OCS Launches PAES Lab at Livingston Middle School


Overton County Schools (OCS) collaborates with Livingston Academy's Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Special Education Department to introduce a Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) lab, benefiting students with disabilities in a hands-on work assessment setting. OCS is committed to ensuring academic and career triumphs for these students in CTE, backed by research indicating enhanced graduation and employment rates. The objective is to enhance accessibility and allure of CTE.


Through career exploration, aptitude testing, and IEP planning, students discern lucrative, high-skill career paths that align with their interests. OCS provides personalized career guidance tailored to individual aspirations.

With a grant, OCS procured a PAES lab and staffing for the new CTE addition. We were also able to obtain needed additions to the program by community partners: The Building Center, Foodlion, First National Bank, and individual families. This initiative addresses transitional needs for identified students with disabilities from age 13 to graduation. The lab, centrally located at LMS, guarantees accessibility for students county-wide. Commencing October 2023, students will be shuttled to and from their home schools for "work-based learning" in this simulated job setting.

In the PAES lab, students explore five career sectors: business/marketing, computer/technology, construction/industrial, processing/production, and consumer service. Tasks escalate in complexity as skills advance. The lab emulates an authentic workplace, with students assuming employee roles and teachers acting as supervisors. Professional communication, adherence to safety protocols, troubleshooting, and more are expected for success. PAES readies students for the workforce and aids in discovering their desired career paths.

PAES administers a formal exploratory assessment, appraising work quality, speed, conduct, and more. This data pinpoints strengths, areas for enhancement, and accommodations. Sessions, open to all abilities, occur five days a week, with a referral process. PAES imparts vital workplace proficiencies like communication, safety practices, problem-solving, documentation, technical expertise, self-advocacy, and more.