KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Steps continue to be taken in implementing a new special education plan in Knox County Schools.
“Vice Chair Betsy Henderson put forth a resolution to adopt all of the task force recommendations and ask the superintendent to come back to the board in November with an action plan,” Cortney Piper, a member of the task force said.
In August, the task force presented its recommendations to the school board. Some of those include a new code of conduct, a uniform set of expectations, and making sure special education teachers have more resources.
“It is really important for the Knox County Schools at the central office to implement these task force recommendations,” Piper said. “What the task force found is that those who are closest to the student which is primarily teachers in the classroom are wonderful. The problems persist at a central office level when the teachers ask for support.”
Annabel Henley, a former special education teacher and mother, has been following along with each meeting involving the task force.
“Working with the schools on developing an IEP for my child made me see how important this process is for all kids,” Henley said. “I am very passionate to make sure all parents and all students get that same level of care and support.”
On Thursday, the school board will vote on the resolution, both Piper and Henley are optimistic.
“I’m hopeful that Thursday’s meeting will be positive and this will be the very first step in making Knox County Schools a model district for special education,” Piper said.
“I’m very optimistic that they will pass it. The implementation is my concern.” Henley said. “It’s great to talk about it but we have got to actually to do it.”
There are several other items on Thursday’s agenda, pertaining to special education including creating a student success accountability officer, and sub-contracting for services.