Construction finishes and annex opens to students


Will Clarken

As the primary focus has been on the brand new state of the art media center at the front of the school, most students may have overlooked the former library space, now known as the annex. This area has been creatively converted into additional classrooms to serve the needs of the student population. Still with fresh paint on the walls, the space is coming together to create the shared vision of the teachers and administration. Ms.Quinlan, the lead teacher of the program which utilizes the space had a few words to say about the new construction.

The space was divided into eight rooms ranging from classroom-like areas, offices, life skills labs, and the ‘soon to come’ student store. In this space, the students are taught by specialized teachers, occupational therapists and speech therapists in a comfortable environment. Throughout these classes, students have the ability to learn specific life skills, like how to set a table, wash clothes, learn office skills, make a bed, and even learn how to decorate a living space.

“The area allows for clear distinction of space and purpose for the students,” Mrs. Quinlan commented on the space.

The life skills lab, located in the annex, is equipped with everyday appliances that the students learn to operate and use on a regular basis. The lab includes a washer and dryer, stove, oven, and microwave which assist in the teaching process. The diversity of simulated environments calls for different supplies so the office space there includes a time card system, basic office supplies, and desks that allow an office type situation for the student.  Office skills like learning how to staple, hole punch, tape, print and use computers will help to prepare students for the work environment outside of school.  From specialized learning programs to a space for comfort, the new annex allows for student to adjust and work at their own pace.

For the students in the program, classes and courses can vary depending on the day. The program has a total of ten students who go to program daily. The largest class, Spanish, which has seven students, is the busiest class of the day.  While some classes meet on a regular basis and others on a come and go type schedule, students report to the annex at their designated class times while also maintaining a schedule around the rest of the building.

Classes are equipped with all materials to teach class activities in the areas of functional spanish, vocational skills, life skills, functional english, financial literacy, functional U.S. history, and physical education. The everyday schedules revolves around the students and what works for them while the class structures closely mirrors what occurs in most mainstream classes.

Due to the recent inception, the program has not fully blossomed but is equipped with great tools, staff, and positivity, as the program is sure to flourish and prosper to great new heights. The beautiful new section is equipped for greatness and has made the high school a place where all students can truly thrive.  The teachers are committed and devoted to helping no matter the circumstances or obstacles in order to give students the greatest gift of allknowledge.