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AJUSD Overhauls Program to Better Serve Special Needs Students
Letron Alexander, the new Director of Special Education, is responsible for working strategically with members in and around our district to create effective and efficient systems that encourage learning and empower students to achieve. His focus is to empower AJUSD staff to implement new strategies that engage students, and improve their wellness and learning while improving current and new systems that help the SPED Department perform well operationally.
Joining Alexander are John Shirk, SPED coordinator and William Shultz, program coordinator. Alexander added that the department could not function without the support of two major players, Cynthia Garcia, SPED secretary and Maila Lewis, administrative analysis.
"Providing our services in-house allows AJUSD the ability to critically and more intentionally, direct our spending related to SPED resources," said Alexander. "There are several other advantages for AJUSD to design and implement its own level-C programs, but the major advantage is that it affords our students the ability to receive a much more personalized, tailored approach to their education from members who care about the students in this community.
The move toward in-house special education programming is expected to benefit the students and the community according to Heather Wallace, AJUSD superintendent.
"We are bringing in people who want to be a part of AJUSD and are personally invested in the learning that takes place in our community," said Wallace. "With out-sourcing the emphasis is often based on a company's profits and bottom line. By focusing on what we can do in-house we can provide practical, quality services that will not only help our students, but will create a dynamic program that will benefit our community as well."
Registration is currently being accepted at Apache Junction High School, Cactus Canyon Junior High School, Desert Vista Elementary School, Four Peaks Elementary School and Peralta Trail Elementary School. For more information visit www.ajusd.org or follow the district on social media.
Sally Ann Marks