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James Clemens High School
Flying ACES
(Assistive Companions for Exceptional Students)
Allison Miller
University of Alabama at Birmingham
EDL 719: Mentoring and Coaching Skills for School Leaders
February 20, 2017
Table of Contents
Introduction…………………….………….. 1
Constituion...……………..……………….. 2
Member Information
Training...………………..…………….. 4
Expectations ...……………....………….. 5
Participation...………………………...... 6
Monthly Socials………...………………….. 7
Creating a mentoring program for students with special needs can be very
powerful for all involved. Ratliff (2014) states, “Although inclusion is very popular and
students in special education programs often attend classes with non-disabled peers,
students with severe disabilities are often still left out of the mainstream school
environment. I strongly recommend creating a peer support a positive
school climate for students who may not engage with all of their peers on a regular
basis.” The purpose of the Flying ACES is to do just that. This mentoring program
focuses on meeting the needs of students with severe disabilities. The Flying ACES
teams will meet weekly for informal mentoring and tutoring opportunities as well as
participate in monthly socials that will focus on a specific theme, activity or event.
Stumbo, et al. (2010) state the desired outcomes of the mentoring program as,
“improved academic attendance and performance, improved self-worth and
self-determination, and access to a close relationship and/or a positive adult role
model” (p. 34). This type of mentoring program benefits the individuals with
disabilities, the family, and the mentors. For the students with disabilities, friendships
are established with non-disabled peers, feelings of inclusion are fostered and
opportunities are presented to practice social skills in relevant settings. Parents
benefit from the knowledge that their child has someone “in their corner” keeping an
eye on them to ensure they are safe at functions and events. Mentors possibly
benefit most of all. They have the opportunity to make a positive difference in
another’s life (Autism Speaks, 2012).
Constitution James Clemens High School Flying ACES
(Assistive Companions for Exceptional Students)
Article I: Name
The official name of the club or organization is the JCHS Flying ACES, an acronym for
Assistive Companions for Exceptional Students.
Article II: Purpose
A. The Flying ACES Club was created to involve non-disabled peers as peer
mentors and/or tutors for students with exceptional needs.
B. The objectives for the Flying ACES are as follows:
a. Provide intentional opportunities for students with special needs to
interact with non-disabled peers.
b. Mentor students with disabilities to improve social skills and interactions
and assist with learning activities.
Article III: Membership
A. The selection of Flying ACES will be based upon the characteristics of
character, leadership, citizenship, service, and scholastic achievement. The
following components will be used in the selection process:
a. Completed student application (see Appendix A)
b. Letters of recommendation (3) from current teachers (see Appendix B)
c. Disability essay (1 page, typed with references) on one of the following:
i.Down Syndrome
ii.Rett Syndrome
iii.Autism Spectrum Disorder
iv.Cerebral Palsy
v.Traumatic Brain Injury
vi.Pitts Hopkins
B. All Flying ACES must meet the following minimum requirements:
a. Minimum GPA 3.5 during the time as a Flying ACE
b. Must maintain an exemplary discipline record (zero discipline referrals)
c. Must commit to participate as a Flying ACE for at least one year
(advanced notice must be given to the club sponsor if assigned duties
cannot be fulfilled)
Article IV: Meetings
A. “Lunch Bunch” Mentoring meetings will take place weekly on an assigned day
during the mentees assigned Refuel time. Flying ACE mentors will spend 30
minutes per week with their mentees working on social skills and building
mentor/mentee relationships.
B. Monthly planning meetings will occur during the first Wednesday of each month.
During the planning meetings, the Flying ACE mentors will meet with the club
sponsor to plan details and monitor progress of the upcoming monthly socials.
C. Planned monthly socials will be implemented by Flying ACE mentors and
sponsor to incorporate student engagement in a given theme or activity.
Article V: Funds
A. Funds are available for programs and events through special education funding.
Any additional funds received through fundraising will be placed into the club
account to be used for expenses for monthly socials.
Article VI: Club Sponsor
A. Club sponsor is one of the primary teachers of students with exceptional needs.
Responsibilities of club sponsor are as follows:
a. Provide training for Flying ACES on expectations, how to address student
behaviors, and confidentiality agreement
b. Support officers with supplies and necessary training
c. Facilitate monthly planning meetings
d. Coordinate and supervise monthly socials
e. Supervise weekly “lunch bunch” meetings
f. Maintain records of attendance at events of both Flying ACES mentors
and mentees
g. Manage budget
h. Follow all field trip procedures and manage all necessary forms, as needed
Article VII: Amendments
A. Any and all amendments to the club constitution will be discussed with all active
members and voted upon. Two-thirds majority will pass the amendments. The
amendment will be ratified the following school year.
Article VIII: Bylaws
A. A confidentiality agreement must be signed and followed. A breech in this
agreement will result in immediate removal from the program.
