EAST HANOVER, N.J.- Hanover Park High School launched a brand new program this school year. The 18-21 transition program helps eligible students between the ages of 18-21 transition into adult life. The program is centered on Community Based Instruction with a focus on life goals, self advocacy, personal responsibility, realistic job choices and basic needs of young adults.
Two teachers, Bill Curts and Rachel Romano, and a host of aides/job coaches help the students work through real-life situations. Curts was hired two and half years ago as the District Transition Coordinator. His role is to ensure that all of the students are given the opportunity to learn valuable life skills in order to have a successful transition from the high school to the next stage of their lives. Previously, Curts spent five years running an adult life skills program for individuals with autism in Bergen County. One local establishment has participated in the program, in work-life situations, but this December raised the bar, or perhaps, encouraged the students to, literally.
Curts is excited about the new program at Precision Sports Performance, a relationship he has cultivated for almost two years. "Students have been learning what it means to work at a state of the art training facility, including learning workout routines, working in the front office, and most importantly interacting with clients. PSP recently approached me about opening up the facility to our adaptive P.E. class in order to promote physical fitness in the community," Curts explained.
Megan Furstoss and Andrew Borsellino of Precision Sports Performance, (PSP), are thrilled to participate in the job sampling program. "We have benefited from having the students work here as much as they have," Borsellino said. " We thought about hosting a work out for the transition program and after planning with Bill Curts, we decided to make it a recurring program." It was well received and immediately approved by the Special Services Department.
Wednesday mornings around 11 am, the transition crew arrives at PSP for a strength and conditioning session led by Coach Andrew Moore. Olivia Foti, Hanover Park student and participant of the job sampling program has worked at PSP for about a year. Her shift is Wednesday mornings and, she has the option of coaching or participating in the training. " I love working at PSP. The people there are amazing and great," Foti said. " I learned that many different athletes come from all different towns and schools to train there." A couple other students have had the opportunity to work at PSP, and it has been successful.