Hendrick Hudson High School has been named a 2020-21 Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished School — the only high school in New York State to receive the honor for four consecutive years.
The Distinguished School designation recognizes schools that provide students with broad access to transformative learning opportunities through PLTW’s Computer Science, Biomedical Science and Engineering programs.
“We are extremely proud of our ability to help students unlock their potential and prepare for life beyond the classroom,” said Principal James Mackin.
Through PLTW programs, students develop in-demand knowledge and skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. Students are empowered to engage in problem-solving and process thinking, develop technical knowledge and skills, build communication skills, and explore career opportunities.
With Covid restrictions limiting community-based work opportunities for Hendrick Hudson High School’s SAILOR* students this year, teacher Lauren Belles and occupational therapist Jessica VanValkenburg, along with their collaborative team, had to think outside the box.
The jewelry box, that is.
The 18-to-21-year-olds who make up the Sailor B class for students with special needs (there is an “A” class for younger students) have been busy creating, marketing and shipping beaded bracelets since March, part of a remote internship with a Long Island-based company called The Spotlight Project.
The Spotlight Project offers individuals with disabilities a creative platform and diverse employment opportunities through the production and sale of hand-beaded bracelets. The company sells its bracelets online and exclusively employs individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities as its creative “makers.”
The students designed a special “Sailor Spirit” bracelet to represent the high school and celebrate its 2021 graduates. The bracelet, featuring blue and white beads (the school colors) and an anchor charm, is currently on sale at thespotlightprojectco.com.
“Our students have worked hard to advertise, package and distribute these unique bracelets, made especially for our school community,” said Belles.
In addition to creating the bracelets, the students provide quality control, pack the completed products for shipping, and deliver the packages to the post office.
* SAILOR stands for Academic Independent Living Occupational Recreation