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Merakey Autism Center CARLISLE

WELCOME to Merakey Autism Center CARLISLE (Cumberland County | 717-249-4525)

Hello and welcome to the Merakey Autism Center Carlisle. Our school currently serves students with an Autism diagnosis ranging in ages from 5 years old to age 21. What makes our school unique is that we are able to provide services to students within the entire spectrum while focusing on least restrictive environments by utilizing the satellite classes within the school district settings. This feature provides the Merakey Merakey Autism Center Carlisle the opportunity to promote the least restrictive environment within a regular education setting while still providing the Autism Support piece that all our students need to be successful. Each classroom has a Certified Special Education Teacher as well as highly qualified classroom aides to help support our students no matter what setting is found to be most appropriate for them.

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Bowling Fun

(03.2018) - As part of a physical education lesson, students from NHS School Carlisle went bowling throughout the month of February at Trindle Bowl in Mechanicsburg, PA. Each week for 4 weeks, students visited the bowling alley for two games of bowling. The events were excellent opportunities for students to work on things like motor skills and coordination, math, sportsmanship, and community navigation. The event is a yearly favorite for many of the students at NHS School Carlisle, and the school wishes to thank Trindle Bowl for their willingness to host them again this year.

Bowling Fun for NHS School Carlisle Bowling Fun for NHS School Carlisle

Flat Stanley Comes to NHS School Carlisle

(01.2018) - To encourage students in NHS School Carlisle’s in-district class at Crestview Elementary School to engage with their community, their teacher, Rebecca, introduced them to Flat Stanley. This fictional paper character was created by Jeff Brown in 1964 and details the many exploits of Stanley Lambchop, a man who was flattened and uses his flatness to help others. Each of the students colored their own Stanley and took them home for a week. They were instructed to utilize him in the community, during play at home or through any other ideas they could come up with. Parents sent in pictures of the children with Flat Stanley and the class created a book, writing about the different places and things he did with the students out in the community.

Flat Stanley Comes to NHS School Carlisle Flat Stanley Comes to NHS School Carlisle Flat Stanley Comes to NHS School Carlisle

Paw Prints for a Paint Day

(12.2017) - NHS School Carlisle held a “paint day” on December 13 to reward students for positive behavior. Students who earned the required number of “paw prints” for the month for good behavior were able to participate. Their teacher, Mrs. Hahn, walked students step-by-step through a snowman painting activity. The students enjoyed the activity immensely and another paint day is being planned for the Spring. Great job to all of the students who earned this fun activity!

Finding Their Inner Artist

(12.2017) - The high school classroom at NHS School Carlisle has been learning about sketching and many of history's famous artists, such as Leonardo DiVinci and Michaelangelo. Students were given their own sketch books to create their own works of art. Many of the students greatly enjoyed the lessons in art, even utilizing their sketch books during breaks. The staff at NHS School Carlisle were excited to see the passion sparked in the students from these lessons, and the students cannot wait for their next art lesson.

Finding Their Inner Artist Finding Their Inner Artist Finding Their Inner Artist

Thanksgiving Feast for All

Thanksgiving Feast for All(11.2017) - Another amazing Thanksgiving Feast is in the books at NHS school Carlisle! Thanks to a gracious donation from Giant Food Stores, we provided a Thanksgiving meal to our students, their families, and staff. Each classroom worked on a home economics lesson to prepare a side dish for the feast.

More than 150 people enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, stuffing, gravy, and delicious desserts. Everyone ate until they were stuffed! This event is a great opportunity to teach our students about new foods and eating a balanced meal. It also allows for our families to come into school and spend special time with their child.

Practicing Fire Safety

(10.2017) - The month of October reminds us all about the importance of Fire Safety. NHS School Carlisle was visited by the Carlisle Fire Department and Chief Snyder. Chief Snyder spent over an hour visiting with each class and discussing the importance of fire safety. During this time, he took the students around to view the fire truck. Many students were interested in how the truck worked and all the equipment on board. Some of the students asked questions about how much water the truck could pump and how much it weighed. Most importantly, Chief Snyder reminded the students to have an evacuation plan for their home and that in the case of a fire, they should not hide from the firefighters. They may look scary with all their equipment, but they are there to help them. Thank you, Chief Snyder for your commitment to our community and school!

Practicing Fire Safety Practicing Fire Safety

ZooAmerica Visits Our School

(10.2017) - NHS School Carlisle started the school year with a bang, by celebrating National Banana Split Day! The students were excited to pick their favorite flavors of ice cream and toppings. While a fun event for all, it was also a great opportunity for students to work on many life skills, including communicating their wants and needs, making choices, speech and occupational needs, and appropriate eating skills. At the end of the day, there were a lot of sticky hands and smiling faces.

ZooAmerica Visits Our School ZooAmerica Visits Our School

Celebrating National Banana Split Day

(10.2017) - NHS School Carlisle started the school year with a bang, by celebrating National Banana Split Day! The students were excited to pick their favorite flavors of ice cream and toppings. While a fun event for all, it was also a great opportunity for students to work on many life skills, including communicating their wants and needs, making choices, speech and occupational needs, and appropriate eating skills. At the end of the day, there were a lot of sticky hands and smiling faces.

Celebrating National Banana Split Day Celebrating National Banana Split Day
AmberMeet Amber, one of our high school students here at NHS School Carlisle. Last year, Amber began working at The Village Square Diner every Monday morning for about two hours. In this time, Amber helps out with all of the tasks that make a restaurant run smoothly, including bussing tables, rolling silverware, wiping down menus and cleaning out the storage areas in the back of the restaurant. Amber even tried the hostess position a few times, where she would greet customers and help them to their seat. Amber reports she really enjoys all of her job duties, with the exception of cleaning out and stocking the back storage areas as this task can be a lot of hard work!

Amber feels she has benefitted greatly from her experiences at the diner because it has helped her to build her responsibility and skill level. Amber also realizes that working in a diner has exposed her to a lot of social opportunities. She must practice her social skills every day with her interactions with the customers. She has also met some fellow co-workers there who have proven to be a great support and role models to Amber. Amber's supervisor at the diner reports, "Amber is doing very well at the diner, and I would be happy to be a reference for her in the future." Amber hopes to continue her work experiences with the food service industry, an animal shelter, or retail in the future.

Alex success storyPrior to enrollment at NHS, Alex was a target of bullying and those memories made a very deep impression. When Alex first arrived in 2010, he had difficulty shaking hands with new people and was rather shy. Over the past two years, he has come out of his shell and is very popular with peers and staff. He even has a great handshake that shows real confidence. He is always willing to lend a hand and will often volunteer to do extra work at the class business, the Coffee Mart. Alex also worked as a library assistant in the school library and is the accountant for other classes' school dollar accounts.

Last fall, Alex began a cooking class, driver safety, and the board games club at the NHS School Carlisle. He fit in well with his classmates and was a favorite of teachers and peers. He became a leadership figure in his cooking group and other students look to him for guidance when trouble boils in the kitchen. Alex also volunteers for the Salvation Army once a week with his class. During the 2013-2014 school year, Alex has continued to take classes at the NHS School, this time in computers. He is also interning at Dewberry, a local architectural firm, and has been given his own small projects to work on there. He is planning to pursue a career related to engineering or architecture once he graduates in June 2014.

Alex finds pleasure in sharing ideas and treats with his classmates; he is truly generous. Alex has, on numerous occasions, spent his allowance to make holiday goodie bags for his classmates and other altruistic deeds. He can hardly wait to distribute them and gets such delight in watching their reactions. Alex is cautious in meeting and relating to new people, but he is a true friend with a heart of gold. Today, Alex is highly dedicated and takes his responsibilities seriously. He greets every day with a grin. Alex displays quiet strength and inner resolve. His story is one that is an inspiration to others.

MatthewThe NHS School Carlisle has been instrumental in providing Matthew with the needed structure to be able to go above the day-to-day behavior problems, and focus on his strengths. His strengths include wanting to please, working, being active outside the school setting, working alongside other adults, and learning new hands-on skills.

When Matthew first arrived at NHS, he had numerous behavior issues which made it a challenge to get through the week without major difficulty. NHS provided a stable environment and learning opportunity. As consistent one-on-one supervision and instruction progressed, Matthew started finding he was getting the attention needed to reinforce his positive work ethic. Matthew has always enjoyed working and helping. Focusing on his skills, the therapies, and multiple discipline approaches allowed Matthew to be active in his likes, while insisting on the necessary academics. Reading, writing, and arithmetic continues to be a major challenge and non-preferred task, however important life skills continued to be stressed, encouraging more participation. Activity and out-of-school events have always been a highlight in Matthew's day. NHS provided numerous opportunities for these events, and made sure each classmate got the most out of every experience.

