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November 29 marked 46 years since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted. In 1975, it was a different world for children with disabilities. More than 1.8 million students with disabilities were denied access to an education. For those who received any services, most were delivered in settings outside public schools. Few children had access to the same educational curriculum as their non-disabled peers.
Think of the all the children with disabilities that have passed through our schools in Provo City School District these past 46 years. Approximately, 75% of our students with disabilities graduate with a regular high school diploma. Think of all our preschoolers who are reaching developmental milestones and are better prepared for kindergarten.
Thank you to the amazing special education teachers, general education teachers, related service providers, instructional aides and administrators for their dedication in the provision of quality educational services for students with disabilities. Parents, thank you for partnering with us to help educate your children.
Despite a world-wide pandemic and other challenges that we face in our community, the protections of IDEA and our commitment to our children remain. We are excited for what lies ahead. We have learned so much about ourselves and how to improve upon our efforts over these past 19 months. Most importantly, that educators and parents working together can help all our students, including our students with disabilities, access the educational supports they need to become contributing, independent, and productive members of our community.