Emmy - Educational Service Dog
On August 14th, 2018, the CUSD 201 Board of Education approved to have Emily "Emmy" at WJHS on a full-time basis as she’s trained to be an Educational Assistance Dog (EAD). As of December 2018, she is six months old and has already had quite an impact on the students, staff and community!
Emmy is a Goldendoodle (F1B) and especially chosen to be a school EAD. She is 75% Poodle and 25% Golden Retriever, therefore, she is super smart, little-to-non shedding, and allergy-friendly. Emmy comes from a line of service/facility dogs. So far she has been trained locally with a basic puppy class with Aimee Busse at Dogz'n Harmony. She will be taking the Canine Good Citizen training and certification later in January/February of 2019. Emmy's veterinarian is Dr. Jess Torok (Urban Veterinary Associates) in downtown Westmont. Her vet records are accessible to the CUSD 201 Board of Education and CUSD 201 District Office. Pet Supply Plus, in Westmont, has sponsored Emmy by supplying her dog food and covering her grooming costs. They have also donated many other items like a Halloween costume, toys, and a crate to help keep Emmy comfortable at WJHS and in style!
As Emmy needs more training, we will be looking for more sponsors and fundraising opportunities. If you are interested, please reach out!
Emmy's induction into WJHS has been gradual and intentional. She has started in the office, but has been seen in the halls, Commons, and gymnasium. Due to her most-excellent temperament, she is able to positively interact while on a leash.
Parents/students have the opportunity to opt-out of the program. This means students do not have be in contact with Emmy. Students may also opt to be more involved with Emmy, to which a special permission slip will be necessary. For instance, some students have been allowed to help reinforce some of her training.
Eventually, Emmy may be used in the school during counseling sessions, speech pathology sessions, incentive programs, de-escalation situations, regular education classes and special education classes. Emmy will always be leashed and have a trained adult with her.
Although this is a new program at WJHS, it is research-based to improve a student’s learning experience. Schools in New York, California, Arkansas, and even down-state in Illinois, have felt the benefit of this program.
If you would like to hear more about the program, contact John K. Jonak, principal of Westmont Junior High School.