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Oconomowoc students benefit more from inclusive class

Jan. 9, 2013

"This is an incredible collaboration," said Mary Linsmeier director, Cassie Maduscha. "Our staff learns from the Oconomowoc school district staff and they learn from us. Every child benefits a lot from this experience."

Maduscha is referring to the inclusive classroom at the Linsmeier site on West Wisconsin Avenue in Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD) early childhood special education teacher, Molly Raduka, is there four mornings each week to work with pre-school district students who have been identified as needing additional help with emotional, cognitive or physical challenges. She is supported by an OASD para-professional and Linsmeier staff who work seamlessly with the students; it's difficult to tell which students are those who need special help and those who do not. They are all part of one classroom.

Raduka noted that in the past, early childhood students were in a separate classroom that did not include regular education students. "The children didn't have a chance to interact with other children. Now, they can learn from each other; teachers and students are so accepting."

She added that the special education students, who range in age from 3 to 5, are more willing to try new things in this inclusive environment when they see other children making the effort . "It doesn't matter what skills they have; they all do the best that they can."

Director of Student Service and Special Education, Lisa Dawes, wrote, "(The District is) very excited to have an integrated early childhood setting at a community daycare. The peer models have been instrumental in helping student development and enriching the instructional experience overall."

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 26, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. first and third Saturdays and by appointment, Free www.delafieldartscenter.org.

Organ Concert: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Music Club is hosting a concert by renowned organist Dr. Simone Gheller. Refreshments will be served after the concert. Free.

Yuletide Faire: 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, N14-W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. $4 in advance or $5 at the door for adults and $1 in advance or $2 at the door for children under 15. Features strolling minstrels and costumed characters, puppet shows, storytelling, candle dipping, face painting, children’s craft workshops, children’s holiday shopping, live music, silent auction, children’s book sale, natural toys, 35 vendors, warm food, homemade desserts, candies, nuts and other treats. 

Fashionable Tidings Gala Luncheon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 22, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Holiday fashions of local clothiers Paul Bruce Goodman and Liebling Leather. Music by Brusubardis String Ensemble. Lunch includes shrimp scamp and angel hair pasta with vegetables provencale. Wine tasting  and auction. Benefits Waukesha Choral Union. $35. Call (414) 297-9310 for tickets. www.choralunion.org.

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