Worthington school district faces review | The Columbus Dispatch

Full story: Columbus Dispatch

More complaints from parents have prompted the state to again scrutinize the Worthington school district's treatment of disabled students.

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Ex-Worthingtonia n

Perrysburg, OH

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#85
Apr 16, 2010
 
Worthington has had deficiencies in its special ed department since before my kid with autism entered kindergarten in 1990. I could understand, when autism was more "rare," that teachers were clueless. I don't understand that now. They have had many, many complaints about how they treat spec ed students and it seems like they never, ever learned from the parents and students that came before.

The usual line was that an IEP was an "individual" program. Thus, if you fought and won something for your child, it wouldn't transfer that other children might benefit, too. Their parents had to fight for that service.

In the early nineties, someone came out with a study that said that children with speech problems could be taught just as well in a group as individually. Boy, did Worthington latch unto that, even though it might not be true for all spec needs children.

Ask any parent of a child with autism in the Worthington school district if their child has an aide. Be prepared to be laughed at. Children who do not have a physical disability DO NOT GET AIDES in Worthington unless the child has a parent who is extremely well-connected or a lawyer. This is an unwritten (because it's illegal) but strictly followed policy in Worthington. Just ask the parent mentor. She'll tell you that, not knowing the faux pas she just committed.

As for the $$ aspect, these problems are not seen in Dublin, Grandview, or Upper Arlington at the level they are in Worthington. Bexley is another story. But, Worthington is not an excellent place for special needs children to be. It never has been and it never will be.
Michelle

Dublin, OH

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#86
Apr 19, 2010
 
Ex-Worthingtonian wrote:
Worthington has had deficiencies in its special ed department since before my kid with autism entered kindergarten in 1990. I could understand, when autism was more "rare," that teachers were clueless. I don't understand that now. They have had many, many complaints about how they treat spec ed students and it seems like they never, ever learned from the parents and students that came before.
The usual line was that an IEP was an "individual" program. Thus, if you fought and won something for your child, it wouldn't transfer that other children might benefit, too. Their parents had to fight for that service.
In the early nineties, someone came out with a study that said that children with speech problems could be taught just as well in a group as individually. Boy, did Worthington latch unto that, even though it might not be true for all spec needs children.
Ask any parent of a child with autism in the Worthington school district if their child has an aide. Be prepared to be laughed at. Children who do not have a physical disability DO NOT GET AIDES in Worthington unless the child has a parent who is extremely well-connected or a lawyer. This is an unwritten (because it's illegal) but strictly followed policy in Worthington. Just ask the parent mentor. She'll tell you that, not knowing the faux pas she just committed.
As for the $$ aspect, these problems are not seen in Dublin, Grandview, or Upper Arlington at the level they are in Worthington. Bexley is another story. But, Worthington is not an excellent place for special needs children to be. It never has been and it never will be.
When my husband and I were pregnant with our first child, we interviewed pediatricians to be sure we found a practice and the physician that seemed to meet the needs of our family. We waited to buy our home until after our son was a year old, and we did our homework researching school districts, community reputations, and home/property values, before we bought our home in Worthington.
Because our son has ADHD, we didn’t know when he was a year old that we needed to look at the school district’s track record of providing services (or not providing services) to children with special needs or learning disabilities. We have been shocked at just how difficult the process of identification is for the staff of this district (I can’t speak to other School Districts on a personal level, since those experiences have been limited to this one).
I think what makes me the saddest is that the same story that played out for my son—being retained, being told he was “socially immature,”“unmotivated,”“lazy, ”“living in his own world,”“just not trying,” etc., until 6th grade, when a teacher partnered with me AND REALLY TOOK THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW MY SON AND PAY ATTENTION-continues to play out for kids within the District TO THIS DAY because staff and administration will not apply lessons learned from EXPERIENCE.
Equally as discouraging is the lack of training, support, and encouragement teachers are given as it relates to identification and warning signs of a disability. There is no excuse for this today. We live in a time of incredible resources; the federal and state regulations are pretty darn clear about what training staff are required to have, and there are so many training opportunities and materials available to Districts that are FREE for staff to attend.
We The People

Columbus, OH

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#87
May 1, 2010
 
Brenda Louisin is someone I have met up with quite frequently. She is only trying to help innocent kids who may have a disability do better. I am fairly familiar with the IEP process. What Brenda does is an extraordinary step in improving our district. She realizes teachers and other advocates hearts are in the right spot, but some just need a little more background information and kids will be on their way, making a change in the world. She is one lovely soul, who is caring and compassionate. By the way, many of her clients she doesn't charge.
Special Ed Geek

Columbus, OH

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#89
Jun 5, 2010
 
We The People-
I outrighteously agree! I am very familliar with the IEP process as well as ODE, the complaint process, and much more. Brenda Louisin is an extremly knowledgeble person. And for all you other mouth-offs who hardly know or didn't/won't take the time to meet an get to know Brenda,(may God bless you) you would be blown away.
Really

Columbus, OH

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#90
Aug 28, 2010
 

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Curious wrote:
What is a school district supposed to do if they simply do not have the money to comply with the law? If the state has cut your budget and if the voters won't pass your levys and if the staff refuses to take pay cuts or contribute to their benefit costs, what is a district supposed to do to provide the services that state or federal law are mandating?
The money is there, but this district wastes money like you cannot believe. Stop the practice of retire/rehire whereby many in the district are double and triple dipping.

