Michael S. Dukakis Aquatic Center
Students at NECC display characteristics such as low muscle tone, reduced postural control and decreased endurance, which affect their gross motor development and ultimately their ability to fully engage in recreational and structured play experiences in the classroom, on the playground or at home. Within the gym and aquatic center settings, the Occupational Therapists and the Adapted Physical Education teachers provide collaborative assessment, intervention and progress monitoring through IEP goals in order to provide NECC students with an integrated and comprehensive plan for physical education and wellness.
NECC's aquatic program follows the American Red Cross Water Safety Curriculum. Students move through levels of proficiency in Introduction to Water Skills, Fundamental Water Safety, Stroke Development, Stroke Improvement, Stroke Refinement, and Swimming and Skill Proficiency. Students in the Preschool and Day School have instructional swim lessons once per week, and students in the Residential Programs have instructional swim lessons two times per week. NECC also schedules after school recreational swim times for all students and Saturday recreational swim times for students in the residential programs.
NECC's curriculum stresses the importance of the development of foundational motor control, physical strength and well-being and how they relate to everyday life. In the gym and on the playgrounds, students receive instruction in activities that enforce the benefits of physical activity while continuing to support all other aspects of learning and living. Using both typical and adaptive fitness and recreational equipment, teachers work with the children to improve motor skills, coordination, and fitness. As motor skills improve, the child participates in age-appropriate recreational activities focused on individual preferences, such as biking and rollerblading, to group sports and games. Students learn and practice the rules and requirements for organized sports and train for local and regional Special Olympics events.