Parents Express Importance Of School Board Decisions At Meeting

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Published: June 16, 2018 @ 4:00 PM EDT

At the last Board Of Education (BOE) meeting of the school year, a parent approached the school board at the second public comment portion.

Usually, that is not good news. Such approaches to the podium end with the board’s attorney or the board president stating such matters cannot be discussed in an open forum due to pending litigation or privacy laws. But at the May 12th BOE meeting, Marc and Julia Vicidomini spoke publicly for another reason.

Julia Vicidomini opened with the ominous sentence, “You may remember me from a previous correspondence regarding transportation for my son, who is an autistic student in the preschool at Sherman Elementary School.”

Mrs. Vicidomini continued with some background regarding the child study team for their son and the tireless effort to get their son the educational plan he requires.

After a brief pause, Julia thanked the board and the administration for two items that were approved.

These agenda matters will help the Vicidomini family in providing their son with a continuity that will benefit his education. Agenda item 3(g) was the transfer of Sabrina Casale from the position of preschool disabled teacher from Sherman Elementary School to that of the autistic K-2 teacher at Aldene Elementary School. With their son attending the Autistic/Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program as Aldene School, the Vicidomini family understood – and fought for – having their son’s environment maintain as much a routine and methodic schedule as possible. Mrs. Casale was an integral part of that learning environment. Mrs. Vicidomini stated to the board that with the approval of Mrs. Casale’s transfer, “We feel we have been heard.”

Adding that they could not be happier, the Vicidomini family complimented Deb Cordes as the social worker for Sherman Elementary School, wishing her the best in her transfer to the middle school.

After Julia thanked the school district, BOE member Troy Gerten commented on the Vicidomini’s words and how important it was to him as a school board member to see the positive impacts of the decisions made at meetings.

Mrs. Vicidomini’s words in total are included below:

I am not here to discuss transportation. Rather, next school year our son is to attend the autistic/ABA program at Aldene School.

We have worked tirelessly with the absolutely wonderful members of the child study team, particularly his case manager, Deb Cordes, the BCBA, Laurie Gabriel and his amazing classroom teacher, Sabrina Casale, to create a plan for our son that we believe will have him progressing towards his academic goals next year.

I am here to thank you for your approval on both Personnel Items 3 and 7.

Specifically, the transfer of Preschool Disabled Teacher at Sherman Elementary School, Sabrina Casale, to the Autistic K-2 Teacher at Aldene Elementary School.

This transfer is very important to our family. With this transfer, you are providing a very overwhelmed mama some peace of mind.

Mrs. Casale is an exceptional teacher who my family has come to love and trust.

Nothing fills our hearts more than the excitement in our son’s face when he sees her each morning as he enters school. Our mind is at ease with our son in her care.

Even more recently, as we learned of our son’s lifelong diagnosis, she has been so supportive and compassionate while we have had countless doctors’ visits and meetings to attend.

As we prepare for our son to go to kindergarten, we have had some reservations regarding his new placement for next year.

We expressed our concerns to the child study team, and with the placement of this transfer on the agenda, we feel we have been heard.

We prayed for a teacher like Mrs. Casale to enter our son’s life.

This transfer means that for the next three years she will remain his teacher and we couldn’t be happier.

She truly is one of the greats. We’re also happy to see her on for approval for the [extended school year] program and assume she will be our son’s teacher this summer as well.

Lastly, I see a transfer of Deb Cordes from Sherman Elementary to the Middle School.

I’m not sure where this originates, but I know she will be truly missed at the Elementary level.

Mrs. Cordes is a very empathetic person who truly wants to help her students.

She is a very hard worker and I’m sure she will do excellent with this change in position.

I’m hopeful that we will have the opportunity to work with her again.

Thank you for your time.