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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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School Address:  898 Waggoners Gap Road, Carlisle, PA 17013 (view map)
School Phone Number: 717-249-4525
Education and Autism Services Administration Office Number: 855-530-4853

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

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!