I am writing because there is a lot going on in the Gloucester City Special Education world that you might want to look into and share with the community. Gloucester City School District has a large special education population. Until recently there were 8 case managers for the more than 500 students being served by the Special Education Dept, but that number will diminish by nearly 40% to 5. That is over one hundred students per case manager. NJ does not have a law regarding this ratio, but it is a high ratio. Meanwhile, the department is also working to cobble together a newly developing program in short order. So, the professionals who are tasked with handling so many student cases are also working on this. Some parents and some professionals are questioning the ability of the department to have this program fully staffed and trained and developed by September. Some students who are doing well in their out of district placements are being recalled to this program in its infancy, even students who are in eleventh grade! It’s really a big deal but flying under the radar.
The law says that each school district must have a Special Education Parent Advisory Group. Our district has not had one, but has given lip service by holding a meeting annually, which they call the SEPAC; however, a formal group is being established and a meeting is planned for June 14. These children and their parents deserve for their struggles to be understood and respected.