When Matthew turned sixteen and seventeen years old, the focus of his Individualized Education Plan turned more toward preparation for adulthood, and a job that would utilize the skills Matthew enjoyed. Through NHS' coordination, Matthew joined the class at the local food bank, and then progressed to a job interview at the local structured workshop, Center for Industrial Training, through Cumberland Perry Association for Retarded Citizens, and eventually to employment at Messiah College. His schedule started out at two days per week working, and three days in the school setting, with evaluation each year moving toward more work time and decreased classroom time. NHS evaluated Matthew's progress and adjusted his schedule accordingly.

With NHS's support, Matthew received placement at a meaningful job. Matthew continues to work five days each week at Messiah, with the goal to possibly get competitive employment utilizing Office of Vocation Rehabilitation services after his June graduation. Throughout the past five years, NHS has provided the support, the stability, and the professionals that resulted in Matthew attaining much more maturity, stability, and progress than any of us could have imagined. From working in a competitive environment to understanding the value of money and of cooperation, NHS has provided the best environment and instruction, a great parent-teacher relationship, and capabilities no other school could provide. The end result is NHS prepared Matthew for life beyond school, and that alone speaks for itself.

Connor McEnanyConnor McEnany joined our NHS Autism School Carlisle in August 2011 as a second grader.  Connor is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and Tourette's Syndrome.  He has made such great gains toward his goals that he will be moving from our center-based program into our autism support classroom that is located in our local elementary school.  Here, he will be integrated with regular education peers for social opportunities and for science and social studies which he loves.

Connor loves to read, write short stories about his cat Boots, collects coins, rocks and minerals.  He loves learning about science and nature.  Connor also enjoys camping and being outdoors with his family.

Connor has made great gains in self regulation by being better able to understand his emotions and ways to appropriately respond to peers.  Connor also is learning about keeping personal space and not talking too loudly to others.  Connor is a sensory seeker so a sensory diet has helped him to deal with frustration and engage in an overwhelming environmental setting.  He has learned to ask for help, knows when to take a break, has more appropriate ways to gain attention and has a variety of ways to decrease his anxiety.

More than anything, Connor wants to have friends.  Due to his autism, he often struggles with understanding his peers and maintaining interactions.  He does loves to talk to others about his interests and will seek out others to talk to, but continues to struggle in social situations. Connor recently enrolled in our Stepping Stones Program to continue to enhance his social skills including social problem solving, having conversations and dealing with others having different opinions than himself.  His parents are actively involved in his programming which has been to his benefit.

Connor's family and clinical team are excited about the progress he is making in all areas.  Connor is working very hard to meet his own goals to go to science class and to make friends.
Coffee Mart
(11.10.2016) - What is that delicious smell? It's Thursday at NHS School Carlisle and that can only mean one thing, Coffee Mart! Our most advanced franchise, Coffee Mart is run by a variety of students. There are two student managers and a crew of workers. Throughout the week, students work on planning the next food selection, creating flyers, typing up order forms, and distributing orders. When Thursday arrives, the students work as a team to prepare the food, take orders and deliver them, and provide great customer service. Everybody looks forward to the weekly menu to see what great creation is being sold. Students working for this franchise spend much of their time building these independent life and vocational skills that will help them to be successful after they leave NHS.

Coffee Mart at NHS School CarlisleCoffee Mart at NHS School Carlisle

NHS School Carlisle Loves Wednesdays!
(11.09.2016) - Wednesday may be students' favorite day of the week at NHS School Carlisle! Why? Because it’s Pizza Planet Day! Every Tuesday, students are sent home with an optional order form to have pizza on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, students in the Transition Program working for the Pizza Planet franchise, collect the order forms and the students’ money. They work diligently to total how much of each pizza type is needed and how much money was collected. A student then calls in the pizza order. Shortly before lunch, a student goes to the pizza shop to pick up the pizzas, and then they distribute them to the students who ordered. This is a multi-step process that encourages teamwork, close attention to tasks, and good hygiene.

NHS School Carlisle Loves WednesdaysNHS School Carlisle Loves Wednesdays

Jeans Friday Franchise
On Jeans Friday at the NHS School Carlisle, two classes send astudent around the building to collect money from staff who are wearing jeans. The students learn to follow a script, speak at an appropriate volume, recognize different types of clothing, recognize adults from children, and differentiate between money. This also helps students learn to count money, make change, practice social skill, and adjust to change in their morning routine. With the money from Jeans Friday our classes can take extra field trips and purchase special materials for projects and parties.

Jeans Friday Franchise Jeans Friday Franchise

Bake Shop Franchise
High school students have opened a Bake Shop! Every Monday the students use a checklist to independently prepare various baked goods. On Tuesdays, the students take turns being in charge of bakeshop in the cafeteria during lunch. They are responsible for making an announcement over the school PA system, setting up the table, collecting the money, making change, and cleaning up afterwards. If items are not completely sold during lunch time, the student goes door to door throughout the school, selling items to staff. The students are learning the steps for independent food preparation, proper hygiene, appropriate social interactions, and costumer care.

Coffee Mart Franchise
Eight students, now ages 13 – 20, are in their fifth year of operating the Coffee Mart at NHS School Carlisle. The franchise originally began as a mobile Coffee Cart that students took from classroom to classroom. The Coffee Mart franchise has evolved into an enterprise which generates opportunities to learn and practice many vocational and interpersonal skills. Coffee Mart provides three areas for experience and problem solving: administration and publicity, food preparation, and customer service. The students participate in small teams which rotate weekly to cover the various responsibilities, including creating a menu, preparing and serving food, ensuring sanitary procedures are adhered to, running a cash register, keeping an inventory and balancing the books. It is quite an operation- serving approximately 30 customers per week.

The students complete paperwork in the classroom, using the life-skills kitchen to prepare the food, and a workspace in the hallway outside the kitchen to serve customers. With the exception of selling the food, the Coffee Mart jobs are done daily.
Day 1: record keeping, counting proceeds and paying bills;
Day 2: creating and publicizing the menu;
Day 3: taking pre-orders and making a shopping list;
Day 4: food preparation such as cooking chili or baking cookies;
Day 5: setting up shop, operating the Coffee Mart and cleaning up (usually about 3 hours total).

So many skills are practiced in this enterprise: food handling and sanitation, customer relations and interpersonal communication; working as a team; practical money handling; pride in doing a good job and serving a community. The Coffee Mart is self-sustaining and small profits are used to fund two or three classroom field trips.

Bake Shop Franchise Bake Shop Franchise Bake Shop Franchise Bake Shop Franchise

Pizza Shop Franchise
The Upper Elementary Classroom also works with the Middle School Classroom in our Pizza Shop. We collect orders from staff and students every Tuesday morning, decide how many pizzas we need to order (by using our addition and division skills), call in the pizza order and use social skills to deliver pizza to anyone that ordered. The purpose of these franchises are to help the students with their fine motor skills, to develop pre-vocational skills that can be carried over to future jobs, to give the students a chance to interact socially and to simply have a good time. These franchises help the classroom getting some supplies that are needed for the students, paying for some parties that we have in the classroom and also allowing students to go on a field trip at the end of the school year.

Pizza Shop Franchise Pizza Shop Franchise Pizza Shop Franchise

Crafty Kids Franchise
Our Upper Elementary Classroom is learning to use their fine motor skills to make crafts to sell in the school. We have monthly themed crafts for the kids to make and sell. Here are some pictures of items our students made. Not only do the students use their fine motor skills, but they also use their social skills to go around to all of our classrooms to ask for orders on a monthly basis and also deliver items made. They also deal with counting the money made with the franchise.

Crafty Kids Franchise Crafty Kids Franchise Crafty Kids Franchise Crafty Kids Franchise

Salad WednesdaySalad Wednesday Franchise
The elementary students in grades 4-6 started the school year off selling nachos for their franchise. At the beginning of the 2014 school year, we switched to selling different types of salads. The students help prepare the salad, setting out the materials needed, making the announcement that nacho/salad shop is now open in the cafeteria. The skills learned include proper hygiene (i.e. hand washing, hair pulled back, etc.), communicating with the customers, identify and counting money, following a script, maintaining a task longer than five minutes, refining motor skills, measuring and sorting.

Our franchise helps develop social skills, allowing a change in the schedule and further their math skills. With the money made from selling nachos/salads, our class is able to take extra field trips and purchase materials for our room and special activities.
Take a walk around our school and in the classroom!

School Address:  898 Waggoners Gap Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
School Phone Number: 717-249-4525
Education and Autism Services Administration Office Number: 724-532-2302

Suzanne Napoli

Name: Suzanne Napoli
Title: Education Director
Email: SNapoli@merakey.org
Laura Hendrickson

Name: Laura Hendrickson
Title: Administrative Assistant
Email: LHendrickson@merakey.org
Laura Hendrickson

Name: Misty Myers
Title: Office Manager
Email: MMyers02@merakey.org
Archived News from School Year 2016 - 2017


(05.2017) - To kick off the month of May, many high school students from NHS School Carlisle attended the prom. Students were very excited to attend after selecting their outfits and practicing proper etiquette. Students received boutonnieres and corsages when they arrived at the prom. They enjoyed dancing, eating, and a photo booth. All of the students had a great time and were exhausted by the end of the day.

