Culture

Attitudes, knowledge, behaviors and beliefs that characterize the school environment and are shared by its stakeholders.

 
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Professional 

Learning 

Calendar 

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In June 2022, 177Q staff voted on the implementation of regularly scheduled Professional Learning activities for the 2022-23 school year. As a result,  177Q has implemented daily professional learning activities for all staff members from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM. The Professional Learning schedule of daily activities is as follows:

 

Team Meetings: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 

Professional Development: Tuesday 

Drop in Support/Office Hour: Thursday

 

Staff feedback and input are an integral part in the development of 177’s Professional Learning Program. To ensure that the needs of all 177Q community members are represented through the Professional Learning program, the entire staff is invited to share feedback through surveys. Additionally, a multidisciplinary planning committee has been designed through the collaborative efforts of the administration and UFT. This team, consisting of administrator, teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers, meets on a weekly basis to discuss school-wide needs and evaluate current programs. 

 

Professional Learning expectations and norms were shared with 177Q staff during the opening faculty meeting on September 6, 2022. 

 

Professional Development topics have included promoting Social Emotional Learning across all settings, incorporating AACs, and elevating IEP goals.  Various constituents that are part of P177 have presented these topics such as the PBIS team, speech therapists, and Special Education Coordinator.  

 

Weekly drop-in support sessions are offered from a variety of 177Q departments. Participation in these sessions is voluntary, but staff make regular use of these sessions. Through the drop-in support model, staff are able to ask questions and receive support on topics such as assessments, curriculum, PBIS, and technology. To reach staff across all 177Q sites, drop-in support sessions alternate between remote platforms and in-person sessions. 

 

Team meetings are scheduled three times a week. During this time, homeroom and cluster teams meet to plan for instruction, analyze data, review student work, and enhance their classroom environment. 177 staff have provided feedback on the structure of these planning sessions in order to make the best use of this collaborative time. 

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Common 

Planning

Teams 

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P177 has a total of 9 Common Planning Teams that are supervised by an administrator.  Teams of teachers have been grouped based upon ratio and the ages of students. In September 2022, each common planning team identified an Instructional Focus for their team. Some team focuses include reading instruction and transition. This focus will guide the team’s work over the course of the school year and will be used to guide upcoming inquiry work. Currently, teams are reviewing and analyzing student work samples that are aligned to their team’s focus. Upcoming activities for Common Planning Teams include an inquiry cycle and a best practices share fair.

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Multi-Disciplinary

Instructional Leadership

Team

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The multidisciplinary Instructional Leadership Team consists of fifteen teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists who serve as the ‘voice’ for their respective departments. All members of the ILT are familiar with 177’s focus statements, District 75 priorities, and the Chancellor’s Pillars. Through collaborative discussions, ILT members have shared instructional priorities for students aligned  to their areas of expertise. Team members worked together to review and discuss these priorities to identify a school-wide priority for the school year. This year’s ILT focus is student independence and self-advocacy. 

 

An ILT sub-committee has been established and will be working on implementing school-wide structures that are aligned to this focus. The committee’s work will focus on the meaningful facilitation of student communication, strengthening pre-vocational and job skills programs, encouraging student independence, and student’s participation in preferred leisure activities. The team’s work will also include rubric design, data analysis, and student assessments.

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School-Wide

Calendar 

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“Welcome” is the first component of  P177’s Mission statement.  All sites for P177 plans cultural, educational, and social events for students to participate in.  There are also opportunities for families to participate in these events with their child/ young adult. 

Through the utilization of a shared calendar, all sites are better able to effectively plan events while including all members of the school community.

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Parent

Resource

Center

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Parents will have access to a space at P177 specifically geared to meet their needs.  This can include PTA meetings, IEP meetings, and as a place to network with each other and share ideas. 

With the support of 177's administration, parents have shared their voice in the environment of this space and how it will be utilized to meet their needs. 

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Worksites & Vocational Programs 

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177Q students are back to work in the community.  Community worksite programs provide students with the opportunity to expand and apply job related skills while also being provided with participatory training. 

