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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Special ed programs receive DOE grants

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

By EMILY WOOD - Staff Writer

Special education programs in Franklin County schools have been awarded two grants from the Virginia Department of Education to help students make the transition from school to work.

The grants are intended to benefit students with high incidence disabilities, including Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), Other Health Impairments (OHI) and Emotional Disabilities (ED).

Benjamin Franklin Middle School will receive $20,000 to help improve its transition and self-determination programs for students with disabilities, according to Gwen Adkins, director of special education services.

The BFMS grant will go towards the improvement and development of transition planning, student engagement, and personal Academic and Career Plans (ACPs), Adkins said. Students will develop skills in goal setting, problem solving, service-learning, advocacy, relationship building, and self-awareness through classroom instruction and expansion of social skills.

The program will include guest speakers and field trips to the Integrated Advising, Testing and Career Center at Patrick Henry Community College will open opportunities for students to pursue higher education and seek out careers that suit their personal interests and preferences, Adkins said. Students will also take field trips to the Franklin County Workforce Office to explore career options.

The program will also increase parental involvement through newsletters. Parents are also encouraged to attend a Career Awareness and Transition Expo with their children at The Franklin Center, as well as a three-day orientation for rising freshmen at Franklin County High School.

Franklin County High School will receive $10,000 to improve graduation rates for students with SLD, OHI, and ED disabilities.

Parents, students, staff and community members will participate in surveys on the effectiveness of the ACP enrichment program.

"Even though these grants are small, it is just the fact that our students need these additional funds to help them while in school and prepare for their post-secondary goals," said Adkins.

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