Special Education

Special Education Teachers teach collaboratively in classrooms with  academic teachers and teach subjects in small class settings as well. At Valley Central High School  there are three 12:1:1 classrooms: Basic Skills (Grades 9/10), Basic Skills (Grades 11/12), and Life Skills (Grades 9-12).  The purpose of the three classrooms is to promote independence and prepare students for employment directly after high school.

Basic Skills: Grades 9/10

In the Grades 9/10 Basic Skills classroom, students focus on functional academics in the morning and spend the afternoons learning skills that will foster independence and, hopefully, lead to gainful employment as adults. Students practice these vital skills at their student-run business, Sweet Treat Café, and other school-based vocational tasks such as assisting in the cafeteria kitchen and leading a school-wide recycling program.

Basic Skills: Grades 11/12

Students in the Grades 11/12 Basic Skills classroom spend the morning focused on academic subjects and functional academics.  They spend the afternoons in the PAES Lab and learn soft skills instruction such as work safety through the Youth at Work Talking Safety Program as well as prepare for various jobs with the “I Can Work” curriculum and “Skills to Pay the Bills” program.  Next year, having met the requirements, the students will have the opportunity to participate in the PAES community vocational experience (see below).  


Life Skills

The Life Skills classroom is a mixture of Grade 9-12 students. Students in this classroom focus on functional academics, daily living skills, and important life skills tailored to meet each student’s needs and designed to foster independence at a variety of levels. Students in the Life Skills classroom participate in a student-run business called Café 113, in which they cook and prepare food and then sell to faculty and staff on Fridays. Throughout the year, students also participate in numerous field trips within the community and surrounding areas which help students to practice these life and social skills that they learn throughout the school year.  

PAES: Basic/ Life Skills Grades 9-12

The PAES Lab was introduced in September 2021 at VCHS. The district has invested in the Practical Assessment Exploration System, a product of Talent Assessment Inc. and Life Productions Inc. The goal of this system is to introduce and teach students employability skills for 200 different community-level jobs. On a daily basis, students are assessed on their ability to complete certain tasks and their performance determines their next responsibilities. As data is collected from every task, a report is generated that identifies an employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and independence level in each vocational area. In overview, families and staff are informed about the student’s abilities, which allows them to direct the student into the most successful post-secondary career/ job. 


*Pending district approval for the 2023-2024 school year: After students complete 100 hours, or 150 jobs and they are 16 years old, they will have the opportunity to participate in a community vocational experience, in which they will go to different elementary schools in the district and complete various vocational tasks.*