One Southborough based-school that I didn’t include in this morning’s update was New England Center for Children. The institute for students with autism is continuing to hold 100% in-person education for both residential and day students. (Scroll down for more on that.)
Part of NECC’s program is vocational services for students ages 14 and older. Despite Covid-19, the school has been able to continue that service, including making gift bags:
At 14, students are eligible to obtain a work permit and begin receiving vocational services. As part of the vocational program, students work on activities across a variety of areas including clerical, food service, retail, custodial, customer service and assembly. Prior to COVID-19 precautions that were put into place, students attended the Career Development Center (CDC). Students are currently working on vocational programming in their classrooms and/or residences.
Gift bag assembly provides the opportunity to practice skills such as following directions, completing tasks to criterion, completing seated work, accepting and incorporating feedback and increasing duration of work.
The school is selling Christmas, Hannukah, and winter themed gift bags with profits going directly to the students who made them. Pre-holiday orders are welcome up until December 23rd. NECC staff can ship bags for an extra cost* – but you would obviously want to get that order in sooner.
Prices range from $1-$2 per bag, come in sized small, medium, medium-long, and large. You can also buy a bundle for $10 (2 small, 2 medium, 1 medium long, 2 large). (See examples below.)
Beyond the holidays, NECC sells gift bags (with other designs for different occasions) all year long. Examples include events like weddings and baby showers. (The image right is of bags used for a past NECC Gala.)
To purchase bags, email Julie LeBlanc at email@example.com.
As for the school’s status with in-person learning this fall. . .
NECC’s administration was pleased to share that they never closed down the residential program services in the spring. That was possible thanks to the support of teachers, including 125 who self isolated at hotels in order to protect their families and students. As soon as the state green-lit in-person schooling for day student programs in July, NECC resumed that educational program as well.
This fall, the school has managed to keep the doors open offering fully in-person learning. (Although, families that wished to keep students home are provided a remote option.)
The institute spread out students and group them by cohorts. While there have been some cases of students confirmed positive, there hasn’t been any apparent spreading of the virus through in-school contacts.
The school administration expressed gratitude for the Southborough community’s outstanding support through the pandemic. That includes many donations of masks and PPE to keep students and staff safe.
*Shipping is typically $8.25 depending on location and weight.