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Page 15 text:
WHAT IS A SCHOOL FOR THE PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED?
we, the students of Valley Branch, have found that many people have
mistaken ideas of our school. Toward the end of last semester, three
student reporters from a large neighboring high school visited us here
at Valley Branch. They plied us with questions which surprised and even
startled us. They wanted to know: nwhat subjects do you take? Do you
live here at school? How do you get back and forth to school? what
days do you go to school? What are your hours? Do you get vacations
and holidays? Do you get report cards?n
We did our best to give them a clear idea of our high school. We
pointed out that a high school for the physically handicapped is not
very different from any other high school. What makes us appear differ-
ent is the fact that many of us are on crutches, in wheelchairs, or in
braces. In addition, our school building also had to be changed some-
what to meet the needs of the physically handicapped. Halls should be
wide so that two wheelchairs can pass each other. Doors should be wider
than standard, so that a wheelchair can go through. Lockers must be ac-
cessible. Ramps take the place of steps at entrances and exits. Floors
should not be slippery for people on crutches. To board the bus, we
have loading platforms. Our fire drills have to be particularly well
organized, so that everyone is able to get out of the building in case
of an emergency.
Although we students may have our physical limitations, our school
is very much like any other high school in the Los Angeles City High
School District. Our subjects are the same. Our textbooks are the
same. We go to school five days a week. We ave six periods a day and
also have exactly the same holidays and vacations as other schools.
The question asking if we lived here at school brought snickers and
winks across the room. We told them that we go back and forth to school
in a Hli'l ole yellow school busn. We also have homework and are sup-
posed to study two or three hours every night, although so etimes when
there is a good television program, we try to
homework. Then when the tests come along, we
feeling that we should have done our homework
even worse when we see the tell-tale m rks on
ly lined paper called a report card. We then
and promises that we'll do much better on the
cut a few corners off the
have the sudden strange
and studied harder. It is
a little piece of special-
make very good resolutions
next report card. Then
just like other students, some keep the promises and others break them.
In Valley Branch our student body is composed of students with as
many different ideals and ambitions as you would find in any other high
school student group. Several of us are taking the courses that are re-
quired for college entrance. One of our students is planning a career
as an M.D. and another wants to become a medical research librarian.
One intends to become a research lawyer. Others want to be teachers.
Some plan to go into the fields of agriculture, commercial art or
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Page 16 text:
engineering. Some of the girls plan to become housewives.
A number of our students belong to the California Scholarship
Federation. Some of us have to work harder than others to master our
courses, because we often miss several weeks or even months during a
school year. Then we have to make up all the work we have missed.
This is especially necessary for pupils who belong to the scholarship
society and must keep a high grade average.
Work is only a part of the curriculum of a high school for the
handicapped. Sports are also an important factor. The physically
handicapped high school students need exercise like any other teen-
agers. However, we are restricted to less strenuous sports like ping
pong, croquet, shuffleboard, horse shoes, and other similar games. We
also have plays, parties and other school activities.
We are happy that we do have the opportunity to work and play to-
gether. We are working diligently towards the goal of becoming help-
ful and useful citizens. Some great men who are well known in public
life today are physically handicapped. We want more than anything to
have the opportunity to prove our worth and usefulness, not only to
ourselves, but also to our community and to our country.
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