At Norris Public Schools, students from pre-school through 12th grade can count on a fully integrated approach to special education. Because social relationships are such an important part of school life, Norris advocates Circle of Friends, a nationally-recognized initiative that encourages general education students to reach out to their special education peers. In a Circle of Friends students form real friendships, learning about each others’ differences and, more often than not, similarities.
For students with severe disabilities, the school offers a Life Skills program that helps teach them how to live more independently. From learning job skills through a work-study program (Project SEARCH), to learning how to cook and do laundry, the program helps prepare students for life after high school. Instead of forcing students to fit one mold, the educators at Norris recognize that each child is different, and that with the right support from teachers and friends, any child can be successful.