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Southampton sets stage for community classrooms


Southampton sets stage for community classrooms

Natasha Jeffries

To prepare students for life after graduation, the Southampton School District has inaugurated a new Community as a Classroom program and promoted teaching assistant Natasha Jeffries to be the community placement coordinator.

“This new program will focus on postsecondary preparation that is centered on building the soft skills required for success in work related aspects, as well as college preparation,” said Tricia McCauley Desiderio, Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services. “Ms. Jeffries has a wealth of knowledge to bolster this program and provide students with a variety of learning opportunities in the community.”

The program combines classroom learning with internships in the community for both general education students and students with disabilities. High school juniors and seniors who participate will earn a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) commencement credential. This CDOS credential can be in addition, or recognized as a pathway, to obtaining a regents or local diploma.  This entails meeting all requirements, including the work based learning standards, that affirms career readiness recognized by the New York State Education Department.

As coordinator, Jeffries, a lifelong resident of Southampton, will use advertising and her connections in the community to secure internship opportunities for students. She will also work directly with students, their families, high school counselors and social workers to match students with available internships.

“I am looking forward to working with the students and helping them to find their voices while exploring and partaking in valuable job experiences,” said Jeffries. “This program will give them more opportunities after graduation.”  

Jeffries has been a dedicated teaching assistant in the district’s special education and life skills program since 2006. She also served as a leave replacement teacher in the district as well as a high school math teacher and resource room teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in community and human services.

Photo courtesy of the Southampton Union Free School District