 

Community-Based Worksites 

Hope Center

Parks Clothing Store

Slims Bagels

Five Guys (Glendale & Fresh Meadows)

Ramen Jin

CVS

Applebee’s (Fresh Meadows & Bay Terrace)

John’s Pizzeria

Panera Bread (Little Neck)

St. John’s Bread and Life

Qdoba

Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home

St. John’s University

 

In- House Worksites (Main Site)

Culinary

School IDs

McSwirlies

Clothing Closet

Carol’s Market

Students’ Leaders’ Center

Library Program

PPE Distribution

Fun Friday Delivery Service

Cafeteria Recycling

Cafeteria Assistance

Peck Park Clean Up

Shredding Service

 

In- House Worksites (Martin Van Buren)

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Squeaky Clean

Hygiene Supply Delivery

Snack/ Coffee Cart

Library & Gym Supply Maintenance

Breakfast Delivery

Cafeteria Clean Up

Recycling

 

In- House Worksites (295)

PPE Distribution

Classroom Supply Distribution

Copy Center

Mobile Library Cart

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Carol's Corner Market
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Peer Support Systems

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Structured Teaching

There are a total of 8 teachers that participating in asynchronous and in person  professional development with the District 75 Autism Coach, Ms. Nisha Murray.  Ms. Murray visits on a monthly basis to provide support to specifically in the areas of physical environment, visual schedules, and workstations.  A highly organized classroom reduces distractions of students therefore being provided with an optimal learning environment.  Visual schedules prepare students for the next activity and also to navigate the classroom.  Workstations focus on students attending to  and completing tasks independently. 

 

Lead Teacher

The Teacher Leader at 177Q serves as the “lead-learner” by modeling and facilitating reflection of instructional strategies.  They lead this adult learning through the Lab Classroom: a welcoming environment that increases collaboration, allows others to share their perspectives, and encourages all to create the best learner-centered environments.  The Teacher Leader amplifies the voice of the students, caregivers and colleagues at 177Q, building trusting relationships in the community.

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School-wide Cultural Events 

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Cultural events represent the diverse student body of our school. The school community comes together to celebrate and learn about the different backgrounds that comprise the 177Q community. Event highlights are shared through slideshows, videos, and social media platforms. 

 

The following cultural events have occurred to date:

  • Hispanic Heritage 

  • Italian Heritage 

  • Diwali Celebration 

 

Upcoming cultural events include but are not limited to: 

  • Multicultural Day (Spring 2023)

  • Lunar New Year (February 2023)

  • Irish Heritage (March 2023)

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Instructional Program

Design and delivery of high quality curriculum that produces clear evidence of learning

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177Q School-wide Curriculum

and

Instructional Resources

 

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Instructional Programs

P177Q’s curriculum and instructional programs are continuously expanding, adapting and improving to meet the evolving needs of our students. New initiatives and program updates for the 2022-23 school year  include the following:

 

  • New cluster offerings for main site students include Employability, Home Economics, and Self-Advocacy.

  • Expansion of arts cluster classes at 177@295. A new music teacher was hired in August 2022 to support this initiative. Arts offerings at 295 currently include music and visual arts for all students.

  • Our hiring committee supported the expansion of our cluster program initiatives through the hiring of licensed art, APE and Health teachers, as well as a new self-advocacy teacher.

  • In alignment with the DOE’s Early Literacy Initiative,  teachers at 295 are using FUNdations and SMILE to build phonemic awareness.  Reading and writing are also being incorporated through a structured and multi- sensory approach.  A total of 3 classroom teachers, 1 ENL teacher, 1 Speech Therapist, and a paraprofessional have received formal training in FUNdations offered by the NYCDOE.  

  • As part of the structured teaching program at 177Q, teachers are participating in asynchronous and in person professional development with the District 75 Autism coach. By doing so, this small cohort of 6:1:1 teachers are designing highly organized classrooms with clearly defined areas, visual/object/ word schedules for students to promote independence in transitions, and workstations for students to demonstrate independent task completion. 

  • The Essentials for Living (EFLs) is a new program at 177. A team of four homeroom teachers, 177’s coach, and two APs participated in District 75 EFLs training. This team, along with a teacher who has extensive EFLs experience and transferred to 177 in the fall, is currently designing an implementation program that will be shared with six other classrooms. 177’s goal is to have ten EFLS classes by June 2023, with the plan of expanding the program to classes in the Structured Teaching program during the 2023-24 school year. 

  • All 177Q homeroom teachers have access to the Unique Curriculum and various Attainment programs. 

 

177Q’s Instructional Leadership Team and Curriculum Committee will support the development of these programs through the review and identification of curriculum and instructional resources. 

