>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/25/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Special education numbers down

Special education numbers down

Special education teachers (from left) Craig Lankford, Kate Dunlap, Cathy Worcester and Tracy Davidson meet as part of the La Grande School Districtís Professional Learning Communities program. The district is seeing a decline in the number of students needing special ed services because of various programs, like the PLC program. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Special education teachers (from left) Craig Lankford, Kate Dunlap, Cathy Worcester and Tracy Davidson meet as part of the La Grande School Districtís Professional Learning Communities program. The district is seeing a decline in the number of students needing special ed services because of various programs, like the PLC program. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)

by Dick Mason/The Observer 

The La Grande School District is bucking a statewide trend. 

The number of students in Oregon school districts needing special education services is now 85,418 and is up for the 12th consecutive year, according to figures released by the state’s Department of Education. The La Grande School District, however, is defying this trend. Five years ago, 19.6 percent of the district’s students were in special education, a number significantly above the state average. Today, the number still tops the state average but is down to about 16 percent. 

The decline is no accident.

The district is catching more children at risk of developing learning disabilities much earlier through a Response To Intervention program. 

“We are intervening earlier, so we can correct deficiencies at an earlier age and prevent children from becoming special education students,” La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze said. 

RTI is a program where individualized instruction is provided to students early in grade school who appear in danger of falling behind in reading, math or writing. 

Many students, if identified and helped early, will never need special education services. However, if these students’ problems are not addressed, they may fall behind and not be able to catch up without special education assistance, Glaze said. 

Students are receiving the extra help in areas they need assistance without being separated from their classes. 

Cathy Worcester, Greenwood’s special education teacher, used a math subject students in one grade are studying to illustrate how this works. The students are learning about equivalent fractions and recently had a test on them. The students who appeared to be having a hard time mastering equivalent fractions are now receiving 20 to 25 minutes of instruction about them each school day. 

“We started this right away,” Worcester said. “We are not letting anyone fall through the cracks.”

The instruction is provided during an intervention session each day in the students’ classrooms. Students not in intervention work on enrichment activities during this time. 

The children in math intervention for equivalent fractions will continue studying them until they have the concept mastered. In the meantime, they will continue studying the same math concepts their class is covering and not miss a moment of time with their core class.

Years ago, some of these students might have been pulled out and put in special education programs. Today, though, the odds are good that few of these children will need special education for math.

Greenwood Principal Mike Gregory finds RTI, which prevents children from falling hopelessly behind, exciting.

“The days of teachers saying, ‘Most of the students understand it so let’s move on’ are over,” Gregory said.

The RTI program is not the only reason special education numbers are dropping. 

The number is also falling because of an increased focus on the monitoring of student progress through a Professional Learning Communities program the school district started two years ago, Glaze said. Through the PLC program, teachers meet regularly to evaluate student academic success based upon test score data. Teachers, working as teams, then develop individual strategies for helping students succeed. 

Reducing the number of students who need special education assistance is saving the school district money because of the state’s 11-percent cap.

The state provides school districts with double funding for each special education student until the percentage of special ed students tops 11 percent. La Grande is given about $12,000 for each special student up to the 11-percent mark, twice what it receives for standard students. The district receives some extra funding for the students over the 11-percent mark, but not nearly enough to cover the additional costs. 

“We have to take money out of the general fund (to make up for the difference),” Glaze said. 

The superintendent hopes that someday La Grande is able to trim the special education student total to 11 percent.

“We would love to get down to 11 percent,” Glaze said.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

espa√Īa madrid viagra cheap indian viagra cialis sicher bestellen cialis tilaa comprare viagra senza ricetta viagra preise schweiz acquisto kamagra indische generika cialis apotek viagra viagra ricetta ripetibile viagra ou similar kamagra madrid female viagra acheter acheter viagra envoi rapide cialis pas cher paris kamagra oral comprar cialis generico foro viagra achat forum sildenafil generico in italia viagras pas chere viagra billigst cialis portugal comprar pt-viagra acheter viagra en ligne en suisse venta cialis online precio kamagra tadalafil k√∂pa viagra generico nas farmacias levitra comprar online viagra rezept cialis rezeptfrei in deutschland kaufen viagra rezeptfrei forum viagra pillenmaster viagra einkaufen viagra se compra con receta viagra temoignage viagra casera comprar cialis 10 mg viagra tous les jours viagra vendita libera farmaco viagra cialis se vende con receta viagra generique canada venda de viagra online viagra generika shop