Bourbon, MO: Need for additional SPED teacher due to more special needs students being mainstreamed

Feb 5, 2018, Sullivan (MO) Independent News: District Needs Additional Special Education Teacher Bourbon School District special education director DiAnna Thompson said at the board’s January meeting an additional teacher was needed based on the growing number of class sizes and referrals. … There are 21 students in the kindergarten and first grade special education class, plus nine referrals. Based on preliminary data, Thompson said she believed those referrals would qualify for services, giving one teacher 30 students. … The students have needs that go beyond just reading, writing and math. Thompson said special education teachers must address issues that extend to their home lives. “We’re having to be moms, dads, caretakers, counselors and therapists for our kids,” she said. Before the next school year, Thompson wants to look at a better way to distribute the students. In the second grade alone, there are 18 special needs students for one stand alone teacher and three referrals in the works. “It keeps going on and on,” she said. “Next year we have to look at how we divide up children to do what’s best.” In the fifth and sixth grade, there are 29 special needs students; 23 in seventh and eighth grade and 46 at the high school.