 

Curriculum Committee 

The 177Q curriculum is a collaborative and dynamic document that has been designed by the Curriculum Committee with input from the ILT and other stakeholders. It is a thematic, learner-centered, and inclusive curriculum that incorporates varied levels of access and participation through the integration of higher level thinking through problem-solving, exploration, and varied resources.

The curriculum committee is composed of teachers from a variety of homeroom ratios and grade bands, cluster teachers, and from various 177Q sites. The committee works closely with the administration and ILT in addition to seeking feedback from 177Q students.

The Curriculum Team creates thematic guides that include relevant topics that are meaningful to students and staff. Materials and activities connect to grade-level targets in the Essential Elements and set a standard for rigorous instruction. Tasks are scaffolded to assist teachers with having their students learn at appropriate levels. The curriculum guides help keep learning continuous and cohesive throughout the entire 177Q community. As a result, there is more carry-over of skills from one class to the next. 

The team regularly reviews curricular programs, conducts school-wide needs assessments and feedback surveys, participates in professional development, and facilitates professional learning. The 177Q curriculum highlights our 2022-23 ILF Instructional Priority of "Strengthen Core Instruction" as well as our school-wide Instructional Focus. Various levels of access to engage all learners have been incorporated throughout the curricular themes, including inclusive resources and texts, essential questions, community and ADL connections, and bi-monthly themes.

Drop-In curriculum Q&A Sessions have been used to provide staff with small group and individualized support. These sessions are regularly scheduled during our 177’s morning Professional Learning time so that all members of the 177Q faculty may attend. Staff have the opportunity to participate in person as well as virtually, and curriculum committee members have facilitated these sessions in-person at all sites. 

​The school’s vision as it pertains to curriculum is “curriculum is written by the teachers, for the teachers.” Cluster teachers collaborate with homeroom teachers to create thematic projects and assist with Culminating Activities.

At P177@295, classes follow the curriculum of the main site.  Evidence of understanding looks differently for our younger population.  Teachers incorporate pictures with words, hands on activities, and student specific prompts to differentiate learning styles. The Fundations and S.M.I.L.E. programs are used at this site as well. 

 

At P177@495 (MVB), classes are participating in the 177Q curriculum with an emphasis on the ADL and transition sections. Instruction at our MVB  site focuses on student participation in worksites, promoting independence of young adults, life skills, and embedding academic instruction where applicable. A curriculum committee member is on-site to provide support to staff as needed. 

Surveys are used throughout the school year to gather experiential and reflective feedback from various stakeholders, including teachers, paraprofessionals, and students. Additionally parent feedback about the curriculum has been sought during monthly Bright Side parent meetings. Information gathered from surveys are utilized in the growth and development of our instructional programs. 

As a result of feedback gathered from the 177Q community as well as a review of school-wide priorities, the following updates were made to the curriculum for the summer and fall of 2022:

  • New instructional programs and resources have been embedded into our curriculum while previous resource selections have been expanded. New programs for the 2022-23 school year include Essentials for Living, Equals and Math. 

  • Increased selection of adapted texts and high interest reading materials are shared through the SORA digital library and the curriculum guide's book list. 

  • Expansion of Activities of Daily Living Skills activities for each academic area and theme.

  • Content areas are relevant and meaningful for students by including the following:

    • ELA: Non-fiction themed text suggestions and culturally responsive texts from the New York State suggested text list

    • Math: 'Community Connections' to provide functional, real-world applications.

    • Science: Sustainability themes to focus on environmental issues over the course of the school year

    • Social Studies: Multi-cultural connections to provide diverse and inclusive content.

In the winter of 2022-23, members of the Curriculum Committee will be meeting with members of the student council to discuss the students' experiences with the school-wide curriculum. Student feedback will be used in the development of future Curriculum Guides and Culminating Activities. 

Each bi-monthly unit concludes with an end-of-unit school-wide culminating activity across all sites and programs. Families are encouraged to participate in these activities. Social Media platforms and video presentations are also used to showcase and commemorate these events.

