” I don’t know what I’d do without them”

Big SKy’s Voc Prep and Exceptionalities Program


Aubree Rush

The Big Sky staff gathered to celebrate the retirement of of one of their paras John Parker

Aubree Rush and Kira Soucie

Voc Prep stands for Vocational Preparation and is to help students prepare for life after High School. Voc prep kids lend a helping hand with the Big Sky staff. They are all amazing people to spend time with, giving endless laughs and smiles that are contagious. So, if you ever get the chance to stop by and say “hello”, do it, because these kids love making new friends. Voc prep students take classes to help prepare them for life after high school with learning soft skills and practicing those skills while also going through core classes like Math, English, Science, and History. Their jobs may seem small, but they are real job that will help to transition them into life after graduation.

Day to day they have their jobs and classes as usual. But their jobs vary. In one class they will have a job around the school, and in another they will have jobs in the classroom.  Jobs vary on the student and their ability to complete the tasks.

Like all students at big sky they have a favorite class. As Sophomore Sophia* “I like math because of the help I get.”  And it’s different for everyone. Junior Joey* says “I like math because the calculations. I don’t have a para.”

There are different types of paras but they all are here to help the students succeed the para’s jobs vary depending on the student. There are different paras for different kinds of help, like voc prep paras and one-on-one para. As para Patricia Kempster says “I’m a voc prep para, so I help to teach job trainings and getting them ready for the world of work. Sometimes I’ll work with 3-4 students at a time, sometimes more.”

With having so many kids in the program, they need different paras for different kinds of help in classrooms. As para Kyleah Stright says “my job is to provide support to students of all different abilities to help them succeed in school.”

This program wouldn’t run without its amazing staff members and even the kids think so the teachers and paras have become such a big part in their lives and education. As Junior Tyler* says “I think my favorite part about being in this program is to have the opportunities to learn and also have the opportunity to have fun whether you’re learning or you’re having fun or your out with the Olympic team doing fun things but we wouldn’t be able to do that or anything without these special ed teachers that are here I give a lot of credit to Shelby, WyAnn, Matt and Mr. Bead. and I tell my mom all the time I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

Names of students have been changed for privacy reasons.