Exceptional Service: Serving Turkey

Exceptional Service: Serving Turkey
November 21, 2022

What’s the story?

November 20, 2022
Shrewsbury High School teacher and students cook up a Thanksgiving feast
by The Community Advocate. Westborough, Massachusetts.

Were special education students included in the story?

NO. Only the former special education teacher, who is now teaching Family and Consumer Sciences (originally called “home ec”), is quoted.

What’s in the news?

At Shrewsbury High School in Massachusetts, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher wants to have general education and special education students make a Thanksgiving meal together. Prior to her current position, she taught physical education to special education students until the position was cut. Because she missed the special education students, she created the Shrewsbury High School Thanksgiving Feast. 2022 is the second year of the feast. Students prepare the meal for administrators and peers.

The Feast is a collaboration between the FCS teacher, the director of Visual Arts, and the director of PE, Health and Consumer Science.

Art and music are part of the feast.

For the special education students, this is to teach them to understand helping others and gain independence, as well as spend time with their peers instead of a teacher’s aid.

Does it say “inclusion”?

“Turkey Feast”. At least some nondisabled students are involved, which is slightly better than it being entirely disabled students serving nondisabled students and staff.

Is it for the disabled? Or is it for the nondisabled?

The disabled minority, with assistance of a few nondisabled, are preparing food for the nondisabled majority.

Is This the Least-Restrictive Environment?

The teacher said this is an opportunity for special education students to spend time with peers, which ia part of the LRE definition in federal law. Once a special education teacher, always a special education teacher.

What needs to change?

This is a limited opportunity to have special education and general education students to come together, which is the point of federal special education law. The next step is to make this possible everyday.

Is it for a high school diploma?

For the special education students, it depends on their IEP, which I discuss in the first season of the podcast.