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Special schools help some students

Posted Feb 01 2006 12:00am

Sometimes special schools are very helpful for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, according to a story by Molly Walsh iin the Burlington (VT; US) Free Press. Ms. Walsh leads with a story about Julie Benay, an associate principal in a public school, enrolling a boy in Project Soar, a private school for children whose behavior makes it impossible to teach them in public school settings.

It was a sad moment for Benay, who believes that Vermont public schools should serve all children.

“I felt defeated,” she recalled. “I felt like I hadn’t done enough for him.”

The tears Benay shed over that child have dried. His behavior improved dramatically after a publicly funded stint at Project Soar, and he was able to return to Swanton Elementary School, where Benay is associate principal. Although she remains deeply concerned about what she views as an increase in students with serious emotional and behavioral problems, the chapter in the kindergartner’s life ended well partly because of Soar, she said.

Ms. Walsh draws heavily on people’s opinions about and explanations of various schooling alternatives and the causes of EBD. She goes on to explain how expensive Project Soar placements are—the kind of costs that allow school board members to grab headlines by decrying the cost of educating students with disabilities— but also how they provide needed services. The story also includes statistics for Vermont as well other topics of local interest.

Link to Ms. Walsh’s article.

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