CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-  East Lake Academy celebrated the holidays with Hamilton County Commissioners earlier this week, utilizing their "Unique Learning System."  This curriculum was implemented at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.  Unique is an online, standards-based curriculum specifically designed for special learners.  As part of the December curriculum, Courtney Rouse's class studied four winter holidays including: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and Christmas.  They learned about different holiday specific traditions.  For example, when they studied Hanukkah, they looked at the colors related to Hanukkah and made Latkes in the classroom kitchen. It is a holiday food that is prepared during Hanukkah celebrations. To further their studies with Christmas, they made Christmas Cookies. 

Ms. Rouse said, "My classroom consists of middle school students whom are intellectually disabled, so accessing the community is an important life lesson for self-advocacy."  She and Jennifer Jolly invited Hamilton County Commissioners to join in their holiday fun.  Those in attendance were Joe Graham, Larry Henry, Chester Bankston,  Dr. Warren Mackey, and Tim Boyd.  All took pride in their decorating abilities and were happy to pass on their skills to the students.