Aberdeen schools prepare to upgrade special education offerings
The Aberdeen School District is preparing to revamp its special education programs in the upcoming months, and has compiled an extensive report outlining what changes need to be made to better suit the needs of students with disabilities.
Since August, a six-person special education task force comprised of Aberdeen principals, teachers and administrators has been analyzing each school’s approach to special education resources, resulting in a report that breaks needed changes down into 12 pillars, or areas, such as communication, personnel and transitions.
The six of them spent an entire day at each of the district’s eight buildings interviewing special education teachers, students and paraeducators — assistants in regular classrooms who are there to help special needs students — who were willing to say what they liked about the programs and what could use fixing.
According to Robert Gray Elementary Principal Richard Bates, who is on the task force, the interviews found that many believe the district lacks a cohesive system that allows special education and general teachers to know how to handle certain situations.