WEST ORANGE, NJ — Although the West Orange Public Schools District is generally well-known for its excellent special education program, the West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) authorized a special education audit to review how it can be even stronger during its meeting on Monday.
The audit will be conducted over a 22-day period by EIRC (Educational Information and Resource Center) for $22,000. Dr. Steven Ciccariello, an educational specialist with EIRC, presented the WOBOE with the full scope of what the audit will analyze.
WOBOE member Laura Lab told Ciccariello that she would like the audit to access how students are progressing in the summer extended program and if group sessions are being conducted in the best way for students with varying special needs issues.
During the public questioning of Ciccariello, Susan Freivald said that parent involvement in the audit is essential.
“If you only are looking at the written record, you won’t get many concerns that parents are expressing,” she said. “This includes parents being told that group therapy is good enough when individual therapy is needed. You won’t see this in IEPs.”
Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzky assured Freivald and other parents present that they will be invited to share their concerns in public forums that will be part of this audit.
“We have heard both complaints and compliments from parents about this program,” said WOBOE President Sandra Mordecai. “It is due time for a special education audit to address whatever concerns parents have about this program.”
The next WOBOE meeting will be held on March 20.
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