The rate of special ed students graduating is increasing, and new intervention strategies are being credited with the success. the Coos Bay School District,  special programs director Lisa DeSalvio believes that  the changes that were implemented are responsible for the improvement in the data she has been tracking in the district for 11 years.

“The good news here is we had this increase of children graduating with a regular diploma and walking with their peers over the past two years,” DeSalvio said. “This is directly related to the changes that we’ve been making.”

Since 2012, there has been a 14.5 percent increase in the number of special education students who actually earn degrees.  According to DeSalvio, the changes were the result of looking at students who failed classes, and focusing right away on recovering credits.

“We’re making sure these kids aren’t credit deficit from the get-go,” DeSalvio said. “We did a whole change of philosophy.”

Another change the district made was to stop pulling special ed students out of class to be taught separately, and instead supported teachers and resource room staff.

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