Private school students who take speech therapy classes are getting major schedule changes

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 13:47:27-04

The Ken-Ton school district announced that students who take speech therapy classes at private schools will have to be bussed to public school for their classes.

The district announced this in a letter to parents two weeks ago. It said that the district would be moving speech and language service classes to public schools instead of keeping them in the private school.

Up until now, the district has sent speech therapists into all the private schools to keep students from having to leave the school grounds.

Parents are not happy about this. A change.org petition already has over 1,000 signatures.

"As a mom to read a letter, you go, I don't want my child pulled out of a building. As a teacher, they're missing my instructional time," Anderson said.

Chandra Anderson has a 7-year-old son who is affected by this. She is also a teacher.

The speech classes are 30-minutes long. That coupled with the travel time concerns Anderson. She doesn't want her child removed from his academic environment in fear that it will be detrimental in the long run.

"My song being pulled out of his school three times a week to receive speech, and he is going to be missing I don't even know what at this time," she said.

According to the district spokesperson, the district is required to fulfill student's Individual Education Plans. If those I.E.P's can not be met at the student's school, then the district has to find an alternative which generally means bussing those students to other schools. 

However, it is unclear as to why those I.E.P's can not be fulfilled at the current school. There is no word yet on whether its a lack or resources, money, or other reason. The letter from Dr. Michael Lewis, director of special education for Ken-Ton schools, did not address that. It also didn't say if or how much school time would be missed. It did mention that no further schedule changes would be made.

The Ken-Ton Superintendent, Stephen Bovino, will meet with the private schools that are involved on Friday afternoon.

7 Eyewitness News is waiting to hear back from the district with its statement.