Montclair BOE gives go-ahead to special education assessment
By ERIN ROLL
The Montclair school district will be going ahead with an assessment of its special education program.
At its Monday, Dec. 18 meeting, the board approved a resolution that lays out the guidelines for the review, and the data that the district should gather from it.
The review will include a look at the number of students classified as special needs, the grade in which they were originally classified, how each student's needs were identified and what evaluation tools were used.
At the request of Vice President Franklin Turner, the resolution had a new section added after it was introduced in a workshop session on Dec. 6. The assessment will gather data on the ethnicity and demographics of students who are classified as special needs. This is partly in response to concerns about students of color being disproportionately classified as special needs students, as well as concerns that there is equity in the services that are provided to special needs students.
Board member Anne Mernin, one of the resolution's backers, thanked the board for approving it. "Our kids will benefit tremendously from it and I know it was a lot of work to get it through," she said.
Earlier in the meeting, the fourth and fifth-grade students in Hillside's traveling troupe performed a musical number from "Seussical," and the board honored the Montclair High School football team.
Monday's meeting was the last one, both before the start of the holidays and for 2017, so Board President Laura Hertzog took a moment to hand out wrapped presents to Pinsak and each of the board members.
This is a developing story. Follow Montclair Local for more information.