A Transitional Program
Community Intensive Instruction Providing A Program of Transition For Students With Disabilities
If you happen into several of the local businesses, public service agencies, or churches in Bartow County; you will notice young people working diligently at such jobs as cleaning, collating, filing, sorting, cooking, or babysitting. You will also see these same young people learning skills in comparison shopping, wardrobing, proper restaurant use, community mobility, and communication. These young people are not on a field trip. They are Bartow County School Students who no longer learn skills in the classroom and then transfer them to the community. Instead, they learn skills in the "real world" in which they will be used. The community is their classroom. These students are involved in a program called Community Intensive Instruction. The purpose of this program is to help students with disabilities function as independently as possible in their community when they leave school.
The program's primary focus is on developing the student's vocational and personal management skills.
Students are placed in job training sites matched to their abilities and interests. These sites are carefully selected based on accessibility, skills required, social atmosphere, safety factors, opportunities, for interaction, and environmental stimulation. The "employer" and trainer then determine the specific instructions and precautions. Each task is then broken into small steps for training purposes.
When a student is placed at a job site, a teacher or paraprofessional instructs the student on each task step. The trainer may physically guide the student through each step, model each step or simply give verbal directions until the student is able to perform the job independently. Students are then rotated to another training site and the process begins again. No monies are involved.
The personal management portion of the program focuses on training students to be independent in the community by teaching skills necessary for effective money management, communication, community mobility and public facility use. Students learn to select and make purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, and department stores. They learn to make bank deposits and withdrawals and to use the library and post office facilities as well as public telephones and recreation areas. Community mobility skills such as following directions, safety rules, and community signs are also learned. The same procedures for training vocational skills are used to train personal management skills. Each skill is broken into small steps with trainers fading out assistance as students master the skill.
Individualized Program Plan
Students entering the program are assessed using what is called an "ecological inventory" through which parents, teachers and community members determine what skills the student must learn to be independent in adult life. After the assessment has has been completed, an individual education program is developed. This program outlines specifically what skills the student will be taught in the community. Once instruction begins, student progress is monitored regularly through data collection. Elementary an middle school students just beginning the program may go into the community 2 or 3 times each month. High school students go daily with the seniors spending at least 33 percent of their instructional day in the community. All students are directly supervised by teachers and paraprofessionals who are specifically trained to provide Community Intensive Instruction.
The program has been extremely successful in its seven years of operation. Approximately one hundred students are currently participating. Approximately twenty business, public services agencies, and churches are involved in the vocational program. Perhaps the programs's most important measure of success can be found in the fact that students enrolled in the program who have now finished high school are competitively employed through a supportive work program; a cooperative effort between the Bartow County School System, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, and the department of Human Resources Service Center.
Guidelines for Implementing Community Intensive Instruction
Community based instruction is not organized field trips. Rather, it is an organized instructional program to prepare each individual student to live, work, and recreate independently in the community in which he or she lives upon leaving school. As such, strict guidelines must be adhered to in implementing this program. These guidelines are outlined below:
- Community based instructional objectives must be listed in each student's individual education program or IEP. Data sheets must reflect a task analysis of each objective. This data serves as the lesson plan.
- Each student participating in community based instruction must have insurance (i.e., school insurance, Medicaid, or private carrier). Proof of insurance should be with the student at all times.
- Each student participating in community based instruction must carry an identification card and emergency procedures information.
- Students should have an opportunity for daily participation in community based instruction.
- Participation in community based instruction should be in small groups - 3 or 4 students maximum.
- Preparation of a weekly schedule must be submitted to the shuttle driver, principal, and program coordinator by Friday for the following week.
- Transportation can be provided by (1) walking (on campus job sites only) (2) shuttle bus (3) program coordinator (4) social worker. The shuttle bus is the preferred mode of transportation and should be used at all times unless job training site schedules cannot be coordinated with shuttle bus schedules. If this occurs, transportation can be provided through one of the above listed sources. However, anyone transporting students in private vehicles should be covered under fleet insurance and should only use the vehicle listed on the fleet policy. For more information on shuttle buses see Special Transportation.
- Parents will be notified on Friday of the following week's community activities and must provide written consent even though community instruction is in the IEP.
- Likewise, parents must be notified of job training site information and must provide written consent before placement can be made. Parents must be notified of changes in job training sites as well.
- Job site negotiations can be made by teachers or program coordinator. All job site negotiations must be approved through the program coordinator.
- Any necessary certificates required for work must be in place before job site training begins.
- Site binders must be completed according to specific guidelines before placement begins (with the exception of task analysis).
- Data collection must be based on a task analysis of the job site and must be behavioral as well as tasked oriented.
- Students may have more than one job site. One may be an on-campus site, one off campus. Secondary students must have an off-campus job site. The amount of time a student spends in any one job training site each day will be individually determined.
- Students must be supervised at all times while participating in community based instruction. Supervision can be provided by the teacher, paraprofessional, program coordinator, or social worker. Supervision can be direct or indirect. Direct Supervision - An adult is with the student at all times. Indirect Supervision - Adult is present in the same room, restaurant, store etc.; but not directly supervising. Data sheet should reflect the level of supervision. Students placed in job sites who have become proficient at the task may be supervised by a coworker. However, a teacher or paraprofessional must be present.
- NO AVERSIVE DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES will be used during community based instruction. If behavior problems are anticipated, a written behavior program should be in place. If a student becomes uncontrollable, call for assistance.
- If a student is injured (1) check the need for medical attention (2) seek medical assistance if needed or administer basic first aid (3) call school personnel (4) follow written emergency procedures. (5) Contact parent. *Order may vary depending on the severity of the injury.
- All staff participating in community based instruction must be trained in CPR and basic first aid. Staff should have access to a basic first aid kit.
- All staff participating in community based instruction must read Community Based Curriculum by Mary Falvey.
- Professional conduct is expected at all times in the community.
- All secondary students must have a written transition plan which reflects a cooperative effort between the school system, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, and the Department of Human Resources Service Center.
- All Community-Based Vocational Training will follow practices set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- A written permissive agreement with the training site provider must be on file. For FTE purposes, students are counted while in the community under supervision of school personnel.
- All Staff participating in CBI must complete CBI staff development training.