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June 3, 2020

Minnick Innovations: Learning from Home

Our teachers, staff, and students joined others across the state in lamenting the end of a regular school year, cut short in March. But our educators and administrators rose to the challenge by formulating a substantive plan to continue learning and behavioral support … remotely. After coordinating with over 30 school districts, updating individualized educational […]

September 9, 2019

Trombone lessons bring learning opportunity to both student and teacher

By Rob Jackson At the start of summer, after my junior year of studying music education, my advanced methods professor emailed the class asking for volunteers to teach trombone lessons to two eager special-needs students at the Minnick School in Harrisonburg. I play trombone, and with my practicum at a local high school wrapping up, […]

June 12, 2019

From a son’s expulsions to Graduation Day triumph, with help from the Minnick School at Wise

By Dan Montgomery Every parent is proud when a child receives a high-school diploma, but let’s allow Robert McGuire a little extra pride right now. His son, Ethan, who has autism, just graduated from Central High School in Wise. The same Ethan who, because of behavioral-emotional challenges, was expelled from pre-school, from Head Start, from […]

May 28, 2019

A promise kept: Wise Minnick School’s first student is, today, a diploma-carrying high-school graduate

By Dan Montgomery Lutheran Family Services of Virginia’s Minnick School in Wise opened in 2010 with two educators and one student: Fourth-grader Ethan McGuire. Ethan had autism, but it was his behaviors that were the issue. “He was out of control, aggressive and challenging,” says Lori Long, one of Ethan’s original two Minnick educators. But […]

April 9, 2019

A creative dabbler finds a life mission teaching Minnick students with autism

My name is Kimberly Icard, and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! Granted, I’m 31 years old, so one could argue that I am grown up, but I’ve never been someone with a clearly defined path in life. I tend to dabble in various hobbies and community groups, […]

December 5, 2018

Backpack program provides essentials for student learning

By Ariana Estes Teachers know when a student has had a rough weekend or hasn’t had enough to eat since leaving school on Friday. Hungry students cannot focus on education and their behavior can be affected. At Lutheran Family Services of Virginia’s Minnick Schools, the goal is to educate children, meeting them where they are […]

June 4, 2018

Getting students work-ready with Job Club

By Ariana Estes   Preparing for a first job can be stressful and overwhelming. There are job applications to fill out and tough questions to answer during interviews. Once the job is landed, the new employee still needs to get through job training and learn to work with his new coworkers. While most young professionals […]

May 3, 2018

Harrisonburg Minnick School gets in the zone

By Ariana Estes Horns honking, brakes screeching and vehicles flying by at 45 mph — this scene is not what one would expect to see outside of a school. But outside of Harrisonburg Minnick School, there was no way for drivers to know to slow down and be on the lookout for students and school […]

March 6, 2018

A-L-E-X-A Spells Learning

By Ariana Estes When Jessica Wampler’s students at Wise Minnick School started to expand their vocabulary in her writing center activities, she saw a need for more than her classroom had to offer. “They did a great job sounding out words, using a picture dictionary and our word wall, but they were increasing in vocabulary […]

January 8, 2018

Grant helps LFSVA transition students to their next goal

By Ariana Estes LFSVA was recently awarded a grant from the Sam and Marion Golden Helping Hand Foundation to help facilitate services to students ages 14 to 21 who need support and education as they transition from school to adulthood. Thanks to the funds from this award, LFSVA’s Supported Employment Services will begin working with eligible Roanoke […]

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