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Roy’s North Park Elementary recognizes special education with All Abilities Day

By Ryan Aston - | May 3, 2024

Ryan Aston, Standard-Examiner

A student is presented with a medal during North Park Elementary School's All Abilities Day on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

ROY — North Park Elementary School put the spotlight on its special education department and the students, teachers, paraprofessionals and others involved with its life skills classes Wednesday.

The school hosted its second annual All Abilities Day, inviting the families of life skills students to its grounds for a celebration of their children and those who work with them every school day. Representatives from Weber School District also were in attendance.

“These are the kids that, if I’m having a bad day, that’s the classroom that I want to go to,” Michelle Summerhays, speech pathologist and one of the event’s organizers, told the Standard-Examiner. “It just lifts your spirits to go and work with these kids.”

North Park has two life skills classes, consisting of approximately 20 students in total. Students are divided roughly by age (K-3, 4-6), with their different abilities and needs also being accounted for in class assignment.

Each class has its own teachers, paraprofessionals and aides, who also were celebrated for their efforts Wednesday.

“It’s really cool to look back over the last year and see the changes that we’ve seen in the students,” Summerhays said. “Their success has meant a whole lot to everybody on the team.”

All Abilities Day began outside on North Park’s playground, where students and their parents participated in a myriad of activities, including bowling and an obstacle course. The outdoor portion concluded with two races — one for each life skills class — after which the children received medals.

Attendees then moved into the school building, where lunch was served and individual students were recognized for their unique talents and classroom contributions. Parents also were recognized for their efforts.

Principal Michel Strate and multiple teachers told the Standard-Examiner that the school, and its life skills programs specifically, receive a high level of support from the local community, as well as the district.

The event was largely funded by donations. Allen Miner of the Miner Foundation donated $2,500 through the DonorsChoose platform, funds that also were matched by the Allstate Foundation. Meanwhile, Steve’s Black Sabbath BBQ provided food for the second straight year.

For her part, Summerhays would like to see more of the same moving forward.

“Community support is fantastic and makes such a big difference for schools and for teachers, and those that work with our students,” she said. “I would encourage people just to pay attention. If you live around the school, see what’s going on and get to know the people that work there and the kids that go there.”


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