Jessica Miccio, Teaching Assistant & 1:1

Why did you choose this specific field?

I chose this specific field because of my experience in dealing with children with trauma and attachment issues. I’ve been a foster/adoptive parent for over 13 years and have dealt with kids with all types of background histories. I’ve also been on the Board of Director’s with Children’s Community Programs in New Haven and have lead several RAD training classes. I volunteer at my children’s school and have been an AAU and Little League coach for several years as well.

What's a day like for you at High Road School?

My day starts with assisting with in the arrival/check-in process for our student which includes thoroughly checking each students bag, jackets, etc prior to entering the locker area and of course greeting each student with a friendly “good morning” and a smile. Throughout the day, I can be found in my classroom, which consists of 12 transition students (18–21 years old), assisting my 1:1 with his class work, supervising student VTOs (volunteer time outs that students can take when they’re getting frustrated), or helping other classrooms and staff when they need it. I also run our Deli, with our students. We make and wrap sandwiches, utilize an air fryer, and put together orders.

Like everyone else on the team, I’m always willing to “jump in” to help out.

What do you enjoy most about coming to school every day?

Honestly, each day is different and very active. I love the kids and really enjoy working with each and every one of them. I try to connect to each kid and do what I can to make their day a little brighter and better.

Can you give an example of a ‘Little Victory’ you’ve seen a student achieve at school?

One example is my 1:1 student. Before I was assigned to him, he was a very tough, non-compliant kid. Since we’ve been working together he has been able to do small amounts of classwork, limited yelling out of classroom, and reduced his number of VTO’s and time outs.

He’s been able to control his frustrations better, handling the prompts given to him and semi-master his coping skills, while processing his emotions, or waiting for social worker visits. Also, he’s been able to handle certain changes and handle the frequent “No” responses.While he is still a work in progress, I continue to hold him accountable for his actions and prompt him accordingly all while being focused on being a positive impact on him.

Can you describe something special about your team and the school?

This is truly a great place to work! It’s positive and team oriented. Our entire staff aides and supports the kids when needed and helps them stay on task while also teaching them life skills that will help them be successful after high school.

We all work diligently together to ensure a positive and successful environment here for both staff and students, while also bringing something different to the table. Everyone has their own style to help teach, aide and support each individual child with their current needs. Overall, I’d say that we all  enjoy working with the students and are eager to help them reach their daily goals and to be successful.