New school program
for 'emotionally disabled'
Stimulus funds: Elementary
school to add teacher and counselor
By JILLIAN JORGENSEN
- Elementary-aged students with emotional and behavioral
problems will no longer have to leave the school district
to have their needs met, according to the superintendent,
thanks to new positions that will be funded at first by
federal stimulus funds.
The district will employ one full-time teacher and one
part-time counselor at The Bartlett Elementary School to
help educate “emotionally disabled” students, said
Stacy Buckley, the district’s superintendent.
“It provides a program for a population that we don’t
have a program for at the elementary level,” she said.
Buckley said the program would be geared toward children
with behavioral disorders, such as severe
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or those who are
aggressive in class.
“Any situation where it’s too much for a classroom
teacher, and we want to provide additional resources to
improve the behaviors,” she said.
Students would spent part of the day in mainstream
classrooms and part of the day with the new teacher, who
will be certified teaching special education students with
emotional handicaps, Buckley said. The part-time counselor
will be there to assist classroom teachers in dealing with
the students, she said. The amount of time spent in a
mainstream classroom and with the specialized teacher
depends on each student’s individual education plan,
“Ultimately, our goal would be to have these students
back in the mainstream classroom without any
intervention,” she said.
The new positions will be funded with money from the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, most likely for
the first two years. The school district was awarded
$679,768 in federal special education grants, which will
be used for this program and other initiatives that are
still in development, Buckley said.
While the school district will eventually have to pay for
the program itself, Buckley said the positions will
actually save Goffstown money. Students now have to attend
schools outside of the district, usually private special
education schools, during elementary years. The district
already has programs for students with emotional
disabilities in middle and high school.
“Because we weren’t able to meet their needs in our
public schools, we’ve paid for them to go somewhere
else,” Buckley said.
The district pays on average between $40 and $60 thousand
a year tuition at out-of-district schools, depending on
where the student goes and what services they need.
Transportation costs an additional $60 to $100 a day,
In contrast, hiring the teacher will cost about $72,000 a
year, and the part-time counselor will cost about half of
that, Buckley said. The district would no longer have to
pay for the three to four
students Buckley expects to be part of the program to
attend school elsewhere. The school might be able to bring
the students who are currently out of the district back
into the district once the program
is established, Buckley said.
Buckley expects to fill the positions this summer and
begin the program in September.
“That’s our hope,” Buckley said.