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Rising Futures Transition Program
Transition to adult life requires preparation and practice. The Phoenix Center is proud to be the first private school in the state to receive approval for its supported employment program. Under the guidance of the Phoenix Center Transition Coordinator, individual transition plans are developed and the following transition services are provided to Phoenix Center's students.
Supported Employment Program
With the guidance of The Phoenix Center's Supported Employment Coordinator and eight employments specialists trained by APSE, all students age 16 to 21 are engaged in volunteer and/or paid integrated employment opportunities in the community or at The Phoenix Center. Currently, students 16 years and older work or volunteer in area businesses in Passaic, Essex, Morris, and Bergen counties.
Community Based Instruction (CBI)
CBI moves the curriculum out of the classroom and into the community. Students ages five through 14 go into the community once a month; while, older students explore the community two times a month. A certified staff member accompanies all students into the community. Each community site has an Activity Card which describes the communicative demands of the site. For students who are non-verbal, pictures/symbols are provided to facilitate their negotiation of the community. On CBI, students learn basic life skills such as getting in and out of a car, fastening and unfastening a seat belt, crossing a street, browsing in a store, and recognizing and using public telephones and restrooms. All drivers of The Phoenix Center's vehicles have commercial driver's licenses.
Consumer, Family and Life Skills
The Consumer, Family, and Life Skills Program provides classroom instruction in either small groups or on an individual basis. This program targets the skill areas of self-care including personal grooming, wellness and nutrition, and home care which includes laundry, housekeeping, cooking and meal planning. Students ages 14 through 21 receive weekly instruction in either their classroom or in our vocational rooms which include a teaching kitchen, learning laundry facility, and simulated dormitory room. A collaborative team, which includes an occupational therapist, speech/language specialist, employment specialist and the classroom staff will provide instruction.
Structured Learning Experience
Structured Learning Experiences (SLEs) are experiential, supervised educational activities designed to provide students with exposure to the requirements and responsibilities of specific job titles and to assist them in gaining employment skills and making career and educational decisions. A structured learning experience may be either paid or unpaid, depending on the type of activities in which the student is involved. Under this program, students have the opportunity to participate in any of three programs offered at The Phoenix Center: The Restaurant Program, Advanced Training Program, and Supported Employment. Community sites are evaluated and approved by certified SLE instructors, and students are accompanied to these sites by trained employment specialists.
The Monthly Restaurant Program, underwritten by Inserra Shop-Rite of Mahwah, New Jersey, is an integral part of our in-house supported employment program. A holiday or country theme is selected each month. Students complete applications, apply and interview for various jobs within the restaurant. Jobs include cooking, food preparation, and serving.
The Advanced Training Program is an addition to the Restaurant Program and is available to students who have shown advanced skill or interest in the culinary arts field. To facilitate the students' success in community settings, students are instructed in the specific skills requested by specific employers. Various community businesses are used as job training sites along with weekly classroom instruction to reinforce requisite skills. Students are accompanied to these sites by trained employment specialists. Sites are approved and periodically visited and evaluated by The Phoenix Center's certified SLE instructors.