B. The minimum club requirements for academics and behavior must be
To provide training for Flying ACES mentors in the following areas:
Privacy laws and confidentiality
Appropriate interactions with mentees including manner of speaking
with students
Information about disabilities including safety information
Expectations for participation and requirements
Being a positive role model
Target Date: Monday, August 28, 2017 (3:30-5:00)
3:30 - 3:45 Welcome to the Flying ACES program
3:45 - 4:15 Privacy laws and confidentiality training
4:15 - 4:25 Mentee profiles shared with mentors
4:25 - 4:55 Stations - Flying ACES mentors will rotate through 3
stations for a maximum of 10 minutes each
1. Q&A with case manager - provides an opportunity
for mentors to ask specific questions about their
mentee to better understand their disability and
their individual needs.
2. Preview and sign up for monthly social teams.
3. Brainstorm ideas for enhancing monthly socials.
Mentors in the Flying ACES program are expected to exemplify
characteristics that set them apart as role models and leaders. The
qualities of character, leadership, service, citizenship, and scholastic
achievement will be considered as criteria for selection to the program.
As evidence of these characteristics, Flying ACES mentors must meet the
following minimum requirements:
a. Minimum GPA 3.5 during the time as a Flying ACE
b. Must maintain an exemplary discipline record (zero discipline
c. Must commit to participate as a Flying ACE for at least one
year (advanced notice must be given to the club sponsor if
assigned duties cannot be fulfilled)
Flying ACES serve as a mentor and/or tutor to a student with
exceptional needs. Flying ACES mentors are expected to participate in
weekly “Lunch Bunch” meetings with mentee, monthly planning meetings
and planned monthly socials.
Upon selection as a Flying ACES mentor, students will participate in
a training program that will assist them in working with students with
exceptional needs.
The Flying ACES program has three components in which mentors must
participate. Advanced notice must be given to the club sponsor if the
assigned duties can not be completed.
Lunch Bunch Program
Mentors in the Flying ACES program will be assigned a mentee. Once a
week during the mentee’s Refuel time (30 minutes), the mentor will work
with the mentee to develop social skills or academic skills through
tutoring. The focus of the time will be determined through an individual
plan developed by the mentor and approved by the sponsor.
Monthly Planning Meetings
Flying ACES mentors will meet on the first Wednesday of each month,
without their mentees, to plan upcoming Monthly Socials and delegate
tasks to be completed.
Monthly Socials
Once a month beginning in September, mentees will be invited to attend
intentional social activities, planned by the mentors and sponsor. The
monthly socials will focus on a specific theme or activity. These socials
are detailed in the next section.
(September - May)
September 2017
Back to School Bash
To serve as an introduction of mentor-mentee pairs.
To practice soft skills appropriate to the setting such as eye contact,
handshakes, introducing one’s self.
Target Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Materials Needed:
carnival games, prizes, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, drinks, water
bottles, donated school supplies for door prizes, carnival decorations
This event will begin with a reveal of Flying ACES teams
(mentor/mentee pairs). Parent volunteers will set up and facilitate games
in the Auxiliary Gym in which Flying ACES teams will participate together.
Concessions will be set up in the concession stand. Each Flying ACE
team will have a designated number of tickets that can be used to
“purchase concessions”. The event will conclude with a door prize
drawing for school supplies that have been donated from local
October 2017
Special Olympics
Track and Field Event
To provide year–round sports training and athletic competition in a
variety of Olympic–type sports for children and adults with an
intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to
develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and
participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their
families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Target Date: TBD
Materials Needed:
field trip packet completed, student permission slips, transportation, water
bottles, snacks, sunscreen, tents, chairs, towels, signs, shakers, hats, JC
Special Olympics team shirts
Flying ACES teams will travel to Milton Frank Stadium. Mentees
will participate in the Special Olympic track and field events. Mentors will
assist with getting athletes to the designated locations in time for their
events, checking them in at the registration table, and cheering them on
during their events.
November 2017
Thanksgiving Dinner
To increase social interaction between adults and students.
To practice soft skills in communication and eye-contact.
To explore job-based skills required for the foodservice industry.
To practice public speaking skills.
Target Date: Friday, November 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Materials Needed:
aprons, paper products, table cloths, food, drinks, desserts,
invitations for parents to be distributed no later than 11/3/17, order
Flying ACES teams will have a pizza party prior to the start of the
event. The dinner will focus on preparing a Thanksgiving meal for
parents, serving and honoring the parents of these students. Some of the
ACES teams will serve in the following ways:
Work in the kitchen to prepare plates for the parents
Set up/Clean up
While parents are enjoying their desserts, mentees will take turns sharing
a moment of gratitude that they have pre-planned and practiced with their
December 2017
Secret Santa
Shopping Spree
To practice making change and budgeting.
To practice gift giving.
To study philanthropy.
To practice the soft skills of communication,eye contact, “please”
and “thank you”.
Target Date: Monday, December 18, 2017
Materials Needed:
shopping money ($30 provided by parents and organized into envelopes,
field trip packet, parent permission slips, bus transportation
The Flying ACES teams will travel to a local shopping center (such
as Wal-Mart or Target). Mentors will be given an envelope with the
mentees money. The teams will have two tasks:
1. Select a gift for their “Secret Santa” partner (students will draw
names and create interest lists prior to this day). ($10 max)
2. Select items for a gift bag that will be donated to a local
children’s hospital. ($20 max).