Special Events and Presentations 

Our Curriculum and Events Committees partner together to design and implement special activities throughout the school year. The committees receive input and ideas from other members of our school community when preparing for special events. These events and programs incorporate instructional content, social-emotional skills, and the opportunity for students to engage with each other, learn, share their talents, and have fun. Recent activities have included: 

 

  • Summer Showcase

  • Hispanic Heritage Day 

  • Italian Heritage Day

  • Fire Safety Day 

  • Diwali Celebration 

 

At the conclusion of every curricular theme, students participate in a culminating activity. Past activities have included Gallery Walks, Share Fairs, and student performances. The Culminating Activity for the October-November 2022 Thematic Unit of “Change” took place on November 30th. Classes watched the movie “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” the highlighted story from our Curriculum Guide, in the auditorium.  Students were selected to work at the event and take on jobs such as promoters, ushers, concession stand clerks, and ticket salespeople.

 

Summer Curriculum Guide

To plan for the Summer Curriculum Guide, a survey was utilized to identify the summer theme. This summer’s theme was “How To.” Through interest surveys and hands-on exploration, classes identified a How-To project that they would work on over the summer program. Class projects were shared in August 2022 during a school-wide share fair. Families were invited to participate.

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Instructional Leadership & Curriculum Teams 

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The Curriculum Committee and Instructional Leadership Team are composed of various stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and all 177Q sites. These teams meet on a regular basis to review 177’s instructional programs, collaborate, and identify best practices. Team members support the 177Q community through professional learning. Additionally, the ILT is currently working on strategies for promoting student independence and self-advocacy throughout our school and community. The team will focus on independence and self-advocacy across many aspects of our students’ lives such as instruction, communication and leisure activities.

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Essentials

for Living

(EFL)

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177Q is in the early phase of implementing the Essential For Living curriculum. This program was recently purchased by 177Q for use in selected 6:1:1 classes. Through active recruitment, 177Q hired a teacher transfer from P721K who has over eight years of EFLs experience. This teacher has hosted several intervisitations and team discussions for 177Q administration and teachers.

 

The D75 Essentials for Living two-day training was attended by members of 177’s administrative team, teachers from our main and MVB sites, and our school’s coach. District 75 team members Mark Corallo, Jessica Kessler Rizzo, and Nisha Murray will support 177Q in the implementation of this new curricular program.

 

Currently 177’s  EFLS team is designing a strategic implementation schedule for the program. Time has been allocated for team planning during Professional Learning time and during our Election Day PD.The team has identified breakfast and ADL routines as the starting point for the program. Future timeline goals for the team include the addition of five more EFLS classes in the spring of 2023 and the addition of 10 new EFLS classes for the 2023-24 school year.

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District 75

Autism Coach

Support

 

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The District 75 Autism Coach is providing in person training to teachers for “Structured Teaching”.  The coach visits on a monthly basis to provide in- person hands-on learning to a total of 8 teachers in 6:1:1 classes.  Teachers are also provided with asynchronous training.

  

The 3 components of Structured Teaching include the physical environment of the classroom, individualized student schedules, and work systems.  Physical environment provides students with an organized classroom having clearly defined learning areas.  Student schedules (word, picture, object) prepare students for what comes next in their school day.  Work Systems allows for increased independence for task completion.

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Literacy

Plan

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Based on SANDI, literacy goals were created for each tier of students to be inclusive of all students needs specifically in literacy from Kindergarten to age 21 across all ratios 12:1:4, 6:1:1,8:1:1, and 12:1:1. 

Students will increase their vocabulary, phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension through curricula and individualized instructional programs.  Students will use their preferred method of communication to apply their understanding and generalize literacy skills across their environment. These targeted literacy skills are in direct alignment with 177’s Instructional Focus for the 2022-23 school year. 

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Transition and College & Career Readiness 

(CCR)

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The Transition Team Leader (TTL) works closely with our secondary and 21+ students and their families.  

  • Our TTL has secured 13 community based worksites. The TTL ensures that all necessary DOE documentation are completed, seeks parent permission, and designs evacuation plans for approval.

  • The TTL participates in all Triennial meetings of 177Q students aged 14 and over.  By getting to know students and their families, the TTL is able to better support students and families as they explore post- secondary options.  

  • As agencies (i.e. ABBR, Gateway, and Mercy Drive) begin scheduling in- person tours, out TTL will continue supporting families as they visit post- secondary sites.  

  • 35 out of our 40 graduating students have OPWDD eligibility.  The TTL will continue to reach out to provide guidance and support to the remaining families.  

  • Bi- Monthly “Drop in Transition Hours” are hosted by our TTL.  This drop in session is provided in the morning and in the evening on a rotating basis.  

  • Our TTL hosts many guardianship meetings and support sessions to assist families through this important and unfamiliar process.

