Securis, an electronics recycling, data destruction services and information technology security company, will receive the 2013 CEC Business Award from The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) at its 2013 Convention & Expo in San Antonio, on April 3.
The CEC Business Award recognizes a business or corporation that has provided for the employment and enhancement of individuals with exceptionalities in order to promote and support their full participation in the community. Securis’s long-time partnership with a local high school has shown commitment to educating and including persons with disabilities in the workplace. Read more about the award >
The Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) students at Lanier Middle School participated in the declaration of America Recycles Day with the Fairfax City Council on November 15th. Lanier’s WAT class was honored for their part in keeping the school green by collecting recycling from all classrooms and offices in the building. The students were photographed with Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne, their teachers, and some of their Lanier Middle School general education peer helpers.
Kevin Concannon, the Under Secretary of the Office of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, of the US Department of Agriculture, and students of the Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) class cut the ribbon to two new greenhouses at Oakton High School. The greenhouses were acquired through the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services’ Schoolyard Stewardship Mini Grant. Students in the WAT class are using the greenhouses to plant and cultivate vegetables, herbs, and fruit including cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, parsley, and basil. In addition to the greenhouse gardens, the students are designing a natural landscape surrounding the greenhouse using species native to Virginia in an outside courtyard at Oakton High School. In addition to Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Oakton’s administrative team, including Principal John Banbury, AP’s Chip Comstock, Leanne Kannapell and Michelle Taylor and WAT Teacher Amy Makrigiorgios were present at the Greenhouse ribbon cutting in September. Several employers and parents of the WAT students also attended.
Goodwill of Greater Washington is a member of the National Youth Transitions Collaborative, a community of organizations that share the goal of empowering youth and young veterans with disabilities to create a self-directed path to adulthood and employment. The Collaborative has formed an Alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to work together to promote a national dialogue on the employment of people with disabilities.
Goodwill of Greater Washington (GGW), in partnership with The HSC Foundation, is offering the Life Enrichment Awards Program (LEAP) to enrich the lives of youth and young adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses in the expanded Washington, DC metropolitan area. LEAP provides goods and services directly linked to youth transition planning and implementation that are usually not available from public service or government agencies. These goods and services arenot covered by Medicaid or private insurance and are not considered “medically necessary”.
The Chantilly High School Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) class and local business PC Recycler, Inc. were among four finalists for the 2012 Mass Mutual Citizenship Award. They were honored at the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy awards event on May 11, 2012. The MassMutual Citizenship Award is presented to honor the region’s most active and inspiring partnerships between local businesses and non-profits that are designed to benefit families and children in the area: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2012/05/11/massmutual-citizenship-award-runners-up.html.
From left, Andrew Portare and Jeremy Farber of PC Recycler and Chantilly High School Employment and Transition Representative Sue Collins and Michele Bechtel, WAT Teacher at the Washington Business Journal's 2012 Corporate Philanthropy Awards.
This is the spring of recognition for Chantilly High School students and teachers involved in our transition programs. Career and Transition Services is proud of the collaborative relationships with our business communities and the impressive dedication of all involved.
Five students from the Chantilly High School Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) program and their teachers were honored at the Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services Annual Volunteer Recognition ceremony. Each was presented with a Gold Star award in gratitude for exceeding what is normally expected for an outstanding volunteer. The students all work in the therapeutic recreation office four days per week assisting with a variety of tasks including office mailings and information dissemination.
Last but not least, this winter the Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia published a press release highlighting their partnership with Chantilly High School WAT and EFE (Education for Employment) students and teachers. Through community based work experiences students enrolled in these courses are learning real work lessons such as team work, time management, and customer service. http://www.restorenova.org/2011/12/students-learn-%E2%80%9Creal-world%E2%80%9D-skills-chantilly-high-school/
Habitat for Humanity Restore, is in the second year of being a business partner with Chantilly High School Special Education Career Classes, Work Awareness and Transition, Education for Employment and Career and Transition Services. The Education for Employment (EFE) class is taught by Karen Beers, Sheryl Perez, Kevin Ford and Patti Caplan. The focus of this class is to teach students work readiness skills, communication skills and self advocacy. The Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) Class is taught by Michele Bechtel. WAT is a middle and high school elective course where students develop career goals based on interest and aptitudes while building awareness and experience in job-keeping skills. Both classes incorporate Work Based Learning approach focused on career exploration, career assessment and work-related training.
This year we have 7 students who are learning specific work skills such as merchandising, retailing and customer service skills. The WAT and EFE teachers also incorporate “The New Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth”, needs identified by Virginia employers. The workplace readiness skills include some of the following: positive work ethic, team work, time and task management, customer service and self presentation. The ReStore staff support the WAT/EFE curriculum by modeling and teaching our students workplace readiness skills while having fun.
Chantilly students and teachers want to thank Rachel Krempasky, Volunteer Manager, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia for participating in our Business Partner Open House. Each fall a representative from our business partners meet our students and networking. Rachel is participating in an information interview with a WAT student.
