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Activity-Based Learning Increases Understanding and Interaction

Activity-based classroom experiences not only aid understanding and comprehension but also encourage students to be more inquisitive and develop their own problem-solving skills. Such experiences also help student engagement at school and encourage positive interactions with classmates.

Left: Jack Peak and Liam Light learn about open and closed circuits — as well as parallel versus series circuits — using wires, light bulbs, switches and more. Right: In their study of Ancient Egyptian agricultural practices, 6-8 team students create soil models of basin irrigation systems and LEGO™ models of shadufs — hand-operated devices for lifting and distributing water. Left to right: Owen Berta, Sophia Wooten, Alex Berninger.

Cincinnati Restaurant Company Creates Valuable Experiences for LGS Students

LGS Applied Skills students are gaining valuable work and life experiences thanks to RGT Management, Inc., one of the largest restaurant companies in the Cincinnati market.

Each month, students travel to RGT Management offices to assist with mailings and other tasks, developing valuable skills in a typical office environment. In appreciation for the students’ time and effort, RGT often provides the students with restaurant coupons, creating opportunities for students to dine out in the community.

RGT also facilitated funding of an oven hood to enable the use of an oven in the school’s Applied Skills kitchen – a kitchen used to help students learn cooking and related skills.

Just as important, RGT is a great ambassador for LGS among its employees and in the community. As a sponsor of LGS’s Crazy Golf event, RGT engaged employees in preparing and serving food for event attendees. At the event, RGT employees and their family members interacted with families and kids with autism and other special needs, providing face painting, playing the Crazy Golf course, joining in the carnival games and more.

Top left: 6-8 team staff and students take advantage of a photo opportunity with Colonel Sanders during a visit to RGT Management offices. Jackson Ramsey (top right,) Bennett Grady (bottom) and other students travel to RGT once a month to assist with office tasks, gaining valuable work experience.

Afterschool Activities Encourage New Interests and Skills

Linden Grove School recognizes the value of extra-curricular activities in regard to exploring personal interests and developing personal skills. In addition to Dingoes – a scout program developed by school staff – LGS facilitates a range of private and group activities at the school or in the community, including but not limited to music lessons, taekwondo, swimming, and Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO™ labs.

 

 

Music lessons, taekwondo, and Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO™ lab are some of the afterschool activities available at LGS throughout the year.

LGS Scout Program Instills Pride and Sense of Belonging

“I am a Dingo! I will work hard! I will have fun!”

That is the oath of the Dingoes – a new scout program created especially for Linden Grove School students. Each week, students enjoy hands-on activities and guest presenters based on a different theme. Themes range from Engineering to Personal Safety, from Animal Care to Culinary Skills, providing new experiences for students beyond their special interests. Students receive a badge reflecting each theme, nurturing feelings of accomplishment and pride. More importantly, activities are structured and facilitated to foster the development of social skills and a sense of belonging.

Left: Peter Lovaas assists Livy Berninger with making Dingoes Cookies for her culinary skills badge. Right: Donovan Kemp models firefighter gear during Fire Safety week.

Special Interests, Special Friends

Each member of Linden Grove School’s Class of 2018 has unique talents and interests.

One student is a talented artist. Another enjoys creating his own musical compositions using the computer application MuseScore. One student looks forward to a future working with animals, and another wants to cook food in a restaurant.

Whether their favorite class was art or music, math or science, social studies or reading, all students believe LGS has prepared them for high school in a variety of ways. Some say LGS has helped them learn how to follow directions and complete assignments. Others say LGS has taught them about sensory breaks and how to manage their behavior. All say LGS has helped them learn how to make friends and to have FUN!

Friends are what graduates will miss most about LGS. But they look forward to making new friends — friends with whom they can share their special interests.

Members of the Class of 2018 have their own interests and favorite memories of LGS. Clockwise from top: Daaks Austin; Nicholas Savchenko swinging in the sensory room; Finn Davitt and Simon Evans, whose egg survived the drop from a firetruck ladder; Max Siekman making his own pizza crust during a school outing to Pizzeria Locale.

LGS Named Top 50 Non-Profit

LGS was named a Top 50 non-profit in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in 2017 by LEAD Cincinnati and VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm. Organizations were recognized as “pillars of the community,” serving as examples of individuals working together to bring ideas to life and make a difference in people’s lives.

