ARLINGTON- Arlington Public Schools’ Transition Program moved from Arlington High School to a house on the campus of the district’s Support Services building.
The house will serve as a safe facility for the program and provide more opportunities for students to learn the skills they need to be self-sufficient, officials said.
The Transition Program is part of the district’s Special Education Department and serves students ages 18-21.
“Due to the limited space and lack of running water in the classroom at the high school, it was hard for the students to learn the skills they needed,” teacher Cheryl Burkhead said.
“This new location allows the students to practice their cooking and cleaning skills and learn how to maintain a home. In addition, the students now have access to a bus line which expands their reach into the community.”
“I enjoy helping people in the community,” 18-year-old Erik Johnson added.
The students help community organizations in different ways. They wash, dry and organize clothes at Arlington Kids Kloset, a non-profit organization that provides new and quality used clothing, shoes and hygiene products to students.
They’ve also served meals and cleaned at Friendship House in Mount Vernon and also served as personal shoppers at Costco.
“One of the former Transition students now works for a Costco and checks receipts as shoppers leave the warehouse,” Burkhead said. “If the students learn the necessary skills, they can be very productive in society. That’s why this move was so important.”