Our Curriculum

Our daily living skills curriculum—based on the Michigan Department of Education’sCareers and Employability Standards—integrates 30 community-based student intern sites and over 25 daily living-focused classes. The classes we offer address needs in these areas: personal-social skills, daily living skills, and independent living skills. All of the departments within our school work hard to provide the services and support our students need to thrive. Our students take four classes per semester (eight per school year).

Macomb Academy Structure

Students who attend Macomb Academy spend a portion of the day receiving classroom instruction in daily living skills and employment preparation and training and the other portion of the day in the community-based work experience instruction setting. They receive employment skills training by performing job duties in the community at a training site provided by our community partners.

  • The community-based learning experience for students is not more than 50% of the day for the program.
  • No more than 50% of the school day is devoted to students volunteering and practicing vocational skills in the community setting.
  • Students are present in the school building and typical classroom environment for instruction at least 50% of the day.

Community-Based Training Sites: Students travel to and from Macomb Academy to a variety of community-based training sites under the supervision of paraprofessionals where instruction, guidance, and support is provided to the students as they perform the essential functions of the job.

Work-Based Experience: Students who maintain competitive employment outside of Macomb Academy may also retain enrollment status by attending school minimally 2.5 days per week and working or volunteering the remaining 2.5 days of the week. Regular and consistent contact is maintained between Macomb Academy, student, and employer to ensure continued satisfaction of job performance and to provide support and resources to aid in student job retention.

The daily living skills curriculum is based on the Michigan Department of Education Careers and Employability Standards. Students take classes that teach and reinforce daily living skills as identified in each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students take four classes each of the two semesters of the school year.

Some material may be in more than one class, as we design classes to address daily living skills and employment preparation and training such as:

  •     Managing finances
  •     Caring for personal needs
  •     Family responsibilities
  •     Food preparation
  •     Citizenship
  •     Personal and social skills, and
  •     Occupational skills such as
            --Occupational opportunities and preferences
            --Seeking and maintaining employment, and
           -- Related job competencies

Our Courses

Macomb Academy offers a wide variety of classes; click on the class name to view the course description.

This course will introduce the student to basic banking and budgeting vocabulary, along with how to write checks, complete deposit slips, use ATM/debit cards, and record transactions in a register. We will also introduce how to reconcile a bank statement. This course introduces simple budgeting concepts such as necessities vs. luxuries and fixed vs. variable expenses. Students will learn from scenarios in which they receive a paycheck and bills they must pay.

Students learn necessary skills for independently living in a home. They are taught how to care for both the inside and outside of a household. On the inside of the home students will learn basic household maintenance such as changing lightbulbs, unclogging drains, and keeping areas clean. On the outside of the home students will learn skills such as how to maintain a lawn and gardens, and how to contact skilled trades workers if the need arises. 

Through hands-on activities and lessons, students will strengthen their cooking and kitchen safety skills. Students will create a weekly recipe that will give them the opportunity to prep a kitchen, follow a recipe, sample their creation, and properly clean the kitchen when finished. Students will also create items to sell to students and staff twice a week in our classroom cafe. Throughout the semester, students will practice measuring, sanitation, proper and safe use of kitchen tools and appliances, and reading labels and expiration dates.

Communication is a fundamental key to student success at Macomb Academy. We house a community of learners who have their own individual communication needs that the world needs to understand. Let’s Chat gives our students the opportunity to review different forms of communication through facial expressions, hand gestures and kinesthetic movements, eye contact, and in the form of verbal to non-verbal communication. We encourage students to involve themselves in ice breaker activities, small talk, and group topic conversations. Students also focus on how they can use their voice or small gestures to encourage more good in the world.

Students in this class get weekly ideas and listen to real-life stories of individuals who incorporate random acts of kindness in their everyday lives to further encourage them within their own community. Students will focus on their ability to express themselves inside and outside of the classroom. This will help lead them into a future where they will have the skills and confidence to advocate for themselves, attain employment, and create friendships.

Students enrolled in an employment course will gain an array of knowledge that will allow them to be able to pursue a future job with confidence. They will receive constant practice filling out job applications, being able to recognize common interview questions and answer them appropriately, leadership training, communication, resume building, and understanding the importance of adhering to proper job expectations while employed. Students will focus on becoming more independent upon entering the workforce. This course encourages students to participate in group projects, role-play with their classmates, and take a hands-on approach with technology in order to search for jobs on the internet.

This course is a simulation of adult independent living. The course prepares students for living on their own. It consists of one hundred activities that students complete independently, at their own pace, or with limited assistance. Students are exposed to a wide variety of vocabulary, real-world math, and decision-making scenarios. Students will have a checking account and a savings account that they will reconcile. Students will use the Westwood Employment Agency Booklet to find employment. There are ten different job opportunities from which to choose. Students will use the Westwood Apartment Guide in the same manner to select an apartment. This program also uses books and catalogs, such as Garcia’s Grocery Store, Great Deals Discount Store, and the Westwood Mall Booklet to complete shopping activities.

