Written by Tara Brennan, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00
A recent Massapequa school board meeting focused on unveiling updates in the district’s special education program.
The meeting served as an opportunity for educators and staff of the Special Education department to talk about improvements that have been made since their original proposal over the summer.
The first of five provisions made to the Special Education system was the redistribution of students among all elementary schools. For the past 20 years, students in Massapequa had to attend McKenna Elementary School in order to receive special education services. But with this new redistribution, students have now been integrated into all six elementary schools.
The second provision regarded integrated co-teaching classes established to meet the specific needs of children. This new update allows children to receive special attention in the areas that need the most improvement, allowing for specialized learning development. Additionally, this update is intended to provide a good balance for students, which is consistent with the secondary level of education.
Other provisions were updates to Section 504, which established a plan for students with disabilities that limit any major life function, allowing for the greatest opportunity for success.
Another essential update to the program was the introduction of Monthly Parent Training Sessions, in order to manage agendas for children with special needs. This update also includes an extended 1.5 hours of schooling that will help students better achieve IEP goals.
Of all the new programs and updates, the most well received by both parents and board members alike was the (CCC), or Career and Community Connections. This particular program is important because it extends the boundaries of the classroom and provides students with the opportunity to develop essential life functions. The main goal of the CCC is to help special needs students become more independent, and they do so by helping them attain jobs in local stores and businesses. Once students are able to secure a job, they are given job coaching and taught how to use public transportation to get to work.
By doing so, students will be better prepared for finding and maintaining work when they become adults.
Parents who believe it to be helpful in preparing their children for adult life applauded this program. Alison Prystupa, whose 18-year-old daughter is in the program, was extremely pleased by the new updates and programs being introduced, especially that of CCC. “They definitely heard the needs of these children,” she explained. “This is exactly the type of program they needed.”