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October 22
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
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Saugus Union School District To Honor 17 Classified Employees[KHTS] – Tempers flared at a recent Saugus Union School District board meeting after parents of students with special needs were told their children would be transferred to another campus next year.

The concern for many parents is that the move will be disruptive and keep their children from growing and learning to their fullest extent.

“Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the mild to moderate program will be relocated to Charles Helmers Elementary at 27300 N. Grandview Drive in Valencia,” was stated in a letter sent to parents by Diane D’Elia, director of student support services.
There are two levels of Special Day Classes for children with special needs in the Saugus Union School District. Level one is made up of students labeled “mild to moderate” and another that’s labeled, “moderate to severe,” according to D’Elia.

The point of the move, according to school officials, is to to keep students in each SDC level on one campus throughout TK-6th grade.

Sheryl Schultz is one of the parents of a special education student at Mountainview, who was told will be moved to Helmers starting next year.

“These kids thrive on continuity,” Schultz said. “Some of them have very rigid routines.”

Many parents say they have contacted experts who describe this kind of disruption as detrimental, noting some of their children have had up to three different teachers within the last two years.

“We directed cabinet to bring back a more comprehensive report at the June 16 meeting,” said Saugus Union board member Judy Umeck, addressing parents’ concern and noting the decision was not final.

Schultz agrees that the aim of the move — to keep students in each level on one campus throughout TK-6 grade would help these students adjust to their surroundings — but that her child, like many others is not being given that opportunity.

“This move is setting them up to fail,” Schultz said. “I’m very much so worried about my daughter — she will regress.”

Many parents are upset about how the move will affect their child, some questioning the legality of the move at the board meeting.

Saugus Union School District staff members were unavailable for comment.

“The proposed plan to isolate SDC two students on a single campus without access to SDC one classes would prevent students who don’t fit into either category perfectly from accessing the least restrictive environment, as required by law,” said Rachael Hamilton, a parent of a SDC Mountainview student who will be moved to Helmers next year.

Hamilton is also one of multiple families who, starting next year, will have one SDC child at one school, and another general education child at another school.

Least Restrictive Environment, or LRE, as Hamilton mentions, is a federal law that states, “students with disabilities must receive their education, to the maximum extent appropriate, with nondisabled peers and that special education students are not removed from regular classes unless, even with supplemental aids and services, education in regular classes cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

As of right now, some Mountainview students in SDC two classes have the opportunity to spend some time throughout the day in a SDC one class.

“Some of the SDC two students are working their way up into the SDC one class,” Hamilton said. “Without that opportunity, they are not being offered what the law says they need to be.”

The problem boils down to the Bridgeport Elementary SDC students need to move campuses, according to some parents.
“We were told that the Bridgeport students needed to be moved,” Schultz said.

Two more classes for students with moderate to severe needs will be relocated from Bridgeport Elementary to Mountainview next year, according to school officials.

An LCAP meeting is set for May 27 to discuss funding for the education programs, including special education.

The next board meeting is set to take place June 16, when school officials and parents can once again discuss the transition.

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34 Comments

  1. SUSD so out of touch with SDC students/families it borders on negligence or indifference..

  2. SUSD so out of touch with SDC students/families it borders on negligence or indifference..

  3. Every school should have a program for our kids , they should be discriminated against and all have to go to 1 or 2 schools that most likely aren’t even by our house that are other children attend .

  4. Every school should have a program for our kids , they should be discriminated against and all have to go to 1 or 2 schools that most likely aren’t even by our house that are other children attend .

  5. So happy to be rid of this non functional system. Living in Orange County has brought some awareness to what is really out there. Awesometown is so behind the times. They mostly integrate here in Orange County….wish I would have been here long ago for my daughters special Ed program. The RC is better too! With that said the teachers and aids are awesome!

  6. So happy to be rid of this non functional system. Living in Orange County has brought some awareness to what is really out there. Awesometown is so behind the times. They mostly integrate here in Orange County….wish I would have been here long ago for my daughters special Ed program. The RC is better too! With that said the teachers and aids are awesome!

  7. Lisa Milburn Lisa Milburn says:

    Clearly a violation of CA IDEA… this can and should be fought

  8. Lisa Milburn Lisa Milburn says:

    Clearly a violation of CA IDEA… this can and should be fought

  9. Heather Berrett-Evans, Deborah Davis

  10. Heather Berrett-Evans, Deborah Davis

  11. Thani you, Michelle. Reposting!!!

  12. It would be WONDERFUL if each school had programs for all types of special need students it would give kids a better chance of mainstreaming! The same groups of kids will grow up with each other, both gen ed and special ed. I remember seeing a discussion on a public access type channel that is for LAUSD. it talked about how part of mainstreaming was to help with acceptance people with disabilities. when kids are young they may not see a difference. once kids hit a certain age differences are more pronounced and people are less likely to want to socialize with people that are different.

    We have been in SCV since 2007 My oldest has gone to 5 different school in 8 years and only of the school changes was because we moved to a different district in SCV. my youngest has been to 3 since he was in pre-k because of programs and changes made.

  13. Rich Herrera Rich Herrera says:

    I have a son with special needs, I also work for for a company the does ABA. I son will be attending a med school next year. I want what us best for my child. Of that means attending a new campus then so be it. Also, I think it’s good for the child to adapt to a new environment. I understand where the parents are coming from but I want my child to attend what’s best for him, cause that’s what’s it’s all about.

