Granite Hills: Gearing Up For The New Year

A labor of love: Bryan Dunn, Granite Hills High School Special Education English Teacher.

By Nolan Patrick Smith

High Desert Daily

(Apple Valley)– The time is upon us; the time for another school year. As parents help their kids get the supplies needed for the first day, teachers are also gearing up to have the best school year yet. For Granite Hills High School Special Education English Teacher Bryan Dunn, technology is number one on his list of priorities.

In an article High Desert Daily ran earlier this year, we told the community about Mr. Dunn and the projects he does with his Special Education English classes. He assigned each class a magazine to create, which covered hot topics with teens that are encountered in every day life. The student laid out the magazines, wrote the articles, took some of the photographs: all by utilizing the skills they have learned in the class and by applying those skills in a real world situation.  Last year’s magazines were a massive success despite the limited resources that were available to work with. Students were all extremely proud of their work, seeing something they worked so hard for actually become a published magazine.

With a new school year practically already upon us, Mr. Dunn is seeking donations to equip his special needs classroom with laptops and a wireless printer so that students can work on the projects from the classroom on dedicated computers. Also, due to the success of the magazines, Dunn plans to expand the projects to cover not only the four quarterly issues, but also special issues for various sports, clubs and events.  If you would like to donate towards making this computer lab a reality, please contact Mr. Dunn at Granite Hills at (760) 961-2290 or by email at bryan_dunn@avusd.org.

“Kids don’t always equate what they do in high school to real life: Special Ed kids even more so. This magazine makes what they learn practical and applicable.” Mr. Dunn commented during our past interview. “When they come into the classroom, and even with the limited number of computers, they get right to work. They even use computers available in other classrooms to finish their work. ”

Disabilities that the students have include auditory processing disabilities, visual processing disabilities, high functioning autism, ADD, and ADHD among others. But it is not the disability that is focused on: “While they have a learning disability or two, they have hundreds of learning abilities.”

Under Mr. Dunn’s guidance, all four classes have produced magazines clocking in around 20 pages each. The magazines were entirely created by the students with Mr. Dunn advising: this includes articles, layouts and some photographs. Magazines were printed through MagCloud, an HP website that offers print on demand services. The magazines can be ordered online directly from MagCloud at http://www.magcloud.com/user/sagelion. Purchasing the magazines form MagCloud is the best way to donate funds to help with the future of these projects.

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