By Zoe Weisner:
A testing center in RC-5 has been introduced for all special education students. The testing center will provide students in special education additional time and fewer distractions when taking tests, as opposed to taking them in class. “There are kids in there testing from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,” Special Education Instructional Supervisor Shivani Pulimamidi said.
[pullquote]The testing center currently includes the math and science department, but will be expanding to the english department during second semester.[/pullquote]
The testing center currently includes the math and science department, but will be expanding to the english department during second semester. The room’s main purpose is to administer tests.
On test days for special education students in math and science classes, teachers send a copy of the test to a resource teacher in the testing center, and the students take their tests there. “These kids need a certain amount of time to complete their tests,” special education aide Susan Henderson said. “It’s a lot quieter and some kids need the questions read to them.” Some kids may spend over two hours in the testing center working on a test.
The special education department serves over 200 students on campus. Their main goal with the students who are taking special education classes is to expose then to mainstream courses. “Our job is to provide the right structure and ideology for our students,” Pulimamidi said.
Special education classes are taught by a resource teacher who receives assistance from aides. The resource teacher monitors each student and manages the class’s progress. “Ultimately our goal is to foster student independence to ensure success for life after high school,” Pulimamidi said. “We want to make sure we encourage student independence while simultaneously providing them with the support they need.”
The new testing center demonstrates more than just helping special education students. “I think the test center is an indication that special education is improving,” Henderson said.
Besides the testing center, special education implemented other new programs for their students. One new program is Read 180, a remedial English class for students who are not prepared to take ninth and tenth grade English classes. Prior to Read 180, students had no other option than to take the mandatory English classes.
Currently, Pulimamidi and the administration are discussing a new note taking system. In this system, students in general education can take notes for special education students, and in return, they receive community service hours. According to Pulimamidi, there is a possibility of having an additional testing center for general education students in the near future.