The Functional Life Skills (FLS) program at Sacred Heart CHS meets the learning needs of our students who have Developmental Disabilities. The program includes instruction in skills of daily living - cooking, functional literacy, numeracy, health and wellness, communication, vocational skills and transition planning.
The FLS space is in the beginning stages of a multi-year renovation that will be renamed “Tina’s Place” after the long-time Superintendent of Exceptional Learners at York Catholic District School Board, Tina D’Acunto. Tina passed away in October 2021, and it was in working at Sacred Heart as a teacher that Tina developed her passion for, and dedication to, exceptional learners. The goal of Tina’s Place is to empower exceptional learners with knowledge and experiences that will provide them with the highest levels of confidence and independence, and we will do this by building a space that supports exceptional learners in their individual journeys towards greater independence. Adjacent to our FLS classroom is a space that we would like to transform into a calming, sensory space called “Tina’s Space”.
“Tina’s Space” will be a multisensory calming room which serves multiple purposes: a quiet space for students to take a moment to breathe and destress; a sensory room for students who need calming visual, auditory and tactile experiences (i.e., exposure to sights, sounds and textures that will offer relief from the sensory overload of the regular school day) that will not interfere with other learners; a meditation room for all students at Sacred Heart. A space like this will be critical in addressing the needs of the neurodiverse population at Sacred Heart, in particular for the students in the FLS program. Neurotypical students will also benefit from use of the space. With youth mental health concerns on the rise, schools must make environmental changes in order to address the changing needs of students.
Funded by Newmarket, ON (March 2023)