  14. Casey Gordon Casey Gordon says:

    That’s crazy! The special needs students are entitled to the same stability as mainstream students and should be allowed to go through one school their entire elementary years. Those students really need it. It’s a shame.

  15. Saugus only cares about money! They don’t care about kids.

  16. Fed Up says:

    When I read issues like this, I feel really sad, exhausted, and disillusioned that the School Districts think of the bottom line as the most important and not what’s appropriate for the students (especially when it comes to Special Needs students). From my experience(and other parents’ of special needs), School Districts often do their best to deny, limit, and even intimidate the parents of special needs who try to exercise their children’s rights to a Free and Appropriate Education (as mandated by the IDEA law, law controlling special education) and their Civil Rights to equal access in education. I have personally experienced the District’s gamut of denials, lies, and intimidation. I’ve read & heard first hand account stories from other parents of their negative experiences that run the gamut from Districts’ bringing attorneys to IEP meetings (meetings that deal with educational needs of special ed students), to Districts filing Due Process (court cases regarding special ed issues) against parents for requesting IEE-Independent Educational Evaluations, a right mandated by IDEA), Districts filing false allegations of child abuse, Districts alleging false allegations of crime by special ed students and their parents. The list goes on and on, Districts’ despicable actions against parents who exert their rights. The Districts have to follow the law, stop violating both Civil and Criminal laws and do what is appropriate for the student.
    A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. Looking at how School Districts treat special ed students, I despair the current and future state of the U.S.
    Appropriate remediation and education of our children today will pay thousand fold tomorrow. To not do so will cost this country much more in medical and economic costs. Pay now or pay more later when these students might end up in incarcerated or in medical facilities.
    The US is far behind many industrialized countries in education and California is behind most US states. Let’s think about that.
    The local Districts have to think progressively about appropriately remediating & educating the students, and not just about the bottom dollar.

  17. Laura Oswald Dangelo.

  18. Mainstreaming and inclusion are not all that great. In my personal experience as dead and hard of hearing.

  19. I strongly believe that the district shuffles these children around to whichever school’s enrollment numbers are down. Thank you and please keep reporting on this, SCVTV Santa Clarita.

  20. Irma Berg says:

    Agreed- district shuffles these poorly under represented children around. I have witnessed, first hand, how disfunctional and poorly administered the Saugus School District SDC program is in Awsometown. ‘ Least restrictive environment’ does not mean isolating this group of students and disrupting their school career constantly. Worst, most damaging experience ever.

  21. It’s difficult to handle special needs kids in the schools and give them what they need to achieve the level of education they are capable of,but the other side of this controversial coin is funds to cover the cost of providing this education.

  22. It’s difficult to handle special needs kids in the schools and give them what they need to achieve the level of education they are capable of,but the other side of this controversial coin is funds to cover the cost of providing this education.

    • Sheila says:

      These funds are provided by the State of California, I don’t know what you’ve been told,but I know different.

  23. Fed Up says:

    The District shuffling special needs students around like this are obviously not appropriate. How would the parent of a typical student feel if they are asked to move schools whenever the District told them to? There would be an uproar.
    How is this appropriate or fair? This is definitely not Free and Appropriate Education as mandated by IDEA law.
    The Districts do whatever it can to deny, minimize, or even intimidate the parents of special needs from accessing Free and Appropriate Education as mandated by law (including bringing attorneys to IEP meetings, filing Court cases against parents, sending letters that could be sent from the teacher from attorneys to parents to intimidate parents, false accusations and allegations against the students/parents, the list goes on).

  24. Fed Up says:

    Instead of the District focusing on marketing, public relations, and ad campaigns,suing and lobbying against charters like AEA, and making awful decisions against parents of special needs.
    Instead the District should Free and Appropriate Education to these students. The District should focus on actual, effective research based learning methods (for math, reading, writing, etc.). It should also focus on reducing class sizes, providing Art, Music, PE by actual Art, Music, and PE teachers. The District should also provide enrichment during and after school that is publicly funded. If the District takes these actions, then all the marketing, PR, Ad won’t be necessary, because the parents would be their greatest promoters who would spread the word about their district and help retain current students and attract new ones to the District.

  25. Fed Up says:

    Much evidence and research point to the fact that Inclusion and Mainstreaming is effective & necessary and to not have access to it would be detrimental to the child. A parent of special needs child should have their child tested by an INDEPENDENT educational psychologist or Neuropsychologist to see what placement would be best for the child. If the child can be at all placed in General Education with appropriate services and supports, the parent should advocate for that right. Self contained special ed classes are appropriate for some, but definitely not for some students. It would be detrimental for those students to not have typical peers for social and language. Also, once in a self contained special ed class, the student is diverted from a normal graduation diploma track (and it would be difficult to get them back on that track). Appropriate Placement is important.

  26. Anais Medford says:

    I recommend the Special Needs parents to seek legal counsel from a special needs attorney like Valerie Vanaman or Steven Wyner or the Disability Rights Group.

  27. Saugus school district never takes parent’s concerns into account in their decision making process. Well let me correct myself, they do but it is to vote opposite. Lol

  28. Anais Medford says:

    Also this District doesn’t do much about bullying and is busy covering it up and try to blame the victim. It’s a shame and a crime.

  29. Sheila says:

    Parents, fight for your child’s rights I’ve been in your shoes.

Leave a Comment


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