Cleveland Public Schools State of Emergency

State Of Emergency

2016 was the deadliest year Cleveland has seen in a decade, according to the Plain Dealer.  Police reported 120 homicides with 101 attributed to gun violence. These number include some of the youngest victims of gun violence Cleveland has ever seen. However it does not include the 4 law enforcement killings or killings ruled as self-defense.

In 2015-2016, I began working as an Intervention Specialist at the largest public school district in my county. This is the typical high school which prepares students for college after high school. The job description for the average Intervention Specialist consists of taking a student with disabilities out of the “regular” classroom setting to provide academic support as needed. At this high school, the students with disabilities outnumber the students without. The school-wide reading level is fourth grade, this factors in our “honors” students within the school.

As a result of the high disability population, I taught all subjects in a self-contained classroom, all of my student had disabilities and remained in my classroom for math, reading, science, social studies and history. My classroom fell under the category of emotional disturbance (ED). According to IDEA, “Emotional Disturbance is a condition showing one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a degree that it affects a child’s educational performance, resulting in:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and teachers;
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have a serious emotional disturbance”.

All of my students have been diagnosed as ED and according to Ohio law, there can be no more than 12 ED students on the class roster. Having worked with this population for two years now, I have concluded that 12 is too many. Each student has the personality, energy and/or academic need of at least two people.



Who’s IDEA is this? A Parent’s Guide to the Individual’s with Disabilities Act of 2004

Cleveland ends one of deadliest years in a decade

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