NHS School Carlisle Goes to Prom

Celebrating Autism Awareness Month

(04.2017) - During the month of April, students at NHS School Carlisle participated in a variety of activities both on and off site to recognize Autism Awareness Month. For classrooms that are off-site, April is an opportunity for students to educate their friends in the general education classrooms with displays or other activities. A party was also held to include dancing, a photo booth, and other fun activities.

NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Autism Awareness Month NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Autism Awareness Month NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Autism Awareness Month

Learning About Anne Frank

(03.2017) - This past winter, students in the high school class at NHS School Carlisle read "The Diary of Anne Frank." The students learned a lot about World War II and how people were persecuted. For many of our students, this was their first real exposure to this serious of a topic. The students were extremely interested and handled the material with maturity. As they were approaching the end of the book, it was discovered that a play about Anne Frank was being held at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA. While the topic is sad, the students eagerly went to see the play. After the show, the students went to a local food court for lunch to discuss what they had seen and how it made them feel. It also opened the door for students to work on many of the skills they practice in the classroom, such as budgeting their money, making decisions as to what to order, and paying for their food. All around, this was an amazing experience for these students!

NHS School Carlisle Learns About Anne Frank

Everybody Drums

(02.10.2017) - Studies have shown that there are amazing therapeutic benefits of music. Music can help to improve many skills including coordination, math, staying focused, and more. In hopes of taking advantage of these benefits, NHS School Carlisle has been hosting monthly "Everybody Drums" events. In February, the event was held during the school day and some of our neighboring schools were invited to attend. So much interest was expressed, that the event had to be split into two sessions, each for an hour and a half! Students and their families who attended were excited to be part of the experience.

A big thank you to Ken Crampton for leading this event and supplying us with many rhythmic instruments!

Everybody Drums at NHS School Carlisle Everybody Drums at NHS School Carlisle Everybody Drums at NHS School Carlisle

Congratulations Award Winners!

(01.31.2017) - Every quarter of the school year, Big Spring Middle School in Carlisle, PA awards students with a variety of recognitions. In January, many students from NHS School Carlisle that are in a satellite classroom located at Big Spring Middle School won some of these awards! The students worked hard and earned honors such as Student of the Quarter, Working Your Paws Off, and Dog Gone Good Award. To recognize and reward all of their hard work, these students were also given an ice cream/Italian ice party! Staff members are so proud of these students and encourage them to keep up the great work!

Congratulations to Award Winners at NHS School Carlisle!

Congratulations to Award Winners at NHS School Carlisle!

Holiday Sing-Along

(01.12.2017) - NHS School Carlisle hosted their yearly Holiday Sing Along in December. With all classes picking songs to perform, everyone was involved! This year, we heard many of the holiday favorites like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Jingle Bells." The NHS core value of diversity was displayed with one of the classes (Room 8) performing "White Christmas" in sign language and the administrative staff singing "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" in celebration of Hannukah. Families were welcomed to attend the event to sing and laugh with their children and staff!

NHS School Carlisle Holiday Sing-Along

NHS School Carlisle Holiday Sing-AlongNHS School Carlisle Holiday Sing-Along

Giving Thanks

(11.18.2016) - NHS School Carlisle hosted their annual Thanksgiving Feast for the students and families served by our school on November 18. Thanks to a generous donation from Giant Food Stores, the school was able to provide students and families all the wonderful tastes of a home-cooked meal, including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, and desserts! Students assisted in preparing the food and materials for the feast. One of the classes volunteered to serve the food to the other students and parents. Many life skills were practiced and important nutritional information was learned. Great conversations and a lot of full stomachs resulted that day!

NHS School Carlisle Gives Thanks  NHS School Carlisle Gives Thanks

Participating in Special Olympics

(10.20.2016) - Another fall Special Olympics is in the books. Many students attended to represent NHS School Carlisle in a variety of events. The weather was lovely and the students were all excited to participate in the fun-filled activities. The day began with a parade of athletes. Students competed in events such as the long jump, 100 meter walk, shot put, and many more. By the end of the day, all the students were tired, but proud of what they accomplished. Staff are very proud of their successes as well!

Participating in Special OlympicsParticipating in Special Olympics

NHS School Carlisle Receives a Facelift

(09.19.2016) - As NHS School Carlisle kicked off the 2016-2017 school year, students experienced a new classroom setup. All classrooms received a facelift and have moved to a Verbal Behavior style layout. Students are now experiencing language building in a whole new way! Through engaging stations and guided play, students are using vocabulary everywhere they go. They love the NET station, where they can engage with staff and peers in student-led activities. During this time, they work on their communication and social skills. Compass is a great online program allowing our students to work on both computer and academic skills through educational videos and game play. Cheers to the start of another great year!

NHS School Carlisle Receives a FaceliftNHS School Carlisle Receives a Facelift

Archived News from School Year 2015 - 2016

Studying a Scientific Method

(01.22.2016) - Classrooms participated in a science fair on January 19. Each classroom learned about the steps of the scientific method and conducted experiments to correspond with each step. Classrooms displayed their hard work at the science fair, attended by parents and students. This was a great opportunity for students to showcase what they learned in science this month.

Scientific Method is Studied at NHS School Carlisle Scientific Method is Studied at NHS School Carlisle Scientific Method is Studied at NHS School Carlisle

Volunteering at the Local Food Bank

(01.22.2016) - Students from the Transition classes at NHS School Carlisle volunteered at a local food bank. Project SHARE collects, organizes, and distributes food to needy families in the Carlisle, PA area. Students practiced work skills by counting oranges, placing them in bags, and tying the ends. They enjoyed helping others while refining their job skills. Transition classrooms will continue volunteering for Project SHARE.

NHS School Carlisle Volunteers at Local Food Bank NHS School Carlisle Volunteers at Local Food Bank NHS School Carlisle Volunteers at Local Food Bank

Studying the NHS Core Values

(01.22.2016) - Students in Miss Britni's classroom at NHS School Carlisle held a core values assembly for the entire school. Students held up signs that spelled Quality and each explained, in their own words, the definition of quality.

NHS School Carlisle Studies NHS Core Values

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol at NHS School Carlisle(12.23.2015) - Students from Mrs. Elliott's and Mr. Ferguson's class at NHS School Carlisle participated in a day at the theatre with the Popcorn Hat Players of Harrisburg for their rendition of "A Christmas Carol" on December 10. The actors put on a special performance filled with lessons on friendship, spooky ghosts and lots of laughs. At the end, the thespians found themselves short a "Tiny Tim" and asked Joshua, an NHS student to take on the role. Joshua took the stage and delivered the unforgettable line "God bless us, everyone," to the applause of the audience. To celebrate this memorable trip, the students are creating their own "Christmas Carol" that they will film and present to their classmates. What a way to celebrate the season!

Harrisburg Heat Assembly

(12.23.2015) - Students from Mr. Thomas's off-site class, located within Hamilton Elementary School, attended a special event on December 17. A soccer/volleyball match was held where Hamilton elementary staff were pitted against members of the Harrisburg Heat professional indoor soccer team. The staff at Hamilton were allowed to use their entire body, including their hands. The members of the Harrisburg Heat were not permitted to use their hands. Mr. Thomas's class made signs rooting on their favorite team (the Harrisburg Heat of course!). Students were surprised to see the Heat's mascot. Pictured are students of Mr. Thomas's class Eric and Xavier, posing with the Heat mascot.

A Christmas Carol at NHS School Carlisle A Christmas Carol at NHS School Carlisle

Thanksgiving Feast

(11.25.2015) - Students, staff, and parents celebrated Thanksgiving with a grand feast on November 20. Students from transition-aged classrooms spent weeks making grocery lists, shopping, cooking, and planning for the annual event. Nearly 190 students, staff, and parents gathered to celebrate the holiday. It was a great way to celebrate half a year of school complete and was also a wonderful transition activity for all students involved.

