San Lorenzo briefs | Special education teachers demand more support, East Bay Arts still in search of a home

San Lorenzo Unified School District administration building

San Lorenzo Unified special education teachers demand more support

SAN LORENZO, Calif. — Union representatives at San Lorenzo Unified School District are saying special education teachers and staff need more support a week after a student with special needs at Del Rey Elementary School was found wandering on Bockman Road during school hours.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Karen Rosa, president of the San Lorenzo Education Association, and Julie Glenn-Juuko, president of California School Employees Association Chapter 692, told the district’s Board of Education that the district needs to hire more special education staff, particularly with the appropriate levels of training in order to prevent situations where students or staff might get injured.

“We need people who are trained to work with runners,” Glenn-Juuko said. ” … That’s why we have the different levels: one, two and three. You can’t put a level one in there to do a level three job.”

Mothers with children in the special education program, including the mother of the five-year-old Del Rey Elementary student found wandering on Bockman Road, also reiterated that the district needs to do more. The Del Rey student’s mother described how he was allowed to go to the bathroom by himself and ended up wandering into the street. A passerby found him and called the police, but it took 40 minutes before anyone noticed he was missing. Since then, she said the district has not responded to her.

“The lack of compassion and concern, I just find it appalling,” she said.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the federal government requires school districts to prepare an individualized education program for each one of the 725,000 students with disabilities in the state, about 11.7% of California’s total student population. However, the federal government has provided just a fraction of the promised 40% in annual funding for the program, leaving the state and districts to pick up the tab.

But Glenn-Juuko said some of the issues with special education are within the district’s control, such as the length of the interview process, compensation, and the length and breadth of training for staff.

East Bay Arts High School still in search of a home

SAN LORENZO, Calif. — Parents, students and staff at East Bay Arts High School say they want the district to find a permanent home for their school.

Several members of the East Bay Arts community told the San Lorenzo Unified School District Board of Education that they want the relocation of the arts magnet high school to be placed on the December agenda because the present situation is untenable.

“You guys told us parents that this was a temporary — temporary — situation,” said Sonia Sablan, an East Bay Arts parent. “I beg you guys, please put this back on the agenda for next month and re-vote.”

East Bay Arts was previously co-located with Royal Sunset High School, the district’s alternative high school, and was temporarily relocated to the San Lorenzo High School campus during the 2021-2022 school year. A few weeks ago, the board failed to reach a consensus on where to relocate East Bay Arts, leaving it co-located with San Lorenzo High.

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