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Is Highlands more interested in their graduation rate than assisting a student with Autism


theguru
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Highlands senior, Luke Laskey hopes to graduate with the Highlands senior class in May and continue as a fifth-year student with Project SEARCH, a program that trains people with developmental disabilities to enter the workforce but the Fort Thomas Independent School District has denied Luke access to the program that would help him with his condition and find work.

 

According to Luke's father Paul who has already spent 40K fighting Highlands on behalf of his son Highlands is telling to the Laskey's to "pound salt" (my words) and Highlands is going to kick Luke out of the system (Paul Laskey's words).

 

Fort Thomas School District appeals student with autism'''s access to fifth-year program

 

The dispute is over allowing Luke to enroll in Project Search:

 

Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized program dedicated to building a workforce that includes people with disabilities. Its business partnerships benefit the individual, the community and the workplace. The program was established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to address staff turnover in entry-level support positions. The successful model has been replicated in hospitals, banks, universities and businesses in more than 500 locations in the U.S. and abroad.

 

Norse Project SEARCH: Northern Kentucky University, Greater Cincinnati Region

 

I know we have a lot of educators here on BGP. What am I missing? Is Highlands in the right to deny Luke Laskey? This seems like a "no-brainer" to me that Highlands should be bending over backwards to assist Luke instead of denying him the available services?

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  • 2 months later...

According to Cincinnati.com the State board agrees Highlands failed Luke Laskey:

 

Since "appropriate transition services were not provided" by the school, the appeal board ordered the district to offer Laskey, whose primary disability is autism, a social graduation with his classmates this academic year and a fifth year of services that includes attendance at a job training program.

 

The family had requested the district allow Laskey to "socially" graduate, or walk at commencement with his class, but not receive his diploma until after completing Project Search, a job training program through Northern Kentucky University and Campbell County Schools. The nine-month unpaid internship helps students explore careers and develop skills. The district argued there is no provision in federal or state law that "even contemplates" this possibility.

 

The best I can tell the Highlands objection is in fact because it will hurt their graduation rate.

 

If anyone has a better understanding of it we are all ears?

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I am mystified as well. Maybe they didn’t want to set a precedent that this school is an option to future students. It is an unpaid internship. Does the school have to pay for the program and provide transportation?

 

Almost assuredly the school district will be paying, just like if a student from their school district were to require attending the Kentucky School For The Blind in Louisville, the school district pays for that - including the cost of student housing in Louisville.

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This issue has nothing to do with graduation rate. This issue goes all the way back to when Luke was first entering Highlands. Family did not want him treated differently than an ordinary student. That is why he was getting a diploma.

 

Would you please explain that more? If it has nothing to do with graduation rate okay, but then what specifically is the issue that caused the family to spend 40K fighting Highlands?

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Would you please explain that more? If it has nothing to do with graduation rate okay, but then what specifically is the issue that caused the family to spend 40K fighting Highlands?

 

How much does one kid graduating or not affect the graduation rate at a school the size of Highlands?

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I have no idea, maybe it goes from 99.2 to 98.9 or simply put from 99 to 98%.

 

Regardless of the circumstances, I don't see any school going through that much trouble over a graduation rate difference that minuscule.

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Regardless of the circumstances, I don't see any school going through that much trouble over a graduation rate difference that minuscule.

 

Obviously there has to be more to this that no one is willing to share.

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