And no one recognizes the differences more than educators, especially those in the field of special education. Helping students and parents understand the multiple pathways to high school graduation is part of that process. Career development and occupational studies are an option that gives students having trouble passing the four basic Regents exams a way to successfully navigate high school. Designed initially for special education students, the program allows high school students to master career skills beyond academics by spending part of their school day at a job. “Students who participate in work-based learning experiences can see great success,” said Kerri Canzone-Ball , director of special education services at the Ballston Spa Central School District. “Whether it’s working to prepare food as part of a catering business, or working in the community, you can see the glow on their faces and the pride in their work.” Right now, students are working on campus with buildings and grounds, food service and with the clerical staff. Yet a $300,000 state grant is helping Ballston Spa Central School District to expand its CDOS offerings. company websiteMoving into the second-year of a three-year phase-in, the Program Development Grant to Prepare Students with Disabilities to Exit School with Work Readiness Skills is reaching out to businesses that can partner with the district, expanding students’ career choices. The money is also widening its on-campus career and technical education classes and the work-readiness courses that teach skills needed to land and keep a job. It is also allowing Ballston Spa to welcome more students, those not identified with special education needs, into the CDOS program.
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