A school serving students with disabilities is expanding programming, incorporating life skills and education for work training.
In Rochester, the Monarch School of New England serves students ages 5 to 21 with severe physical and developmental disabilities. Education for older students includes classroom learning and also working with cooperating employers in the community.
Jakob Paulenka is a 20 year old student from Manchester, working at Turbocam International in Barrington and also bagging groceries at Market Basket. He says that he is a “social butterfly,” and that his favorite school subject is gym.
“Look at me, I’m like really athletic,” Paulenka said.
Teacher Lindsay Beaulieu works with Paulenka and several other students. She works to ensure that he’ll have the skills to belong to the work force when he turns 21 and is not longer eligible to attend the school
“We’re trying to get (our students) their academics and their individualized education programs, but we’re also really looking for ways to incorporate educational and life skills. All of our students will be expected to work in some way,” said Beaulieu, who typically works with students who are over 18.