SEL Awardee

Erica Rimlinger

William S. Baer School
Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore, MD
“At Baer, all our children have severe or complex disabilities. Most are nonverbal, but it’s our job (and passion) to help them find their voice. Communication is dignity, and to that end, we are implementing Project CORE, which uses a new approach to help our students communicate. Just a few years ago, communications systems for children with disabilities focused on identifying objects with pictures. A teacher would point to a picture of a sandwich or apple (on a screen or laminated board) to represent “lunch.” But this doesn’t give the student any choices or opportunity to give input into their day. In layman’s terms, this is passive communication. With project CORE, teachers use visual representations for VERBS instead of NOUNS. Instead of naming objects, Project CORE allows children to identify feelings, describe their needs, and actively participate in their daily routine. By teaching children to communicate their feelings, needs and desires, children can actively communicate. ”
Tags: Collaborative Learning, Culturally Responsive Approaches, Curriculum, Elementary School, High School, Measurement, Middle School, Mindfulness, Restorative Practices, Student Engagement, Student Leadership & Voice, Students with Disabilities, Teacher, Teacher Leadership, Traditional Public School, Trauma-Informed, Urban, Use of Space