Pam Rimmer’s FACTOR Curriculum project was awarded $234.30 for curriculum kits and student booklets for assessing and teaching everyday life skills that need improving. This is an innovative program for special needs students. Over the years OSD has focused on classroom skills, but the need is great in non-academic areas in order to help students be more successful and independent in adult life. There are 14 students at OSD who have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder. 312 OSD classes incorporate life skills into their instruction. This curriculum was first designed to help autistic students, but OSD has found that it helps any student who needs daily tasks broken down into smaller steps and taught in a systematic manner. It helps staff identify student life-skills that need improvement. It provides staff with the tools needed to teach those skills. The goal is for students to develop life skills at school and then transfer those skills to real life situations in their homes, in leisure activities, on the job, etc
Bill Cruscial’s proposal was awarded $976.29 to repair the video camera used for webcast/broadcast of Panther TV, OSD News, and OSD basketball games. Panther TV is an innovative broadcasting program at OSD that allows students to plan, script and broadcast live TV shows. The video camera used by students for the weekly Panther TV productions needed repair. There were no School funds available, so staff applied to Friends of OSD for an Educational Enhancement Award which was granted.Visual communications (television, video, movies) is an emerging career field for individuals with hearing problems. With the studio and professional equipment available, students become aware of the wide variety of work it takes to produce a program, a video, a movie. Besides the technical aspects, they also learn how to work as a team/crew, how to cooperate and make sometimes tough decisions in the planning, writing, editing, production and direction. They critique each broadcast and work to improve each week. These broadcasts have become cultural events, not only for students and their families, but also for the greater community—both deaf and hearing. If you would like to see the actual videos produced by students using FOSD-funded equipment, go to: https://www.osd.k12.or.us/content/oregon-news-videos
Sharla Jones’s proposal was awarded $500 towards the LIFE: Middle School Leadership Conference, which involves students from all over the state. This was the 4th year for this 4-day conference which includes deaf and hearing impaired students from all over the state of Oregon. More than half of the participants were from regular public schools and rarely get the opportunity to socialize with other deaf students their own age. The number of participants varies from year-to-year, depending on the middle school population. The 2011 Conference hosted 72 students. The 2012 Conference hosted 45. Funds were used for gas cards for the presenters, food, office supplies and workshop materials. No stipends or gratuities were given, and 20 volunteers were involved in the Conference. Other fundraising activities (T-shirt sales, the Haunted House, etc.) supplemented the Weston Foundation contribution. Presenters at the workshops included deaf adults from a variety of professions to inspire and instruct the students. The Conference Coordinator reported that this activity was a huge success and generated many positive comments by students and presenters alike.
Beth Fertig’s proposal was awarded $500 for sensory-motor equipment to improve behavior, attention and learning among students with autism and other sensory processing challenges. This EEA request helped the special needs population at the School: those with vision problems, cerebral palsy, autism, attention deficit, behavior and emotional problems in addition to deafness and hearing problems.
The School’s Occupational Therapist made this request and provided an excellent evaluation of how this equipment was helping students improve their behavior, their attention span, and their skills so that they can participate in a regular classroom. A scooper plate allowed students to feed themselves, rather than having staff spoon-feed them. A therapy net swing created a calming environment for an autistic student. The swing also improved posture and balance for other students. A vibrating massage mat and pillow provided a calming influence for deaf-blind students. The bamboo rain stick, a favorite of students who love to feel and sense the tumbling of the stones when rotated, has proven to be a great motivational tool as well. The large crash mat is a safety item for students who need a lot of muscle and joint activity. Several joint motion wraps, similar to a loose-fitting, stretchy butterfly suit, were purchased for students who need to learn how to regulate their own behavior so that they can be part of a classroom and develop independent living skills.
On the evaluation form, we ask grantees if there were things we could improve. By including her response in our Annual Report, we are implementing her suggestions.
Any room for improvement only would be making future beneficiaries aware of the application process and the opportunities you have provided others. I hope you are able to make the local and extended OSD community aware of the wonderful ways you help our school. Thank you for this most generous award.
Melinda Warren’s writing workshop was awarded $299 for registration fees to attend a writing workshop for middle school teachers. She will apply her new knowledge in an attempt to increase middle school student writing skills and share her know ledge with other teachers.