Thanksgiving Feast at NHS School Carlisle Thanksgiving Feast at NHS School Carlisle Thanksgiving Feast at NHS School Carlisle

A Visit from Pro Baseball Player

(11.13.2015) - Professional baseball player, Justin Moore, from the Chattanooga Dodgers in Tennessee came to speak to students at Big Spring Middle School in Carlisle, PA. Ms. Katzaman, speech therapist, and Ms. Stewart, special education teacher, coordinated the session to have Mr. Moore speak to students about sportsmanship. Students asked Mr. Moore many questions including "How do you show good sportsmanship?" "What is your batting average?" How did you choose to play baseball as a career?" "How long have you played?" "What can I do to get better at baseball?" He also talked about sportsmanship and highlighted the importance of supporting and cheering for teammates. He noted that good "sports" respect teammates and opponents. He talked about the early days of baseball and how players would cheer or "tip hat" at good plays made by opposing players; Mr. Moore commented that politeness and sportsmanship were seen as an integral part of the game. Mr. Moore had great advice for students about baseball and life in general. He commented, "Whenever you make a mistake or lose, you need to build on your loss. Examine what you did right and what you did wrong… Accept and learn from mistakes." Mr. Moore talked about how students need to be able to receive constructive criticism from teachers and realize it is a good thing. He said, "It should make you want to do better." He noted that teachers are like baseball coaches. They want you to succeed. He also commented that students need to realize that building skills takes time. He emphasized the importance of working hard and of being patient. Lastly, he noted, "To be the best at what you want to do, you have to work at it. It’s not going to be easy all the time; you will not win all the time. You have to work."

NHS School Carlisle is Visited by Pro Baseball Player! NHS School Carlisle is Visited by Pro Baseball Player!

Special Olympics

(10.30.2015) - Students from the NHS School Carlisle participated in the annual Special Olympic Games held at Dickinson College in Carlisle on October 22. Students located at Carlisle's off site location at West Creek Elementary School in East Pennsboro also competed in the games held at East Pennsboro High School. Students competed in events and practiced being good sports by cheering for each other.

NHS School Carlisle Participates in Special Olympics NHS School Carlisle Participates in Special Olympics

Back to School Dance

(09.25.2015) - The NHS School Carlisle celebrated the start of a new school year with a back to school dance on September 4. The theme was "wear your NHS gear." Students and staff wore NHS shirts and celebrated the beginning of the new year together!

Back to School Dance at NHS School Carlisle

Archived News from School Year 2014 - 2015

A Visit to Middlesex Park

Students in the Extended School Year (ESY) program went on a field trip to the Middlesex Park splash pad on July 10. At the park, students enjoyed cooling off at the splash pad, playing on playground equipment, and eating at the pavilion. The ESY classrooms take a field trip each week to increase their awareness of community surroundings and provides them with social learning experiences.

NHS School Carlisle Visits Middlesex Park

Field Day

NHS School Carlisle held their annual field day on Friday, May 22. All students participated in this event, including some friends who came to visit from NHS School Harrisburg. All of the classrooms created field day activities for the students to participate focusing on the theme of "robots." In addition to the activities, there was a bounce house, face-painting, and lots of delicious food, donated by local businesses. A big thank you to all of our staff and students for making this yet another successful event!

Field Day at NHS School Carlisle

Donation from local YMCA

The Carlisle YMCA presented the NHS School Carlisle with a check from a fundraiser they held for Autism Awareness month in April. Every day in April, YMCA members received a puzzle piece that included facts about autism. The member that had the most puzzle pieces at the end of the month, was the winner. The YMCA then donated all of their profits to the NHS School Carlisle, and allowed our students to be present for the awards ceremony. This a great example of community involvement and Autism Awareness! Thank you to the Carlisle YMCA for your support and donation!

NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Earth Day

Earth Day

The NHS School Carlisle celebrated Earth Day on April 22! All students and staff participated in an afternoon of activities pertaining to Earth Day, including reading stories about conserving our planet, "fishing" for trash, and making a yummy "dirt" snack. This was a great way to teach our students about this special day, and increase their awareness of related issues, such as recycling.

NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Earth Day

Student Receives Prestigious Award

Student from NHS School Carlisle Receives Prestigious AwardJordan S, a student from the offsite middle school classroom at Big Spring Middle School was awarded the Principal's Spotlight Award last month. Out of the entire sixth grade class, Jordan was chosen to receive this very prestigious award for his outstanding effort and dedication to his work. Jordan's picture was hung in lobby of his school during the month of February. In addition, Jordan received a "front of the line pass" for an entire week and was treated a special lunch for him and three of his friends. Way to go, Jordan!

Basketball Season

Basketball season has returned to NHS School Carlisle! Staff and students participated in their first practice of the new year on January 23. Two staff from the school have been working to reinstate the NHS Bulldogs, the official basketball team of NHS School Carlisle. Practices are held every Friday afternoon, and are open to any student who is interested in playing. The coaches hope to organize a staff vs. students game very soon. Guess our staff better start practicing!


Santa Visits Our School

Santa visited our school on December 23, before the holiday break. This was a great social experience for the students and a nice way to kick off their holiday festivities.

Santa Visits Our School

A Visit from Special Guests

On Thursday December 4, our school had some very special visitors. President and COO, Joseph Martz, along with several other local supporters spent the afternoon touring our school and classrooms. One of the gentleman accompanying him was Christopher Brand, Manager of Community and Public Relations for Giant Foods, a major contributor of our school. These gentlemen spent their afternoon meeting students and staff, and spent time in all seven classrooms.

A Visit from Special Guests

Volunteering at Local Food Pantry

Volunteering at Local Food PantryStudents from several classes and age groups have been volunteering at Project Share, a local food pantry, every Wednesday. The students assist with a variety of tasks including sorting food and cleaning up. Students are learning a valuable concept of helping others, while also gaining some great transitional skills and experience!

Fall Table on Display

The NHS School Carisle has a fall table on display for the month of October. Our very dedicated Occupational Therapist, Miss Karen, worked with the students to create a fall display table this month. The table includes many items that symbolize fall such as leaves, pumpkins, gourds, and acorns. She and the students gathered many of these items from right outside our school. The children have enjoyed visiting the table periodically this month. It has offered a very hands-on approach to educating them about the changing season.

Fall Table on Display

Core Values Assembly on Leadership

Core Values Assembly on LeadershipClassroom two presented a Core Values Assembly on Leadership on October 10. The classroom first researched the "seven characteristics of a good leader," which they then presented in the assembly by holding up signs and talking about these traits. They talked about the leaders at our school, and presented a poster that included pictures and titles for everyone. They also spoke about how students can be leaders in their classroom by following the rules and helping others.

Finally, the students in the audience were given pictures of famous leaders such as presidents and other notable historical figures to color. Thank you to this classroom and staff for such a well thought out and informative presentation!

Helping Others in Need

The NHS School Carlisle is canning hunger! Classroom 6 started a food drive for our school. They have been accepting canned, boxed, and non-refrigerated items for over a week. These items will be donated to our local families later this year. The classroom with the most donated items will win a pizza party! All classrooms have participated in this contest and have been having fun comparing who is bringing in the most donations on a day to day basis. More importantly, our school is working together for the greater cause of helping others.

Helping Others in Need

Back to School Dance

The school kicked off the new year right with a back to school dance. All of our students met in the gymnasium to enjoy dancing, snacks, and socializing with their friends. The NHS School staff is always amazed with the moves we see from our students and even our fellow staff members. This also serves as a great way to allow our students to meet and socialize with students from other classrooms in the school.

Back to School Dance

Back to School!

Students returned back to school for the 2014-2015 school year on Monday August 25. In addition to returning students the school has 22 new students joining both the off-site and on-site classrooms. The teachers and staff began preparing two weeks prior to organize their classrooms and to get ready to teach. The first week was very fun and it was inspiring to see everyone back in class! Everyone is looking forward to a successful year at the NHS School Carlisle.

Back to School!

Practicing the NHS Core Values

Our school held its first core values assembly on September 11 to discuss the NHS Core Values. Each month a classroom will be assigned one of the Core Values to present to the rest of the school. Learning about the Core Values from their peers is a great way to involve and educate all of the students.

Home-Grown Garden

Home-Grown GardenLast spring the occupational therapist, Miss Karen, started a vegetable garden with the students. Students worked hard over the summer to keep the garden growing, and now everyone is able to enjoy the bounty of their labor. The students have picked tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and lettuce from the garden. The bigger challenge might be getting the students and staff to eat the vegetables!

Archived News from School Year 2013 - 2014

Preparing for Community Outings

Students attending the Extended School Year program have been preparing for their weekly field trips. Staff at the school have been taking great measures to implement social stories, role-playing and sequencing activities in order to prepare our students for heading out into the community to see new places and try new things. These trips could create a great deal of stress and anxiety for some of our students, but with adequate preparation and practice they are provided with an opportunity to be successful. Some of the basic skills being worked on include crossing the street, riding a bus and staying with the group. Hats off to staff and students for creating such positive experiences for everyone!

Preparing for Community Outings


It appears as though some of the students and staff at the NHS School Carlisle have green thumbs. At the end of this past school year, the school's Occupational Therapist, Karen W., began working with the students on creating a garden. Everyone contributed by digging, planting, and watering. Now almost halfway through the Extended School Year Program, the garden has sprouted tomatoes, lettuce and pumpkins! Great job to all for a successful garden full of vegetables and fruits!