The mentees will exchange their “Secret Santa” gifts during the annual
Christmas party.
January 2018
I Scream, You Scream,
We all Scream for
Ice Cream
To continue to build relationships between the Flying ACES teams.
To practice soft skills appropriate to the setting such as eye contact,
communicating likes/dislikes, table manners, “please” and “thank
To practice counting skills.
Target Date: Friday, January 12, 2018
Materials Needed:
Variety of flavors of ice cream (pre-scooped into cupcake wrappers),
spoons, variety of sauces and toppings, cookies, water bottles
Flying ACES teams will enjoy creating an ice cream sundae with
their choice of flavors and toppings. Mentors will assist mentees in
practicing counting techniques while creating their ice cream sundae.
Students will practice good etiquette and table manners while
partaking in the ice cream social in preparation for the upcoming
Valentine’s Day Dance and ACES Prom.
February 2018
VAlentine’s DAnce
(Father/daughter; Mother/Son)
To provide an opportunity to celebrate the love of family.
To practice soft skills appropriate to the setting such as eye contact
and communication skills.
Target Date: Friday, February 9, 2018 (5 pm - 8 pm)
Materials Needed:
prepared meal, drinks, dessert, DJ, lights, decorations, paper
products, table cloths, volunteer ballroom dance instructor
Flying ACES mentees will invite their mother or father to be their
“date” for the evening. If parent is unable to join their child, a Flying
ACES mentor will fill their role.
Flying ACES mentors and parent volunteers of students not
involved in the dance will prepare a nice meal for students in the FACS
5:00 - 6:00 Mentees and their dates will be instructed in dance techniques
by a volunteer ballroom dance instructor in E125.
6:00 - 7:00 Dinner will be served in the FACS Kitchen by parent
volunteers. (During dinner, the Flying ACES mentors will decorate the
7:00 - 8:00 Mentees and their dates will dance!
March 2018
Bowling Buddies
To continue to build relationships between the Flying ACES teams.
To practice soft skills appropriate to the setting such as good
sportsmanship, team interactions.
To encourage physical activity.
To practice counting skills.
Target Date: Friday, March 16, 2018
Materials Needed:
rented lanes at the bowling alley, money for shoes and snacks
provided by parents, field trip approval, bus transportation,
permission slips, extra socks
The Flying ACES teams will participate in a day of bowling. Three
Flying ACES teams will create a bowling team for the event. Mentees will
practice counting the number of pins knocked down on each frame. Good
sportsmanship and encouragement will be practiced by all members of
the team.
April 2018
Fine Arts Festival
To showcase the fine arts talent in the Flying ACES program.
To encourage an appreciation of the arts.
Target Date: Thursday evening prior to the premiere of the
JC Theatre’s Spring show (7:00 pm)
Materials Needed:
video from fine arts classes throughout the year (JetsPress), student art
work, auditorium reservation
Many of the students involved in the Flying ACES program are
involved in fine arts classes during the school day including drama, visual
arts, and choir. This festival will highlight the skills of the artists and
performers involved in Flying ACES in a “sensory friendly” environment.
In the Auditorium, a highlight video created by JetsPress will feature
many of the Flying ACES mentees in their fine arts classrooms from
footage gathered throughout the year.
The JC Theatre will partner with the Flying ACES program to
provide a “sensory friendly” version of the JC Theatre’s spring show.
During this production, the lights and sound will be adjusted to make it
more enjoyable for guests with sensory issues.
Following the show, guests will be invited to tour the art gallery set
up in the lobby featuring artwork of students in the Flying ACES program.
May 2018
To serve as the culmination of the year’s Flying ACES program.
To practice soft skills appropriate to the setting such as eye contact,
handshakes, communicating likes/dislkes, table manners, “please”
and “thank you”.
Target Date: May 11, 2018 (6:00 pm - 8:00 pm)
Materials Needed:
DJ, lighting, decorations, hors d’ourves, punch, plates, cups, napkins,
Long before Tim Tebow began Night to Shine, Madison City
Schools has hosted a prom for students with special needs and their
guests. This event provides an opportunity for students to get dressed
up, enjoy hors d'oeuvres, and dance the night away. Flying ACES
mentors and mentees will be invited to participate. Mentees may invite a
guest if they would like.
At the end of the event, mentees will present thank you notes to
their Flying ACES mentors.
Autism Speaks. (2012, July 24). Starting a mentoring club in your high
school for students with disabilities. Retrieved February 02, 2017,
Ratliff, K. (2014). Peer Buddies: Meeting the Social Needs of Students
with Severe Disabilities. EdNews Daily. Retrieved 20 February
2017, from
Stumbo, N., Martin, J., Nordstrom, D., Rolfe, T., Burgstahler, S., Whitney,
J., . . . Misquez, E. (2010). Evidence-based practices in mentoring
students with disabilities: Four case studies. Journal of Science
Education for Students with Disabilities 14(1). Retrieved from:
Appendix A
Appendix B