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Courses

INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS (Duarte, Guillen, & Cusick)

Independent living skills are essential for success in transitioning into adult life. The skills taught in this course focus on domestic, personal, community, and vocational independence for our students. The goal of this course is to maximize levels of independence in both the community and daily living skills, as well as increase students’ self-confidence in their individual abilities.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Appropriate behavior in the community (streets, stores, restaurants, etc), personal hygiene, personal identification/information, making purchases in the community (composing shopping lists, locating items in a store, money exchange, etc.), cooking (kitchen safety, following a recipe, basic food groups, etc.), health (healthy choices and healthy lifestyle), recycling and household chores/responsibilities, computer skills, functional reading skills (labels, community/safety signs, etc.), telephone skills, utilization of community facilities, exposure to and understanding forms, using a planner, etc.


SOCIAL SKILLS (Guillen)

This course is designed to help students develop skills for effective communication. Students will focus on becoming more aware of their environment and the various opportunities for social interaction within their school and local community. Goals for this course include improved communication skills, understanding of social settings, as well as building self-confidence, self-advocacy skills, and self-awareness.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:
Conversation skills (verbal, body language, taking turns, eye contact, etc.), friendship and getting along with others, dealing with conflict or difficult situations, emotions, verbalizing wants and needs, self confidence, manners, telephone skills, self regulating behavior, environmental awareness, personal safety and protection, appropriate behavior in community setting, etc.


ENGLISH (Guillen)

The VOICES English courses are designed to increase students’ current level of reading and writing skills. Coursework in English will support student needs in working towards their IEP goals in reading/writing, reading comprehension, written communication, and increase overall student confidence in their reading and writing skills.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Alphabet identification, letter/sound correspondence, matching skills (pictures, words, etc.), sequencing of events, reading fluency, sight words, reading comprehension skills (retelling, WH questions, predicting, inferences, etc.), writing simple correspondence (sentences, paragraphs, use of graphic organizers, journal entries, etc.), use and comprehension of community/safety vocabulary, reading/writing personal information, exposure to and understanding forms, etc.

Curriculum used: System 44, Read 180, Unique Learning System, News 2 You, etc.


MATH (Duarte)

The VOICES Math courses are designed to increase students’ current level of skills in mathematics. Students will not only work towards their individual IEP goals, but they will also practice math skills in other areas that will allow them to develop and strengthen essential skills needed for success in everyday life.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Number identification, counting skills, sequential/number order and patterns, basic mathematic computations, money skills (identification, counting, exchange, budgeting, purchasing, etc.), telling time, measurement, calendar skills, calculator skills, menu math, word problems, reading/using graphs, etc.

Curriculum used: Unique Learning System, IXL Math, News 2 You, Real Life Math Series, etc.]


ACADEMIC SKILLS (Cusick)

The Academic Skills course is designed to increase students’ current level of skills in both functional reading/writing and functional mathematics. This course allows for students to work towards their individual IEP goals and strengthen overall independence in their functional academic skills.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Alphabet identification, letter/sound correspondence, matching skills (pictures, words, etc.), sequencing of events, reading fluency, sight words, reading comprehension skills, writing simple correspondence, use and comprehension of community/safety vocabulary, reading/writing personal information

Number identification, counting skills, sequential/number order and patterns, basic mathematic computations, money skills, telling time, measurement, calendar skills, calculator skills, menu math, word problems, reading/using graphs, etc.

Curriculum used: Unique Learning System, News 2 You, IXL Math, Real Life Math Series, etc.


VOCATIONAL EXPERIENCE (Duarte)

This course provides an introductory experience to completing basic vocational tasks. Students will learn the fundamentals of following a visual schedule and completing tasks with a clear beginning and ending utilizing hands on manipulatives.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Following a visual schedule, following 1-2 step directions, clocking in, remaining on task, task completion, sorting and matching items (by category, color, shape, size, etc.), organizational skills (collating, alphabetizing, stocking shelves, etc.), self evaluation, demonstrating a job well done, etc.