Twenty-five Fairfax County Public Schools students spent the day with county social workers, emergency personnel, librarians, recreation staff, communicators and administrators to learn about careers during Disability Mentoring Day, October 28th at the Fairfax County Government Center. The students were allowed to choose a job area for further exploration and then spent the day learning about the training requirements and day-to-day responsibilities of that job. The day provides the students with valuable information to guide them in their decision about career choice.
Click on the link below for more information about Fairfax County Disability Mentoring Day. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairfaxcounty/sets/72157627926527055/
Lee High School students participate in a community work experience with McDonalds. Last year, McDonalds was nominated and won the Blue Ribbon Workforce Development Award through Celebrate Partnerships 2011.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) honored five business and community partners for their contributions to students and schools at the 2011 Celebrate Partnerships event, held May 23 at Mason Inn at George Mason University (GMU) in conjunction with the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships. The winner of the Blue Ribbon Workforce Development Award was McDonald’s-Welburn Management. As part of its business partnership with Lee High School, McDonald’s offers students with autism a community work experience outside the school setting, providing independence from school to work by helping the students learn workplace behavior. The partnership has expanded to give students with disabilities the opportunity to practice vocational skills they learned in the Work Awareness Transition (WAT) program. Under the guidance and tutelage of McDonald’s supervisors, team leaders, and staff members, students learn social skills, work place etiquette, and general employment skills. The restaurant hires both special and general education students, all of whom are welcomed as part of the team.
The FCPS Business and Community Partnerships website has been updated with images and stories from the “Celebrate Partnerships” Awards Ceremony.
The Work Awareness and Transition Program (WAT) at Chantilly High School donated over a hundred children’s books, videos and DVD’s to Project Opportunity at Mountain View High School on Monday, December 21, 2010. The books were collected through donations from the Chantilly community to help promote children’s literacy. According to The National Children’s Literacy Website “SUCCESS IN SCHOOL STARTS WITH READING!” The WAT students collected the books, sorted them by age and entered them into an Excel database as part of a three year partnership with Project Opportunity. In fact, the WAT program was nominated for the 2009-2010 FCPS Business and Community Partnership Award for this project.
If you have gently used children’s books, videos, DVD’s or CD’s, PLEASE donate them to the WAT program at Chantilly High School. You can help get books in the hands of children.
On Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) hosted a luncheon ceremony to celebrate a 10 year partnership with the Earl L. Pulley Career Center. The DCA/Pulley partnership began in 2000 when the Assistant to the Airports Manager, then Janie Gutherie, and Jeanie Glasser, Pulley special education teacher, formed the partnership to help students with disabilities successfully transition to the workforce. At the dawn of the partnership, DCA hired several students to participate in the Stay-In-School Program and to assist with airport office administration and brochure stocking. Over the years, the number of students increased by approximately 10 percent and training opportunities expanded to other departments at DCA, as well as at Washington Dulles International Airport. Currently, the students perform their assigned responsibilities 4 days a week for 3.5 hours per day working alongside DCA staff. Pulley faculty member, Barbara Henrie and Lisa Williams, are on-site daily to provide support to the students as they are working and learning. Over the past decade, this partnership has empowered the students to increase their independence and experience by working in an authentic work setting; in tandem with earning a paycheck for their hard work while still in school. Several students have also been hired by DCA once they have exited from Fairfax County Public Schools. The airport managers, supervisors, and natural supports who participate in the program are some of the most supportive and collaborative business partners working with FCPS and we thank them for their ongoing commitment to special education and preparing students for the world of work. We look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.
Toni, Joseph, Selena, and Andrew
Ms. Williams, Personnel Liaison, J. Paul
Malandrino, Vice President and Airport Manager,
and student Danny
J. Paul Malandrino, VP and Airport Manager
Disability Mentoring Day is a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration. FCPS staff collaborated with Fairfax County’s Disability Services Planning and Development Unit to match students with disabilities (mentees) with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. Mentees experience a typical day on the job and learn how to prepare to enter the world of work. Employers gain an increased awareness that people with disabilities represent an overlooked talent pool. View pictures and video of the event.
The Fairfax County Public Schools Career Connections vision is to “…ensure that students make the connections between school and careers and are prepared for this transition.” This would not be possible without strong business and community partnerships such as the one with PC Recycler, Inc.
In the past 5 years, PC Recycler, Inc. has given 35 youth with disabilities an opportunity to gain career and technical skills in a workplace setting rather than in a typical school setting. PC Recycling staff truly embrace the students in their work environment and culture by including three different special education career classes into their daily work schedule. Thank you for supporting the Career and Transitions Services Special Education Program at Chantilly High School.
From left to right:
Dr. Dale (Fairfax County Public Schools Division Superintendent),
Michele Bechtel (WAT teacher), John Watts (ED teacher), Andrew Porpare
(PC Recycler, Marketing and Sales), Jeremy Farber (Owner of PC Recycler),
Kevin Ford (Chantilly Education for Employment Teacher)