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Ribbon Cutting Celebrated New Livingston Program For Special Needs

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Ribbon Cutting Celebrated New Livingston Program For Special Needs

Livingston Middle School celebrated the start of a new CTE program for children with disabilities during a ribbon-cutting Friday.

The Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) emulates work situations to assess the work skills of students with disabilities. The $50,000 program was funded as part of a $3.2 million Innovative School Grant. Livingston Downtown Revitalization Advisory Board member April Stover worked closely with Special Education Director Mechelle Nivens and teacher Kelli Smith to put the program together.

“We’re hoping that by the time some of these kids graduate out of this program, we’re able to have them out working at the grocery stores, working at restaurants, working at different businesses and being a productive member of society and being happy and healthy and just excited about it,” Stover said.

The exploration system features 264 different jobs. Students even clock in and out for class, as a way to prepare for the future.

“It’s real world. They come in like an employee, and we have supervisors,” Stover said. “They do work tasks and we see how accurate, how quickly they can do it, how competitive they would be in the job market doing that activity.”

Livingston Middle School Principal Doug Smith said the program will ensure the school is doing all it can to ensure the success of students with disabilities.

“Sometimes certain students are undeserved, and we’re really glad there’s something extra that can be offered to them through this grant,” Smith said. “This is hands-on-learning. It’s real world learning, and honestly, when they leave here and they leave high school with the skills that they’ve learned we hope they can go right into a work place and have good gainful employment.”

Livingston Middle School had a smaller version of the program in the past.


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