Personal awareness is integrated into all classes related to the unit themes that are part of instruction. It allows for students to gain the knowledge of many different types of relationships and allows students to better understand themselves as well as others. Personal awareness instruction provides students with the skills they need to be able to understand what a healthy relationship is.

Positive living class provides students with the opportunity to develop positive emotional well-being. The curriculum helps students strengthen character, manage stress, resolve conflict, and improve social skills to enhance the development of positive relationships with others.

The retail class provides students with the knowledge and skills they will need to operate and work in a store. Students will work together to run and maintain Macomb Academy’s school store. Each student has a specific job role that they will be responsible for holding for the week, and then they rotate jobs each week. During the semester, students will be able to strengthen their money skills by practicing counting money, learning how to collect money for purchases, as well as being able to give the correct amount of change back from a purchase. Students will also learn how to operate a cash register to allow them real-life skills of being a cashier. This class will allow our students to gain the confidence they need to obtain a job in retail.

Show me the money is a course that helps our students better understand basic money concepts. At Macomb Academy, we strive to help them understand the value of money, coin identification, how to calculate change back from a purchase, how to dollar up, and most importantly, how to count money. The class focuses on these areas of need on a daily basis. In this class, students participate in games, lessons, activities, worksheet practice, and they even lead the class in teaching a lesson after they have mastered it. There is no homework, but extra worksheets are always available to students for additional practice.

Macomb Academy incorporates social media into the communications and positive living courses. Social media engages students in the world around them through the use of technology. The focus is on the understanding, use of, and communication involved in social media.

Stress management is a part of everyday life; throughout the courses at Macomb Academy, students learn to examine, identify, and understand situations and things that cause them stress. They also explore, identify, and learn techniques they can use to reduce stress.

This class focuses on developing social skills needed to keep a job as well as developing on-task behaviors, asking for assistance when needed, teamwork, and working at a productive pace. Students will use a time clock and time card to punch in to simulate employment. Students typically work on social skills curriculum on Tuesdays and Thursdays and complete task boxes to target other skills on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Skills may vary based on individual class needs.

This class focuses on developing reading for understanding. We use decoding skills for defining unknown verbiage. Students are encouraged to read books, articles, job descriptions, and for enjoyment. Students are encouraged to reword passages using their own understanding of the writing given. 
Students use a driver's training manual to learn the rules and laws of a well-informed driver. They take unit tests corresponding to the tests given at the Secretary of State. Upon completion of the class, if the family chooses, the students may be more successful at completing the test on their own at the Secretary of State. (Road tests are NOT provided by Macomb Academy).
Students are taught the skills and abilities necessary to integrate and be a more active part of their community. They learn local laws and information regarding topics such as getting around their community, partaking in local events, eating at restaurants, and how to share appropriate personal information in the community. 

Job Site Descriptions

  •     Sweep restrooms, break room, kitchen, and lobby
  •     Mop restrooms, break room, kitchen, and lobby
  •     Vacuum rugs, hallway, offices, and classrooms
  •     Sanitize restrooms, tables, chairs, door handles, drinking fountains, offices, and desks
  •     Replenish toilet paper and paper towels
  •     Trash removal
  •     Clean windows and mirrors
  •     Set tables for banquets in accordance to site specifications
  •     Fold napkins and place silverware
  •     Sweep/vacuum/mop
  •     Dust
  •     Use cleaning supplies safely
  •     Clean glass
  •     Restroom trash removal
  •     Put tablecloths/skirts on tables
  •     Sanitize menus
  •     Portion potatoes and vegetables
  •     Fill salt and pepper shakers
  •     Fill customers’ water glasses
  •     Bus tables
  •     Load/unload dishwasher
  •     Expedite food for servers
  •     Portion sides on plates

Students develop and run a small business, creating and manufacturing items to sell at the school store and local craft shows. Proceeds from sales to go toward the purchase of materials to make additional items to sell.

  •     Gather needed supplies
  •     Prepare workstation to protect table
  •     Work on assigned projects
  •     Clean up workstation
  •     Put supplies away
  •     Wipe tables
  •     Operate cash register
  •     Provide receipts to customers

Students learn how to build and program a functional robot. The school's robotics team travels to various competitions against other schools in the area. 

  • Obtain required materials
  • Prepare workspace
  • Work with staff to assemble robot
  • Use proper safety equipment
  • Properly use various tools
  • Clean up workstation
  •     Fill coffee and beverage for the day
  •     Trash removal
  •     Wrap silverware
  •     Label food containers - item, date, and initial
  •     Food prep
  •     Cleaning food prep area
  •     Box lunches
  •     Merchandise replenishment
  •     Assist customers
  •     Check expiration dates
  •     “Front” merchandise on shelves
  •     Light janitorial such as dusting shelves and dry-mopping floor
  •     Unload trucks
  •     Sweep hallway and lunchroom floors
  •     Trash removal/replacement of trash can liners
  •     Clean window ledges
  •     Wipe down lockers
  •     Sweep restrooms
  •     Vacuum carpeted areas
  •     Mop spills as needed