COMMUNITY BASED INSTRUCTION (Duarte)

This course provides students increased exposure to their community and is paired with their Independent Living Skills course. The goal of this course is to expose students to travel training, community safety/awareness, and maximize levels of independence in the community.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Appropriate behavior in the community (streets, stores, restaurants, etc), general community safety, travel training/transportation (using a crosswalk, riding in car, riding the city bus), making purchases in the community (composing shopping lists, locating items in a store, money exchange, etc.), computer skills (access bus routes, directions, phone numbers), functional reading skills (businesses/landmarks, streets, community/safety signs, etc.), utilization of community facilities, planning/organizing community outings, etc.


COOKING (Cusick)

This course provides students exposure to learning and performing basic culinary skills. Students will practice kitchen safety, learn simple cooking vocabulary, become familiar with kitchen appliances/tools, and practice following a recipe. The goal of this course is to teach students how to prepare simple snacks or meals that they could make independently or with little support at home.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Kitchen safety, mealtime manners, following a recipe, composing shopping lists, navigating a grocery store, functional reading skills (recipes, reading labels, locating items in a store), measurement, utilization of kitchen tools/appliances (with supervision), making healthy choices, trying new foods, holiday/cultural foods, appropriate behavior in the community, travel training, making purchases in the community


TECHNOLOGY/COMPUTERS (Duarte)

While technology/computers is offered as a part of Mr. Duarte’s Math course, use of technology and computer skills is a vital component in all VOICES courses. The program wide goal is to increase student exposure to technology and strengthen student independence in utilizing computers to produce work and/or in access information.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Navigating computer programs/desktop, typing skills, producing writing on a word document, login/password skills, accessing student portal/student email, composing/receiving emails, utilizing a search engine, accessing desired information from the internet (addresses, maps, phone numbers, etc.), internet safety, responsibility and appropriate use of technology, etc.

*The VOICES program has access to both Chromebooks and Apple desktop computers


RECREATION (Cusick)

This is a brand new course that is aimed to encourage students to explore and participate in various recreational/leisure activities. The goal of this course is to create opportunities and excitement about trying something new. This course also emphasizes the importance of social interactions during recreational/leisure activities. Areas of focus in this course include but are not limited to fitness (sports games, exercise activities, dancing, etc.), arts and crafts (drawing, painting, etc.), social games/activities, planning recreation/leisure activities with peers, etc.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Learning and/or trying new recreational/leisure activities, following directions/rules, sportsmanship skills, teamwork, everyday social skills (conversation skills, taking turns, small talk, etc.), having a positive attitude, etc.

***Students in this course will be collaborating with the WHS Cheer team throughout the school year. One goal of this course is to include participation of VOICES students alongside the WHS Cheer team in school pep rallies, sporting events, etc. Please stay tuned for more info!


MUSICIANSHIP (general education) (Co-teachers: Guillen, Scharf, & Vo)

The Musicianship course provides an opportunity for students to learn about the fundamentals of music and perform along side other student musicians at Westminster High School. The Musicianship course is divided into two sections: Vocal Music and Instrumental. The students enrolled in Musicianship get to experience each section and will change at the semester.
On a daily basis, students work on refining their skills of singing, playing an instrument, and even writing music. In the Instrumental Musicianship class, the main focus of the class is for students to perform on the marimba and vibraphone.

Skills include the following but are not limited to:

Exposure to a variety of music genres, singing/vocal skills, learning music notes/beats/rhythms, learning to play an instrument, dancing, performing with a group, performing at school functions/concerts, etc.


ADAPTED P.E. (Williams)

The Adapted Physical Education program is developmentally appropriate physical education. It is adapting, modifying, and/or changing a physical activity so it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. We are providing numerous ways that some sports and activities can be modified and/or changed. The goal is to have an activity where ALL students can fully participate in physical education. Participation/qualification for this service is based on specific gross motor goals that are established within a student’s IEP.


UNIFIED P.E. (general education) (Williams)

An exciting new course offered this year! Please see Mrs. Williams for details ☺