The Logan County school system has had to make a tough decision regarding the overcrowded room for functionally mentally disabled (FMD) children at Auburn Elementary School.
The FMD classroom at Auburn had 14 children in at, which by law, was too many, according to Logan County schools special education director Barry Goley.
“We’re looking at a regulation that says we can have no more than 10 students in the FMD classroom,” Goley said. “We’ve been working on finding a place to put them, but there’s no location at Auburn that we can go to.”
In addition to the 14 students, there was also six or seven staff members, including two teachers, in the classroom.
“That is just way too many,” Goley said. “It’s not a huge room to begin with.”
Superintendent Marshall Kemp said using the family resource room at Auburn as an FMD classroom was considered, but ultimately did not work out.
“Auburn is our biggest elementary school and there are no free classrooms anywhere in that building and there is no way I can add on to the building,” Kemp said.
So the district made the best decision they could and decided to send half of the FMD students out of district to Chandlers Elementary.
Currently there is no FMD classroom at Chandlers, but seven of the students of Auburn will begin going to school there on Monday.
“Half of the FMD students from Auburn will now go to Chandlers and half will stay at Auburn,” Goley said. “Chandlers was the closest school to Auburn and we looked at where the children lived and the severity of their disabilities before deciding who would be moved.”
Goley said that bus transportation would take all the children to their new school.
“Parents don’t have to do anymore than they did at Auburn,” he said.
Some parents didn’t like hearing that their children would be moving, but Goley added that once they visited Chandlers, it eased their fears.
“We invited some of the parents to go visit the new school,” Goley said. “One family did that and they loved it and had no other concerns. I know this is unpleasant for some families, but we’re trying to make it as good as we can for all the students involved.”