High School & Vocational Center

High School & Vocational Center

Connections High School and Vocational Center: A bridge into adulthood

From its inception, Connections set out to fill a gap in services for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities – and in its second year – opened its doors to high school students. This non-profit, tuition-free school, located on the second floor of its school campus provide students, and their families the seamless, easy choice to remain in Connections’ supportive, compassionate learning environment, as they prepare to transition to life after high school.

At Connections, we keep this responsibility at the center of our specially designed curriculum, to support each student to reach individual goals toward graduation and inclusion in the community.

Enter Project L.I.V.E. 
(Life Skills. Independence. Vocational. Education.)

Connections High School and Vocational Center is a skills-based, hands-on, comprehensive learning experience for upper grade- and adult students up to the age of 22. It’s a safe, supportive place where students learn by doing and practicing life skills with a curriculum focused on the individual’s own personal best, achieving to own personal potential. In the classroom, students engage in conversations with teachers about dealing with real-world experiences waiting in the community, at home, and at work. Teachers model behaviors to show students first-hand examples of how behaviors can change perception about differences and affect mutual personal and professional rewards as adults who are valued members of the community.

Health & Wellness is integrated into the curriculum to afford students the chance to learn and model skills and practices necessary to live as independently as possible after graduation. A fitness center, mock apartment, garden, and kitchen set the stage for how to: prepare healthy meals and snacks; maintain a daily regimen of self-care and housekeeping; and practice overall wellness and life balance with nutrition, exercise, yoga/mediation, aquatics safety and music.

As a non-profit, Connections High School and Vocational Center relies on the generosity of the private and business community for financial support and work opportunities for students to gain experience. Our growing support of local business partners bring ‘jobs’ to practice skills onto our school campus and invite students to visit off-site. Partnerships like these give students the chance to work out at a gym, ride horses at an equestrian center, and shop for fresh produce at a local market.

We are continually filled with gratitude on behalf our students and their families. One such example that the business community wraps around each spring is Prom. When Connections rolls out the annual celebration – It’s crowns and tiaras for all in attendance: A Prom where, ‘everyone is king’ and ‘everyone is queen.’

Members of the business community who volunteer and support our programs financially share that they find personal and professional reward in the experience – which keeps them coming back year after year!

Due to word-of-mouth and the impact Connections consistently demonstrates, our high school continues to elicit marked interest each year and carries an ongoing waitlist.