Beachwood Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program Presentation Set for Monday

The state of the program will be outlined in a Dec. 3 Board of Education meeting.

A presentation about the current state of the Beachwood Deaf/Hard of Hearing Consortium Program will be Monday, Dec. 3, Beachwood City Schools announced.

Earlier this week we reported that the presentation was tentatively set for Dec. 17.

The presentation, set for 7:30 p.m. at the is expected to be only an update on the state of the program that will likely include many of  with no possible plans of action discussed yet, spokesperson Doug Levin said.

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"The board is not going to be asked to take any action Monday night," Levin added. "There will be no reccomendations made about the future of the program other than to maintain the program in its current form until a better model is identified."

The program's declining enrollment and increasing costs have forced the district to reevaluate its structure, Superintendent Rich Markwardt said.

The consortium, whose program is administered by Beachwood City Schools, serves 25 students and is comprised of 29 school districts, including Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Twinsburg, Solon and Mayfield Heights.

The program is believed by parents and staff to be in peril because of the contract that the interpreters' union agreed to earlier this year.

The district is considering pulling out as the program’s fiscal officer in 2014, according to the  instead of three like the district’s teachers' union contract.

In response to the contract, an employee created a Facebook group called "Save the Beachwood Deaf/HH Program" and rumors flew about the program shutting down.

Markwardt released a statement Sept. 5 discussing the district's intentions: "In anticipation of the program's projected continued contraction, the Beachwood administration is taking a proactive approach by initiating a discussion on how to better serve D/HH children - rather than wait for the program's demise - with a restructured service delivery model by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year."

Supporters of the program have attended Board of Education meetings to speak about how the program has positively impacted their lives and circulated a petition asking the Board to allow them to participate in a task force to evaluate the program.

Watch Patch for more updates on this ongoing story.


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