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DISTRICT HEARS REPORT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

Silver Creek school officials Wednesday addressed concerns about an increasing special education population.

"We're starting to max out as far as space goes," said Melanie Monacelli, director of special services, adding that two of the resource room teachers have desks set up in a hallway.

Mrs. Monacelli told the School Board the district has received 35 new special education referrals since the start of the school year.

Of those, 25 students have already been placed in special education programs.

Mrs. Monacelli estimated that the district has a total of 240 special education students.

She said the district plans to request a variance from the state to place one special education student in a class that already has a maximum capacity of 12 students.

Superintendent James Mills said it is difficult to reject special education enrollments.

"Migration into the district is unpredictable," Mills said. "Our best projections are just being destroyed and that's significant."

In other action, the board agreed to increase the hourly rate for substitute and newly hired bus drivers from $7.90 to $8.35.

During the public participation session, a parent questioned the number of days off and half days scheduled during the school year. She said the half days are very inconvenient for families with two working parents.

The board agreed to investigate whether the schedule could be changed.

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