Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Meeting for Special Education Parents

From Seattle Public Schools:

As you are aware the District has announced preliminary recommendations on district-wide capacity management and building closures. We recognize that the topic of potential school closure is always an emotional one fraught with concerns about where will my child be placed next year if my school closes? It is especially concerning when dealing with students that have more significant disabilities.

Superintendent, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, wants parents to understand that "We are considering building closures in order to strengthen academic programs and protect the District's long-term financial health." She recognizes and has said "these are very difficult decisions to make, but they are decisions we must face now, and we must face them together, as a community."

The District is committed to using this opportunity to strengthen and expand services for special education students consistent with recommendations from the "Special Education: Organization, Program and Service Delivery Review" and recommendations identified by the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAAC) and supported by the Special Education PTSA Committee. The Review document can be found on the Special Education Department's District Website.

We would like to invite you to attend a meeting to update you on preliminary relocation of special education services currently housed at each of the schools identified for closure and give you an opportunity to provide input as to considerations, concerns and suggestions that need to be addressed as relocations are identified and finalized.

The meeting is scheduled for:
Monday, December 15, 2008 9:30-11:30 AM; Room 2765, John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence

Again, the purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for parents to hear current information regarding preliminary activities connected with relocation of services and for Seattle Public Schools to listen to your concerns and ideas.

4 comments:

AutismMom said...

Well, I hope this is being rescheduled until 2 hours later.

Beth Bakeman said...

AutismMom, I looked all over the district web site and couldn't find any info about whether or not this meeting was rescheduled.

Do you know if it was?

And did you or anyone you know attend who could report on it?

AutismMom said...

The meeting was as scheduled. I went late because of late school starts. (Notably, ALL special education students in programs get their entire bus service cut on every single one of these snow days. Even though buses do manage to serve everyone else. That fact was mentioned as an ongoing problem, and results in reduced educational service to many kids.)

Most of the parents were from Meany. Some were from Lowell, with attendance from Hay and McGilvra. Fred Rowe and Carla were running the meeting. Fred Rowe was talking about moving towards a services model, which the Meany parents all thought was a pipe dream. They really want to keep Meany as is, or at the very least, move all the sped programs together. There doesn't seem to have been any plans for those severely disabled students, and people noted that it was another situation where the students would be considered last. They also complained about poor quality programs with minimally trained teachers at other middle schools like Orcas. Lowell parents were actually unhappy that none of the big issues at Lowell were being addressed, most notably K-5 programming which becomes more like childcare. K-5 is a terrible idea, and everyone knows it... and yet it continues year after year. Fred also mentioned that blended K students will be grandfathered into their schools... eg. McGilvra, Bryant, etc. or given priority in their own clusters. That is something new, and good. (Hard to imagine how it will work out though, with the resistance those schools have put up over the years.) BK's will be sunsetted.

But really, there wasn't a lot of specifics. It seemed the district was there to listen.

Beth Bakeman said...

Do you think the district actually is listening?

I get the sense that Dr. G-J is really serious about improving special education services in the district.

Does it seem that way to you?