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Exceptional Students, Exceptional Services

Our existing Exceptional Student Services (ESS) department will be growing tremendously, and we will be welcoming several new staff members, who will bring with them valuable expertise and experience to the Durango 9-R family. ESS is working to create organizational structures that allow for comprehensive training and resources for staff and community members, as well as efficient and effective processes for identifying and serving our students.
 
Central to this process is the building of teams and department structures to assist in the development of this transition and to ensure quality individualized programming and services to support the high achievement of our exceptional students. The district will begin the process for hiring service providers during the months of December and January, to be completed by the end of January. Additionally, we are working to create a child find program to further the work that San Juan BOCES has done to serve our community with quality early identification and intervention services for children birth to age 5.
 
Durango 9-R has important work ahead, and I look forward to collaborating with our parents and community partners to assist and advise in the process. Many parents, community members, and staff have been active in the San Juan BOCES Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). As an administrative unit, Durango 9-R will be forming its own SEAC dedicated specifically to the needs of Durango 9-R. To assist in the creation of our own SEAC and to gain parent and community voices while we develop our own AU, I have organized an Administrative Unit Advisory Committee (AUAC) and will be meeting on the third Thursday of every month at the Smiley building at 3:30 p.m. beginning in January. This time was selected so that parents of students with special needs can attend the meeting while children can participate in the Spark Dance class eliminating the need to arrange for childcare. For more information about the Spark Dance class please visit sparkdanceprogram.org.
 
Please contact me directly at 970-247-5411 ext. 1457 if you are interested in or would like more information about joining the Administrative Unit Advisory Committee. This will be a valuable resource for me to gain guidance and knowledge from parents, staff, and community members as we build the future of special education in Durango 9-R together. Continue to look for updates, throughout the school year, on the progress of Durango’s Administrative Unit in the 9-R Communicator, on our website and in our parent newsletter, Parent eNotes.
 
Additionally, many 9-R parents have started a parent group called the Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC). This council will help build the agenda for our 9-R SEAC as well as the Administrative Unit Advisory Committee. SNAC will meet every Thursday at the Smiley building at 3:30 p.m. and their next meeting will be the first Thursday in January.
 
Thank you for your continued support of all of our students, helping each achieve their own personal best.
Marcy Lawrence
Director of Exceptional Student Services
Durango School District 9-R
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