Special Education Column
Recognizing the broadening scope of the school nurse's role, the University of Colorado's School of Nursing has developed a special training program designed to teach nurses how to assess handicapped students' educational needs and to work with the team that develops appropriate plans to meet those needs.
The School Nurse Achievement Program (snap) has been piloted in about 12 states since 1980 through a grant from the Education Department's Office of Special Education.
The eight-week program, which is conducted at a number of universities, consists of seminars, group discussions, individual lesson packets, and case studies.
Although the snap assessment techniques are used primarily in drawing up the individualized education programs (iep's) required for handicapped students under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, they can be used for nonhandicapped students as well.
Program participants have been charged a fee to cover the cost of materials. After June 1983, the program will be available nationally through the University of Colorado, and tuition will be charged.
Finding teachers trained to identify children with learning disabilities often poses a problem for school districts. A five-year program sponsored by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Unified School District aims to ease that problem.
During the first year of the Experimental Teacher Education Program, third-year students at usc will be hired as teaching assistants in the district's public schools while working toward a bachelor's degree. The second year, they will student teach in regular classes and special-education classes.
They will spend the remaining three years as full-time teachers under university and district supervision.
Those who complete the program will be eligible for a bachelor of science degree, preliminary teaching credentials, a specialist credential for the learning handicapped, or a resource-specialist certificate.
Since the enactment of state and federal laws providing for the mainstreaming of handicapped children, the Tennessee Department of Education has noted a decline in the number of hearing-impaired children of elementary-school age. But, the number of hearing impaired students of high-school age has increased, as has the number of students with multiple handicaps.
Those findings, reported in a study conducted by state officials last year, have prompted the development of a five-year plan to expand services for the hearing-impaired.
For example, state officials are currently developing a pilot elementary-school program for about 60 hearing-impaired students who live in western Tennessee. The program grew out of the concern of many parents who objected to the distances traveled by younger children in order to attend the schools with services for the deaf in the eastern section of the state.--sgf