Thank you for the excellent article “Engagement, equity a concern” in the Oct. 10-11 edition of the Daily Journal by Austin Walsh. Our daughter Christine is a student in the adult transition program at Burlingame High School. The program teaches employment and life skills to special education students aged 18-22. She needs to return to the classroom as soon as possible.
Christine and the other students in her class meet the definition of “at-risk students” described in the article. They lack social skills that can only be developed through in-person interaction with students and peers.
Other districts are moving forward with in-class instruction. San Mateo Union High School District professionals are just as talented as those in other districts. Superintendent Kevin Skelly must use his authority and high profile to aggressively pursue in-class instruction. All members of the Board of Trustees should push for this, as indeed board President Marc Friedman did in this article.
Mr. Skelly notes that officials have contacted some students who educators feel would benefit from small groups. Yet Christine has been offered no such opportunity. Her class is small, with a talented teacher and four dedicated aides. I am confident that the district team can return our special education students to the classroom in a safe way.
The students in this program cannot achieve equity with other students in any other way than through in-class instruction. A plan to return them to class must be implemented as soon as possible.
Kurt and Anne Miller