County Office of Ed. eyes Black Oak School

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

The Tuolumne County Office of Education is considering purchasing Twain Harte School District's Black Oak Elementary school site, closed in 2008, to have the county's first full school campus for special-needs students.

The purchase was formally discussed Monday at the Office of Education Board of Trustees meeting.

Board members also discussed the new compensation policy being drafted for the county superintendent of schools.

Black Oak Elementary was built one-third of a mile up the road from the Twain Harte Elementary School in 1996, but closed in 2008 due to decreasing enrollment.

The students in that district now all go to the main Twain Harte School campus, while some administrators work in the Black Oak campus with a Head Start program.

The Black Oak purchase by the county would offer better service to hundreds of special needs students, according to Jim Frost, director of special education for the county, who noted that the program is growing.

Frost said student and employee hours are wasted busing students constantly to different schools.

Many schools have their own special-education sites on campus, while specialty classes are mostly offered at the Soulsbyville Elementary School campus. Adult special-education classes are held in East Sonora, sometimes utilizing the same buses and therefore requiring extra stops.

For the complete story, see the Aug. 12 edition of The Union Democrat.

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