Life Skills Program

Fountain Hills High School Life Skills Program provides opportunities for students who need to develop functional academic, independent living, and vocational skills. It is a specialized placement for students with significant intellectual exceptionalities. Our program strives to create independence and community involvement for all of our students. Students are provided instruction to prepare them to participate in their community, workplace and home in a meaningful way in their life after high school.

Community-Based Instruction

Community-based instruction promotes the use of academic and functional skills in natural environments in the community. CBI includes shopping, dining out, community safety, travel, and community services. Local businesses provide a realistic setting for students to practice shopping/purchasing skills, money handling, time management, planning and scheduling, and banking and budgeting. Students visit a variety of businesses including grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants, clothing stores, and more. Social skills are learned in the community including public greetings, personal space, impulse control, asking for help, and coping skills. Community-based instruction helps students learn in a concrete way in their natural setting rather than in a simulated setting, which is very abstract. Hands-on learning experiences help students develop the skills they need to participate in their communities after high school.

Independent Living Skills

The Life Skills classroom provides the opportunity to learn and practice independent living skills. Students learn a variety of independent living/self-help skills including being responsible for their own belongings, household chores, cooking meals, personal hygiene, self-advocacy, nutrition, safety, daily living activities, communication, recreation, and socialization. The skills learned will help students gain greater independence in their home and community.

Vocational Skills

Vocational skills taught range from pre-vocational to specific job competencies. This course is designed to teach employment skills to students with significant exceptionalities including how to seek and maintain employment, physical/manual skills, learning to interact with co-workers, and specific job competencies. Students learn specific job skills related to their post-secondary goals and also learn teamwork, decision-making skills, problem-solving, self-advocacy, leadership, and flexibility. Instruction is adapted to each student's individual strengths and needs while facilitating growth and increased skills.

This course includes a work-study program. The work-study placements include on-campus work studies such as the Life Skills Garden, Uniquely Crafted Goods store, and The Falcon Café. There are also opportunities for off-campus work studies at local job sites. Students will gain experience and exposure to different jobs. Work-based learning experiences are individually tailored to each student. 

Leisure and Recreational Skills

Students learn the skills needed to engage in leisure and recreational activities in their community. Skills taught include making choices, socializing with friends, playing games, participating in groups, and planning. Students learn about different recreation resources. Exposure to a variety of leisure activities helps students learn what they like to do in their free time. These opportunities help students practice their communication and social interactions as well as develop friendships.

Fountain Hills High School is committed to the inclusion of all students. The Friendship Club and Peer Mentorship Program at FHHS help to facilitate friendships on and off campus. These programs provide social mentoring and the opportunity for students to make meaningful connections with their peers. Students build their self-confidence and self-esteem through participating in leisure and recreational activities on-campus and in the community. 

Functional Math and Reading

Students are exposed to functional math and reading skills throughout the school day. Students learn foundational skills, money and time skills and then learn to apply those skills in their community-based instruction. Students visit local stores and restaurants where they are able to make selections, exchange money for goods, collect change, and practice their budgeting skills. Students also learn functional math skills through student-run businesses on campus. Students learn functional reading skills including reading schedules, a calendar, and weather related information. Skills are expanded out in the community and workplace where students read real-life information including signs, labels, menus, workplace schedules, etc. Reading programs are individually tailored to meet student needs.


The FHHS Life Skills Program staff is passionate about looking beyond limitations and creating meaningful opportunities for students.