Learning never ends for Shrub Oak International School staff and faculty. This Spring we’ve embarked on a series of webinars and training sessions to take advantage of our Advisory Board members’ extraordinary expertise.
One thing that differentiates our faculty is that, while other programs hire us to consult and teach their staff, we’re actually excited to receive training ourselves.
Improving Decision Making and Problem Solving
On that note, we participated in a webinar in March to hone our skills for building self-determination and competence in our students. The webinar was conducted by Shrub Oak Advisory Board Member Dr. Michael Wehmeyer, Distinguished Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas and Director of the Beach Center on Disability.
Dr. Wehmeyer’s webinar focused on the use of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI). The SDLMI is one of the pillars of Shrub Oak’s curriculum. This model has been shown to improve decision making, problem solving, self-regulation, and self-advocacy leading to improved student outcomes.
Another webinar, sponsored by the Organization for Autism Research (OAR), was presented in April by Shrub Oak Advisory Board Member Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., one of the most respected national experts on transition. The webinar will focus on the transition process for youth with autism.
Afterward, faculty and staff had a discussion on transition and share ideas that we may incorporate into Shrub Oak’s transition program.
Importance of Community-Based Transition
These webinars are providing a point from which we can discuss our ideas, review current research and evidence-based practices, and create a program that leads to postsecondary education or gainful employment.
We believe in extending teaching beyond the four walls of the classroom, so the transition program at Shrub Oak is community-based with every student engaging in employment internships in local towns. We bring learning and academics to every worksite making instruction relevant to our students and their everyday lives.
Shrub Oak’s commitment to learning contributes to positive student outcomes. Our students will graduate into meaningful employment or college. Shrub Oak students will lead successful and fulfilling adult lives. That’s our motivation and incentive to keep learning!