Special education parents to give recommendations to school board | SummitDaily.com

Special education parents to give recommendations to school board

Reid Williams

WHO: Summit School Board

WHAT: Regular meeting

WHEN: 5:30 p.m., today

WHERE: Central administration office, School Road, Frisco

FRISCO – Ten percent of Summit School’s students – 258 boys and girls – have special needs and disabilities. Tonight, some of their parents will take recommendations to the school board on how to better serve those students.

Local education advocates Karen Rutledge and Pooh Bishop are scheduled to address the school board at its regular meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the district administration offices in Frisco. Their presentation will focus on PALS (Parents of Alternative Learners), and five recommendations from the parent support group.

Rutledge said PALS’ suggestions include requests for professional development opportunities for teachers, from understanding specific disabilities and the laws that address them, to instruction on techniques designed for alternative learners. She said the group also would like to see more effort to help the students understand their own disabilities and teach them to be advocates for themselves. Rutledge said the group also would like to see more involvement from parents and have them form an advisory committee.

“This is a great opportunity to educate the school board,” Rutlege said. “We want to move forward and we hope this gives them some idea on what to do next.”

The presentation is the second of the month on special education. The school board picks a different education focus each month. At the Feb. 13 school board meeting, district special education coordinators and principals John Youngquist and Gayle Jones presented an overview of special education in Summit County. Special education affects the district from preschool to high school, covering physical, learning and emotional disabilities. The schools spent more than $1.6 million on special education last year, in addition to regular classroom costs for students.

The school board tonight also will hear a presentation on the district’s updated foreign language curriculum. In April 2001, Summit language teachers began reviewing the achievement standards, grading practices and instructional equity in Spanish and French classes. The report includes recommendations for the purchase of new instructional materials, as well as objectives and standards for each grade level.

Other presentations before the school board will include budget recommendations from the district accountability committee and an update on the development of district goals.

The school board also is expected to vote on an agreement with the town of Breckenridge. When Summit High School was built in 1995-1996, the school district paid for a water line from Tiger Road. The agreement will allow the school district to recoup the expense of the water line from builders and homeowners in the Farmers Korner area who will tap into the line. The school board and town staff have been negotiating the agreement since the high school opened.

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