A visit from Polly, the Service Dog

Each week "Mr. Mike" and his service dog Polly come to visit our classrooms. The students are allowed to pet and walk Polly down the halls of the school. This has provided students with great exposure to animals while also helping them to learn the basics of animal care. We are very thankful for Mike and our furry friend!

A visit from Polly, the Service Dog

Celebrating Student Graduation

On June 4, three students, Amber F,, Daniel S. and Alex P. from NHS School Carlisle graduated, ready to join the great wide world. The graduates walked down the aisle to a song of their choice, expressing their individual personality and different staff spoke about the amazing accomplishments they have made over the years. Each student then received their diploma and a handshake from the school staff. After the ceremony, the students celebrated with cake, photos and gifts. What is to come? Alex is looking at colleges, Daniel has an open referral at Center for Industrial Training, and Amber has a job interview at Bath and Body Works. We are all very proud of our graduates!

Celebrating Student Graduation Celebrating Student Graduation

Super Heroes Take on Field Day

The NHS School Carlisle had a "super" time hosting their annual field day this year with a super heroes theme! Every classroom played a part in making decorative props for the event and incorporating superhero themed activities. The morning involved the dry field day events such as relay races, ball toss, and an obstacle course. After lunch, the students enjoyed water events which were a big hit with everyone. Thanks to all our staff and students for all their hard work in making it such a fun and successful day!

Super Heroes Take on Field Day Super Heroes Take on Field Day

Completing the '100 Smile' Challenge

Students at NHS School Carlisle completed their 100 Smile Challenge on May 22 and celebrated with a special pajama and movie day. The 100 smile challenge asked our students to fill our school's resiliency board with one hundred smiley faces, each one noting the different ways our students show resiliency on a daily basis. We were especially proud of classroom one, who filled up almost half of the board. Way to go!!

'100 Smile' Challenge

Dr. J. Entertains Students Weekly

The sound of instruments can be heard every week in classroom two, as the classroom is fortunate enough to have a special guest visitor, Dr. J., come in to play his ukulele, guitar, and an assortment of other kitchen band instruments with the students. The students have had a chance to get to know Dr. J., and look forward to his visits. This experience not only exposes them to an assortment of unique instruments, but it also provides them with some great opportunities to build relationships with people in their community.

music music

Students attend Prom

Two classrooms attended prom at the West Shore Free Evangelical Church on May 7. The students arrived at school dressed in their finest for a fun day of dancing and socializing. The school provided flowers for all the students. The students had a great time partying with adolescents from other districts. One of NHS's students was crowned prom queen which was a very special moment for her and the NHS School Carlisle!

Prom Prom


Martial Arts

On April 25, Kathleen, a local martial arts instructor, offered individual martial arts classes to all the students at out school. She specializes in working with kids of all ages and developmental needs. Her classes focus on building skills in coordination, focus, and self control. This opportunity served as a great way for our kids to try something new, while also getting some exercise.

Martial Arts Martial Arts

Happy Earth Day!

On Tuesday, April 22 we celebrated Earth Day by preparing a special afternoon of activities for everyone to take part in. Our students all gathered in the gym to watch The Lorax, plant flowers and enjoy a snack. The "dirt" snack included a lovely mix of chocolate pudding, crumbled cookies and gummy worms. Our students really enjoyed this, along with the exposure to some social time and new activities.

Happy Earth Day! Happy Earth Day!

Artwork Display to Promote Autism Awareness

We teamed up with the Thought Lot Art Gallery in Shippensburg, PA to put together an art show of work done by students called "Artism, a Spectrum of Unique Perspectives." The gallery featured work from students ages 5-21 from NHS Schools Carlisle, Chambersburg, and York, as well as an artist from the Shippensburg School District. The students from the Carlisle school participated in setting up the show by placing and hanging work and preparing the space. The gallery opening was on April 4 and the show runs until the end of April to promote autism awareness and acceptance in the community.

NHS School Carlisle Displays Artwork to Promote Autism Awareness NHS School Carlisle Displays Artwork to Promote Autism Awareness

Our School Was Featured on CNN News for Students

cnn Our school was featured on the CNN News for Students on Tuesday, April 15 in their roll call segment that shows different places that students are watching from. A student wrote in twice asking to be included and his class was very excited to hear the name of their school mentioned in the news program they have been watching daily for several years.

Hosting a Frozen Party

Two of the classrooms got together to host a Frozen Fun Day, themed after the new Disney movie "Frozen." Together they made some frozen treats, went "ice skating" with bags attached to their feet in the gym, and decorated their classroom like a theatre where they later hosted the movie for the rest of the school. The staff worked very hard to develop some creative activities and foster some positive social interactions between classrooms.

NHS School Carlisle Hosts a Frozen Party

Celebrating World Autism Awarenesss Day

Our school joined the rest of NHS in celebrating World Autism Day and Light It Up Blue on April 2 by decorating t-shirts for all the students. The school choir sang their own rendition of "We All Shine On" as tribute to this special day, along with some other spring songs. It was a great day to celebrate the students and dedicated staff. The students in Miss. Parr's class were special quests on Cougar Vision, the Carlisle Elementary Schools morning news, to tell an autism statistic and remind the school to wear blue. On April 2 the school had 330 students and staff members wear blue. Each class signed a puzzle piece if they participated and a bulletin board was made. The teachers in the building also celebrated with a luncheon made up of blue treats.

NHS School Carlisle Celebrates World Autism Day NHS School Carlisle Celebrates World Autism Day

Student Receives a Visit From Celebrity Author

NHS School Carlisle Student Receives a Visit From Celebrity AuthorOne of NHS School Carlisle students, Christopher A. in Ms. Kelsey's classroom, received a visit from Matthew Novak, national acclaimed illustrator and author of children's books. Matthew shared with Chris how a book is put together, drew a rendering for Chris in his book "The Everything Machine" and signed the book for him as a gift.

Matthew also reviewed some of Chris's sketches. Chris is a promising artist and was happy to meet with a professional illustrator to learn more about his work. The NHS School Carlisle looks forward to hosting more celebrity artists and to learn about their art.

Salad Thursdays Takes off at Our School

Salad Thursdays Takes off at the NHS School CarlisleA classroom has started "Salad Thursday." The classrooms took it upon themselves to offer up "Salad Thursday" every Thursday at lunchtime for staff. Staff is given the choice of cheese, croutons, meat, and a variety of dressings for $2.00.

The staff appreciates this healthy and tasty alternative for lunch and the students appreciate the extra funds earned for their class.

The Basketball Team Takes the Court

The NHS School Carlisle's basketball team had their fast game of the new season last Friday against the staff. All of the staff and students gathered in the gymnasium to watch the "staff vs. student" playoff game. The students beat the staff team 31-14. A good time was had by all!

NHS School Carlisle Basketball Team Takes the Court


NNHS School Carlisle Goes BowlingThe NHS School Carlisle started bowling for physical education this month. The students travel to a local bowling alley one afternoon per week to learn about bowling, practice communication, taking turns and many other social skills.

Our School's Choir Practices Regularly

NHS School Carlisle has made choir become a regular Friday morning activity. The choir originated back in November, in order to prepare for their visit from Senator Rocks and the celebration of NHS Carlisle School. Since then, the students have performed various songs to help ring in every season and holiday. The choir instructors work hard to include all of the students, by using Apple's iPad technology and visuals. This is a wonderful social opportunity for the students!

NHS School Carlisle LChoir Practices regularly

Learning Zumba

The students have been participating in Zumba during gym class this month. All the students have enjoyed the incorporation of popular songs into the class. The students have been showing off their moves to dances like the Salsa and Flamenco. Zumba has been a great activity during this snowy weather that has kept everyone inside!

NHS School Carlisle Learns Zumba

Valentine's Day

The NHS School Carlisle enjoyed celebrating Valentine's Day together on February 12 by making delicious Rice Krispy Treats and cookies. The students also enjoyed socializing together in the gymnasium for a school dance. It was a wonderful day for students to practice their social skills as well as some very important life skills.

NHS School Carlisle Celebrates Valentine's Day

Celebrating the 100th Day of School

Our school celebrated their 100th day of school on February 7 by having each class come up with an activity to help the students practice counting to 100. All of the classes enjoyed participating in various events including gross motor skills and academics. The students also wore crowns that proudly stated "I am 100 days smarter!"

Carlisle 100th day of school

7th Annual Winter Blues Festival

On January 24, we celebrated the 7th Annual Winter Blues Festival. Parents, staff, and students came together to beat the winter blues for a pot luck dinner, great music and games. There were about 40 people in attendance and everybody enjoyed themselves!

