Uniting Special and General Education Outside the Classroom


Dylan Gates

Special education department chair Desiree Shaffer teaches her students during advisement.

Julia Kim and Dylan Gates

The special education buddy system club will launch next year with leadership roles filled by April. The club provides general education students a chance to interact with special education students.

“The buddy club will be a place where general education students and special education students come together to socialize, have lunch, play games, attend a school game together, and maybe attend an event at a school that also has a buddy system,” special education department chair Desiree De Santos-Shaffer said.

Students will partner up with a special education student and spend the school day together, learning from each other. The partnership will be year-long. Shaffer will be the adviser of the club and said she hopes that the club will have many leadership positions, providing plenty of opportunity for students interested.

“Mrs. Shaffer is a really great advisement teacher, and I think it is a great opportunity to be more involved with the student body,” freshman Jaylin Moreno said. “I can’t wait to branch out and meet a new friend.”

This Buddy System Club will offer students a chance to meet their fellow classmates outside of an academic classroom setting. Matching special education students with general education students is achieved by having all club members fill out an interest form in order to match common hobbies.

“I think it helps our special education students…because they don’t get much opportunities to meet other people,” freshman Jimmy Kang said. “They are able to integrate with the general education kids, and it promotes unity within the school. It gives a chance to interact with others 1-on-1, and gets rid of the barrier between the kids in the special ed. program and the students in general education.”

If you are interested in applying for a position on the club’s leadership board, please email Mrs. Shaffer at [email protected]. She can also be found in her classroom, room 810. Applications for buddies will be open next year at Club Kick-Off.