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Learn Life Skills At Newly-Enhanced School

Students from across Long Island’s school districts, including those at Floral Park Memorial and Sewanhaka high schools, are invited to participate in a Seaford High School program to bolster every day life skills.

A newly renovated Life Skills Suite at Seaford High School is now a brighter, better equipped learning environment for special-needs students and a welcome source of revenue for the district.

And any district that has a need for this type of service are welcomed to send their students to learn some valuable life lessons.

The freshly updated 2,000-square-foot space features many new amenities needed for students to develop everyday life skills. It boasts a new kitchen complete with wood cabinetry and ample counter space, new energy-efficient appliances, including a dishwasher, a full-size stove and oven, a full-size refrigerator and a laundry area with a washer, dryer and ironing board.

There’s a designated hygiene area with a sink and mirror and a fold-out bed to teach students how to change sheets and make a bed. Updated, more private classrooms enhance the learning experience and upgrades to plumbing, heating and electric are projected to lower energy costs.

The suite currently services 18 students, nine from the district

and nine from surrounding schools that do not have facilities to accommodate their special-needs students. But up to 24 students can be accommodated.

“Renovating the Life Skills Suite was an ideal way to keep our own Seaford students in their home district where they can attend school with their peers and a prudent fiscal endeavor because the facility is large enough to service other students who are in need of a learning environment like this,” said Superintendent Brian Conboy.

The renovation was a $125,000 capital improvement item in the 2013-14 budget that was passed by the community last May and is projected to bring in an additional $250,000 in revenue, which will help lower the tax burden on the district’s residents.

Students Danielle Palermo and Patrick Caulfield, both 15, said the new facility makes them “happy” and they are excited about learning new skills, such as cooking and doing laundry. They also marveled, along with their classmates, about how beautiful it is.

“It has been a heartwarming experience to observe the students’ enthusiastic reactions to their new learning environment,” said Jane Dawkins, director of special services for the district. “Access to updated appliances in an aesthetically pleasing space has been an excellent motivator for the students. They are eager to complete activities of daily living, which are essential to prepare them for post-secondary living.”

For information about the Life Skills Suite, please contact the Special Education Office at 516-592-4370.

News

County sponsors Narcan training at high school

Long Island communities are waging a war against prescription drug abuse and a rampant heroin epidemic. The county launched a free public training program in 2012 to teach ordinary citizens the signs of an overdose and how to reverse its effects using a drug called Narcan.

Garden City High School hosted one of these training events on Oct. 9 as a packed auditorium of parents and community members gathered to learn the skills needed to potentially save a life. Floral Park will host the event in December.

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.


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