Special education put to test in audit | SteamboatToday.com

Special education put to test in audit

Mike Lawrence

The report card is in for special education in the Steamboat Springs School District.

At its meeting Monday night, the Steamboat Springs School Board will review the results of an external audit of special education programs and services at district schools. The School Board approved the audit in January, after more than 10 parents of local children with special needs requested an audit at several board meetings.

The audit occurred March 30 and 31, when four consultants hired by the district visited all four Steamboat schools, talked with teachers and administrators and held a public forum to speak with parents. The audit cost the school district $3,192.

The auditors were Cheryl Johnson and Melinda Grah–am, senior consultants in the special needs field with the Colorado Department of Ed—-uc—-ation; Troy Lange, special education director for Colorado Mountain Board of Cooperative Educational Services, or BOCES; and Vicki Hubbard, special education and health services director for the Sherman Independent School District near Dallas.

More than 20 parents attended the public forum, on March 30 at Steamboat Springs High School.

“I felt like the parents were very open and very passionate about their children’s needs,” Graham said after the forum. “A lot of the concerns were about more training for staff, and about just being heard.”

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Although parents at previous School Board meetings have said not enough care is provided for their children during the summer and that special education teachers and paraprofessionals should receive more training, school administrators have praised their special education staffs, as have other parents.