Tuesday, January 10, 2012
OK for school buses to block traffic?
Each school-day afternoon at about 2:00PM buses line up on northbound Clay Street, next to the old Clay Street School (now called Clay Academy, but also known as the Clay Professional Development Center).
Clay Academy is a business being run by Woodstock District 200. It is a therapeutic day school that pulls in students from a wide area.
"Inclusion" is an important word in the world of Special Education. Special Ed students are supposed to be included. That concept hasn't quite reached District 200 yet, except on paper. Special Ed students are still shuffled off to their own wing in a school building or, worse, sent to a "special" school that is apart from the regular-education students.
There are times when certain students need, and benefit from, a therapeutic day school arrangement. Teachers, staff and professionals know that students are supposed to be included, not excluded, from regular education systems.
As recently as 3-4 years ago parents were not educated about Special Law laws and inclusion. Are they now? On paper, they are to be so educated. In practice, it didn't happen for years in District 200. Has anything changed?
When special education students are dismissed shortly after 2:00PM for their buses, are they getting the full day of instruction to which they are entitled?
Back to the buses... should school buses be allowed to stop and block traffic on Clay Street? An easy solution would be for them to stage nearby and then pull up and turn onto Grove Street, in order to stop and load in front of the school. Or, better yet, all buses could pull into the driveway of Clay Academy and load off the street entirely.