Life Skills

There are five classrooms throughout the district (Central Elementary, Meadowlark Elementary, Sunrise Middle School, Horizon Middle School, and Kearney High School) that provide educational programming in mainly a self-contained classroom setting that has a structured environment and low student-teacher ratio to maximize learning. Basic skill development is emphasized in the following curriculum domain areas: functional academics, vocational training, motor development, personal management, and independent living.


 Personal Skills Development

There is a personal skills development program at each of the three levels: elementary (Bryant Elementary), middle (Sunrise), and Kearney High School.

The purpose of the program is to provide a safe environment in which students can learn through direct instruction skills necessary for social interaction and effective coping strategies to handle the demands of social situations. The program varies somewhat across each of the three age groups in terms of structure and integration of students within the regular classroom setting. In each setting, privileges are earned through a level system, each student's educational program as well as his/her behavior plan is designed by the IEP team, and there is a low student to adult ratio.



Each building in the district has its own resource program. Staffing includes a resource teacher(s), paraprofessional(s), and related service providers. Thelevel of service is determined by each student's identified needs and the goals established on the individualized education plan (IEP). Resource teachers work closely with regular education teachers to coordinate the student's educational program. Service delivery can be direct service or consultative. Services may be incorporated into the regular classroom setting or may be delivered in a small group or individual setting.

At the high school level, two instructional options are available-one for students who require support in general education classes and one for students who require credit classed taught by special education teachers.



 This program was established to serve the transition needs of young adults with developmental disabilities, ages 18-21. Students, according to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) learn in a variety of community settings so that they can develop skills in realistic and on-the-job settings. Volunteer and leisure activities are also incorporated.  The KPS Transition Program classroom is located at 1007 West 20th Street, Kearney, Nebraska 68845.

 The KPS Transition Program focuses on the development of transition skills to allow young adults to participate in the community after leaving high school.

Students participating in the KPS Transition Program will:

• learn in a variety of community settings including job sites
• participate in activities in the transition classroom located at the Kearney Education Center
• meet from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
• follow the Kearney High School calendar

Students will gain skills in the areas of:

• functional academics
• independent living
• personal management
• vocational skills

Students are eligible for the KPS Transition Program after meeting graduation requirements as determined by their IEP. Students may attend the program through the school year of their 21st birthday. Students will receive their high school diploma when they have completed their transition programming.


 Work Experience

This program offers special education students in high school the opportunity to participate in on-the-job training activities. Job coaches are available to provide the level of supervision that is necessary for each student. These are non-paid positions that provide basic training in work readiness skill development.