Program focuses on life skills for local special needs students

It’s a different school program that’s focusing on more than just academics, a curriculum that caters to students with special needs.

Glenview Middle School teacher Mary Langdon believes you learn by doing, and that’s clear in her classroom.

“We do that typical kind of traditional learning, but we’re really hands-on,” said Langdon.

Her eight students are part of the school’s Life Skills program, a curriculum that teaches every subject, but with a hands-on approach for special needs students that focuses on life skills.

Lesson plans help students with behavioral management, focusing and skills they will need later in life.

“Our goal is that our students in this classroom will one day live as independently as they can,” said Langdon.

For the past four weeks, students have been baking and making decorations for the school’s Spooktacular STEM night.  The project gives Langdon’s students the opportunity to share what they’ve learned with other students.

“My son, when he left Texas, could only say five words and that was when he was in third grade. Now, he’s almost able to fluently talk with people,” says Anita Marshall, who’s son in Langdon’s class.

The life skills they learn now also help Langdon’s students look optimistically toward the future.

“Kids learn at their own pace, but they learn.  And when they have a job they don’t like, they know that next week they’ll have another chance, maybe something bigger and better,” said Langdon.

Students are in the program from fifth to eighth grade. They have lessons outside the classroom as well, that involve skills like making trips to the grocery store and riding public transportation.

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