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Francis Tabone, Head of School

Cindy Surdi, Assistant Head of School


Cooke Center Grammar School
Newsletter

Dates to Remember:
June 5th 1/2 day for parent confer-
ences
June 6th No school for students-
Parent conferences



In this issue:

Theater/Apple 1

Work!/Street Fair 2

Fun Stuff 3





A Day At The Theater
Our Middle School attended Thea-
treworks USAs production of Junie B.
Jones. For some, it was their first time
viewing a live theatrical production. As
part of humanities, teachers discuss the
play with their students before and after
the production, making the experience
more significant and long-lasting. The
classes noticed the similarity and differ-
ence between the Junie B books and the
stage production. This gives students an experience in discussing literacy topics that
involve higher level thinking and reasoning skills.
Theatreworks USA is the nation's leading not-for-profit professional theatre for
young audiences. They will be presents the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical
THE LIGHTNING THIEF as the featured production of its 26th annual Free Summer
Theatre Program in New York City. Tickets are available for free at their website
http://www.theatreworksusa.org/
In addition they offer study guides and activities for each performance. Take a look at
their schedule for the summer!

An Apple A Day
Trying new foods can be difficult and sometimes scary! Students with sensory needs may
have difficulty eating foods of certain textures (e.g. mushy, crunchy) or tastes (e.g. sweet,
salty). Increasing the types of foods students tolerate (and enjoy) helps to increase their
independence, nutrition, and overall health! Select students are working very hard in
speech therapy by trying a variety of new
foods with different tastes, looks and tex-
tures. During snack or lunchtime, students
are encouraged to try new foods by follow-
ing a series of steps. First, the student
looks at the food, touches and plays with
the foods. Next, the student smells the
food, touches it to
his or her lips, and
licks the food. The
final step of our
process is taking a
bite and chewing
the food! Sometimes this can take a lot of practice. These steps
allow the students to identify and describe many aspects of the
food (e.g., soft, crunchy, juicy, dry, etc.), letting the student
become familiar with and (hopefully) interested in it. Our speech
therapists strive to create a positive experience that motivates the
students to want to try different foods. Often, the students pick what foods they would like
to try next! Check out two of our students Ian and Christopher on their final steps of trying
apples and bananas!
Theyre Back! Another Twin
SightingMs. Jocelyn and Lily!
Time for play. Tristan enjoys the
weather and getting to play outside!

Page 2
Bipartisan Workforce Bill Would Help
Students Leaving Special Education
By Alyson Klein on May 21, 2014 4:51 PM

States and school districts would be charged with thinking much more critically about how to help students who have
been in special education transition into the workforce and post-secondary education, under a bipartisan, bicameral
bill to renew the federal Workforce Investment Act.
The provision, which was championed by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a longtime advocate for students with disa-
bilities, would essentially take the idea of "inclusion," which has become a hallmark of K-12 settings, and bring it into the
workforce. (As most special educators know, "inclusion" requires students in special education to be in the least-restrictive
environment possible, learning alongside their general education peers.)
The end goal of the change in WIA: to ensure that students transitioning out of special education programs (that's
students ages 16 to 21) end up in competitive jobs, working alongside people who don't necessarily have disabilities, and get
paid at least minimum wage. Right now, students with disabilities who leave K-12 schools sometimes wind up working in seg-
regated facilities and performing menial tasks, like stuffing coupons into envelopes, and don't make minimum wage, a Demo-
cratic Senate aide said.
And the bill also continues federal investments in a handful of programs that serve K-12 students, including youths
who have dropped out of school and are seeking workforce skills. It would keep in place:

WIA Youth Activities, which was financed at $824 million in fiscal year 2012 and is aimed at helping disadvantaged youths
get access to workforce training;

YouthBuild, which can help low-income youths as young as 16 earn a GED, while getting job-training skills;

JobCorps, another program that helps those 16 and up earn a GED and get training experience.

All three of those programs were slated for elimination or consolidation under a version of WIA that was approved on
a largely partisan vote by the U.S. House of Representatives last year. There is, however, at least one program that's aimed at
serving K-12 kids that got scrapped: Youth Opportunity grants. That program hasn't been funded in years, congressional
aides say. Notably, WIA isn't really a K-12 focused bill. It generally deals with workforce training issues, including adult edu-
cation.

