What is the Alternative Work Experience?

  • The Olathe School District's Alternative Work Experience (A.W.E.) work site helps area businesses with project work while helping youth with developmental disabilities obtain vocational skills, learn how to complete jobs on deadline, and discover new interests. All student work is supervised by job coaches or paraeducators. A.W.E. is located at 1005 S. Pitt Street, Suite A, Olathe KS 66061. Contact Dan Mulvenon at 913-780-7067 or email him at dmulvenonwdsc@olatheschools.org for more information.

    Like any student of high school age, students with special needs are getting ready to make the transition to the next phase of their lives. Training in job skills is a key part of making a successful transition. The Alternative Work Experience partners with local businesses to provide jobs that students can complete at the school work site. Students learn to follow directions, complete tasks on time and accept both the positive and corrective feedback that are part of any job. The students take on large and small projects including:

    • Folding and stuffing letters
    • Assembling and packaging components
    • Sorting and organizing files, invoices, etc.
    • Assembling promotional products, brochures and materials
    • Cutting, stapling, hole punching, labeling, stamping, etc.
    • Taking time-consuming or reptitive tasks off the local business

    Area businesses that have jobs for students that must be completed onsite should consider the district's ACCESS program. High-functioning special need students, many of whom began their work training at A.W.E., are able to spend part of their day onsite helping local companies. To learn more about onsite job training, please call Amanda Honaker at 913-971-3477 or email her at ahonakerwdsc@olatheschools.org.