Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A snapshot of Special Education in Ridgewood.

Supervisor of Special Services Kerry Huntington gave a presentation to the Board of Ed on Monday night, updating our current special ed program. Here are some highlights, for those who may wonder "just what is our special ed program in Ridgewood?"

Total number of Special Education Students = 888 (15%, below the state average))
-- Special Ed -- 809
-- Speech/Language only – 79

ESL (English as a Second Language) Students – 102

Basic Skills Students – 397 (elementary)

Special Education:
RED Program Classes – 5
RISe Classes – 4
LLD Classes – 5 elementary, 2 middle school, 1 high school
Resource Program – in every school
Supplemental Support – Elementary & High School
Out-of-District Placements – 83 students

Glen School:
ITDC (private enterprise of district)
Ridgewood Nursery School (renter)
RED Program (District special ed program)

General Education:
I&RS – in every school (Intervention & __, will find out what the R stands for)
Basic Skills Instruction (BSI) – elementary schools
Title 1 Services
ESL – in every school

Special Ed Support Services:
Related Services (therapies, counseling, busing, etc.)
Special Education Aides
Assistive Technology
Private Vendors
Region 1
CST Secretaries

Current Staff
Central Office (2 administrators, 1 behaviorist, 2 support staff)
Child Study Team members: 20
Special Ed Teachers: 59
Transition Coordinator: 1
RED Program Coordinator: 1
Therapists: 16
Education Specialists: 15
ESL Teachers: 9
Title 1 Teacher: 1
Child Study Team Secretaries: 10

Total Special Programs staff: 137

We are doing a great job of keeping as many students in town as possible, which helps keep costs down. The majority of our current out-of-district placements are in high school. This fact led recent state monitors who visited the district to remark that we should consider developing an alternative high school concept, which could keep more students in District and thus reduce our costs. I imagine this something the administration will be looking into.

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