Conference: high school prep for students with special needs

MARQUETTE — An education organization, S.P.E.A.K.S, was in Marquette today to help special education students with transitioning to a new grade level.

S.P.E.A.K.S. stands for ‘Students – Parent – Educators – Alliance to Know Special Education’.

The group presented their conference on “Advocacy and Empowerment Across the U.P.” As students are transitioning from middle school into high school, the group wants to make sure everyone is prepared. Students, educators and parents were all in attendance. Collaboration is what this group says is the road map to success.

Education Coordinator Dorie France–Winegard says, “The U.P. is rural and remote and under served, so it is very important that we focus on what is in the geographic area. We have brought in the different agencies that work across the U.P. to work to meet the needs of all of the students that are transitioning.”

The conference deals with everything from mental and medical health services to self advocacy and individual rights.

Winegard adds, “It’s not just the students we have to look at but the parents as well. Everyone learns differently so we try to keep it as parent-student-friendly curriculum wise, as we could.”

This is the third year for the conference. Click here for more information on S.P.E.A.K.S.