Sept 10, 2019, Bemidji (MN) Pioneer: School Board hears update on special education https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/education/4655118-School-Board-hears-update-on-special-education In the face of a growing need among students, administrators at Bemidji Area Schools are taking another look at how they handle special education services. Special Education Director Lexi Wilde gave a presentation to the Bemidji School Board on Tuesday morning, explaining what changes they have started to make and what strategies they plan to implement to further the department's goals. Wilde took over the role of special education director in August 2018 and spent the year getting a pulse on the position. Of the 5,230 students in the district, more than 1,000 are in special education. Not only does that number represent roughly 20 percent of the student body, but it’s also a figure that has grown nearly 13 percent over the past seven years. … As part of workforce development, the district hired a special education coordinator, Tiffany Palmer, to help Wilde lead the department. Palmer was at the meeting Tuesday and helped Wilde give the presentation to the board members. Palmer has been working in the district in various roles for two decades. Palmer will specifically help in the areas of early childhood special education, which includes children up to five years old; transitional services; and some of the district’s alternative programs. Also part of workforce development, Wilde said they need to help their educators and para-educators achieve their own educational goals. Wilde said 47 percent of the district’s special education staff is not fully licensed. With the help of a grant, the district is able to reimburse the tuition of teachers and para-educators who go on to further their education. …
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.