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Local High School Students Participate in Pinwheels for Peace

Whitney High School North (WHSN) staff and students standing amid their collection of Pinwheels for Peace.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The program has been adopted by millions of teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world.

WHSN art teacher, Kat Totz, had the idea to have students participate locally and the project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community.

About WHSN: Whitney High School North is an academic and vocational program for the seriously emotionally disturbed. Whitney School EastParticipating Districts Include: Bridgeport, Bristol, Cromwell, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven.

Whitney High School North provides a positive, individualized and multifaceted program for the Seriously Emotionally Disturbed high school population. Students participate in a full academic and vocational program which includes a motivational behavioral management system based on a token economy.

The goal is to prepare students to participate in a democratic society; compete successfully in the job market; be informed decision makers; and become life-long learners. Course credits are equivalent and are easily transferable to students’ local high schools. The curriculum, both academic and vocational, will challenge students at levels appropriate to their needs and abilities.

Whitney North’s instructional methods call for frequent assessment of student progress and the expanded opportunity for students to receive remediation. Whitney High School North employs a multidisciplinary team of professionals to facilitate each student’s educational programming.

The case-management team typically consists of a teacher, a teacher-assistant, a social worker, a school nurse, a behavior technician, a vocational instructor, a physical education instructor, and an administrator. The teams routinely meet to evaluate student performance, identify needs, and develop specific, alternative academic, vocational and behavioral programming to meet those needs.

Program Goals:

  • To enhance literacy skills
  • To enhance social and communication skills
  • To enhance vocational and employment skills
  • To facilitate access to community resources
  • To enhance student/family support systems

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