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This $400,000 grant will help San Bernardino County recruit, develop, retain special education teachers

By Brian Whitehead

The Sun

January 29, 2019

Inside room F35 at Highland Grove Elementary School are two future statesmen and a future fashion designer, an aspiring chef, a pint-sized techie and a girl who wants to teach others Braille when she grows up.

While they live across San Bernardino County, these six visually-impaired students gather in Highland five days a week to learn math, history and other general education subjects. On a recent weekday morning, they shared with visitors factoids about the historical figure of the day, Benjamin Franklin.

“He was an inventor,” fifth-grader Dayana Castaneda said.

“He was a scientist,” added fourth-grader Mylee Moreno.

A longtime special education teacher with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, Jeanne Nelson is among a coveted group.

Thanks to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, attracting, developing and retaining men and women to shepherd San Bernardino County students with disabilities should become a tad easier in the near future.

“Being able to get these (special education) students individual education plans and the resources they need to be able to do their classwork takes resources, means and funds,” said Dan Evans, spokesman for the county’s Superintendent of Schools. “Certainly having credentialed teachers that can work with students is a very big deal.”

Room F35 at Highland Grove Elementary opened about six years ago, providing visually-impaired students, grades kindergarten through fifth, an environment to learn at their own pace, with personal instruction, while surrounded by other children with similar needs.

A poster in the room reads: “No slacking any time.”