What if special ed was fully state-funded

by John Odum – Property tax reform. Education spending. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the hot topic in Vermont public policy, and many feel that it’s finally become hot enough for policymakers to consider making some changes. Of course that’s easier said than done. Or at least it can be. Voices calling for change […]

Nonprofits can be a valuable resource for kids with disabilities and their families

by Alison Grant – Meghan Drops recalls the swirl of feelings that she experienced the day she walked across the stage at Lakewood High School and collected her diploma. “I was crying, happy crying,” the 26-year-old said last week. “I was so excited to graduate.” Not that reaching goals that other kids have was out […]

Group tests charter’s openness to learners with special needs

by Arianna Prothero  – Fielding phone calls from parents asking about enrollment is part of everyday business for schools, but for some charter schools, the person on the other end of the line may only be posing as a parent. Modeled after “mystery shopper” or “secret shopper” services used in retail, authorizers in the District of […]

State report calls for special ed system overhaul

Washington’s special-education programs are in dire need of a major overhaul. Not only are students’ experiences in the classroom at stake, but also their ability to contribute to society and thrive as adults. A new state report on special-education programs found that more special-education students should graduate from high school, receive better instruction and leave […]

Charter schools do service students with special needs

by Doug McCurry – The news is filled with stories about how charter schools — especially Eva Moskowitz’s big, bad Success Academy network — don’t serve students with special needs. As a parent of one such child, let me tell you: This is bunk. Now, I’m also the co-CEO of another charter network, Achievement First, […]

School districts have a shortage of special education teachers

by Audrey L. Hollingshead – Castro Valley Unified is short on Special Education teachers, leaving some students on the spectrum with substitute teachers still in training. The growing demand for more special education teachers is due to not only having better tools to diagnose autism, but a rise in autism over all. Proctor special education […]

Taekwondo becomes after-school activity for students with special needs

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by Chelsey Abercrombie – Connor Daniel, a 12-year-old student at Ava White Academy in Gainesville, searched longer than most 12-year-olds for an after-school activity. He tried a martial arts class at a studio outside of Hall County, but the instructor was not able to work with his particular circumstances. Connor Daniel has epilepsy, causing him […]

Using school architecture to enhance learning

For a school environment to be adaptive, it doesn’t need lots of moving parts. It’s not about the ubiquitous moving partitions that subdivide one large classroom into two marginal ones, requiring lots of time and effort along the way. So what then, can make a building truly adaptive? To a highly-trained instructor, an adaptive environment […]

Fair offers parents resources for their children with special needs

by Martha Longley – Tables with colorful flags and dishes of candy lined the circular perimeter of the cafeteria at Hill Regional Career High School last night. There, parents, teachers and local advocates convened for the annual New Haven Public Schools Parent Resource Fair. New Haven Public Schools, the Department of Developmental Services and the […]

Students in special education access curriculum through technology

by Jessica Bies – Hunched over their iPads, the three seventh-graders took turns reading the document displayed on their screens. One, Sam Seifert, followed along, while her special education teacher Jessica Waterstreet did the talking — Seifert has difficulty reading on her own. Seated near the center of the table, Blake Hanna recited the words […]