Special education students put etiquette skills to the test

Posted at 2:31 PM, Mar 30, 2017

On Thursday, more than a dozen Papillion-La Vista South High School students gathered at the Texas Roadhouse in Papillion.  But this trip wasn’t just to feast; it was about putting their new skills to the test.

“So I understand you have been learning about restaurant etiquette,” said Texas Roadhouse manager Steve Jackson.

Throughout the school year in their social skills class, the special education students learn about everything from conversation topics to going out to eat. 

“There is no better activity than when you’re in the environment to perform the skills we have been working on,” said teacher Shannon Tolstedt.

Their restaurant etiquette unit coincides perfectly with a special school event coming up, prom is on Saturday.  Many of the students will be dining at Texas Roadhouse before the big dance.

Not only does this help prepare the students for prom, teachers say hands on activities like these help prepare them for real life situations.

“What does a waitress do, what does a hostess do, what is a tip,” said Tolstedt.

Special education teacher Shannon Tolstedt says the social skills class is meant to prepare her students for success after school. 

“I have a lot of social skills I need to work on and I think this class is really helping me,” said freshman Abby Borer.

The students say throughout the year they have mastered their manners.

“I’ve learned to say please and thank you,” said freshman Nico Lagman.
“Like don’t burp at the table.  That is a hard one for me,” said sophomore John Schmidtke.

Texas Roadhouse Manager Steve Jackson says he was very impressed. 

“They worked especially hard on their manners, especially with things like please and thank you,” said Jackson. 

Jackson says he is happy to host the class.  He says it is a way to thank the teachers for all their hard work.  The students and staff say they were just as thankful for the opportunity.