News & Resources

Update 1-4-2022

Horizons perseveres despite pandemic-related challenges! We enrolled new and returning students from AL, FL, GA, MS, TN, & TX. All are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

We proudly opened the Wesley Eason Memorial Kitchen and student lounge as a modern and accessible teaching space. Thanks to our many donors for your generous support!

We appreciate our neighbors at St. Mary’s on the Highlands who graciously shared classroom and kitchen space during our school renovation. Students enjoyed a festive meal and games hosted by the youth and Encourager mentors of St. Mary’s.

Our collaboration with university partners is mutually beneficial. Students in the Health Professions and Education serve as mentors teaching health and fitness practices.

Horizons students are busy learning prevocational skills for future employment. We continue teaching certificate programs endorsed by employers.

Congratulations to our students who began new training internships and others who accepted paid jobs in the community. We value our career partners and welcome new inquiries.

Highlights from the Fall 2020 Horizons School Student Fitness Program

To promote safety and wellness during the pandemic, students in Fitness classes this term participated in live remote activities led by Greater Level Training (GLT) twice weekly with assistance from Horizons School faculty.  GLT performed pre and post assessments to measure student progress during the fall, noted individual improvements, and offered encouragement.  Data from the assessments showed that as a group, the students had improved upper body, lower body, and core strength compared to their performance at the beginning of the fall!  Students shared individual outcomes, for instance, “My flexibility improved,” “I became stronger and faster,” and “I’m more relaxed.”

In addition, Horizons continued its partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the We Can Do It! Program. Our students benefited from nutrition and fitness assessment and mentoring by eager mentors via weekly Zoom meetings. University mentors developed “smart goals” with each student and evaluated progress during their follow-up meetings.  Students will revisit individual goals and continue engaging in physical activity when classes resume after the holiday. Horizons School promotes developing lifelong wellness habits, including healthy eating and exercise!  

Student & Family Update: Safe Campus Operations

November 30, 2020

Click here for latest update from our director on staying safe during the extended holiday break. There is also information on an upcoming parent education webinar. If you have any questions, you may email info@horizonsschool.org and a staff member will get back to you in a timely manner. Current students may also email their advisor.

Highlights of Horizons School Student Fitness Assessments

During the Summer Term of 2020, Horizons School partnered with coaches of Greater Level Training to present a virtual fitness program consisting of twice weekly chair exercises, guided yoga and stretching. The new format was in response to the global pandemic requiring social distancing. Seventeen Horizons students completed individual fitness assessments guided by faculty and coaches. Comparing data at the beginning and ending of nine weekly training sessions revealed positive results of virtual fitness sessions

Students rated four items about chair fitness videos and live discussion with trainers using a 10-point scale. Mean scores between 7.0 and 9.0 (out of 10.0 possible points) revealed students’ satisfaction. Comments indicate their favorite aspects of virtual fitness classes: 

  • It helps with my posture. 
  • It was easy to understand. 
  • I like the stretching.
  • Good exercises and good use of time.
  • Having people to workout with and not being alone.
  • The exercises were simple, and they got my heartbeat up. I like sharing highs and lows.
  • Like yoga and breathing exercises.
  • An encouraging atmosphere.

Students suggested as improvements: 

  • Increase the intensity
  • Make them a little harder.
  • Add intense exercises, such as abs and cardio
  • Do more tree poses

Further, the majority of Horizons students noted desirable outcomes from the summertime fitness program:

  • I lost some weight
  • I gained muscle and became more flexible
  • My mind and body felt like they had improved
  • My posture is better
  • My brain is functioning a little better even though I have other issues
  • I’m more relaxed
  • I have more energy and am more knowledgeable about fitness
  • I feel balanced and am drinking more water
  • My body changed from the stretching

Objective data was collected for five measures (right and left leg balance tests, 30-second chair stand, modified push-up test and curl-up test). Students’ mean scores improved during the nine weeks for 4 measures, specifically balance, push-ups and curl-ups. Results of a brief virtual fitness program are encouraging!   

Questions? Contact Dr. Brian Geiger, Executive Director, bgeiger@horizonsschool.org