BELLMORE-MERRICK, NY — In order to develop a next-level education, recreational and vocational experience for students within the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District through age 21, the department of special education and pupil personnel services created a PREP Academy to help prepare them for adult life.
“Through work with parents, students, teachers and community organizations, we have identified areas that are essential for our students to be successful adults,” said Eric Arlin, director of special education and pupil personnel services.
The goals of the academy include social understanding and skills, self-advocacy and developing specific job skills and independent recreational skills. Students are also taught functional academic skills such as managing a bank account or understanding their paychecks. Some students will also be continuing high school coursework necessary to complete graduation requirements.
“This program culminates in students obtaining a local or Regents high school diploma,” Emily Paluseo, assistant director of special