As an innovative educational opportunity, the Saline High School Connecting Program was honored and featured at a recent event attended by several Michigan government officials, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Saline Area Schools sent out a social media post about the event: “We were immensely proud today to honor the SHS Connecting Program at the What Schools Could Be: Michigan event in East Lansing. The event featured innovative school programs from around Michigan and was attended by several Michigan government officials, including Governor Whitmer.”

It highlighted “Transformational Innovations In Our Public Schools.” Other programs highlighted included a fire training center in Flint and an engineering academy in Traverse City.

The event included a student-created video highlighting the Connecting program.

One Saline student from the video said she believes “this class has really spread inclusivity around our school” while another student, Nick Luther, said he loves it because it gives him an opportunity to help people.
In the program, students learn about disabilities and job shadow as paraeducators working with people with disabilities.

A scene from the student-made video on the Connecting Program

According to the Connecting program website:

“Connecting students complete rigorous coursework which is the equivalent to the Introduction to Special Education course in many universities. Students then go out into schools across the district in order to work with students and adults with exceptionalities. After one year of Connecting I, students are able to elect Connecting II. Connecting II has a strong focus on leadership and service learning. Every year, approximately 10-12 students from the connecting program enter college to study the field of special education. In fact, many special education teachers in our district were once connecting students themselves. It is nearly impossible to put into words the positive effect this program has on all involved: connecting students, inclusion students, parents of students with exceptionalities, classroom teachers, our district, our community etc.”

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