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Survey Seeks To Find Satisfaction with Special Education

Dec, 23, 2008 — The State Office of Special Education, part of the Virgin Islands Department of Education, spends millions of dollars and many hours trying to improve the lives of the territory’s special-needs children.
Monday evening marked the first of thousands of calls reaching out to the parents of special education students to tell the U.S. Department of Education how they’re doing.
In a telephone survey being conducted throughout the territory by University of the Virgin Islands’ Eastern Caribbean Center, parents and guardians of disabled students ages 3 to 21 are being asked about their level of satisfaction with the special education services provided in VI public schools.
The questions cover topics revolving around special education services and their child’s progress academically, socially and personally. The survey results will represent one of twenty indicators of accountability that must be presented in SOSE’s Annual Performance Report, which is due by Feb. 2 to the Office of Special Education in Washington, D.C. In late February or early March, a press conference will be held at UVI to discuss the findings of the report.
Last years’ results suggested that, although there are areas for improvement, overall, special needs families were satisfied.
“We were happy to get 76 percent with the service,” said Carrie S. Johns, state director for the Office of Special Education. “This year, I expect them to be better because on our state level we have improved in the assets we provided, such as more teacher development and more programs.”
According to Mrs. Johns, there are roughly 1,600 special-needs students in the territory and she welcomes parental and community involvement in reaching out to them.
Further information on the program, including information on how to get involved in the lives of special education children, can be obtained by visiting the V.I. Department of Special Education website at www.usviosep.org

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