I've decided to start a new running series called "Cool Schools" after visiting one just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. My camera phone has been having issues so I apologize for some of these small, blurry ones. I recommend if you are around to take a tour for yourself, though because it truly is a magical place.
In this public school district, they received donated funds for the land and building, which left lots of funding to equip the school to it's optimal potential. It is a K-12 school for profound and severely special needs children that are bused in from all over the district.
I just kept thinking that "the least of these my children" had the "best that money could buy." If I had a special needs child that qualified, I would buy a house in the district just for this school!
Here are some pics from my tour.
The cafeteria with full service kitchen and staff.
A sensory room for stimulation including colors, smells, lights and textures.
Some of the equipment lining the halls including trampoline and wagons.
The atrium for school gatherings. These students in wheelchairs were preparing for the school show by doing a "dance" to The Little Mermaid songs.
More equipment in the hallways including a variety of wheelchairs
One of the "gym" rooms with a ball pit
The speech therapists office which houses four therapists that go to the classrooms with mobile carts.
The OT/PT lab
A lab for fine motor skills and projects. Student practice sorting and other skills that might cross over to future jobs.
The music room with music specialist and fully equipped instruments and stereo system.
Some book bags prepared by an eagle scout to check out
The vocational lab where students can sort laundry and learn other trade skills
The nurses clinic with five full time nurses on staff that visit the classrooms with medications. There is also a medicaid office on the school site for parents.
The laundry facility
A library built through grant funds by my tour guide and student teacher with leveled texts to check out.
A classroom with harness available for lifting children out of wheelchairs.
Another classroom. Everyone that I saw was open door and very friendly. They all have baby gates to keep the "runners" from leaving the classroom.
Each classroom also has a closet like this with full size refrigerator, a full size office and a wall of cabinets with microwave.
All classrooms have a doc camera, a smart board, projector and microphone
The tub room with a sanitizing tub.
Here is one of the gyms.
The atrium from the ground floor
The doorway to the teachers lounge which was very nice!
One of the classrooms had a containment room for escalating violent behavior. They never used it and stored balls in there.
Some of the amazing staff. Here is a Teachers Assistant helping keep one of desks from tipping over with a rocking student. The dress code there is functional for a lot of floor sitting.
Hard to see but both these boys are strapped in to their desks with seatbelts.
Some of the assistive technology equipment available. These are push button, teacher recorded devices with the pledge, the schedule and Yes or No answer buttons.
This student is in a contained chair that locks. She called it the "hardrock desk"
This student is wearing leg braces and special shoes since one leg is shorter than the other. These are equipped by the school.
The locker room with changing table and harness
The full size lap pool with handicapped beach entry
The hot tub with handicapped entry and harness. Each class visits the pool once or twice a week.
That's all for my first installment of Cool Schools! I immediately called my speech teacher mother and told her I had just seen her dream school! If you are ever in Utah....Go Visit!
So long Kauri Sue for now!