December 11, 2019
Bridgeland High School junior Blade Dyess, left, and senior AJ Egdorf, right, work at Cy-Hope as part of the school’s CTED program. The program is offered to junior and senior special education students and helps students gain real-world experience by working with community partners.
By Michael Burns, Bridgeland HS
Dec. 11, 2019—At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Bridgeland High School started offering a new program, Career and Technical Education for Students with Disabilities (CTED), for junior and senior special education students. The course helps students gain real-world experience by working with community partners and potentially obtain a job after completion of the course.
Architecture teacher and soccer coach Josh Simmons teaches the class. CTED was brought to his attention by Bridgeland Special Education Coordinator Kimberly Collier. Through the course, students gain real-world knowledge in areas such as financial literacy and soft skills by working through real-life scenarios.
“It’s an opportunity for me to reach all the students, and that’s why I love to teach,” Simmons said. “You have opportunities to really see students grow.”
Currently, students in the CTED class are in the community working three days a week. Places of employment include the Berry Center and Cy-Hope, with others likely to come aboard to help participants build vocational skills such as endurance and communicating with executives.
Bridgeland High School senior Denetria Mitchell checks inventory at Cy-Hope. The CTED program helps junior and senior special education students gain real-world knowledge, like money skills and soft skills by working through real-life scenarios.
“The class gives you a lot of the skills that you don't get in a lot of your core classes, and it offers opportunity for responsibility,” Simmons said. “It would usually be considered home skills.”
Collier oversees the program at Bridgeland. She said students who have taken more of a backseat on things are now showing the leadership skills they learned from the course.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for them to get a lot of the skills that they need to be successful after high school,” Collier said.
Cy-Hope, an organization with a mission to bring hope to economically, relationally and spiritually at-risk kids, provides help and opportunities for the program by giving students the chance to practice what they have learned in a real-world environment.
“We love our partnership with Cy-Hope. They’ve been great,” Collier said. “They even held a Halloween party for our students and they had a lot of fun festivities. That was really cool.”