Vocational and Career Education Program
The Vocational and Career Education Program offers students in the Secondary Department the chance to take part in on-campus job opportunities. Jobs can focus on concepts like managing a schedule, transitioning from place to place, problem-solving and reasoning skills in unexpected situations, and improving communication and social skills. Success is maximized as students partner with staff who are trained to address the impact of visual impairments and other disabilities in the workplace.
Students participate in a variety of vocational and career education opportunities throughout their time in the Secondary Department. The main location for student vocations on campus is the school’s retail store, Paw Prints. This space is a bustling and busy learning environment, that also provides students the opportunity to interact with school visitors and other community members.
Students interact with customers who stop in for coffee or snacks in the cafe and customers who enjoy shopping in the retail section, purchasing products such as seasonal decorations and party supplies. Students also complete work tasks related to sorting merchandise for display, stocking shelves, removing items from shelves when items are discontinued or expired, as well as pricing merchandise and assisting with inventory and ordering.
The store also features a production room where students can learn skills prior to actively working in the retail space. As a school-based enterprise, the store was conceptualized to help students learn basic vocational skills that will support them during future employment opportunities. Accommodations and adaptations are recommended from the student’s educational team to ensure the necessary supports are provided to enable students to complete work tasks with independence. A Job Coach assigns student jobs and directly works alongside the student, developing individualized set-up, routines, and skill sets, with the appropriate recommended accommodations, to prepare students with the necessary skills for employment opportunities.
Paw Prints Print and Copy Shop
This on-campus print and copy shop provides both business and personal printing services completed by student workers. There are a variety of vocational opportunities for students to produce copied and printed materials, including instruction in the use of a commercial copy machine, electronic comb binding machine, laminator, and paper cutting station. Students also use adapted devices, including an adapted three-hole punch, stapler, and letter folder. Students are responsible for delivering these products once completed. Shredding services are also available for proper document destruction.