The Rosedale School kicked off Austin ISD's week of graduation ceremonies today. Eight students received their diplomas, making them the first AISD grads of 2017.
Principal Elizabth Dickey emphasized the school's three mottos: "Independence taught here," "We can do hard things" and "We belong to each other."
"It’s amazing to see what your children have done," she told the room packed with families and friends.
Superintendent Paul Cruz described the school as a prime example of one of the district's own mottos.
"All means all—Rosedale has a really special place in our hearts because it embodies what we’re all about," Cruz said.
Famliy members and teachers joined Dickey in highlighting the growth and progress their children had made at Rosedale—from learning to use assistive devices to understanding English as a second language.
The father of graduate Christopher Solis described his son as "an independent soul."
"He likes to do things on his own, even getting a glass of water," he said. "Rosedale has been a tremendous experience for Chris and for our family. We’re just so blessed to have this school to give Chris this opportunity."
This is the fourth year for Rosedale's Transition to Life program, a curriculum that helps students learn job skills through partnerships with local businesses. Several graduates will continue in their professional roles after graduation.
The ceremony concluded with the graduates, friends and families singing the school's alma mater, "Rosedale Proud," written by Rosedale teacher Kate Robberson.