Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
 
Board
State Board of Education
 
chapter
Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 131]
Action 2007-2008 revisions
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/5/2008
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10/30/08  12:59 pm
Commenter: Parents of an autistic in Blacksburg Virginia

Help more students with disabilities get diplomas!
 

 

 

Dear Members of the Board of Education:

I am a Virginia resident and a strong supporter of our public schools.  I appreciate the Board's efforts to make graduation rates a priority for Virginia high schools, but given the importance of producing graduates ready for college, work, and life, I'm writing to ask that you take a stronger stand. 

I am a parent of students with special needs with concerns about him graduating from Virginia schools within his potential, and how this will impact his employment and higher education prospects after graduation

  • As a parent whose special needs child attending a Virginia school it is very important that our standards for major improvements be developed in all Virginia schools.  I have never agreed with the SOL or No Child Left Behind programs - I do believe that we need to have high expectations for any student holding a High School Diploma from any and all schools in Virginia.
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  • When we target the schools it only allow teachers and administrators to water down the curricula in order to get the numbers that you demand in order to "prove" or justify that they have been successful rather than allowing teachers to teach the student from where that student actually is instead of where you say that student should be.  I do believe that we need to have high expectations for any student holding a High School Diploma from any and all schools in Virginia.

State of Virginia has not developed a method to recognize the achievements of all of our children, regardless of God given talents and abilities. We need a change here.

The answer to meeting the needs of these students with special needs populations is not to lower expectations; it is in making available the supports needed to guarantee their success to their highest potentials.

I am a parent of students with special needs with concerns about him graduating from Virginia schools within his potential, and how this will impact his employment and higher education prospects after graduation.

 

We must graduate kids and keep them engaged and aware how education affects their future. Graduation rates must be increased for all of Virginia’s most vulnerable students, including economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities or who have limited English proficiency and minority students.

Of course, this was very disheartening for my son, as he is on the autistic spectrum. Virginia has no idea how to reach students on the autistic spectrum. They need to provide greater professional development for guidance counselors, especially, and special education teachers on the different needs of children with autism. I do believe that children in this category are not receiving a FAPE in Virginia.

However the school systems in Virginia do not have adequate resources, skills in order to challenge students on the autistic spectrum. My son has been shrugged off to the side for the last several years. Why did I have to be the one to jump all over everyone to get it the job done?  Why was this problem not recognized by the "professionals" and attended to on these issues?

More attention is needed to the special educational department at all Virginia City Schools.  Not only do we need to increase the target for the graduation index we also need teachers and staff who know what they are doing so our students can graduate.

  • Please increase the target for the graduation index to at least 90 points, OR adjust the graduation and completion index so that it gives schools more points for Standard and Advanced Diplomas and fewer points for all alternative diplomas and other credentials. 

Virginia’s students need to receive appropriate supports to reach their potentials, and schools and the Commonwealth as a whole will benefit from incentives to provide the needed supports.

Thank you for your consideration.  I hope you'll do all that you can to increase the number of students who successfully graduate ready to fulfill their greatest potential.

Sincerely,

Parents of an autistic in Blacksburg Virginia

 

 

 

 

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