Students at the Grapevine High School Special Education Transition program are putting their business skills to the test through Take Note, their customized memo pad business. Through the support of the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation, Transition established the student-run business this spring. Take Note helps students learn a broad set of business-related skills that they can translate to employment.
“Every bit of this business encompasses everything that Lead 2021 is all about,” said Debra Tridico, GCISD job coach. “This business promotes good citizenship and prepares, motivates and encourages each student to reach his or her full potential within a safe, caring, cooperative environment by providing an effective and enduring education, an education that directly involves their future.”
Through a $3,769 grant from the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation, the Transition Program purchased copy paper, paper trimmers and a padding press. The program was fortunate to receive a donated color printer, but hopes to purchase an additional printer as their business continues. GHS Business Teacher Rosemary Hemsell helped set up the online ordering system, and the students are slowly moving into their sales promotion. Finally, GCISD Digital Coach Vicki Tucker taught the students how to design a memo pad.
After the students receive an order, they design, print and package the memo pads. Students then distribute the finished product to their customers, collect payment, record funds received and make deposits.
“They have gotten quite good and creative in their designs,” Tridico said. “All of these skills can translate into a wider range of skill sets needed to become more employable in a competitive work force.”
Tridico continued to explain that when her students “held a finished pad that they created from start to finish, you could almost see the light bulb go off above their heads.” She expects more ‘Ah-Ha’ moments once her students begin collecting the money from their efforts.
In addition to their memo pad business, the students also created a pet toy business. Using donated t-shirts, the students cut the shirts into strips and weave them into soft chew toys for pets.
The Transition Program supports Special Education for students from ages 18 – 22 as they prepare to leave the public school settings to enter the workforce. LEAD 2021 is the district’s strategic plan that impacts every aspect of GCISD–from instruction and technology to facilities and operations. And it is through LEAD 2021 that GCISD is redefining education because the future of our students, our community and our world matters today.