NHS School Carlisle Holds 7th Annual Winter Blues Festival

Learning about an NHS Core Value - Leadership

NHS School Carlisle Learns about a NHS Core ValueOn January 17, the NHS School Carlisle incorporated a fun spirit day - pajama day - with learning about the NHS Core Value, Leadership. The middle school classroom hosted a presentation for all the students on what leadership means and then the students completed a fun activity by playing follow-the-leader and completing haiku poems about leadership.

Hosting a Holiday Sing-A-Long

The NHS School Carlisle celebrated their second annual Holiday Sing-A-Long on December 20. All of the students got together and sang some of their favorite holiday songs. This was a great opportunity for parents to visit the school and celebrate ringing in the holiday season together. Every class had the opportunity to participate and there were also special performances by the school's new choir and recorder group. After the entertainment, the students, staff, and family members enjoyed some hot chocolate and cookies and were surprised with a visit from Santa Claus himself. At the end of the day, the students had a chance to sing solo with a karaoke machine while everybody got up and danced. The students and staff at the Carlisle school are already looking forward to next year's event!

NHS School Carlisle Hosts Holiday Sing-A-Long

NHS School Carlisle Hosts Holiday Sing-A-Long

The First Annual Science Fair

the First Annual Science FairOn November 25, the NHS School Carlisle held their first annual Science Fair for students from grades K-12. The turnout was beyond our expectations!

The students had a wonderful time working on these projects and were so proud to display their work for everyone to see, including their parents. Due to the students' excitement and fantastic turnout, we are really looking forward to making this an annual event.

We can't wait to see what the students come up with next year!

Thanksgiving Day Feast

Thanksgiving Day Feast for NHS School CarlisleOn November 22, the NHS School Carlisle had their 5th annual Thanksgiving Day Feast. All of the classes got together to host a delicious thanksgiving meal with parents, students and the community. More than 60 people enjoyed entertainment from the school choir and recorder group. It was a wonderful day for the entire school to get together and celebrate the holiday.

NHS School Carlisle is Recognized for Team of the Year

NHS Human Services Chairman and CEO, Senator M. Joseph Rocks, and his regional team visited the NHS School Carlisle on November 20 to celebrate the prestigious award of the NHS Team of the Year. This was a huge honor for all the staff and students to be able to take part in celebrating such an amazing accomplishment. The team won for their dedication in helping to teach the students about the NHS Core Values and building resiliency among the entire student body. In honor of the school, all the students and staff were recognized, enjoyed a wonderful lunch together and a few songs from the chorus.

Congratulations to NHS School Carlisle for a job well done!

Basketball Season Kick-Off

The NHS School Carlisle started off their basketball season with their first game against the staff. The entire school got together to cheer on their team. The cheerleaders were able to show off their cheering skills during halftime as well as before and after the game. Everybody enjoyed watching and participating in the game.


Celebrating Halloween

Celebrating HalloweenThe NHS School Carlisle celebrated Halloween with a parade through the River Rock School on October 31.

The students trick-or-treated and paraded through the town to show off their costumes. The students also enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with one another for a Halloween dance.

Students Visit Local Planetarium

planetariumOn October 25, the NHS School Carlisle took a trip to the Reading Planetarium. The school has been focusing on astronomy as the monthly theme for October and was extremely excited to take all their new found knowledge to the planetarium to see what they had learned firsthand.

The students thoroughly enjoyed learning about the basics of astronomy through the hour long show, then got to enjoy eating their lunch in their star lit cafeteria the overall experience was wonderful and the students can't wait to learn more about astronomy.

Halloween Parade

The NHS School Carlisle participated in the annual Carlisle Halloween parade on October 21 with almost 100 participants. This year, the staff and students partnered up with the Real Ghostbusters of the Susquehanna Valley and spread the slogan "We ain't afraid of no autism." The goal of the float was to spread information about autism awareness while participating in a large community event. The float ended up winning the Most Halloweenish Award and all the staff and students really enjoyed participating.
halloween paradehalloween parade

Increasing Bullying Awareness

The NHS School Carlisle united on October 15 to increase awareness on bullying and to talk about important tips to remember when handling bullies. The students and staff all wore orange and signed a contract pledging that they will not bully. The NHS School Carlisle focuses on an anti-bullying curriculum throughout the school year as well.


Reviewing Lessons on Integrity

On October 18, the NHS School Carlisle had a Core Values Assembly, focusing on Integrity. After Erin B's classroom did a demonstration on what integrity means and reviewed the definition, the students then broke into groups and role played various situations illustrating integrity concepts. The groups shared what they felt was the right thing to do in their role playing situations. All of the students walked away with a new understanding of what integrity means.

Carlisle - integrity lessons

Transition Fair

The high school students at the NHS School Carlisle had the opportunity to attend a transition fair held at Central Pennsylvania College on October 4. All of the students had the opportunity to look at various job booths and learn about filling out an application, interviewing skills, and appropriate attire needed to obtain a job in the competitive work field. The students had a great time and the teachers were able to attend various transition trainings as well. Both students and staff are eager to continue planning their transition into adulthood and finding jobs based off of their interests and skills.

transition fair

Students Learn to Swim!

On September 18, the NHS School Carlisle started their annual swimming program. Not only is this a wonderful asset to their adaptive physical education program, because the students learn various safety precautions to utilize in the water, but this is also an opportunity to enjoy social activities with their peers. Each class will have the opportunity to swim one time per week for five weeks and we are looking forward to see how the students progress throughout the program.

NHS School Carlisle Students Learn to Swim!

Making Friends Through Dancing!

On September 6, the NHS School Carlisle got together for a back to school dance. Students enjoyed dancing to some popular line dancing songs and some delicious ice cream. During the month of September, students learned how to make friends and to respect diversity in others. The dance was a great kick off to this learning experience.

Students Learn to Make Friends Through Dancing!

NHS School Carlisle Starts a Cooking Club

The NHS School Carlisle started their first Cooking Club on September 5. The Cooking Club, facilitated by the occupational and speech and language therapists, provides a more functional approach to therapy within the school. Every Thursday, a group of students will have the opportunity to practice skills learned the previous weeks, as well as learn new functional skills in the kitchen. This week the Cooking Club is learning about various fruits to make a delicious fruit salad for the official end of summer 2013.

NHS School Carlisle Starts a Cooking Club

7th Annual Ice Cream Special

The NHS School Carlisle held their 7th Annual Open House Ice Cream Social on August 25. Fifty students and staff were given the opportunity to meet each other and socialize before the start of the school year. The students enjoyed seeing their new classrooms and meeting staff who will be working with them throughout the year.

7th Annual Ice Cream Special

A Visit from Local Improv Group

On Friday, July 19 the NHS School Carlisle enjoyed closing their theatre themed week with a visit from the local Starfish Project Improv Group. The group consists of several young teenagers and was founded by a young man with Aspergers Syndrome. The entire school enjoyed the show and it provided a great way to show another side to theatre.

NHS School Carlisle Receives Visit from Local Improv Group

Traveling to Lauren Lake

On Wednesday, July 24 the NHS School Carlisle traveled to Laurel Lake to learn about different types of bodies of water and the wild life that lives within them. This was a great way to tie in real experiences with what the students were learning in the classroom. The students enjoyed going on hikes as well as swimming in the lake and enjoying their last week of Extended School Year (ESY).

NHS School Carlisle Travels to Lauren Lake

Archived News from School Year 2012 - 2013

Construction Company Visits NHS School Carlisle

carlisle-bankOn Monday, July 22, David G. from Gross Construction visited the NHS School Carlisle and worked with the students to assist them with building a coin bank. Students practiced their fine motor skills, as well as following directions on how to build a bank.

Students walked away with wonderful tools to help them achieve their goals of coin recognition and added money skills.

Thanks to David and Gross Construction for their support and guidance!

Teachers Present Awards to Students

The NHS School Carlisle teachers presented awards to all their students on June 6, to show their appreciation for all the hard work they have demonstrated throughout the year. They celebrated their special traits that make them the unique individuals they are.

Congratulations to all the students on receiving their awards and for all their efforts this school year!


The NHS School Carlisle held their 2013 graduation commencement ceremony on June 5. Everyone enjoyed an amazing performance from the high school class students and refreshments afterwards. The NHS School Carlisle is confident that the four graduates will enter adulthood prepared and ready to take on the world as mature and knowledgeable adults.

Congratulations to the NHS School Carlisle's class of 2013!

Talent Show

NHS School Carlisle held a Talent Show on June 4. From singing to hula hoop dancing, all of the students and staff members had an opportunity to perform. Parents enjoyed seeing their children perform in front of an audience and display their many talents.

Students Attend Prom

NHS School Carlisle high school students attended the special needs prom, provided for students with special needs within the Cumberland Valley area on May 8. The students were extremely excited, and enjoyed dressing up and socializing with students from different parts of the township. The students are already looking forward to next year's event.

Carlisle students attend prom


NHS School Carlisle Holds a ZumbathonNHS School Carlisle held their annual Zumbathon on May 4.

