Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSEach year, 70 to 80 young adults who have graduated from MNPS with a special education or occupational diploma, launch into the workplace through the school district’s Community Based Transition Program.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSThe students, ages 18 to 22, work across the district as interns in hotels, restaurants, colleges, non-profits and businesses, large and small, to practice the skills they need to secure employment. And because skills vary, MNPS teachers are at the job sites too, assisting students in learning tasks and workplace details.
“We get our students when they are 18 and we see a lot of maturation emotionally and behaviorally. They grow,” said Kate Deitzer, a transition coach and lead Community Based Transition teacher.
And when the internships turn into paid positions, the whole team celebrates:
“It is fun. It is just fun,’’ she said. “When you see a student get a paycheck, that is one of the most exciting things to me. It gets me going. They have such pride that they got paid.”
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSSome school districts do not provide community based transition services, but Metro prides itself on its deep connections created on behalf of students.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSTo make this program happen, Deitzer spends a lot of time in search of workplaces who gladly welcome Metro Schools students, who can do everything from office support to light cleaning, stocking, restaurant tasks and food prep.
“As a job developer, sometimes I do cold calling. Sometimes, I get a lead from a teacher or other employee,’’ she said. “Employers need to know this is a valuable untapped workforce that could benefit their business or place of employment. It’s not just a smart thing to do, it is the right thing to do.”
“Our students very conscientiously want to do a good job and fit in with their co-workers. I placed a student at a hotel, that at the time had turnover every six months, and this young man has been there seven years,” she added.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSDeitzer has been with the Metro Nashville Public Schools since 1999. She started her career as a teacher in psychiatric hospitals in Washington, D.C. and Maryland and has also worked as a transition consultant for the Tennessee Department of Education and she was Principal at the Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOS“I was fortunate to land all these different positions. I loved and grew from them,’’ she said.
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSEach of her past roles – and the collaboration necessary to support students – is a plus for Deitzer and the students and families she works with. Each student has an Individualized Education Plan, and sometimes a variety of services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and other interventions. Students and families also are connected through the Transition program staff to community resources, benefits counseling and other educational opportunities.
The goal is to expand the Community Based Transition program and offer a greater variety of opportunities to even more students.
“If the students are given the opportunity, and enough training at what they are expected to do, they can become excellent employees that will thrive in the workplace,’’ said John Dejarnette, an exceptional education teacher who works with students at job sites. “Their personalities are so unique and their work ethic is amazing. They are willing to try any task, and so far, we have not learned of any task that is too difficult if given the opportunity to learn.”
Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSDeitzer adds: “I love showing parents we are trying to do everything we can to prepare their child for adulthood with real world experiences and to show employers we are providing them with this well-trained untapped workforce. I would love to have employers beating my door down and ask if they can be a job site.”
Whether you are the parent of a student with special needs, a business owner, a non-profit, or a community volunteer there is a way for you to get involved and make a difference for a vital public education program.
Learn more about the Community Based Transition Program.