J-D triumphs in special education programs

The Jamesville-DeWitt school system's special education program has met the state's goals and has a long-term plan of action to better the education offered to students enrolled in the district's program.

J-D Pupil Personnel Services Office Director Christine Sypher and Assistant Director Sheila Woltman came to the Nov. 3 J-D School Board meeting in order to give an overview of the special education services offered by the district.

"Federal regulations require that school district's reach certain performance targets for students with disabilities," Sypher said. "States are required to report publicly on every district's progress measured for those targets. We are currently being measured on 2006-07 data."

The state's first goal is to ensure that the graduation rate of students with disabilities within the district is met.

"The state's goal was 35 percent," Sypher said. "J-D's graduation rate was at 70 percent."

The second goal was to ensure that the dropout rate be lower than 20 percent for students with disabilities. J-D had zero dropouts during this time period, Sypher said.

Achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) -- a component of No Child Left Behind -- between third and eighth grades is the state's third goal. Sypher said that the state standards for the English/language arts section is a score of 96 and a math score of 103. J-D passed these goals with scores of 114 in English/language arts and 122 in math.

J-D offers what Sypher called a continuum of services. Within the program, teachers are highly trained, there's an integration of co-teaching services and the district offers home/hospital instruction.

Also at the meeting, Woltman highlighted the different disabilities within the district. The largest disability within the program is the 163 students who have a learning disability. Other non-specified health-related disabilities were second on the list with 96 students.

Fifty-eight students have speech and language impairment, while 25 are autistic, Woltman said.

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