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Saturday, February 6, 2016

The district votes to ditch Ed White's disabled children

Many of the superintendent's proposed changes to bring students back to various neighborhood schools are actually going to drive students away.

Say you aren't interested in the arts but live in Fort Caroline's neighborhood, well now you have to find a new school just like the 500 non autistic kids at Oak Hill. More of a work with your hands type of kid? Then Wolfson just kicked you to the curb.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Ed White high school which they are transforming into a dedicated military magnet.

Some magnets aren't dedicated, that's to say you can still go to the school and not be in the magnet but not so at the new Ed White. If you want to attend there you have to be in the magnet. I personally think they are gong to have a hard time finding 1,500 kids who want to be in the program. Now I may be wrong about that, but what I am not wrong about is what is going to happen to the 120 intellectually disabled kids that currently go there. Nope they are being told they are no longer welcome and its even worse because the district has made no plans to send new disabled studnets elsewhere.

The intellectually disabled program, that has several business enterprises that give their kids real life skills is going to be phased out. You know because military magnets and disabled children don't mix.

The district is robbing the city's most vulnerable children of a valuable program.

Who speaks for them?

Finally before you shrug your shoulders and say, hey it's just a few kids, I hope it's not your child who is displaced the next time the super comes up with a hair braned scheme.

1 comment:

  1. This is extremely frustrating. As a long time ESE teacher, I know that most of my students will not attend college, and some will not finish school. Taking away life skills programs is harming this population more than most realize. The parents of these intellectually disabled children want nothing more than to know that their child will one day be able to provide for and take care of themselves. The removal of programs such as this is a slap in the face to these parents. Their tax dollars are used to help sustain our schools, but what are they now getting in return? The majority of the parents who have the ability to provide transportation are electing to utilize the John McKay scholarship route, which ultimately is just one more way funds are being siphoned from our public schools to the private and charter schools. However, in cases like this, can you really blame the parents? It's not like our district is offering options for this population. Consider this: Elementary school of approximately 850 students with 70 ESE students and all of those students opt out starting with middle school.....think about how much money that is leaving our public schools after elementary because sitting special needs students in remedial math and remedial reading is counter-productive. As a parent, I want my child to always WANT to learn and taking away all of the options for creative thinking (electives) in a pointless attempt to force a child with a below average capability to be able to pass a state test is not the solution. Sometimes practice doesn't make just creations frustration and drop outs. But then maybe that is what they want....if they don't take the test, it can't count against the school grade!!!!!! Way to go Duval, one more bad decision that surely just cost our district more money and parent confidence.