Exceptional Service: Serving Coffee

WFIE-TV Evansville, IN
Gray Television

Coffee shop at Newburgh Elementary helping students with life skills

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 3:50 AM PDT|Updated: 11 hours ago

Were special education students Included in the story?

No. The assistant principal is quoted. Students are not.

What’s in the news?

Newburgh Elementary School in Evansville, Indiana, has a coffee shop called Solid Grounds Coffee Shop: Establishing Skills for Life.

Once a week, the spceial education class work with program assistants, and some fifth grade students, make pre-ordered coffee, for staff.

Students learn how to make coffee, tea and hot cocoa using ingredients provided by the Newburgh Starbucks, with assistance by a Starbucks staff member. The beverages are then delivered by students to teachers, who take payment for the orders.

Does it say “inclusion”?
Solid Grounds Coffee Shop: Establishing Skills for Life.
The name refers to the special education class, skills for life.
Except for some assistance from fifth graders, who are implied to not be in special education, this is a special education project not open to regular students. Because special education classes are generally smaller, the need for outside help is required. This elementary school’s coffee shop doesn’t have enough students to operate it. In what context are the fifth graders participating? It is voluntary for them, or a form of punishment?

Is it for the student? Or is it for the teacher?
Once again, special education students serve teachers, which is not their job.

Is This the Least-Restrictive Environment?
Life skills classes are special education classes, separate from their peers.

What needs to change?
Simplifying this question to one point: It is not the student’s job to serve coffee and other coffee shop beverages to their teachers.

Is it for a high school diploma?
Life Skills classes may not go towards a high school diploma.
This is at an elementary school, so it definitely doesn’t count.