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District split has parents of special-needs children concerned

District split has parents of special-needs children concerned



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Paul Nelson reportingThe upcoming split of the Jordan School District has some parents of special-needs children concerned. Some of them say they're worried their kids might not get the same education in the new district.

Alex has Down syndrome and diabetes. His mother, Natalie, says the school has a great support system and many resources for kids with special needs. "This year, he's in a fifth and sixth [grade] cluster. What they do is they try and integrate them into the regular education classes as much as possible," she said.

Maughan says her son gets speech training, teachers that understand kids with Down syndrome, as well as a nurse to visit him during lunch. But she's worried she might not get some of these services for Alex when they're part of the new school district after the Jordan District splits.

"I'm afraid that the new district hasn't really thought through what all Jordan has been able to give us," she said.

The list of services Jordan School District provides for special-needs kids is long. Jordan School District Compliance and Special Programs Executive Director Cal Evans says the programs between the existing district and the new one should be practically identical to start.

"The decision has been made that in the remaining Jordan School District, the service pattern that we have developed over the last 25 years will be implemented in that [new] district," Evans said.

However, Evans says the new school board may make changes in the program if it sees fit. He says most districts add or drop services depending on what they need. "I think we can expect there can be some differences in the two sides of the district, otherwise, there would be no split."

Evans says the Maughan family isn't the only one calling, concerned about changes in the system. The administration for the new district will be set by August.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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