Education Week - Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2015 - (Page 7)
mixes ingredients as he
bakes a cake during a
culinary class at a
school. Educators at
Centennial School in
Bethlehem, Pa., the
regularly attends, say
the 19-year-old has made
great progress since
arriving in 2007 as a
rising 5th grader. He
graduates in 2017.
BY THE NUMBERS:
High School Exit Status (Ages 14-21)
s Graduated with
s Received a
s Dropped out s Reached
Number of students with an emotional disturbance (ages 12-17)
NOTES: Because of methodological differences in calculations, data on high school exit status
shown here are not comparable to ACGR graduation rates presented elsewhere in this report.
Details may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, 2013
Percent of students in special education who have an emotional disturbance (ages 12-17)
Percent in regular classroom at least 40% of day (ages 12-17)
hristopher Lineman, a senior at Centennial
School in this eastern Pennsylvania
town, says he has loved cooking
since he was 3 years old.
Throughout challenging times in
his life, he has kept that love alive.
Now 19, Christopher is on track to
graduate from high school in 2017.
After that, he wants to attend community college,
work a stint in a restaurant kitchen, and maybe one
day own a restaurant himself. He's already getting
experience in food preparation, splitting his day between
Centennial and a nearby vocational program
that offers culinary training.
Thinking about graduation and life on his own,
Christopher allows that he is "a little nervous." But,
he added: "I'm also excited. Because I know I want to
learn new things. There's not a day that I would not
want to learn something new. I love to learn. I love
going to school."
That mindset is far from what it was when he first
arrived at Centennial as a rising 5th grader in 2007,
brimming with anger.
Centennial, a lab school governed by Lehigh University's
College of Education, is tucked away in an industrial
office park, less than a mile from Lehigh Valley
International Airport. The school enrolls students
with emotional disturbances or with autism who are
placed there by one of 40 surrounding school districts.
Before class one school morning, some students
gathered in Centennial's cafeteria area for a snack
of cinnamon toast, which they can buy with points
earned for good behavior in class. The school's philosophy
is that appropriate behavior needs to be
explicitly taught, and Centennial relies on positivebehavior
supports rather than techniques such as
seclusion or restraint.
The program is intensive. Enrollment is limited
to no more than about 100 students, and districts
pay nearly $18,000 of the school's $44,000 annual
tuition for the students they send. (The state picks
At Lab School, Pennsylvania Student
Prepares for Career in Culinary Arts
s By Christina A. Samuels
up the rest.) The calm and structure of the average
school day disguises the fact that Centennial
does not get easy cases, says school director Michael
Christopher, for one, was no easy case. Physically
and verbally aggressive toward teachers as well as
family members, he struggled to cope with frustration,
said Julie Fogt, the school's psychologist.
But he also opened himself up quickly to CentenDESIGNERS:
WIDTH OF THIS BOX
IS KEY. DO NOT CHANGE WIDTH.
nial's methods, Ms. Fogt said, and seemed to thrive
with the structure. "He was a student who seemed
to get on board faster than others," she said.
The emotional volatility is what makes transition
from school to the community particularly
challenging for students with emotional disturbances,
says Katie M. Herczeg, the career-development
teacher at Centennial. "Emotional disturbance"
exists as a disability category under the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but
not in the world outside of school.
"A lot of our students can present like typical
adolescents, so you might not know they have a
disability," Ms. Herczeg said. "Their disability
doesn't surface until they are angry or frustrated,
or having trouble dealing with a lot of different
And that's when they end up losing jobs, or
worse. Students with emotional disturbances are
more likely than other students with disabilities to
have had run-ins with the law, for example.
Teaching self-advocacy skills to this group of students
is particularly important, Ms. Herczeg said.
When Centennial students graduate, they have to
be able to navigate education systems, job requirements,
or social-service agencies all on their own.
By all accounts, Christopher is demonstrating
that he's ready to make that transition.
"He's superenthusiastic," said Shane Killeen, his
culinary-arts instructor at the Career Institute of
Technology, the vocational school he attends during
half his school day. "Every day, he's actively engaged
with his teammates, and that's nice to see."
Christopher said he's not ready to leave the protective
embrace of Centennial quite yet.
"I strongly believe that I actually do need a
little bit more practice," he said. "But when I
start getting the hang of everything, then I'll be
ready to actually go on to college and continue
my education." s
DIPLOMAS COUNT 2015 s www.edweek.org/go/dc15
Charles Mostoller for Education Week
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2015
Education Week - Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2015
After Special Ed., Path Is Less Certain
DATA OVERVIEW: Students with Disabilities In School and Work
BY THE NUMBERS: Hearing Impairment
Md. Senior Opts For University Geared To Students With Hearing Impairments
In College, Students Face Choice: Seek Help or Go It Alone?
BY THE NUMBERS: Emotional Disturbance
At Lab School, Pennsylvania Student Prepares for Career In Culinary Arts
After K-12, Students Must Be Self-Advocates
BY THE NUMBERS: Specific Learning Disability
On Road to College, Georgia Student Learns To Speak for Herself
For Job-Oriented Students, Work Experience Is Critical
Discipline Policies Push Students Off College-and-Career Path
BY THE NUMBERS: Autism
Budding Politician Sets Sights on College
State Diploma Requirements Vary
Common Core: Will Bar Rise For Students With Disabilities?
BY THE NUMBERS: Intellectual Disability
In Virginia, Jobs Enable Twin Brothers To ‘Walk Taller’ After High School
Graduation Rates Reach New Highs, But Gaps Remain
TABLE: Graduation Rate Tops 80 Percent
Education Week - Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2015