League School teachers, program coordinators, therapists, clinicians, social workers, counselors, and administrative staff have one aim, according to Principal Patrick Fuller: preparing students for life after graduation. “We are all committed to preparing students for leaving the comfort and safety of the League School,” said Principal Fuller. To that end, he names four initiatives as critical to achieving this goal:
- Mastering Daily Living and Job Search Skills: Through the Foundations and Content Teaching/Life Skills programs, students learn daily living skills that they’ll need not only during their time at the school, but also after they graduate. Occupational therapists work with the students to help them learn how to brush their teeth and other hygiene skills. Students also learn how to make a bed, wash dishes, and other independent living skills. As they move through these programs, they also learn advanced skills, including how to communicate at work, and interview for a job.
- Learning How to Deal with Adversity: Patrick says that one of the problems graduates face is the insensitivity of others to their disabilities. The school staff help students learn to communicate appropriately when others react negatively to their disability. Staff help the students talk about these issues and role play how to respond to these situations.
- Building Vocational Skills: Students in the Vocational Program gain valuable work skills in a variety of settings. The Hawk’s Nest, the school store, employs 31 students who stock the shelves, clean, and ring up purchases. Another 46 students work in the Culinary Kitchen, where they learn to prepare and cook food.
Forty-three students work at one of the school’s 31 community sites. These includes such varied facilities as: Big Y Supermarket, Walpole Public Schools, Petco, the Fairfield Inn, the Vanderbilt Club, and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “Students learn a range of skills at these partner organizations,” says Principal Fuller. He proudly notes the contribution these 191.25 hours per week mean to community businesses.
- Determining Post Graduation Plans: Lining up services for adults with disabilities can be a challenge. Staff proactively work with parents to help them understand what to expect, and to find appropriate placement options and services. The school actively encourages students to pursue further education. The school works out transportation logistics to local colleges and facilitates online options.
“We are all here to help prepare students for life after graduation,” says the principal. “Our committed staff do an amazing job in accomplishing this mission.”