Aug 13, 2018, WDAY-TV, Fargo, ND Q&A: New superintendent talks about Fargo schools' toughest challenges http://www.wday.com/news/education/4484854-qa-new-superintendent-talks-about-fargo-schools-toughest-challenges Rupak Gandhi's first official day as Fargo Public Schools' superintendent was about a month ago, … …But he also inherited challenges that Schatz acknowledged when stepping down in June. Those include handling students with severe behavioral issues, teacher safety and southside enrollment growth, which Gandhi said he'd ask two task forces and a committee of stakeholders to tackle. … We are going to have a couple of task forces this year. One is looking at the continuum of special education services we provide to make sure all students are getting a quality education. Another focus is having a task force to look at early childhood special education needs. That's been growing in terms of enrollment. How do we sustain a high-quality education to those students?... Q. There's a controversy over how the district helps children with severe behavioral issues, especially the proposed Level D facility where they'd be segregated for part of their day. What's your thinking on that issue? There are two initiatives the district's going to be looking at. One will be our task force around LRE, short for "least restrictive environment." What we're looking at is how do we provide a full spectrum of special education services for all our students in their ideal setting…. Q. Are you hearing teachers talk about being assaulted by students? Yes, we have heard some — let's talk about how do we help our students that have demonstrated behaviors that we didn't necessarily see 10, 15 years ago. I've heard a variety of things: • How do we address complex behaviors from students? • How do we provide more social/emotional supports?
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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.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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