Under pressure from the Brookings-Harbor School Board and parents of disabled children, a top official with a district that provides special education services tried to answer complaints during this weeks board meeting.
But first, Rick Howell, Superintendent of the South Coast Educational Service District, explained the difficult financial situation his district is facing in the wake of recent and pending state funding cuts.
When the legislators step on our toes, the school district yell ouch, Howell said.
While School Board member Tom Davis sympathized with Howell, he point out that Howell had been invited to the board meeting to discuss parents complaints about the quality of special education service provided by the district.
Its a quality issue and a lot of people here dont think youre doing a good job, Davis said.
Davis was referring to the Severe Needs Program, which is operated in Brookings by the district.
In regards to parents complaints, Howell said efforts are being made to correct things.
We are always trying to improve despite constricted funding, he said.
We have had reviews from state agencies none of which has indicated a deficiency and are considering an outside consultant come in and review the program, he said.
He presented the school board with a list of efforts that have been or will be made in response to specific concerns:
Staff members have reviewed and adjusted activities so they coincide with the students individual education plan.
On Feb. 22, staff members were trained regarding procedures on writing notes and updates in students notebooks that are sent home.
Effective March 5, for substitute teachers will be made by personal at the educational service districts satellite office in Gold Beach.
A region-wide effort will continue to attract, train and retain qualified substitutes.
Efforts are underway to improve communication between parents, teachers and instructional aides.
Davis said, I hope we can work closely and iron things out.
Howell said, Im here to say we take your concerns seriously.