The bill is part of an interesting political trend. Remember Congress' strategy to tackle smaller, more-targeted educa-
tion bills where it might be easier to find bipartisan agreement before venturing onto tougher issues, such renewing the No
Child Left Behind Act? It seems to be helping to whittle down the legislative logjam.
So far we've seen a House-passed research bill and charter bill, and a Senate-approved child-care bill. And now we
have this WIA bill, which lawmakers in both chambers are hoping to fast-track.
The legislation has the support of pretty much every lawmaker that has anything to say about higher education and
workforce issues, including: Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., George Miller, D-Calif., and Ruben Hinojosa, D-
Texas, as well as Sens. Harkin, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

** This article was featured in the May 23rd, 2014 edition of Education Week.
The Ultimate Science Street Fair FREE
I go to this every year with my daughter and it gets better every time. If you are around, it is defi-
nitely a fun time for everyone. Lots of activities for all ages.
Date: Sunday June 1, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM-06:00 PM
Venue: Washington Square Park

Drop in at Washington Square Park anytime this Sunday, June 1, for
The Ultimate Science Street Fair, our annual free outdoor extravagan-
za celebrating science! Weve packed the day with hundreds of hands-
on experiences for families and kids of all ages, with big focuses on
Space, Weather, and Robots (details below). Working closely with partners like NASA, the Liberty
Science Center, NOAA and many, many more, weve created interactive experiments and installa-
tions, simulators and performances, and lots more designed to delight and inspire your family with a
day of science theyll never forget.

Page 3

Dont Bug Me!
In Mr. Taylors Science class, Jase and his class-
mates created a tank for meal worms. Why? Because
we can watch the life cycle of meal worms. We hypoth-
esized what would happen to them as the grew. Having
just watched butterflies develop from caterpillars, there
were some good guesses.

Hopefully the environment starts its cycle. While I wont give
away what the cycle is exactly, the adult version of the meal
worm can be used to feed our Chinese Water Dragon (Bo). In this
way we can ensure an organic and tasty meal for him and watch
nature at work.
Right: Jase shows a picture he drew of the process. Oatmeal feed
the worms and the oranges keep them hydrated.
Invites you to join us for

Autism Spring/Summer Fitness Fest

with
Eric Chessen, M.S.
Saturday June 7, 2014
2:30pm-4:00pm

Central Park
The Lawn Outside the Johnson Playground
67th St. and 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Please RSVP to kjsiri@mac.com
(THERE IS NO CHARGE TO ATTEND BUT PLEASE RSVP)

This hands-and-feet on event will include fitness and active
play activities open to all age groups and ability levels. Lead-
ing some of the activities that he regularly uses in Autism
Fitness programs, Eric Chessen will take parents and ath-
letes through a morning of vigorous fun that will include fit-
ness ropes, medicine balls, and more.

The event will feature an active group warm-up with animal-
style movements including bear walks, frog hops, and T-rex
stomps. From there, we will break into smaller groups to go
through the fitness course which will feature stations of med-
icine ball throws to partners, fitness rope swings, hurdle
steps, and Sandbell (weighted) activities. Fitness profession-
als trained by Eric will be on-site to assist.

NOTE: GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE SNACKS PLUS BEVERAGES
WILL BE PROVIDED

Eric Chessen, M.S. is the Founder of Autism Fitness. An
exercise physiologist with an extensive background in ABA,
Eric has been developing and implementing successful fit-
ness programs for individuals and groups over the last dec-
ade. In addition to working with his athletes, Eric consults
and provides staff development, training, and programming
for educational and fitness institutions around the U.S. He is
the creator of the PAC Profile method and author of several e-
books. His website is AutismFitness.com and his blog
is EricChessen.com
Dear CCGS Community,

Please enjoy the attached photos of our Penny Drive progress. Encourage
your class to keep the pennies coming so that we have a very successful
collection.
The pictures attached show approximately how much change each house
has brought in so far. Today we had representatives from each house
hold up the coins we have collected to date. They are heavy, which
means we are doing great work!
As of now, it looks like Rivington is in the lead. Stanton needs a bit of help
(although we did spot nickels, dimes, and quarters in their jar so the jury
is out).
Ridge and Pitt welcome your pennies also!
Sincerely,
The TUNDRA Math Class
PENNY DRIVE FOR CHARITY