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PPBHS room 206 to be featured on Emmy Award-winning “Classroom Close-up”Classroom Close-up

Since its 2013 inception, Point Pleasant Borough High School’s Panther Assisted Learning Software, or PALS, has garnered a great deal of attention among the media and education organizations. Under the PALS initiative, students in high school teacher Nick Gattuso’s software engineering classes work alongside students in the school’s Multiply Disabled/Transition class to develop assistive learning applications customized to the disabled students’ unique needs.

During the four years that the applications have been in development, PALS has received extensive coverage in various media outlets, including The Ocean Star, the Patch and the Asbury Park Press as well as in district newsletters and publications. The program was also recently honored by the New Jersey School Boards Association with the organization’s 2016 Innovations in Special Education Award, which recognizes exemplary programs for special education students. PALS was one of just 10 schools selected from New Jersey to receive the award.

PALS has also attracted the attention of “Classroom Close-up,” a broadcast magazine program that focuses on innovative education in New Jersey's public schools. The 14-time Emmy-winning show is a co-production of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and NJTV. Now taping its twenty-third season, "Classroom Close-up, NJ" features innovative programs going on in public school classrooms. Each half-hour program shows how caring school professionals inspire and motivate students.

On Oct. 18 the show will begin filming a segment entitled "Panther Assisted Learning Software," featuring Mr. Gattuso and his students as they discuss the PALS program.

“The PALS apps have immeasurably enhanced instruction in our Multiply Disabled/Transition classrooms not only by helping to provide new pathways for our students with special needs to achieve their potential but also by facilitating the increased interaction between our students with multiple disabilities and their non-disabled peers,” said district Supervisor of Pupil Personnel Services Rita Miller. “We are thrilled that PALS has captured the attention of the “Classroom Close-up” crew and look forward to sharing this incredible program with their audience.

"Classroom Close-up, NJ" airs on NJTV every Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 23. This segment is scheduled to air on Feb. 19 and Mar. 26, 2017.