Exceptional Service: Comparison Shopping

Exceptional Service: Comparison Shopping
November 12, 2022

Comparing student run stores: 1 run by general education students, and 1 run by special education students.

What’s in the news about general education students?

School of the week: Peach County high school opens school store
by WMAZ-TV. Macon, Georgia. Tegna, Inc.
Were special education students included in the story? NO. Special education students are not mentioned because I searched Google for “high school student store” and found it under the news tab.

What’s the story?

In Fort Valley, Georgia, making extra cash is motive for working at a student store, run by general education students. Tegna’s WMAZ in Macon, Georgia, named Peach County High School its School of the Week on November 11, 2022.

A general education student is quoted who wants a career in business.

The business education teacher is a business leaders of America advisor who helped start Trojan Trading Post to give students real world experience in running a store.

The store sells hats, shirts, foam fingers, and more. Although students make up the majority of customers, parents and staff buy at the store, too.

What’s in the news about special education students?

Store Teaches Job Skills For Special Needs Students
by Jersey Shore Online. Micromedia Publications. Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Were special education students included in the story? NO. Two students are mentioned by name, and they are both over the age of 18 because they are in Transition Services for ages 18 to 21.

What’s the story?

Jersey Shore Online has a story about Barnegat Township school district’s Barnegat High School store run by special education students in a cafeteria alcove called CLAWMART.

Special education students are in the CLAWS Transition Program, which fits under Transition Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for those ages 18 to 21. CLAWS is short for “Career, Learning, Awareness, Workplace Skills”. The store, called CLAWMART has a design based on the Bengal mascot at its entrance.

The store sells apparel with a local T-shirt business, and the owner of the business is quoted through the story.

The business started a website for different school fundraisers. Revenue is shared with the school group.

Students are coached on all tasks in running the store, and teachers provide support to complete the tasks.

Stuctured Learning Experience is the name of a program. The Master Teacher of Special Education/SLE-CBI Coordinator is quoted about how it pairs the program with outside businesses.

The school district partnered with 20 area businesses who provide job-coaches.

The students are not paid.

However, students have received job offers.

What’s the difference in pay?
Georgia school store pays its general education students.
New Jersey school store doesn’t pay its special education students. Job coaches are paid to shadow the transition students.

What’s the difference in management?
Georgia school store is run by the business teacher.
New Jersey school store is run by the special education teacher with job coaches from local businesses.
Georgia school store is extracurricular.
New Jersey school store is part of Transition Services for special education students in the age range of 18 to 21.

Were students interviewed for the story?
Georgia’s TV station interviewed and quoted general education students.
New Jersey’s newspaper did not interview transition services students, but did describe their actions the reporter witnessed, with photos taken for the publication.

Does it say “inclusion”?
Georgia: Trojan Trading Post is named for the mascot.
New Jersey: CLAWmart is named for the Transition Services program, which fits in the the school’s Bengal mascot. CLAWS itself refers to Skills.

Is it for the disabled? Or is it for the nondisabled?
clawmart.org, on 11/11/2022 at 6pm PT (I’m in California) has the following categories: Powder Puff 2022, Class of 2024 products, Class of 2026 Products, Read More Boooks (it has three O’s), Tennis, Soccer, Spirit Wear, and Staff Apparel.
The CLAWS program in New Jersey itself benefits from the sales. The transition services students just get the experience without pay.
The Georgia student store pays its students.
Who gets the better outcome? The ones who are paid.
Want better outcomes? Pay the disabled on equal basis as nondisabled.

Is This the Least-Restrictive Environment?
Transition Services is defined in IDEA for those aged 18 to 21, is separate from general education and there is no general education equivalent.

What needs to change?
New Jersey: Pay the Transition Services students.
Georgia: Include transition services and special education students and pay them.

Is it for a high school diploma?
Special education is on an individual basis. Of the two transition services students mentioned in the New Jersey story, one may get a diploma, and the other won’t. The fact that job offers are mentioned may mean the two named students are getting high school diplomas.