2017 – Learn More About the Cosmos Learning Center

2017 – Learn More About the Cosmos Learning Center

January 2, 2020 0 By Kody Olson


Hi, my name is Bailey Rettmann and I am the principal at the Cosmos Learning Center. We are one of the federal setting four
programs for the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative. Right now we
are servicing twenty-four different school districts in rural Minnesota that
send us students and our student number is anywhere from fifty to fifty-five. So we service a very large area and we service kids with a multitude of
different disability areas. We have what’s called our SUN program which
stands for students with unique needs that services students with autism,
developmental cognitive delay, severely multiply impaired. along with some other
diagnoses as well. Then we also have our Bridges program which is set up designed
specifically toward students with emotional behavioral disorders. We have
grown over the years and added on more disability categories in our building and
we’re always willing to look at different ones to help meet the needs of
our clientele. One of the things that we’re able to offer that help make our
program really successful is we offer a lot of what we call related services – which are additional staff and additional services that help work on
those skills for students. The things that we have in the building are … is I
have a full-time school nurse, I have two full-time speech-language pathologists, I
have a full-time DAPE Phy-Ed teacher and DAPE is developmental adaptive phy ed … I have a full-time school counselor, another school social worker and also a
full-time behavior analyst. Then on top of that – kind of on a need-be basis —
I have occupational therapy and physical therapy that come into the building to
assist students when needed. Hi, I am Annie Dettman. I’m the speech-language pathologist here at the Cosmos Learning Center. I’ve worked here for nine years. The one common deficit that we see with children entering into our program is
the lack of communication or the inability to request wants and needs. Therefore my job is to implement these students with a communication system. It
can be the picture exchange communication system, other alternative
devices include low-tech devices with voice
output or high-tech devices with output. This allows the student to express what they want instead of having behaviors that they get frustrated
because they cannot express their wants and needs. In addition to those services
for speech we also have language services, articulation services and any
other speech related service that the student may qualify for. Since we have
started we have grown in size … therefore a second speech language
pathologist has been added to our staff full-time. Some students receive speech five times a week … others its two or one whatever they come with is
what we usually stick with … and then we adapt as needed for the students
needs. There was a student that started here with very low communication skills. He was having a lot of aggressive behaviors towards students and staff at
his general ed district and when he started here we started implementing the
picture exchange communication system where he used pictures to communicate
and express what he wanted. He has been here now three years with us and he has
moved from the picture exchange communication to verbally producing one
word up to two word utterances independently – so that is just one success story that we have had with a student. Hello I’m Jason Northrop. I’m the
school counselor here at the Cosmos Learning Center. I just like to cover a
few things that we do here at Cosmos that helps students realize that there’s
fun things that can happen at school – not only here but back at a regular setting. We have when our Fall Festival occurs we have a hayride that goes around the
school. The kids can jump in the back of a wagon and be pulled around the school
with a four-wheeler and they enjoy doing that … which is followed up with some
carnival games and some other activities with the staff … and a good meal. We
recently just had our Thanksgiving special where we invited parents in and
we had a talent show that the parents got to watch … and we had a big
Thanksgiving meal for over 50 families that showed up and got to enjoy that
with their child here at cosmos. We are going to begin using clubs and
activities as well which are things that occur in a regular setting – so kids get
used to being a part of something beyond the academic spectrum in schools. So if we’re a program you’re interested in sending your student/your child to, it all comes through the public school districts. We work with
the districts to help service the needs of the students that they aren’t able to
meet their needs. When we do that intake process with the districts and with
families, we really focus on the skills that are helping them to not be
successful in the district – whether that be behaviors or other things and those
are the things we focus on here because we want our end goal to be to transition
kids back so we focus on those exact goals.