New Additions to PACE Department Build on Program’s Success

PACE students posing for photo.

All photos by Ada Zhang.

The PACE program, which stands for Practical Academic Community Education, is a program at the school that works for students’ needs. The Department works to help students with disabilities; they are educated and taught work skills. “They’re exploring different careers,” said Elizabeth Smith, an administrator for the PACE Program.

This year there is a new transition coordinator, Kelli Collomb, who sets up worksites for the students in the PACE program. “She’s always adding in new programs, new things,” explained David Deplacido, a PACE teacher. 

Jillian Robinson is an adaptive PE teacher handling the Unified Sports class. “Barbara Scibelli did it for years and years and she was absolutely fantastic, but now we have somebody else who is an [Adaptive Physical Education] teacher running in class and taking over to help support the mentorship between our mainstream students” and PACE students, said Smith. 

This year, athletic director Charlie Conefrey set up the Unified Sports flag football game against Medford. “He really believes in Unified Sports; we have the program here in school but we also have it outside of school so we’re expanding that program to flag football and the kids had a great time doing that so it’s really exciting [doing] something new,” explained Smith. 

Floramo’s is a restaurant in Malden open Monday through Saturday. Deplacido explained that Floramo’s has offered jobs to many of their older PACE program students which helps students explore different careers. 

Aylat Lifshitz is a new PACE transition teacher who is also running MHS’s clothing closet “where donations are sent from numerous places,” said Deplacido. 

PACE classroom.

Lifshitz is passionate about her idea to help students. “It was a cool experience and I’m looking forward to continuing to work on the clothing closet as a way to help students in Malden who need some winter clothes, summer clothes…” explained Lifshitz. 

The candle making fundraiser starts in Winter. “They'll start making boxes to be sold through the Mystic Side company, which is our candle company,” said Deplacido. The scrap wood that people donate to the PACE program is used by students to make memory boxes to develop their skills. This year expectations would be memory boxes instead of the pallet signs that were made last year. 

We’re going to open a clothing closet that will be free for students so the students in the transition program have been organizing over that; we’re going to be advertising that in store and hopefully be able to open a store so the people can come and shop but they don’t need to open them,” said Lifshitz. Students in the PACE program have been washing and folding the clothes the teachers donated. 

The new transition teacher, Aylat Lifshitz has worked with individual disabled students as a counselor before coming to MHS. Lifshitz has experience with disabled students on household chores, behavior management, and daily living skills.

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