Preparing students for life as an adult is a goal that we all worktowards at SPSS. There are many paths we offer towards achieving thisgoal. For some students it is working towards a university education,while for others it is working towards obtaining a trade at the postsecondarylevel. There are others, many of whom I work with, who arebest prepared for adult life by having an education which focuses ondeveloping skills for life; to assist students in gaining paid employment,living as independently as possible and living a full, happy andcomplete life within our community. Our goal for students in communityplacements is for them to learn the skills needed to be an active,healthy member of their community.
Since taking on the job as the Special Education teacher at SPSS, Ihave been acutely aware of the acceptance by the community ofDawson Creek and the surrounding area that my students and othersfeel. The students are welcome throughout the community in the recreationalprograms, businesses and facilities we use on a daily basis.The call for work experience placements has not gone on deaf ears.
Many businesses throughout the community have opened their doorsto provide training and, in some cases, paid employment. As a thankyou, we have recently presented certificates to those businesses thatsupported our students this year. We hope that they will proudly displaythese certificates and that you will see for yourself the wide varietyand the number of businesses that opened their doors. If you do notyet have a student engaged in work experience in your business, orhave our students involved in an activity/service you provide duringthe day and are interested in doing so, please call. We would love tohear from you.
Things are not perfect. There are still many ways in which we canfurther make Dawson Creek accessible and inclusive but we areimproving all the time. Twenty years ago when I moved to DawsonCreek, my ultimate plan was to move within five years to somewherewarmer and with less snow, a place where it was easier for me to navigatewith crutches and a scooter in the winter. Life, however, took aninteresting turn and I am still a resident of this community. What keptme here are not only a job that I love, but also a community where I feelaccepted and welcome. Thank you to those of you who have extendedthat same acceptance to the students I work with at SPSS.
Charlene HodgsonSPSS Special Ed. Department Head