Jasper, AL: Middle school gets funding for "much needed" SPED classroom

Jan 13, 2018, Jasper (AL) Mountain Eagle: State fully funds special needs classroom at Oakman Middle School,14368 At the Walker County Board of Education meeting Thursday evening, Superintendent Dr. Jason Adkins informed board members that much needed funding for a special needs classroom at Oakman Middle School was awarded from the Alabama State Department of Education. The BOE voted late last year to implement the PROPS (Positive Reinforcement Opportunities for Promising Students) program at Oakman Middle to create a self-contained classroom for students with unique behavioral needs. The board took a gamble on the $340,000 project, knowing money they hoped to receive from the state department of education to fund it was not promised; however, the board recently received the full amount they had already invested in the project from the state department of education. … In October, Director of Student Services Butch Sargent explained to the board that the funds, if awarded, would pay for a full-time special needs teacher, additional paraprofessionals, a special needs bus and driver, a bus aide and sensory equipment for the classroom. … The classroom’s full-time teacher, Rachel Taylor, told the Daily Mountain Eagle in December that the special needs classroom serves 10 students, and the number will continue to grow, considering the PROPS program is open to students county-wide. “The PROPS class is designed to use a variety of proven approaches and teaching methods to meet the varied and unique needs of students with behavior and/or social problems,” Adkins said in December. “The program and the classroom environment recognizes and develops the strengths of each student as problem behaviors are addressed.” The $340,000 awarded was deemed as catastrophic funds that exist to help with unexpected and costly needs.

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