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District 93 Special Ed. Director: Program Needs Improvements

Some parents are calling on Bonneville District 93 to improve its special education program. On Wednesday, the district’s special education director said teachers need more training and facilities are lacking.

“I think everyone district wide from the children who go to school here, to the janitors and cafeteria staff need to have a strong basis of information about all disabilities,” said mom Lana Gonzales.

She has a child with Autism, and said the need for education about disabilities is huge in the district.

“The reality is we’re surrounded by people with disabilities, cultural differences, all kinds of differences,” she said.

For Gonzales, Wednesday’s District 93 board work session was very important. It was a chance for special education director Susan Searle to request a list of improvements needed to bolster education for kids who live with disabilities.

“That’s the proposal that we gave, so that we can reach all the kids in secondary instead of just sending them all into one program,” said Searle.

Each District 93 elementary school has a special education unit. But in the secondary schools, Searle said, focused education seems to fizzle. Special needs kids are sent to specialized programs in the district after elementary school.

Searle presented a request for several new teacher positions, instructor development, and new sensory room facilities at 4 schools. She also requested new cirriculum for special education teachers. Currently, she said, teachers have to fashion their own cirriculum from existing material. Searle hopes that will change.

For Gonzales, that’s a step in the right direction.

“I feel like if we want to prepare our children for the future we need to prepare them in school for reality,” she said.

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