Throughout the year, the students take Zumbatomics as part of their physical education program, and were able to participate and show their newly learned skills at the Zumbathon. The fundraiser helped the school raise more than $1,200 to benefit the Parent Teacher Organization and school field trips.

This was a great opportunity to invite the community to see what the school is about and meet the wonderful students.

Students Attend an Anti Bullying Rally

NHS School Carlisle students attended the Anti-Bullying Rally in Carlisle on May 2. While marching, the students wore blue and green ribbons to support the school theme of "Boo Against Bullying." This trip was a great opportunity to discuss the important topic of bullying with the students and review the anti-bullying rules of the school.

NHS School Carlisle Students Attend an Anti Bullying Rally

Autism Awareness Craft Fair

NHS School Carlisle held their second annual Autism Awareness Craft Fair on April 20, 2013. This event spread autism awareness in the community and introduced them to the school's services. The visitors were able to see some of the different aspects of the school, while shopping for great crafts from local vendors.

The money raised is going directly to the NHS Parent Teacher Organization to help support our students.

Autism Awareness Craft Fair Autism Awareness Craft Fair

Spring Fling

Spring flingOur school organized a Spring Fling on April 19. The students got together to plant several flowers in their garden and share what they have learned about plants throughout the month of April. Each student was able to go home with a tree to plant.

They also enjoyed socializing with each other while listening to music and practicing their miniature golf skills.

Participating in Special Olympics

Our students participated in the Special Olympics track and field event at Dickinson College on April 10. The students enjoyed various events based on a track and field theme and won medals for participating. Everyone had fun and enjoyed participating and competing in the activities. This was a great opportunity for the students to get involved with all students throughout the area with and without special needs.

NHS School Carlisle Participates in Special Olympics

Carlisle Police Department Officer Visits with Students

Carlisle Police Department Officer Visits with StudentsOur school welcomed a visitor from the Carlisle Police Department on April 9 as part of their transition program, which exposes the students to various occupational experiences.

The officer talked to the students about what it is like to be a police officer, the equipment he wears throughout the day, and let the students sit in his patrol car.

Celebrating World Autism Day

We celebrated World Autism Day on April 2 by decorating shirts, baking blue snacks and coloring blue puzzle pieces to hang in the hallway. The students also enjoyed spending time together, dancing and taking a group picture. This was an important day for the NHS School Carlisle because they were able to take time to celebrate the uniqueness of each of the students. Prior to Light It Up Blue day, our students passed out flyers informing the community of this special day.

Carlisle Celebrates World Autism Day

Students Receive Disability Badges

In March, the NHS School Carlisle students received their official disabilities badges. Back in December 2012 the Boy Scout Troop from the Army War College began working with the NHS School Carlisle to earn their disabilities badge. The troop listened to a presentation about autism facilitated by Clinical Director, Delilah W., and took a tour of the school while they were there.

Students Receive Disability Badges

St. Patrick's Day

Celebrating St. Patrick's DayWe celebrated St. Patrick's Day on March 15 by throwing a green party where the students and staff wore green attire to school, made green snacks and beverages, and danced the afternoon away.

Student Amy J. said she really enjoyed dancing with her friend Mallory and drinking shamrock shakes. The students all did a wonderful job following directions by participating in various line dances and group dances as well as enjoying some fun art activities.

Annual Bowling Program

annual bowling programOur students started their annual bowling program on March 4. Each student will have the opportunity to go bowling one time per week, for the next six weeks. This program is not only a good physical education program, but it is also a great opportunity for the students to work on various life and social skills.

The students will practice following various social rules, such as taking turns, and also demonstrating teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Everyone is excited to see the student's progress over the next six weeks!

Students Wrap Up Black History Month

NHS School Carlisle wrapped up Black History Month on March 1 with a reenactment of the Underground Railroad. All of the students had to follow a strategic plan by looking for clues to get to the end of the trail. The younger students were guided by a tour guide, much like the members of the Underground Railroad were. The guides carried lanterns and helped the participants find their clues and understand what their symbols meant. In the end, the students made it through and got to enjoy some Famous Amos cookies when they arrived in the North.

Students reenact the 'Underground Railroad'

Learning about Integrity

NHS School Carlisle students discussed the NHS Core Value, INTEGRITY, on March 1. The middle school did a great job of demonstrating and providing the other students with a definition of what integrity means. They also provided a fun audience participation activity that demonstrated integrity. The students' role played, by demonstrating how to withhold from various temptations and do the right thing even when no one is looking.

Carlisle-Learning about Core Values

Autism Awareness Craft Fair

autism awareness craft fair logo

Saturday, April 20 - 10a.m. to 4 p.m.

898 Waggoners Gap Road, Carlisle, PA 17013 (view map)

Crafts – Gifts – Games – Door Prizes – Raffle – Silent Auction – Food - Fire Truck – Face Painting - Music - Special Guests – Activities – Fun for the WHOLE Family

To get a vendor space, become a sponsor or get more information, please contact Cat Eicke at 717.249.4525 or CEicke@merakey.org

All proceeds benefit the NHS Autism School PTO!

A Field Trip to an Amish School

A visit to an Amish schoolThe NHS School Carlisle high school classroom went on a trip to an Amish School in Perry County on February 6, to give the students a unique social skills experience and exposure to a different culture. The class enjoyed participating in arts and crafts, recess time, and lunch with students from the Amish school.

The classroom also got the opportunity to ride in a horse and buggy, and even drove the buggy with some assistance. This was a wonderful trip for the students and employees are hopeful that this can be a yearly event.

Black History Month

Black History MonthThe NHS School Carlisle kicked off Black History Month with an assembly on Diversity, an NHS Core Value. One student read a poem and talked about the various aspects that make each person different.

Each student wrote something unique about themselves on a leaf or a flower for a tree to hang in the hallway made by the elementary class to display the diverse population we serve!

The School's Basketball Team Defeats the Staff!

The School's Basketball Team Defeats the Staff! The NHS School Carlisle held another staff versus student basketball game on February 1.

Employees were prepared to win since they were defeated by the students the last game, however, the Carlisle Bulldogs hard work and teamwork skills paid off to pull out another victory, defeating the staff 22-18. Go Bulldogs!

Pajama Day

The NHS School Carlisle celebrated "pajama day" on Friday, January 18. All of the students and staff wore their pajamas to school. The students enjoyed a fun filled day including a mock snowball fight using marshmallows and listened and danced to music provided by a DJ. The students had a great time participating in all the day's activities, and enjoyed each other's company.

Core Values Assembly

As part of their monthly core values lessons, the elementary class at NHS School Carlisle gathered all the students in the school for an assembly on January 18. This month, the students learned about teamwork. The assembly began by creating a sign to define teamwork. The other students in the audience participated by working on different aspects of teamwork, such as assembling a puzzle and reading aloud different traits of teamwork.

The students enjoyed the assembly and look forward to next month's assembly on diversity!

NHS Carlisle School Holds a Core Values Assembly


ZumbatomicZumbatomic started at the NHS School Carlisle on January 8 and has already become a huge hit. The students are fortunate to have an experienced instructor who teaches Zumba and Zumbatomic throughout Carlisle. A healthy exercise helps keep children focused and healthy, and Zumbatomic is a great way to keep the students active.

The students enjoy dancing and learning fitness through their new physical education class!

A visit from Metro Bank

Metro Bank in CarlisleMetro Bank in Carlisle will be visiting with all of the NHS School Carlisle classrooms this year in support of their program called "Metro Money Sense." On January 10 they worked with some of the elementary classes on the importance of saving money. The students were really excited to work with a banker and came up with some good reasons to save money, and what they wanted to save for. The high school class is looking forward to them returning to teach about the importance of balancing a check book.

Thank you Metro Bank for your time and expertise!

NHS Carlisle High School opens the "Santa Shop"

On December 18, students from the NHS Carlisle high school class collected donations to open their annul Santa Shop. The shop allows students to pick out, wrap, and give gifts to loved ones during the holidays. Special thanks to all who donated to this great cause!

Santa Shop

Classroom Puts on Assembly about Stewardship

On December 14, students from the NHS School Carlisle put on an assembly based on the NHS Core Value: Stewardship. The students talked about the importance of taking care of their community and giving back. They featured the idea of recycling by using pictures and reading from a script. Everybody worked together and enjoyed helping to clean up the school by using the recycling bins.

NHS Core Value: Stewardship

Students Visit with Therapy Dog

therapy dogs visitThe NHS School Carlisle is fortunate to have therapy dogs visit on a monthly basis. The students enjoy petting, singing, walking, and talking to the therapy dogs.

In December, they had an Irish Setter named Nevan visit the students. Nevan brought his blanket to sit with the students and laid out for a morning of being petted and brushed. He also sported his special autism bandana gifted by the NHS Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for his service to the students.

