Gloversville Enlarged School District is in the process of creating new and improved opportunities for students with disabilities. Special Education students will have increased time participating in regular education classrooms - which will provide more access to the general curriculum and better prepare them for future graduation.
These changes are recommendations that resulted from a recent study performed by the Capital Area School Development Association. The district will be implementing a new model that mainstreams special education students into general education classrooms with both a regular teacher and a special education teacher, as part of a co-teaching model.
Details are still being worked out, but the district plans to implement the changes with the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
“This will be a new way of thinking for us in Gloversville. These changes are considered to be best practice and we are hopeful that they will better prepare all of our students for the new requirements being placed on them,” said GESD Director of Special Education Colleen Ulrich. New York State is phasing out the Individual Education Program (IEP) diploma and requiring special education students to achieve a score of 55 percent or higher in order to receive a local diploma.
District officials are also hoping these changes will address the issue of GESD schools being listed as Schools In Need of Improvement in a positive way. The recent study found the district’s high population of special needs students a contributing factor in the identified deficiencies on the New York State Report Card for school performance.
Each year the programs and services will be reviewed to determine the changes that need to be made to address the needs of all students.
“By allowing more access to the common core curriculum for our special needs students, their chances at success will increase,” said Mrs. Ulrich. “This is truly an exciting time for our students, their families and the community.”