s convocation ceremony.
The Skills for Living Program in the high schools aim to:
- Provide a classroom environment which accommodates each student’s rate of learning, development, and behaviour.
- Develop functional skills in literacy and mathematics. Instructional strategies and activities are individualized according to the unique abilities and needs of each student, and may include: adapted worksheets; computer software such as Boardmaker, Kid-Biz 3000, Mathematics, Learning A-Z, Raz-Kids; communication aids such as Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols, color photographs, and augmentative communication devices such as iPads, adaptive switches, large key calculators, to name a few.
- Develop daily-living skills in the areas of self-care, physical well-being, and recreation and leisure.
- Provide pre-vocational and vocational training according to the needs and interests of each student.
- Promote student self-control and foster appropriate social behaviours and interactions with others.
- Facilitate the inclusion of students into the school community.
Individual program goals and objectives focus upon developing skills in specific domains:
- Personal and Social Development
- Physical Well Being/Function
- Daily Living Skills
Each student’s individual educational plan (IEP) is developed collaboratively by parents and teachers, and usually includes input from a variety of sources, namely:
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech and Language Pathologists
- Social Workers
- School Administrators
- WRHA Nurse
- Skills for Living Program Student Services Coordinator