This monthly experience has opened the children's worlds up to enjoy endearing animals that could become lifetime companions.

Students Volunteer for Salvation Army

colton rings the Salvation Army Bell<< Colton Rings the Salvation Army Bell

Two Carlisle students started volunteering at the Salvation Army on December 5 for their first job placement. They were both very excited and came in dressed and ready to go. They have worked very hard on coping strategies and behavior control to be able to work in the community. Helping to stock the pantry and filling boxes of food for families, their first day was considered a big success.

Carlisle Employee Educates High School Classroom on Autism

Senior Support Staff at NHS School in Carlisle, Cat E., was asked by the Carlisle Area High School to present to a class of 11th graders who were taking a special needs class on December 5. Cat's presentation included a detailed description about autism and what the NHS school does to help individuals with autism. The students were very engaged, asked many questions, and were very interested to learn about autism.

Carlisle Employee Educates High School Classroom on Autism

Students Start Working

Two Carlisle students, Amy J. and Amber F., began working at a local diner on November 28. They both were nervous in the beginning, but quickly learned the skills necessary to do their jobs. They are both working on wrapping silverware, bussing tables, and hope to eventually start hosting.

Celebrating Thanksgiving!

The NHS School in Carlisle celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday on November 20 with a lunch prepared by the students. More than thirty parents attended and enjoyed the delicious meal. After lunch, the students enjoyed a turkey dance, with good music and dancing with friends.

Thanksgiving Feast 2012 Thanksgiving Feast 2012 Thanksgiving Feast 2012

Basketball Season Opener!

student vs. staff basketball game student vs. staff basketball game The NHS School in Carlisle had their first Students vs. Staff basketball game of the season on November 16.

The cheerleaders had several new dances and everyone practiced good sportsmanship. The students beat the staff 24-21.

Congratulations Carlisle students on your first win!


On October 15, 2012 the NHS School in Carlisle had the privilege to march in the Halloween parade. The school found this a perfect opportunity to also celebrate October as anti-bullying month. The students decorated the float themselves with a simple message of "boo to bullying". With over 65 members of the school's community at hand our message was delivered loud and clear. All family, staff and students had a fabulous time and experienced what it was like to be a part of the community as well as part of the parade.

We are looking forward to making this an annual event from this day forward.

Halloween parade1 Halloween parade2


ashcombe-fall field trip On October 12th, the NHS Carlisle School went to Ashcombe's for a fall field trip. Students got to go on a horse drawn hay ride, walk along a path of sunflowers admiring the hay characters such as a big T –Rex, pigs and Frankenstein. Students also enjoyed playing on the hay slide and the big bins of corn.

Everyone got to pick a pumpkin and an apple to enjoy. The High School room and Older Aspergers room took a tour of Ashcombe's facility to see how the business is operated.

We had a wonderful and fun time!

Car Wash

car washOn September 29, 2012 the students of NHS School in Carlisle accompanied by the PTO had their first annual car wash fundraiser. The students all pulled together and helped out washing cars and really enjoyed themselves.

It was a beautiful day to wash cars and the students learned the importance of working hard for a goal by raising money for their school!

Army Heritage

Army HeritageOn Thursday, September 20th, the high school class visited the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle. Students were able to walk through trenches to experience what soldiers from WWI fought from.

They were able to see what a mess hall looked like and spent time sitting on the beds in the Barracks and seeing how soldiers of WWII slept. The students seemed to enjoy the lookouts (blockhouses and firebase) where they were able to climb steps and look down from above. Students spent a lot of time walking and interacting with peers. Student ate lunch outside under a tent and several of the students climbed over the boot camp training wall.

The trip was an educational and social experience that benefited all students.


Carlisle Students go BowlingOn September 12, 2012 the Big Spring Middle School class went on their first field trip of the year. We went to Midway Bowling Center. We bowled two incredibly interesting games with our classmates and then went for a picnic lunch at a local park. Our favorite parts of the trip included watching our name on the screen when we got a strike, taking turns, and learning new ways to bowl.

We had a great time and hope to possibly earn another bowling trip sometime later in the year.

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream SocialWelcome to the 2012-2013 School Year!

Students and staff brought their families to enjoy a tasty treat at the ice cream social sponsored by the NHS Autism School PTO. It was a fantastic turnout – nearly 100 people attended the annual gathering. The gym was bursting with energy as children bounced inside the inflatable moonwalk and staff met or reconnected with students and their families.

A big "Thank you!" to the PTO; the smiles all around indicated the kick-off event was a sweet success.


SwimmingSeptember, 4th 2012 began the 9 week swimming program for the NHS Autism School in Carlisle. The students are attending the Big Spring High School pool for a ½ hr swim session 1 day per week. While in the pool the students are accompanied by their teachers, classroom aides and personal care aides, the students work on a wide variety of skills. These skills include but are not limited to simply getting into the pool and other gross motor skills such as kicking and moving their arms. Some students work on going under the water or blowing bubbles. The students love the pool and are taking full advantage of the great opportunity that they are taking part in.

This is a great way to get the students at the NHS Autism School in Carlisle involved in the community and the community has been very welcoming.

Logan's Walk

Logan's run and walk for Autism celebrated its seventh year on City Island this past April 14th and NHS Carlisle Autism School made it a goal to have one of the largest groups to participate again. Not only does NHS Carlisle pride itself on being one of the largest sponsors for the walk but we also make it no small task to have as many staff, family, and friends participate for our group as we can. Saturday April 14th was a beautiful sunny day perfect for the walk. NHS Carlisle proudly walked City Island in Harrisburg with almost 80 participants including our friends from the Chambersburg Autism School.

We hope that next year our group is even larger for the eighth annual Logan's Walk to raise awareness for Autism.

Logan's run and walk for Autism

World Autism Day, 2013

World Autism DayOur students got together to inform our community and spread Autism awareness and information. On April 2nd 2012 was Autism awareness day. As our school continues to grow these pictures continue to become a bigger sea of blue. All of the students tie-dyed their shirts blue and made blue cupcakes to form a ribbon in the middle.

We celebrated our differences at a school dance after our picture was taken.

Flower Shop

Creative Creations flower shop franchiseAs part of our vocational program and the Autism School in Carlisle, the high school students are developing skills in the Creative Creations flower shop franchise. Students collect and deliver orders and create arrangements, including bouquets, centerpieces, and wreathes.

Money collected from sales are usually used for classroom programs and a charitable cause voted on by the class. Each month a new order form is sent home to parents and employees.

Character Education

Character Education - Chief Examples to OthersThere certainly are a lot of CEOs walking around North Dickinson Elementary School!
That is, there are a lot of students who are Chief Examples to Others.

North Dickinson has a great Character Education Program that focuses on a different trait each month. During the month of September, the focus was Caring. One student from each class in the school was recognized for going above and beyond his or her peer s in exhibiting this trait. Each of the NHS classes also had a student recognized. In Mrs. Elliott's class, Nick Stada received the award. In Miss Price's class, it was Eric Thorson who was recognized at the assembly on Friday, September 28, 2012. Throughout the school year the following traits will also be recognized: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, self-discipline, fairness, perseverance, honesty and citizenship.


horse showAn 11th grade NHS Carlisle student, Maxwell Merutka, was lucky to be included in a special event at the 2012 Pennsylvania National Horse show. Max attended the Horse show after receiving free tickets from the President, Elizabeth Shorb. Ms. Shorb also gave the classroom a personal tour of the Show. He saw behind the scenes with actual competitors dedicated to horsemanship and how they design the jumping rings for the different competitors. She discussed some of the employment opportunities in the Equine field. Max was given free tickets to attend the seminars offered: Practical Horseman's Equestrian Education and Future Opportunities: Industry Panel of all the fields to explore in the Equine Industry.

Max's dream is to be a horse trainer and his accomplishments so far have been more than impressive. He has been riding English style, including dressage and jumping, for 6 years. His excitement for equestrian endeavors continues as he takes lessons, participates in fox hunts, trains horses and participates in equine science education classes, FFA clubat his high school. He will be exploring equine career opportunities and skills in a Work-experience Study/Career Placement program at school next semester. The Triple Creek Farm will be the practical work experience with Mr. Bob Wood, the owner.

In School Jobs

Throughout the school there are several different in-school jobs for students to participate in. These are based off of the need of the student and the transition program developed by that student's team. These jobs are for students of all ages and help to foster responsibility within each student who participates.

in school jobs

Halloween Boo To Bullying

The Carlisle School enjoyed a day of discussing the importance of not bullying and enjoying the fall festivities throughout the day. Each class designed a fun fall activity for the students to rotate through before showing off their costumes with a fun parade around the school. At the end of the day the students enjoyed signing a "contract" which stated "Boo to Bullying" and celebrated with a school dance. It was a great day at Carlisle!