I exchanged e-mails with Superintendent Rainwater about two new classrooms at Marquette. I’ll simply post the e-mails at this time and late add commentary, not on the program per se, but the budget process (or lack thereof) that created and funded it.
The rumor mill says that the administration moved the existing NEON program to Marquette or created a new one to be located at Marquette Elementary School.
The exiting NEON (New Educational Options and Networking) program serves “middle school-age students with an emotional/behavioral disability (EBD) who have not been successful in a full-day program at their home school despite numerous and varied interventions.”
Could you please provide details of any program changes or moves?
The Superintendent responded:
Thanks for the email. I am always glad to clarify rumors. The NEON Program has not changed or moved. It still exist at Hoyt with the same staffing, etc. that we have had in the past. We did, however, establish two elementary ED alternative classes that will begin at Marquette this year. They are similar in design to NEON but serve primary and intermediate age EBD students who need a more structured, alternative service delivery model. Many of these kids are active with PBST [Postive Behavior Support Team] as well. Both classrooms are staffed with a teacher and two SEAs [special education assistant]. This is a “district” program serving students from any elementary school who meet the criteria and need this type of alternative, structured setting. We also have a full-time school psychologist allocated to this program. Jim Hassely, Coordinator Behavior Support, has been working closely with Joy Larson to set this program up in the Marquette/O Keeffe space. It will have minimal impact on Marquette, though, as the students will be served outside the general education classroom for the much of their school day.
I then posed a number of questions to the Superintendent and Jack Jorgensen, head of special ed, kindly responded in a detailed memo.