Sunday, August 12, 2007

As a parent of a child with special needs, I am always looking for opportunities to "acclimate" him into the world around him, especially when there is a transition that is going to take place.............Robert "graduated" from Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, FL (I put graduate in quotes because he wasn't given the opportunity to participate in the 8th grade graduation, nor was he even invited) and he will be attending Mariner High School on August 20th, however, Robert was NOT invited to attend Triton Quest, instead, I was given a voice mail message to attend Open House at the school on Saturday, August 18th.

This is a serious injustice to my son's civil rights AGAIN, if you aren't already aware, my child was bussed to the side door of his school building for his entire school experience at Gulf Middle School, I received EVERY excuse by the school district including: convenience, safety and building construction. HMMMM..........Whose convenience and safety?!?! And building construction?!?!?! Why wasn't EVERY child rerouted to the side doors of the building then?

In this day and age, how is segregation of ANY individual acceptable?!?!?!....................................

Lee County School District

Incoming Mariner freshmen take part in Triton Quest
Program helps new students become familiar with new school

By Terry Brady

Originally posted on August 07, 200

A conga line made up of 200 Mariner High School freshman made its way across campus today as a part of the school's freshman orientation program — Triton Quest.

Students danced on the tables and through the cafeteria, cheers were made, games were played and scavenger hunts were held throughout the campus so students could better familiarize themselves with the lay of the land.

"It's excellent!" Mariner freshman Skyler Marler, 14, said while dancing to the song "YMCA."

While it seemed to be all about fun and games to the students, there was a deeper purpose.

"It's about getting the freshmen acclimated to their new environment," said Triton Quest head Angela Hancock.

The program is in its fourth year and has continually grown from its 75-student start in 2004.

"We want the kids to come out, get to know each other," Hancock said.

Hancock said the goal is to get the freshman to meet at least 15 students, a teacher and three to four upperclassmen, who are known as "navigators."

Over 40 Mariner navigators ran the all-day event by leading the new students through games, problem-solving activities and tours through the school.

"I went through the program when I was a freshman," said Emily Labarbera, 16, Mariner junior. "It helps teach you where everything is."

LaBarbera said the program helped her transition from middle school to high school and introduced her to friends she still has today.

"It teaches them that it's not bad to be outgoing and enthusiastic," she said.

To help continue to help the freshmen when school starts on Aug. 20, the navigators will wear the pink Triton Quest shirts they wore today so freshmen could easily find them if they have any first-day questions.

The navigators went through a three-day training program and went through an application and interview process to participate.

Tyrone Ward, 14, said he didn't know what to expect heading into Triton Quest today, but said after going through the program, he feels more relaxed about the upcoming school year.

"It's a whole new school for me," he said. "I'm the little guy again. (Triton Quest) has made me feel more confident. I'm not afraid."

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