Local

December 6, 2012

Special needs programs offered, with extra dose of care

The Cross Categorical students ride the horses at Buffalo Corral, along with trail guides, during a Community Based Instruction field trip. These outings teach the students motor skills, self-control and physical awareness in public settings, all of which are enforced in the Cross Categorical classroom at Colonel Johnston Elementary School.

Colonel Johnston Elementary School, located here at Fort Huachuca, offers a special needs program for those children, 5 – 9, who require extra assistance outside of the basic classes taught.

The Cross Categorical program is offered for children who have an Individualized Education Plan and struggle with disabilities such as autism, developmental delays and other health impairments. The class is built to instruct up to 10 students at a time, with nine students currently enrolled. Each student is taught based on his or her academic grade level, currently ranging from kindergarten to third grade. Due to the small class number, this program is only offered to those children who reside on Fort Huachuca.

On a daily basis, Kim Harney, the Cross Categorical teacher, and a team of other teachers dedicated to special needs children, commit themselves to these children, providing them with the knowledge and skills required to not only mature intellectually, but to function in public environments, based on the students’ needs.

Harney has instructed the Cross Categorical program at Colonel Johnston Elementary School for six years and has taught special needs classes for a total of 21 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Deaf Education. In regards to her experience with special needs children, Harney makes it clear. “Every kid is just a kid. I want [them] to be accepted just like any other kid, because they are, just that.” She says that frustration builds when the class is in public and people treat them differently because they have a disability. In an effort to lessen this segregation, working alongside Harney is a full-time aide, a resource teacher and an occupational therapist.

Just as the basic elementary classes run, this program is held during regular school hours and there is a designated bus that picks the students up at their door and then takes them home at the end of the school day.

When a typical day begins, Harney or her full time aide meet the students at the bus and walk with them to the classroom. They begin with morning greetings to initiate communication and gather for circle time. The mornings are focused primarily on academics, due to the fresh and alert minds. Circle time consists of the day of the week, the weather of the day, planned activities and what the schedule will look like for the day. After that, the students work on reading and listening activities, often listening to sounds and determining what the sound is. Once completed, energy is released during recess and then followed by a morning snack. Based on the students’ academic level, they will get one-on-one instruction and then lunch. After lunch, the students have outside time and then come in to finish the day with social time and arts and crafts. The full-time aide will direct them to the bus again, and they are taken home to practice their newfound knowledge.

Once a week, the class integrates with the public, taking Community Based Instruction field trips, in which everyday skills are practiced. Harney explains, “The purpose of the Community Based Instruction is to work on skills at school, appropriate everyday skills that you would expect a normal kid to do. Walking in the hallway, [using] appropriate inside voices, [using] appropriate lunch table manners. So we do all that here [at school] and then we go out once a week so that they can practice those skills in a community setting. We go to lunch; we have gone to Burger King, the diner, and the food court. When we are down town, we have gone swimming at the Cove, went to McDonalds … ” This interaction assists the students in adapting to situations that may otherwise cause anxiety, such as adjusting to large crowds or remaining calm when surrounded by loud noises. Trips to the bowling alley, the Cove, and horse back riding aid in occupational therapy and motor skills, as well.

According to Harney, if a parent feels as though their child is in need of extra assistance in school, the first place to start is with their teacher. Communicate with the teacher, request a conference, and discuss the concerns. If the teacher is in agreement, testing will be determined and if necessary, an Individualized Education Plan is created.

Other special needs programs that Colonel Johnston Elementary School offers are behavior coaching, occupational and physical therapy, resource teaching, speech therapy, special needs preschool and reading and math assistance.

For more questions about the Cross Categorical Program or other special needs programs, contact Kim Harney, Cross Categorical teacher, 459.8798 or visit http://www.fthuachuca.k12.az.us/coljohnston/site/default.asp.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez

CSA makes first visit here, highlights unique capabilities

Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno speaks with 111th Military Intelligence Brigade leadership during his visit to Fort Huachuca, AZ, Dec. 9, 2014. Fort Huachuca leadership hosted Chief o...
 
 

Avoid becoming a DUI statistic over coming holidays

As Soldiers prepare for holiday block leave and Families plan their festive holiday gatherings, Army Substance Abuse Program personnel remind Soldiers, Civilians and the community that drunk or drugged driving can be a lethal combination with disastrous consequences, even death. In Arizona, if a person driving is impaired to the slightest degree, he or she...
 
 
City of Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista receives “Purple Heart City” designation

City of Sierra Vista Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller, city officials, senior leaders from Fort Huachuca and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart stand before the sign designating Sierra Vista a Purple Heart City. T...
 

 

Parking lots can be modern-day mazes

With the holidays fast approaching, parking lots tend to get more crowded as people jostle for spaces so they can mail cards and packages and do last-minute shopping for gifts, parties and holiday dinners. Many people find parking lots are among the most confusing places to drive, according to Anastasia Dean safety and occupational health...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Debbie Short Civilian of the Month: Debbie Short Agency: Network Enterprise Technology Command Position and duties: Civilian workforce development specialist responsible for training, education and budgeting of the civilian development program How long at current assignment: 4 years, 7 months How long in government service: 30 years today Residence: Tucson Family: Son Joshua Short, 26...
 
 

ACS offers scholarships, resiliency training

AER provides scholarships Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs — the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Scholarship applications will be accepted from Jan. 2 to May 1 each year for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin