Rockville, Md. — TLC—The Treatment and Learning Centers’ Katherine Thomas School welcomed more than 100 grandparents and special guests to Grandparents and Special Friends Day and the Academic Expo on May 11. KTS is a special education school for students with moderate to severe language and learning disabilities and/or high-functioning autism, preschool through 12th grade.
This day began with a special school-wide performance led by KTS Music Teacher Amy Gardiner, High School Music Teacher Chris Marousk and Drama Teacher Matt Ripa. Elementary students and the Middle School Chorus opened with “Happy Grandparents Day” to the delight of the audience. The song, dance, and instrumental collection of pieces, with several student speakers coached by Ripa, featured “Hey Jude” (Beatles) performed by the High School Guitar Ensemble with audience joining in, and “One Moment in Time” (Whitney Houston) by the combined Middle and High School Chorus.
Guests visiting the Academic Expo learned about everything from famous artists and tornadoes to bubbles and rubber band travel. KTS teachers, teacher assistants, and clinicians worked collaboratively with the students for several months preparing for the event. Students in kindergarten through fourth grade worked to put together on activities that included team sports and a puppet show/song and dance. Fifth through twelfth grade students rolled out a full array science fair projects such as “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” “Shake Rattle, and Roll,” and “Burn, Calories, Burn!” The students’ hard work and understanding of the subject matter was apparent in their presentations and the multitude of creative and colorful exhibits.
Grandparents and special friends also took part in classroom activities. Matt Ripa led an energetic game of freeze dance for third and fourth graders, and drama students shared a video of the middle school talent show in the Zourdos Black Box Theater.
“This event is all about grandparents and special friends connecting with their students in a whole new way, through participating in their day, ” said Christina Bernabe, Education Director for the Lower/Middle School, who coordinated the event with KTS lower and middle school staff. “It’s a great day at KTS when students and staff come together to showcase their talents and skills and share in activities together with the students’ families.”