Letter - Special-needs students not getting needed classes

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Special-education students who attend Walla Walla High School do not appear to be having their mandatory educational requirements met. The classes the students need, which are required to meet state graduation requirements, have either been canceled, eliminated or cut by the director of the Walla Walla School District’s special education program.

I can only conclude this was approved by superintendent and School Board members.

The classes are functional history and science. The classes were designed to be hands-on for the students. The curriculum developed, designed, funded and taught by the teachers at Wa-Hi for the sole purpose of helping special-needs students to learn and experience the fundamental elements offered by each of these classes. These classes were to help to broaden their perspectives of the world around them and meet graduation requirements.

My daughter is developmentally delayed and a special-needs student. She took functional science and Northwest history last year as a freshman. We found she enjoyed the classes and was willing to share information about the Oregon Trail and different Indian cultures. She discussed these while we were on vacation/camping throughout the Northwest.

Functional science was very exciting and stimulating to her. The hands-on experiments and observations made her aware of her environment and surroundings and excited her to be learning. This year, as a sophomore, she was scheduled to take functional science along with several other special-needs students.

The first week of school the decision was made that the special-needs students didn’t need these classes. Because of this decision, the students were moved into a sophomore science that was beyond their abilities and understanding.

The lack of communication on all levels of the school district created confusion to the school, teacher and parents. The students and teachers were being caught in the middle.

Denying the students the basic educational needed will keep them from meeting requirements by state and federal laws for graduation. What is the reason for not allowing the kids the opportunity to earn the credits needed for graduation as required by Washington state?

This decision was enacted without discussion, input or consideration from the parents and teachers.

Linda Medutis

WallaWalla

Comments

namvet60 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe the first place to start looking would be the Teachers Union who didn't want there teachers to be critiqued and evaluated? The $40 million dollars that was lost from the Federal funding is probably starting to show up in all the wrong places especially in the special needs area.

When you cut your nose off to spite your face someone loses.

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jkhowell0803 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I have a child who is in special education who will soon be at WAHI and this concerns me very much. I have struggled with WW Public schools and the IEP process and it looks like when my child arrives at WAHI it will only get worse with communication issues and appropriate classroom learning environment. Perhaps the school board should look at cutting the extra fancy administrative jobs at district office (superintendent of this and that) if they did think of the money that could be put back into education.

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gabel509 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wait until common core comes to our schools. It will get worse.

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