One AISD special education program gets new home

One AISD special education program gets new home
Source: AISD
Source: AISD
The suite is empty now, but will be equipped with a full kitchen, laundry room and classroom equipment by August (Source: KFDA)
The suite is empty now, but will be equipped with a full kitchen, laundry room and classroom equipment by August (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - One program for some Amarillo students is getting its own campus to help them continue to learn after high school graduation.

The Transition Achievement in the Community (TAC) Program is for special needs students in Amarillo ISD who have finished their high school academic requirements, but aren't quite ready to move on to the working world.

The TAC program is currently in its own portable at Palo Duro High School.

But program directors say a high school setting is not ideal for students learning how to act and live in the working world.

"It's just not where their age appropriate peers are," said Kelly Morrison, Director of Special Education for AISD. "So when you have a 21- or 22-year-old in a classroom with a 14-year-old, what they need to learn is different, and so we need to have them where they can most naturally learn the skills that we're trying to teach."

Those skills include things like laundry, cooking and how to find a job.

And all of that will come with the program's new location at 34th and Georgia.

The strip mall space is empty now, but will contain a full kitchen and laundry room as well as classroom staples like computers and smart boards.

"However independent they're going to live they'll be able to learn," said Morrison.  "And they'll vocational skills as far as getting their job. We'd like for them to have a job when they leave us so that their last day with our support doesn't look much different than their first day without our support."

Morrison hopes to have students employed or interning during the upcoming school year while in the program.

They'll also learn how to use public transportation to get to and from school and work.

And with a bus stop right across the street from their new classroom, that should be no problem.

"There are so many businesses around there that they can learn different types of job skills," said Jessica Hathaway, Special Education Coordinator of Transition for AISD. "I'm excited because they're actually going to get their place. Their facility. It's going to be their school. And I think they're gonna really like that."

The facility is expected to be open by August 1st.

Around 15 students will join this program in the fall, with plans for growth in upcoming school years.

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