COVENTRY TWP. The multiple disabilities classroom plays an important role each day at Coventry High School.

Students from the classroom run a store where students and staff members can order beverages and snacks from. Recently, they also held their Christmas Crash Show, which was a huge success as they nearly sold out of everything they made.

Coventry Teacher Kathy Parker, who has three students in her class this year, said the goal is to transition the students from school to work. She said the students are taught all the life lessons they need to know.

For the craft show, students made golf ball ornaments, small trees and other ornaments. The students also made Christmas cards by using a stamp. Parker said creating the crafts was a hands-on experience for them and they learned all the safety aspects when working with tools. 

Cleanliness is also an area that is focused on heavily, Parker said.

The craft show also took place last year and items were sold to students, staff and parents.

“You guys have so many skills,” Parker told her class. “I’m proud of you all.”

Parker, who has worked in Coventry Schools for 11 years, has been involved with the classroom at the high school for the last two years. She said the students in her class also have other classes and are only with her for a portion of the school day. Students can stay in her class until they are 22 years old.

Daily learning

Parker said each of the students knows how to cook as the classroom has a kitchen in it, which is labeled to help the students. Some of the items sold to the student body includes puppy chow, muffins and Gatorade. Recently, they have also been making different kinds of soups from scratch and they deliver it to the teachers who order it.

“The student body is really good with them,” Parker said.

Parker said the students in her class get to read the orders, prepare them and then deliver them.

Sam Messenger, a sophomore in Parker’s class, said he really enjoys making puppy chow the most. 

With the funds raised, they use the money for field trips and are hoping to eventually start their own bowling team to compete against other schools at their level. They are hoping to meet up with the class from Green and then the students can share their emails with each other.

Parker said the students have a business book where they track all the money that comes in and out.

In addition to preparing snacks, students help fill the vending machines, clean the teacher’s lounge, make ice bags for the nurse and help the gym teacher with inventory.

“They get a lot done in a day,” Parker said. 

The classroom also features a sensory area for students to work on different skills.

The students also have the opportunity to take field trips and learn about different jobs. One of the students works at the car wash on Manchester Road, which is just down the street from the school.

Recently, they took a trip to a hotel where they learned all the different jobs at hotel including how to make a bed. The class is planning a trip to a movie theater to learn about all the jobs there along with IHOP in the near future. In addition, the students have gone to a soccer game and the Christmas band concert.

Parker said the principal along with the administration has been very supportive of what she does.

“We have a good time and laugh a lot,” Parker said. “I believe in these kids and they will all do well.”