A joint venture of the Central Intermediate Unit 10, Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg-Osceola, and West Branch Area School Districts, this project consists of an apartment located within walking distance of downtown Clearfield. Teachers have the opportunity to take students to the apartment to experience independent living skills that cannot be practiced in a school setting.
At the apartment, students are able to plan menus, work within a budget, look at a lease, clean, do laundry, use kitchen appliances, and learn what skills are necessary to live independently. The access to the downtown business district area provides students with an opportunity to visit businesses, the library, access to public transportation, use the post office, visit a bank, etc.
Each student involved in the program has an IEP. Some of the students involved are in Learning Support and others are in Life Skills Support. Each student attends with their classroom teacher and/or paraprofessional. Their disabilities include Intellectual disabilities, Autism, Specific Learning Disability, and other Health Impairment. The students’ instruction at the apartment includes a wide range of areas including academics, enrichment, vocational, social, and recreation/leisure.
What could be more innovative than taking learning into the community and having students learn in a public setting? When students with disabilities learn in the community in which they hope to live independently, then their success rate is greatly increased. What a tremendous jump start our students will have after experiencing apartment living in small groups. After all, the goal of education is to make our students productive members of society. An independent living apartment program has the potential to make this a reality.