Mrs. Sheila KingVocational Coordinator630.784.7200 ext.8676
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Special Services Department Vocational Program here at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. The Vocational Program is an asset to our department by assisting students to prepare for the changes from life as a student in school to life as a productive working citizen in the community. For all young people, preparing for any type of change is complicated. Whether a student plans to attend a community college, a four- year institution or enter the work force, any preparation we can offer them will be instrumental to their success as adults. For all types of students, changes can be challenging, overwhelming and exciting.
When a student is leaving high school, depending on their level of dedication and commitment, they will find our Special Services Department’s support beneficial to their achieving satisfying routines and overcoming challenges in the community. In school, we offer the STEP program. STEP stands for Secondary Transitional Experience Program. It is a transition program that prepares students for meaningful work, independent living, and full community participation after high school. STEP bridges the gap between school and work.
In addition to the STEP program, we also offer the PAES Lab, which stands for Practical Assessment Exploration System. This is a classroom lab in the Special Services Department that offers hands-on job exploration across five career areas. Students work independently on specific job tasks in the following areas; construction/industrial; computer technology; processing/production; business/marketing; and consumer services. Students determine their highest interest areas and work on individual skill levels. The PAES Lab prepares the student for competitive employment by developing work skills that will move them towards competency in the work place. It is recommended students participate in the PAES Lab three to four times a week as part of their elective curriculum.
Both the STEP and PAES programs offer students the opportunity to develop desirable work habits and realistic career goals. We hope to provide opportunities for students to explore careers and gain meaningful work experience through on the job placements (both in school jobs and community based). These programs teach pre-employment skills, which are necessary for entry level into the job market, and to help the student develop the social and personal skills to maintain successful employment. In summary, the goal is to provide experiences that will most effectively prepare the student for life after high school.
Students are eligible to participate in these programs if the student is receiving special education services, is an individual with a disability or requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment.