News: 500 special needs children waiting on school bus place


Five hundred children with special needs were waiting on a school bus place at the start of this academic year.

Figures released to Fianna Fáil show that more than 2,700 applications for school transport for children with special educational needs were accepted for the 2018/19 school year.

However, statistics reveal that transport arrangements were still being finalised for some 500 of these applications at the beginning of September.

Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne told RTÉ News he was prompted to ask a Parliamentary Question to the Department of Education following a number of queries from concerned parents with special needs children who were having problems getting a place on the school bus.

Mr Byrne said it was "not fair" that hundreds of children have been left without transport to primary and post-primary schools.

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: South Dakota School Celebrates 30 Years of Special Education


YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — For more than 30 years, Yankton's Stewart School has had an entire wing of its building dedicated to providing special education services.

"It's been around since 1987, and was kind of created on a napkin by Joyce Wentworth, our former director of student services," said Jerome Klimisch, principal of Stewart Elementary School. "She got to be the design person with Linda Balfany, the special education teacher."

Stewart School, which was built in 1966, was a good fit because it was fully accessible to students with physical disabilities. In addition to the usual classrooms, The SPED wing includes an office for a speech therapist, a physical therapy room, an occupational therapy room, an outdoor playground in the back and a kitchen.

"The original plans included a working kitchen so kids could learn life skills and do laundry," Klimisch told the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan . "Life skills are important for kids in Special Ed."

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: Houston School Board to Consider Special Ed Recommendations, Disbanding Committee


The Houston school board could disband its special education committee this week, a move that’s taken some parents and even some committee members by surprise. For years, Kara DeRocha has advocated for her son’s special needs. In May, she joined the district’s special ed committee to help amplify parents’ voices and guide trustees. She said that they didn’t get a warning the group could dissolve so soon. “It was a visceral reaction of, ‘Here we go again, our voices are once again being silenced,'” said DeRocha, who ran for a seat on the school board in 2017. “We’re going to have to fight again to have our voices be heard.” Listen 00:00 /01:00 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

X The Houston school board formed the ad hoc group after a statewide crisis in special education saw thousands of children with disabilities denied services. Enrollment in special ed has edged up in Houston schools. However, at 7 percent, it’s still below state and national averages, at 9 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Posted: 2018-09-12
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