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Teacher Observations, Instructional Rounds & Feedback Schedule 

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All administration members observe teachers from a designated list that is created based upon tenure status, teaching assignment, and professional period responsibilities.  This fosters a supportive professional relationship which leads to a better understanding of a teacher’s instructional style along with their student’s learning needs.  Additionally, this results in identifying teachers in need of support as well as teachers who can play an integral role as a peer supporter.  Support structures include classroom intervisitations as well as targeted support from the Lead Teacher and Instructional Coach.

 

Our school identified Danielson 3c, Student Engagement, as the area of focus for the beginning of the 2022- 2023 school year.  This specific component places an emphasis of engaging students in learning, which include

designing tasks and activities designed to challenge student thinking, selecting appropriate age and ability resources, and meaningful small group instruction. Information about this focus was shared and discussed during monthly grade conferences. 

 

Upon the conclusion of the first semester observation cycle, the administration will analyze Advance Data to identify the next areas of focus and development. Instructional rounds will be conducted in collaboration with our Lead Teacher, Instructional Coach, and Unit Coordinators. This cycle will be used to support teachers in implementing effective teaching practices as related to the area of focus.

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Arts Partnerships:

 

Education in Dance

Marquis Studios 

NYC Children’s Theater

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Education In Dance 

Education in Dance combines creative movement, theater games, and the exploration of music/ visual art as it relates to dance.  This is a residency program with a dance instructor that teachers and paraprofessionals collaborate with to provide students with an enhanced opportunity to explore creativity and build a positive self image.  Education Dance will be offered to our students at the Main Site, 295, and 435 (Martin Van Buren High school).

 

Marquis Studios

177 has partnered with Marquis Studios to enhance Parent/Child participation and to expand the Arts in Education experience for all of our students across all sites. The upcoming workshops planned for Parent/Child engagement include: 

  • Puppet Theater

  • Yoga Mindfulness

  • Hip Hop Dance

  • Latin Dance

  • Bollywood Dance​

The Arts in Education menu for our students include:

  • Mask Making for our elementary students at 295

  • Mixed Visual Arts at MVB

  • Dances from around the World at our Main Site 

 

NYC Children’s Theater

NYC Children's Theater has been partnering with P177@295 through the CASA programming.  Teaching artists provide 6 sessions for each class providing Children's Literacy and Social Development through Professional Theater and Arts in Education Programs.  This year, the Children’s Theater will be launching a bilingual Spanish/English version of their show FIVE/CINCO!  to workshop this at P177@295Q. Five is a multi media, and multi sensory musical! Initially all the songs and dialogue were done in English, and they made a more accessible program by adding a Spanish and English version of the show. 

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Data Team

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The data team used the SANDI to determine each student’s level that correlates to the literacy tier that they were placed in.  SMART goals have been created for students in each tier.  For example, students in Tier 3 will identify phonemes for 21 consonants.  All students from Kindergarten to age 21 in all ratios (12:1:4, 12:1:1, 6:1:1, 8:1:1) are incorporated into P177’s literacy plan. 

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Interactive Activity Choice Boards /

Virtual Libraries 

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Members of 177’s Curriculum Committee, technology program, and library team work collaboratively to design interactive thematic activity boards and virtual libraries for our students. These boards incorporate engaging curated activities in a digital platform to facilitate home-school connections. These activity boards and curated libraries began as a way to keep students engaged in learning during asynchronous instruction and quickly became valuable instructional resources for classrooms and the home. These resources are regularly updated and are available through many of our school’s platforms, including the school webpage and within the curriculum guide. Some of this year’s activity boards have included: 

  • Growth & Social-Emotional Library 

  • Hispanic Heritage

  • Election Day

  • Diversity

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Vocational 

Curriculum

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P177 has added Home Economics and a Self- Advocacy Teachers as part of their enrichment program.  The following curriculums from Attainment are being used with the Home Economics Self Advocacy, and Employability teachers:  Pre- Employment Transition Solutions (Pre-ETS), Real- Life Reader Introductory Package, Enhance Functional Life Skills.

Currently, 177Q is in the process of implementing the Essentials for Living Program. By the end of the 2022-23 school year, ten classes will be using the program and, by the end of the 2023-24 school year, 20 6:1:1 classes will be using the program. The EFLS program consists of a highly structured and sequential data collection protocol which is used to identify individualized student goals and instructional outcomes. 

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