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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Banda Announces Temp Special Ed Appointment

From Superintendent Banda:

Dear Seattle Public Schools community,

I hope you are all enjoying these summer days. Our team at Central Office is working hard to ensure we have a successful start of school, which is just about a month away.

As part of our back-to-school planning, I have appointed BiHoa Caldwell to oversee our Special Education department for the next two months. BiHoa is a retired SPS administrator who will bring strong leadership to the Special Education department during this time of transition. She will lead a support team that will focus on a smooth start to school, ensuring that staffing, enrollment, service placement, transportation, and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are complete for our students who receive special education services.

We are continuing the process of recruiting an Executive Director of Special Education. This is a key position, and I want to make sure we have an experienced leader in place who will be a great fit for our District and our families. My goal is to have this position filled close to the start of school. I want to thank the staff and family representatives who have served on the hiring committee.

Thank you for all the work you do on behalf of our students. We look forward to seeing everyone back in the classroom on Sept. 5.

3 comments:

SeattleSped said...

Not sure about BC, but yay! for Banda doing what he said, which was to give families an update this week. And yay! for his commitment that schools will be ready for our children on Day One. SPS has been slapped by OSPI for dithering with delivery of SDI and related services for weeks into the school years. This is a crucial time for our children to make friends, feel confident, and establish strong relationships with teachers and service providers.

Anonymous said...

SeattleSped: your comment made me smile. When I tried to enroll my SPED kid at GHS years ago, the downtown folks were utterly MIA all spring and summer (except one very nice guy -- who couldn't do much, but at least returned my calls and commiserated). So I said -- fine. I'll just show up at GHS and start there. I went to the school each day (during the week-before-school registration days). Each day the "head" of Special Ed was not there. First, she wasn't scheduled to be there at all on Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday, she was supposed to be there, but mysteriously wasn't. On Thursday, they told me she had called the day before and decided to just not come back.

Fortunately, as so often is the case at the school level, other "helpful people" whose job description didn't involve bailing me out -- but who just care -- jumped in and we at least got sort of a plan in place for the following Tuesday morning. Of course, part way through the year, downtown (having finally woken from their long nap) said they didn't LIKE the plan, and changed my child's class schedule all around to suit themselves (after he had spent months making friends, learning his teachers styles, etc.). And when I protested? The nasty SPED person running the IEP meeting (NOT the actual SPED teacher who was terrific) immediately jumped down my throat and said: "So, are you saying you are declining services? Is that what you want? Here, give me back the draft. I can write up 'declines services' if that is really what you want!" Fortunately, there were no small objects available at hand to hurl at her, so I didn't have to deal with the aftermath of an assault charge.

And this was all BEFORE MGJ arrived and made SPED so much worse. Boy, do I hope that we see some progress with this Department. There are so many good people, dragged down by so much that is bad.

--Glad to be done.

SeattleSped said...

Glad,

We won't give up. We won't let down our guard. The Board and the higher-ups need to quit listening to the (outlandish) statements from JSCEE that we NEED more gatekeepers like that harpie. What we in fact need is more like your child's SpEd teacher and the helpful people at his school. I believe Banda knows what needs to happen. And his staff should listen to him.