Maddie Szawaluk and Alanya Ozdil hang out on some giant teeth during a recent Girl’s Group outing to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The school’s dedicated staff work in teams to provide highly-personalized learning opportunities utilizing the latest evidence-based methods. Parent meetings and surveys guide the execution of added services ranging from after-school activities to parent education workshops.

Within the regional autism community, LGS is a leader in creating partnerships for new initiatives ranging from the development of a high school to Girl’s Group, a social group specifically for girls with autism and Asperger’s.

Read the article on LGS appearing in LEAD Cincinnati.

Social Skills Classes Increase Academic Achievement

In addition to science, math, social studies and language arts, all LGS students participate in social skills classes two to four days a week. Studies have shown classes and activities designed to increase social and emotional learning (SEL) not only positively impact student social skills, attitudes and behavior, they also increase student performance on academic tests 10 percent or greater.

 

Depending on the grade level and a student’s individual competencies, social skills lessons utilize activities ranging from videos and role playing of positive social behaviors, to stories and conversations related 

In addition to social skills classes, LGS staff take advantage of classroom activities to reinforce positive behavior, helping students develop skills to interact positively with others at school, at home and in the community.

to comic-book like heroes who help students interact positively with others at school, at home and in the community.

 

 

Throughout the day, LGS staff use class projects and other activities to reinforce positive social behavior and also take advantage of learning opportunities to help students understand how their words and actions affect others and themselves.

 

Board Diversity Provides Variety of Strengths, Perspectives

The LGS Board acts as trustee of the school’s assets and ensures the school is well managed and remains fiscally sound. To fulfill its responsibilities, the Board seeks to maintain a membership with a diversity of strengths and perspectives among its trustees (voting members) and advisors (non-voting members).

Board of Trustees, Officers
Jonathan Batross, President
Johnson & Johnson

Karla Grady, Vice President
Hamilton Co. Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division (retired)

David Beckett, Treasurer
PNC

Lisa Gorrasi, Secretary
Hamilton Co. Domestic Relations Court

Board of Trustees, Members
Emily Arnold
The Kroger Co.

Todd Cooper
Locke Lord LLP

Janet Fette
Tape Products Co.

Christina Fischer
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Jim Grady
Star One Realtors

Jeff Grady
Grady Veterinary Hospital

Dell Grunenberg
Wright-Patterson AFB

Greg Hoernschemeyer
Horan Associates, Inc.

Bruce Perlson
Retired

Andrew Setters
WLWT

Advisory Board
Peter Clayton
University of Cincinnati/UC Health

Anisha Jindal
Perfetti Van Melle

Catherine Moseley
Catherine M. Moseley, CPA

Nancy Nolan
Nolan Kerr Artists

Ellen Wolf Perazzo
Attorney

Rachel Pitman
Mother

Deborah Schmidt
Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa

Pre-Year Conferences Ensure Shared Vision for Student Success

  The week before school begins, LGS parents meet with their student’s team of educators to answer the question, “What is your vision for your child?” Parent responses include a range of academic, social and behavioral goals ranging from improved use of grammar and understanding of geometric concepts, to increased ease in initiating conversations and improved self-esteem. Parents and staff also discuss topics such as student interests, motivators and fears as well as each parent’s preferred method of communication.

 

As part of the pre-year parent-teacher conferences, Julie Savchenko met with her son Nicholas’s teachers to share with them insights and goals for the upcoming year.

 

 

 

Brendon Sears and other students also had a chance to say “hi” to returning staff as well as meet new teachers.

Contagious Enthusiasm a Powerful Start to the New Year

If the enthusiasm our students and parents displayed during our Open House is any indicator of what the ‘17-’18 school year will bring, then we are in for a treat!

As the front doors to our new entrance opened, we could hear squeals of joy as Grace ran in with the biggest smile on her face, handing out hugs that could potentially knock the wind out of you! Her mom was right behind her with a huge grin, saying, “She’s so excited to be here – I’m so excited that she’s here!” In between Alanya and Cameron literally jumping up and down over their mutual love of celebrating birthdays, Liam wasted no time finding the much anticipated “funnest room in the school” (a new sensory room). He kept coming back to try out the new foam crash pit over and over and over again.

And the enthusiasm didn’t stop there. A few days later at Parent-Teacher Conferences, Kiano’s dad came up the stairs exclaiming, “This is going to be a great year. We just had a fantastic conference with the team!”

It was easy to see what was happening during these beginning year activities. Parent faces changed from worried to relaxed, from anxious to eager. The excitement of our students was simply contagious. After a summer of being away, our school turned into “home” again.

What a powerful way to start the year!

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