What’s Happening in Stoughton?
Summer is busy for the Let’s Get to Work grant team in Stoughton. On July 23 the Stoughton Lunch and Learn event was held at a local restaurant. It was deemed a great success. Employers from a variety of businesses learned about the efforts of the high school to support students with and without disabilities to gain valuable work experiences during high school. The team, including two students who presented at the lunch, showed their new PSA. It was met with rave reviews. The team surveyed the employers over lunch, which led to an interesting conversation about employment and career development. A round of conversation occurred at each table that helped everyone think about the needs of high school students with respect to gaining work experience and considering their future options. The response cards that were completed at the luncheon will be used to engage employers for summer tours and job shadows.
How did the grant year start for Stoughton High School?
Stoughton High School had a lot going for it even before embarking on the Let’s Get to Work adventure. SHS is a fully inclusive high school where special education teachers (called Learning Strategists) work directly with general educators daily to support students in their classes, as needed. In addition students have taken college courses at Madison College with other college students. Stoughton High School is also participating in a research project through UW-Madison aimed at increasing the use of peer support strategies.
The Viking Shack, a coffee shop open on school mornings and run by a combination of students with and without disabilities, affords opportunities for students to gain employment skills prior to age 18. During the school year, two LGTW students, Echo and Shawn, worked at the Viking Shack.
Other news and reflections…
On April 10, the core team had a day-long person centered planning session and a meeting with the school to career staff to talk about including students with disabilities in the process of setting up work experiences and internships.
Due to the fact that so many of the LGTW grant students have full academic schedules, scheduling job shadows and tours of businesses was a challenge this past year. To be proactive, the grant team will make a big effort to schedule study halls more strategically so that they can be combined with lunch periods thus creating longer time slots for activities outside of the building while preserving the academic schedule.
In August students will meet with their teacher at the high school again to plan for the school year.
For more information on the students involved in the grant, check out the stories page.