June 2019
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The Intensive Support Classroom Promotes Independence for Special Needs Students

Burrell School District continues to search for new and innovative ways to enrich the education of special needs students throughout its schools. In Huston Middle School, sixth and seventh-grade special education students now have a new Intensive Support classroom designed to provide an effective learning environment that can serve as both a supplemental tool and a full-time learning center.

The Intensive Support classroom is set up to assist students with a variety of needs. The main focus of the classroom is to teach functional academics, daily living skills, self-help skills, social skills, and career exploration.

Ashley Shields joined the district at the start of the 2017-2018 school year as the new Intensive Support teacher and has high hopes for the future of the classroom.

“Our main goal in the Intensive Support classroom is to promote independence in all aspects of life,” says Mrs. Shields. “We also work on several project-based learning activities that can provide life skills simulations.”

Just a few examples of these types of interactive, hands-on activities include budgeting for parties or meals, cooking, selling candy, keeping inventory, counting money, and making change. Students also fulfil different tasks throughout the building for teachers, such as putting together packets for various school programs, sorting materials, and building shelving units. These types of learning activities not only allow students to practice important social skills but to also gain experience with essential life skills that they can apply to real-life scenarios.

Next school year, the Intensive Support classroom will also be available to eighth-grade students.

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