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Enrollment down; special services up
Friday, January 18, 2013
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville City Schools had fewer students enrolled divisionwide on Dec. 1 compared with one year earlier, but more students with disabilities were receiving special services.
Paulette R. Simington, the division’s executive director of special education and student services, presented the special education Dec. 1 child count report to the school board Monday night.
She said under the provisions of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school divisions are required to make an unduplicated count of students with disabilities receiving special services on Dec. 1 of each year. That data forms the basis for state funding and federal reporting.
Simington said the total number of students in the division based on Dec. 1, 2012, enrollment was 2,144, down 62 from the 2,206 students on Dec. 1, 2011. The total number of students aged 2-22 receiving special services was 299 on Dec. 1, 2012, up 23 from the 276 on Dec. 1, 2011. The percentage of students (K-12) receiving special services divisionwide was 13.9 on Dec. 1, 2012, compared with 12.5 percent on Dec. 1, 2011.
Disabilities by categories were: autism — 23 in 2012 (19 in 2011); developmentally delayed — 25 in 2012 (23 in 2011); emotional disability — 12 in both 2011 and 2012; hearing impairment — two in 2012 (one in 2011); intellectual disability — 17 in 2012 (25 in 2011); multiple disabilities — seven in 2012 (four in 2011); orthopedic impairment — four both years; other health impairments — 42 both years; specific learning disability — 80 in 2012 (81 in 2011); speech and language impairment — 85 in 2012 (64 in 2011); and visual impairment — two in 2012 (one in 2011), according to Simington’s report.
Trends include a slight increase in autism, and a reduction of students with learning disabilities due to using interventions (instructional procedures), according to the report. Another trend is an increase in the number of students with speech/language impairments. That’s due to the school division having its own speech therapy personnel, who are more accessible in the schools and are doing a better job of identifying students, according to Simington’s report.
In other business Monday:
• Two Patrick Henry Elementary School students were recognized for placing in the 4-H speech writing contest among students in Martinsville and Henry County. Finley Underwood won first place in the fourth-grade competition for his speech about the Navy SEALs. Journey Sunkins won second runner-up in the fifth-grade competition for her speech about how cases of missing minority children are under-reported in the national media compared with white children.
• Two Albert Harris Elementary School students were recognized for winning the top two spots in a Martin Luther King Jr. T-shirt design contest, sponsored by the local Martin Luther King Planning Council to raise awareness of Dr. King’s life among students. Carlos Ruiz Telles won first place. His artwork was printed on a T-shirt, and he won two nights’ lodging in Washington, D.C., so that he and his family can visit the MLK memorial. Tyland Walker won second place. T-shirt orders will be taken until Friday and are available through Albert Harris Elementary School. They cost $5 for children and $10 for adults.
• Employees of Martinsville Middle School were recognized for winning the school division’s United Way campaign competition, which rewarded the school or department that increased its employee donations by the greatest percentage compared to the previous year. Martinsville Middle School increased its contributions by 157 percent, to more than $1,600.
Kim Buck, the division’s community outreach and grants coordinator, reported that every school and the facilities department also increased their contributions from the prior year.
• The board made minor or technical changes in policies on professional staff probationary term and continuing contract; tutoring for pay; and student immunizations.
• The board appointed Michael Evans as head coach of the boys varsity tennis at Martinsville High School, Amanda Sandt as head coach of JV girls softball at MHS, Nathaniel Hairston as head coach of boys outdoor track at Martinsville Middle School and Robin Humlan as head coach of volleyball at MMS.