80% of the budget cannot be touched because this is teacher salary and benefits. I say merit pay is in order for the good ones. We do have teachers who go above and beyond the call. That should be rewarded. We have others who sit and drink coffee and schmooze the administration. They should be fired.
Really

Columbus, OH

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#91
Aug 28, 2010
 

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Mom wrote:
<quoted text>
I have filed against the District, it was resolved in very timely manner and it has been smooth sailing ever since. Unfortunately the need to file had nothing to do with the classroom teachers, but an administrator. I have no "ax to grind" with Beth Hill, however, multiple filings are ridiculous. If she is so unhappy with the services being provided at Worthington than find another education option. They do exist. I also do stand by my trouble maker view point, with her inside connection at ODE it only compounds the problems.
If you knowingly get in bed with a snake, the snake will one day bite. I seriously doubt you have a clue as to what your child should be receiving from the district. Unless you have connections to the district (family member of a board member or an administrator), you will soon find yourself in rough waters and the smooth sailing days will be over. As to your attacks on Beth Hill, do you really enjoy the taste of bile in your mouth? I feel sorry for you. If you think that you need to throw other families under the bus so you can get what you need for your child, then the administrator that you so bitterly complained about has indeed won a bigger victory. Shame, Shame, Shame.
look deeper

Columbus, OH

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#92
Sep 18, 2010
 

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Who Benefits wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sure that Ms. Louisin is knowledgeable and I'm sure she has great resources. I'll go back to my original question though, and ask: What are her black and white credentials and qualifications, and has she ever been a teacher herself?
I don't believe that administrators are afraid at all. I understand that there should be checks and balances within a school system to make sure everything is up to par and in the best interest of the child and the parents, but I think both sides of the story should be told. This dispatch article clearly had a bias.
I completely understand that having a special needs child is time consuming. If I were using an advocate, I would simply want to make sure that I am dealing with a well qualified, experienced, and credible person.
Through many of the blog posts, Brenda Louison has been deemed credible. She does lack the credentials, and has relished being this angel for parents.
If the taxpayers really saw the cases and the details of the suits/complaints, they would be appalled to see how much the taxpayers/district have to fork over for IEP cadillac plans.
get over yourself

United States

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#93
Sep 20, 2010
 
Dear look deeper. Ms. Louisin has the appropriate credentials. Thanks to her, many students are now finally getting FAPE. Keep up the good work Ms. Louisin. I am so glad that Ms. Louisin is competent and has integrity. Hopefully this will be an example to some at the WEC.
fool detector

Columbus, OH

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#95
Oct 13, 2011
 
money wrote:
Sorry you had a retard but we ain't spending $250,000 per year to send them to a special program. In the interest of saving money for the MAJORITY of the students, the district rightly challenges, delays and drags its feet. If parents want $250,000 per year treatment, then they should pay for it themselves.
It's because of voluntarily retarded people like you that there's so much ignorance on the subject. The district gets funding for each special needs kid, they're just not providing the services the kids need. What they're doing with the money is a legitimate question to ask.

You could pick up a book or learn about that which you're trying to speak--such as the Americans with Disabilities Act which grants equal opportunity for all students--but you don't. Congratulations, idiot. You're a walking example of the failure of this city's education system.
mom of 2

Dayton, OH

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#96
Dec 14, 2011
 
I am completly disgusted with some of these comments on this board -- calling people RETARDS and not worth helping because they have a disability ! Kids with disabilites deserve the extra help and it does not take 250 k a year to give it to them. I am thinking of Helen Keller ? She was an inspiration to everyone. She had severe disabilites and overcame them. She was deaf and blind. She learned to communicate and completed college, even wrote books with the help of a tutor! Many kids on IEP's have a reading disabilty called Dyslexia over 50% in special Ed. have this and these kids are often average to high IQ - but they need to learn to read with an Orton Approach and not the typical whole language ! Dyslexia is treatable with multi-sensory reading help and extra time to complete homework and tests. Its cost is less then the inefective reading reovery that is givin in the schools. If we do not educate ALL kids - then they will drop out and cost society even more. We need to inspire and educate every child in the way they need to learn. We must help every child to live to their fullest potential- PERIOD !

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