Urban Skills Center students are afforded many opportunities for active participation in their school and their community. We believe that school should be fun, learning experiences should be fun, and students should be given a large menu of extracurricular activities to engage them. Such activities can help bring them to school, help them acquire their IEP goals, and provide them with valuable, generalized skills for their futures. We call them extracurricular but they are a fully integrated part of our curriculum.
Trips to learn
Some of our students have goals related to their use of public transportation, so community trips on the bus and trolley are a necessity. Others have goals relating to money management and shopping, so trips to local grocery and department stores are frequent occurrences.
Field trips to the San Diego County Fair, to the San Diego Zoo, and other area locations are taken because of the diversity of learning opportunities and experiences available.
Vocational education opportunities
Vocational education at Urban Skills Center provides our students instruction in valuable employability skills both on and off campus. Off-campus opportunities are provided at a variety of community settings, including ARC of San Diego, Mama’s Kitchen, Lemon Grove Senior Center, Alzheimer’s Center, La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center, and others.
Physical education and conditioning
Urban Skills Center students use the COOK Education Center’s gyms and playground allow for a wide variety of physical activities, permitting our students to learn new games, to improve their coordination and conditioning, to participate as a team member, and to have a lot of fun. Sports, physical education, and conditioning are also about teamwork, sportsmanship, positive social interaction.
Male and female students can join teams that compete in the CAPSES inter-mural league (California Association of Private Special Education Schools) against teams from other public and nonpublic schools in the San Diego area. The sports teams participate in 11-man flag football; 5-man, full-court basketball; and slow pitch softball. Games are played at local sports fields and gymnasiums according to formal rules.
Karate and yoga
Karate is one of our most popular electives for both males and females. COOK Education Center has its own Karate dojo (gym) which Urban Skills Center students use to practice and perform katas.
Music studio and instruments
Urban Skills Center students have access to the music studio located in COOK Education Center. We also have quality instruments, including keyboards, guitars, bass guitar, electronic drum kit, various rhythm instruments, microphones, amps, and a Mac computer to assist with playback and composing.
Urban Skills Center offers a range of visual art, crafts, and photography classes for interested students. Arts and crafts classes involve a variety of media, including computer graphics, drawing and painting, sculpture, and so on. Our students have also created the backdrops for school drama performances. Photography classes teach the basics of digital camera use as well as fundamental photo processing on Mac computers, involving iPhoto, or one of the more sophisticated processing applications. Students take their cameras on guided field trips to learn fundamentals of photography. Cartooning has become a popular method of photo alteration.
High school fine arts credit
Urban Skills Center students can follow the school’s high school visual arts curriculum and receive fine arts credits for class participation.