School Changes May Harm Disabled Learning

While the Eastern Sierra Unified School District Superintendent Don Clark recently praised a new strategic plan, some teachers say it means big trouble.

At a meeting, Superintendent Clark spoke about the plan, which defines a mission to inspire and challenge students to pursue excellence, contribute to society and sustain a passion for learning. At least one teacher seems to believe reality wont back up those fancy words.

Lee Vining teacher Carolyn Crawford was present to air her concerns about one aspect of the plan, which would eliminate teacher positions for the severely disabled, and place those students into classes with children who have less severe learning disabilities.

Crawford, a Resource teacher, said her work load would be doubled under the plan, and that her ability to work with the kids would be severely curtailed.

The Mono County Office of Education has subsidized services for severely disabled students in years past, but according to Clark they can no longer afford to do so.

Under an agreement voted on last month, the SDC responsibilities and the correlating funding will be transferred to the Mammoth Unified and Eastern Sierra Unified Districts where the level of service will be left up to them.

In other business, the Board voted to hire a new teacher at Lee Vining Elementary, as well as two Assistant Principals, one in Coleville and one in Lee Vining.

The Board also approved a $300,000 agreement with Apple Computer to provide one-to-one student computers in the District.

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