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Victoria, VA: District SPED dept has new "Mobile Sensory" bus that goes school to school

Nov 7, 2018, Victoria (VA) Advocate: VISD demonstrates special education mobile motor unit https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/education/visd-demonstrates-special-education-mobile-motor-unit/article_8548445a-e2a8-11e8-8b22-874ce97d896f.html Hopkins elementary student Jonalan “JJ” Newkirk made his way across the monkey bars and landed on a cushioned landing pad. Instead of a park or playground, the monkey bars were one piece of equipment inside a school bus. “I think it’s opening a lot of doors for these children,” said Dana Curtis, the related services lead at the Victoria school district. “We’re probably one of the districts that are using something like this, so we are hoping if it works well for us, that it’s something that other districts will want to consider using.” The district’s special education department rolled out its Mobile Sensory Motor Unit on Monday for a week long demonstration at the campuses it will service. The unit was at Hopkins Elementary School on Wednesday morning, where about 15 students – who are either in the preschool programs for children with disabilities or in prekindergarten classes – used the bus for the first time. The outside of the lime green bus is designed with the autism multicolored puzzle piece logo and cartoon characters “Captain Ability,” a female superhero who personifies the special education department, a student in a wheelchair and a student who is nonverbal is using a communication device to say “Our future is bright.” … VISD has converted a school bus into a Mobile Sensory Motor Unit. The bus serves preschool programs for children with disabilities and prekindergarten students…. The bus will visit six of the 18 VISD elementary campuses to help their students. Once a week, the mobile unit will visit F.W. Gross Elementary, Vickers Elementary, Hopkins Elementary, Crain Elementary, Torres Elementary and Ella Schorlemmer Elementary schools covered by the grant, where more than 180 students will benefit from the use, Curtis said…. Activities inside the bus include yoga, warm-up stretches, monkey bars, a staircase, rock wall, trapeze bar and a balance beam…. The unit was created through a portion of the $1 million grant, the 2018-2019 Services to Students with Autism Grant, the school district’s special education department received in June. A lack of designated space on-campuses for sensory motor time was addressed through the mobile gym, said Curtis, who was part of the grant team. …