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Fort Knox schools deliver comprehensive special education services

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By DR. FRANK CALVANO

In the Fort Knox Community Schools system, one of every seven students receives special education services.

These nearly 300 children have disabilities categorized mostly as communication impairments (29 percent), specific learning disability (23 percent and developmental delay (20 percent). The remaining 28 percent of students have disabilities including autism and various health impairments.

As a Department of Defense Education Activity school system, Fort Knox provides an appropriate education for all students. All children ages 3 through 21 with special education needs are identified, evaluated and served.

The nearly 14 percent of students with special needs receive appropriate services beyond the regular education curriculum. Related services made available to students who require such assistance include speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and special transportation.

These services are provided by the dedicated special education staff including 21 special education teachers, 24 special education program paraprofessionals, 27 supplemental instructional support paraprofessionals, two and a half assessors and one assessor clerk, two schools psychologists, eight therapists - one and a half occupational, one-half physical and 6 speech and language - and one autism teacher leader.

Fort Knox’s special education staff is three times larger than that typically found in state supported school systems because each special education teacher is provided with an educational aide and many students receive additional adult supervision when it is deemed appropriate.

Recent special education monitoring by Department of Defense officials was positive as Fort Knox schools were found to be in compliance in all areas.

For more information, please call Dennis Labriola, the instructional systems specialist for special education, at his cell phone number, (502) 381-1939.

Dr. Frank Calvano is superintendent of the Kentucky District, comprised of the Fort Knox and Fort Campbell school systems. The Kentucky District is a part of DoDEA, the Department of Defense Education Activity.