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District to revise special ed program

Expectations too low, says superintendent

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Too many Schenectady children are sent to special education classrooms, where lower expectations virtually ensure they never catch up with their peers, Superintendent Laurence Spring said. While he implements a turnaround plan to respond to widespread academic problems in the district, Spring is simultaneously reorganizing the special education division. “It’s an area we need to revamp. We need to do better in that area,” Spring said. An outside group is studying the school’s special education ...

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December 3, 2012
8:04 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The school psychologist does testing every 3 years and BASED ON THOSE RESULTS along with committee on special education teams will a student be considered for special education programs. It has nothing to do with a teacher exhausting his or her set of teaching techniques. LOL. More teacher bashing. I love it. However, I know that when Superintendents look to save money and have exhausted their ability to do so they can arbitrarily decide that too great of a percentage of students are in special education. The article states 18 percent of the student body is special education. Believe it or not, that number is probably low for Schenectady (guessing).

There are special "life skills" and "emotional disturbance" classrooms that usually allow for a student to have 1 teacher for most of the day and subsequently one management style. Yes. Those teachers in those special classrooms DO NOT have all 4 core area (English, Math, Social Studies and Science) certifications in addition to special education. Life Skills students can be functioning at the 1st or 2nd grade level. If you think a student functioning at the 2nd grade level should be in regular Junior High or High School classes and will learn the material then that is what you believe. If you don't know basic math facts then learning linear functions and multi-step equations will be very difficult. Students labeled with Emotional Disturbance might have skills approaching grade level in some instances but their behaviors greatly impact the building and classrooms which is why they spend the majority of their time with 1 teacher and 1 structure with appropriate behavior plans in place.

Superintendent Yagielski is looking to save some money. He also believes these students should get less teacher assistants and be declassified and thus receive less services. I cannot wait to see the report the company will issue in 4 months.

December 3, 2012
9:25 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Oh please... my nephews are in speial ed because they are simply to lazy to do the work and my sister is to lazy to force them. I've been staying there sine September and I have yet to see either boy bring home work even once. They stay up all night playing video games and she doesn't "feel like" arguing with them. Neither one should be in speial ed.

December 3, 2012
3:30 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The 'early intervention" program mentioned, REMOVED many remedial (interventional) reading teachers and math teachers from the early grades. This was not a way to provide "early intervention," but a way to save more than a million dollars. True Early Intervention is crucial to catching students before they fall into the cracks, and have a very difficult time catching up, if ever. The previous "Early Intervention" program was working before it was all but scrapped. The SCSD would do well to re-establish that program.