Studies show that the summer months are especially vital for student progress – children who do not participate in engaging summer activities often lose ground on the learning gains they made during the school year. This can be especially frustrating for students with severe learning disabilities, who have already had many disappointments and frustrating setbacks in their schooling.
Aseltine offers a 6-week summer school session, which gives students opportunities to strengthen their academics and gain new experiences in the classroom and the community. Students begin their day with two hours of traditional academics (English and Math) before they split into their Elective Courses. Students may choose from the following Electives:
Students participate in a variety of outdoor sports like Velodrome bike racing, frisbee golf, archery, etc. These activities not only help students – many of whom require intensive Occupational Therapy – improve motor skills and hand/eye coordination, they also help them gain confidence in their abilities and learn to work effectively with their peers. Due to their troubled histories with school, most students have never had the opportunity to experience the social and physical benefits of being part of a team.
Student-run Simulated Cafe
Students master vital life skills and exhibit their many abilities while operating the on-site, student-run simulated cafe. In the work-study program, students develop and research a cafe theme; decorate the cafe; create a menu; inventory supplies; comparison shop; prepare and serve meals; clean up, and balance the cafe’s budget.
For many Aseltine students, problematic behavior has been their biggest obstacle to success; understanding the consequences of their behavior is a vital step if they are to learn healthy ways to deal with frustration and control their behavior. The student-run simulated cafe provides students with a concrete – and true-to-life – example of how their actions affect them: students participate in profit-sharing based on their attendance, behavior, and work ethic.
Through the cafe, students begin seeing the important connection between school and work; improve their social skills, and build confidence – all while they gain valuable work experience. This important program connects students’ academic, behavioral, and social skills development to real life experience.