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Jun-10-2006 01:56printcomments

State Seeks Comment on Combining Salem-Based Schools for Deaf, Blind

A series of statewide public input sessions are planned in to provide the Superintendent with additional information to assist her in evaluating the proposal.


A student uses equipment at the Oregon State School for the Deaf in the late-1960's
Photo Courtesy: Board of Control Records

(SALEM) - The Oregon Department of Education is accepting public input on a proposal to relocate the Salem-based Oregon School for the Blind on to the campus of the Oregon School for the Deaf, located at 999 Locust St. NE.

The 2005 Oregon Legislature approved the budget for the Oregon Department of Education with direction to the agency to `provide a report to the interim Senate and House education committees as well as to the Emergency Board during 2005-2007 on the cost-effectiveness of transferring the program at the Oregon School for the Blind, to the Oregon School for the Deaf campus. The review shall include the cost-effectiveness of contracting out of the two programs to a local education agency."

The Oregon School for the Blind was established in 1873 to provide education services for students who are blind. The Oregon School for the Deaf was established in 1870 to provide educational services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Superintendent Castillo assembled a work group to study the issues and develop a set of recommendations related to them.

The Work Group made the following recommendations to Superintendent Castillo:

Move The School for the Blind to The Oregon School for the Deaf campus provided costs of move do not override current cost of programs and any subsequent savings should be maintained within programs for students who are sensory impaired.

Instructional and support services/programs continue to be appropriate to needs of student.

The Oregon Department of Education retains responsibility for the education of the students and subsequent program but develops management operations capacity with another public educational entity.

Strengthen the linkage between schools and regional programs to illustrate a true continuum of services -- better coordination and sharing of resources/expertise between regional, local and state schools.

Oregon School for the Blind � retains current mission with additional phrase: `by providing unique and intensive vision services". The mission statement would read:" The mission of the Oregon School for the Blind is to provide a model learning environment for students who are blind/visually impaired by providing unique and intensive vision services, so that they can achieve educational success and become lifelong learners."

Oregon School for the Deaf � retains current mission, adding clarification to entry criteria and emphasis in making the program and the outreach services part of integrated continuum of services along with the district and Regional service models.

The OSB/OSD Work Group was: Kim Aeby, Parent; Jerry Berger, First Vice Chair, State Board of Education; William Brelje, Consultant, Special Education; Maureen Casey, Superintendent, Willamette ESD; David Courtney, Superintendent, Burns-Hines Schools; Jessica Dinsmore, Parent; Brigid Flannery, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon; Marcie Ingledue, Executive Director, Arc of Oregon; John Reiman, Associate Professor, Western Oregon University; Courtney Vanderstek, Assistant Executive Director, OR Education Association; Katheryn Weit, Policy Analyst, Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities; Senator Doug Whitsett, Legislator; Senator Jackie Winters, Legislator; Robin Wortman, Parent Trainer, Oregon Parent Training and Information Center.

To send feedback on the recommendations, send an e-mail to ode.stateschools@state.or.us




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