Special education. What is it?
Students with disabilities In the Frankfort School System range from age 3 to 22. 3,150 students are enrolled in the Frankfort School system. Of this population, 420 students (13.3%) in the Frankfort system receive “special ed” services. The 420 students are challenged with 17 different disabilities.
The annual budget for Special Ed services in Frankfort is about $1,440,000 per year. Half of this amount is funded by federal dollars, the other half is a blend of State and Local dollars. The entire budget pays for a staff of 33 teachers, therapists, pathologists and coordinators.
Director of Exceptional Needs in the Frankfort School System, Erick Farley, spoke at the Frankfort Rotary Club Thursday and brought Rotary members up to date on the goals and activities of Frankfort’s Special Education program. Erick Farley is a 1996 Frankfort High School graduate with a Bachelors Degree from University of Dubuque and a Masters Degree from Sam Houston State in Texas.
A primary goal of the Special Education department is to prepare its students for a productive job market experience whenever possible. Only 20% of students receiving special education services have a cognitive disability. 80% of the students are dealing with issues related to language and speech impairment, mobility issues, vision and hearing challenges, ADHD, Autism, special problems with reading and math and other issues.
One of the questions at the Rotary Meeting asked about volunteer involvement with serving the students in Special Needs. A valuable contribution to the program comes from Volunteers supplied by The Farmers Bank on a weekly basis who read to the students AND are read to BY the students during their volunteer time.
The Frankfort Schools special education Mission Statement is to deliver Access to Collaborative Classrooms that Enrich, Support and Sustain…Ensuring Excellence for every student every day.