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Blackduck High School to consider hiring another special ed teacher

The Blackduck School District recently had Eva Pohl, Special Education Supervisor of the Bemidji Regional Interdistrict Council, present at the School Board meeting on Monday, April 14.

Pohl was there to give a workload analysis of the special education programs in the elementary school and high school. Superintendent Wally Schoeb suggested it so the School Board could see how many special education teachers the school has and what will be required for the 2014-15 school year.

The elementary school, which consists of kindergarten through sixth grade, will only see a small increase in the workload next year. Right now, there are five special education teachers working in the elementary school and one of them, Nadene Page, spends half of their time in the high school.

The analysis discovered a need for the attention of just less than five teachers so for next year, it will be right on track.

Lorrain Warden, dean of students, noted during the presentation that a few incoming students are still being tested and that the numbers of the analysis for the elementary school could change.

Special education in the high school will be a different story next year. With one teacher, Cathe Holen, retiring after this year and an increased workload the school may consider hiring two more special education teachers.

The high school program has four teachers giving all of their time and also Page, who splits between the elementary and high school.

The high school will need one more special education teacher for 2014-15 to cover the workload and another to replace Holen. Students who will enter the seventh-grade next year were accounted for in the high school analysis but not those who will graduate this spring.

“I’m feeling the real strain at the high school, definitely,” Pohl said. “Elementary has been very busy this year, but the number of the students will move up.”

After Pohl presented, Schoeb mentioned that in the past it has been difficult to find certified specialists in the field. “We’ve had a position open for a person who’s going to retire and I think we’ve gotten two certified people,” he said.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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