Schools and Libraries
March 21, 2014
Through the aid of Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, the Long Beach School District received a legislative grant for $125,000, which was used to offset the construction costs of a new Life Skills classroom on the main floor of the high school. Assemblyman Weisenberg visited the classroom on March 14 to meet with students and view the completed project. The classroom is equipped with a fully-functioning kitchen to help students master daily skills of independent living.
The Long Beach High School Life Skills program is designed to meet the needs of students with severe and/or multiple disabilities. The comprehensive program meets students individual needs on a multitude of academic, social and behavioral levels in the least restrictive possible environment. All 29 students in the program including 10 tuition-paying students from other districts benefit from related services, such as speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling.
The focus of instruction is on real-life skills in mathematics, reading, social skills, vocational training and travel training. Students develop skills to work in a variety of job settings in the community. They also learn to identify, use and manage money, read for understanding, complete job applications, participate in job interviews, read maps, plan trips and travel on public transportation.
One of the main goals of this program is to assist students in becoming contributing members of society. The district has established working relationships with local businesses, giving students an opportunity to gain job-specific training that leads to gainful employment for graduates.
The program also provides transitional services to promote a successful shift from school to post-secondary activities, including vocational training, competitive employment, continuing and adult education, independent living and community participation.
Students in the Life Skills program are also active members of the Long Beach High School community, which is rich in educational, vocational and social activities. They participate in sports, general education classes, fundraising and in-house jobs. Students also socialize with typical peers outside of the school day through the Best Pals Club and the Challenger basketball league.
"By moving Life Skills students from the lower level of the building to a new classroom on the center of the school, we hope to further integrate them into the school community," said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. "We were also able to convert the space they vacated into a cardio room for the entire student body."