Contact: Cindy Prescott, 253-852-1350
Kent parents, teachers to protest at Wednesday night school board meeting
At Wednesday, April 23rd Kent School Board meeting, parents and teachers will protest special education policies that are harming the health and safety of children and adults.
By failing to provide adequate special education services and staffing, Kent school officials are putting students and staff at risk and preventing children from receiving the quality education they are guaranteed by the state Constitution and federal law.
Several recent incidents at Kent elementary schools have disrupted classrooms and resulted in injuries.
“Parents and teachers are eager and willing to work with the district on acceptable solutions, and we will not end our efforts until the needs of all students are met,” said Mike Kelly, parent of a Kent elementary student. “With a healthy district budget and an additional $8 million in state funding expected next school year, there is no acceptable reason to continue shortchanging our students this way.”
Kelly and others plan to attend the 7 p.m. board meeting to demand the Kent School Board and Kent School District administration provide appropriate programming and staffing for a safe, healthy, learning environment for all children in grades K-12 based on their specific needs and abilities and regardless of their family background.
Specifically, they are demanding district officials:
- Deliver a full continuum of services for special needs students, with reinstatement of the school adjustment program for students with diagnosed behavior issues for grades K-3, and a full autism program grades K-12 beginning in 2014-15 and forward.
- Restore a negotiated ratio of special education teachers to students in the special education classes at every elementary school, at least one full time counselor at each elementary school, and at least one full-time behavioral specialist in buildings with high needs.
- Provide every school with a resolution (or refocus) room for students that need to be removed from classrooms for behavior concerns.
Parents and teachers will be available at the Kent School District Administration Building, 12033 SE 256th St. Kent 98030 prior to the meeting at 6:30 p.m.
In the meantime, show your support by signing the petition!
The 2014 WEA Representative Assembly has voted to support I-1351, which will reduce class sizes and caseloads for students in every grade & subject in Washington. Now we need to collect 350,000 signatures statewide to place I-1351 on the ballot! KEA needs your help collecting our share of signatures and wants to keep you in the loop on all class-size engagement opportunities.
Remember, just recently we heard that the district and school board were interested in restoring programs and positions that have been cut in prior years, such as 5th grade instrumental music, elementary counselors and librarians, and classified positions. Now the school board seems to be waffling in its decision to do so.
YOUR INPUT IS CRITICAL! Please plan on attending one of these public input meetings and let your voice be heard.
It's never to early to begin planning for retirement, so why not do so with some of your fellow KEA brothers and sisters!
KEA will be sponsoring a pre-retirement seminar for our members May 2-3, 2014. This 2-day seminar is designed with union members in mind and presented by WEA-Retired Representatives. Click here for more info and to register!
We’ve all been in situations where an incident has occurred or someone has made a complaint or raised a question with administration regarding something you may have been perceived as having said or done. The first thing the principal wants to do is pull you into the office “just to talk.” Regardless of whether or not the administrator is a “good guy/gal,” anything having to do with explaining your actions (including student discipline) or comments should raise a red flag.