Students in Plainville High School’s new Transition Program have been busy this year researching, preparing for, and participating in a variety of vocational experiences, according to Supervisor of Special Services, Leanne Gmeindl.
The Plainville Transition Program is a Transition Community-Based Program that is registered with the Connecticut State Department of Education. The goal of the program is to deliver vocational/transition services and experiences to special education students aged 18-21. The program is individually designed based on the specific needs of each student, and includes studies that focus on areas of career interest, employment preparation, and volunteer and job placements.
The Transition Program provides school and community based volunteer and work experience placements relative to vocational training. Students in the program are supported by a job coach who accompanies them to vocational volunteer sites, and works with the students on employability skills. Work experiences for the students in the Developmental Program within the school district range from staffing a snack cart and making office deliveries at Plainville High School, to assisting with lunch deliveries for preschoolers at Linden Street School, and more.
Plainville High School Special Education faculty member Kate Wizeman oversees the Transition Program. In a press release from Plainville schools, she said, “The Developmental Program at PHS builds the skills necessary for students in grades 9-12 to be successful in a group work setting once they reach the Transition Program. This year, the Transition Program has emerged into an opportunity for students to be an integral part of the larger community of Plainville. It is wonderful to see the relationships formed between students in the program and local businesses,” said Wizeman.
As part of the district’s expanded focus on School / Business / Community partnerships, several external vocational placements have been secured for students this year as well, thanks to tremendous support from the Plainville community. Students in the Transition Program enjoy a wide variety of volunteer work experiences in the community including those at the Plainville Senior Center, the Plainville Housing Authority, Gnazzo’s Food Center, the Municipal Center, Walgreens, and Sax Restaurant. Recently students in the high school’s Developmental Program took a field trip to Sax Restaurant, where they learned about jobs in the restaurant and enjoyed lunch, which was served by fellow student and vocational program participant Michael Celentano, who volunteers at the restaurant each week.
“I am so proud and excited to have this program as part of Plainville Community Schools. Our students are learning a variety of skills in various business sites in the community. Our goal is to foster sustainability in these job sites with permanent employment being the ultimate outcome for our students,” said Gmeindl in the press release.
“It is so important for our students to have work opportunities in Plainville. Our new vocational program allows these young adults to remain in their community and learn valuable skills that will assist them with future employment,” noted Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Maureen Brummett in the press release.