Special education celebrating fall during COVID-19

Cameron Jerger, David Doan, Jeremiah Bovell, Ethan Hickman and Matthew Barlow in Vertuccio Farms' Corn Maze.

Susan Barry

Cameron Jerger, David Doan, Jeremiah Bovell, Ethan Hickman and Matthew Barlow in Vertuccio Farms’ Corn Maze.

As Halloween and fall time are approaching, Special Education is gearing up to celebrate fun holidays and traditions. One way special education is celebrating Halloween this year is with a costume party. Self-Contained Special Education teacher Alexis Myers said, “At school, we’re not doing much, but on Friday, October 30…our best buddies club is having a costume party at the park.” For those familiar with Puma Pals, Best Buddies is just like it, but on a national level, where each typical buddy has a one-on-one match with a student with intellectual disabilities. Myers said “This is the first time they’re going to be meeting up in person and doing a costume party and trick or treating with each other at the park.” Special Education is having a party outside of school hours where the students are still able to show off their costumes to their fellow classmates, and enjoy some trick-or-treating.

Myers said that Special Education has faced few COVID related restrictions. However, Myers did say that “The Puma Pals and Best Buddies usually meet during conferences and we’re not doing that right now, so we’ve been meeting virtually.” With the new addition of D lunch, there are no conference times in the new block schedule for the clubs to meet.

Special Education teacher Caroline Cook said, “I am planning on a candy corn craft for my science class. Each student will have their own bag and work independently at their desks.  I would love for them to partner up and work together but we are playing it safe.” Cook also explains how they have faced some COVID safety restrictions; “In the past, we might have had a small party where we bake and share treats but we are limiting our time in the kitchen due to COVID.” Some classes have had to change their celebrations due to concerns about the safety of the students, which is the first priority.

Special Education teacher, Susan Barry said, “Some CBI (Community Based Instruction) groups are going to Vertuccio Farms. We’re taking a group over there to the corn maze.” Those who have visited Vertuccio Farms this fall season know that there are plenty of fun activities there, for students of all ages. Because of the social distancing requirements, the CBI classes are unable to participate in some of their normal activities. Barry says, “We’re having to get creative this year because so many things have been canceled…we’re still taking them out, but it’s just not as much. They are definitely feeling it; they want to go to work. But the students are so great, they’re so positive.” The students in these classes are excited for all the activities that they get to be a part of this fall season, despite any COVID restrictions.