RANDOLPH, NJ- As the school year winds down for most, students and their aids in the transition house at Randolph High School are busy beautifying the home they have learned and developed in throughout the year. This year has been the transition program’s first year with the house, and its importance has shown through the growing skills each student has learned during their time there.

Due to the change in weather, students can spend more time outside, learning new skills to not only take care of the inside of the house, but its presentation on the outside. With the help of their aids, students decided to tackle house projects such as painting the porch and gardening. 

“We are trying to teach them a lot of daily living skills, we try to clean up around the house, maintain it, you know, real life projects that they can do at home,” says teacher Rick Eva, “So we are currently painting the front porch, we had to sand, powerwash, we had to put tarps down, learn how to open paint, and how to clean the paint brushes.” Step by step, the students observed and assisted in completing projects from start to finish.

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Besides the house’s freshly painted porch, students have been maintaining their new garden. Growing tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and peppers from seeds in their vegetable patch and marigolds in their flower garden.

Eva continued, “We have also been maintaining the chicken coop.” Transition students sell their chickens’ eggs in school and utilize their profits, along with those made with their coffee cart, to fund field trips and activities.

Outside of the house, the students are working in the wood shop with teachers Mr. Thatcher and Mr. Fedlt to make clocks. “Every year they do a project for our kids. So this year we are making clocks, they get to cut the wood and even stain the wood,” says Eva as he admires the work his students have made.

This may be one of the last activities for some in the transition program. This year is the first time the high school is graduating students from the 18-21 program, so they have a great accomplishment to celebrate. Transition Coordinator Brianne Mcbreen explains, “We are in the process of planning our transition formal, we are going to celebrate our graduates. So we have a really big event set up for June 13th.” The students will dress up and receive their diplomas with enthusiasm with those in their “transition family.”

As the school year is coming to an end, it is outstanding to see how far the program has come. The real life skills each student has learned, using the house as a tool, will be applied to their lives outside of high school, creating an easy transition. 

Editor's Note :Julia Haddock is a student at Randolph High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Randolph