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    Commentary: Special Education Program shouldn’t be cut back

    Albany resident Sabine Geiger, mother of a special education child,  has recently written a letter to Principal Ted Barone of Albany High School on the teacher layoff incident.  She sent the letter to Albany Today for circulation among members of the community.  

    Dear Mr. Barone,

    I was shocked when I heard a few days ago that you decided to release the three teachers in the resource department.  I also heard that your reason was that the way the resource department had been structured up to now, does not fit your vision of Albany High School.  It is very sad for me as the parent of a resource student to hear this…

    I am wondering if you are aware of the huge impact the resource department has made for students with disabilities and their options, not only at AHS but in life…

    I know that my son, Florian, who is very bright yet also dyslexic, would have probably not made it through high school without the support of Mr. Carlson. Mr. Carlson is more than a teacher to Florian; he is also a companion and a trustworthy friend.  Somebody who would believe in him and support him at all times, especially during the times when Florian lost confidence in himself.

    This kind of engagement at school is invaluable. It makes it possible for smart kids who happen to be learning in different ways than most other kids to make it through high school and actually have a positive experience. For Florian it made the difference between feeling lost at school, often doubting his intelligence, and getting a GPA of above 3.5 in his junior and senior year.

    In the name of all the resource students who have been in this fabulous program and the kids who are yet to take advantage of this opportunity, I strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to cut back this invaluable program.

    With kind regards,

    Sabine Geiger

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