|Superintendent Sue Walker|
According to Shoreline-LFP PATCH Blog, Ms Walker made statements yesterday at Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee Hearing stating that,
"The continuation of the current state policy to segregate disabled children in the RHCs, of which the overwhelming majority are sent to Fircrest School in Shoreline, is bad for children and for all communities in Washington,"Further the article states the District's policy as follows;
The Shoreline School District is supporting a bill in the Washington State Senate stating that children in the state’s care should be served in residential settings near their families, friends, and schools, not in institutions, including the Fircrest School in Shoreline.Fircrest School is an RHC (Residential Habilitation Center) which has been located in Shoreline since
Senate Bill 5132 would change state law to prohibit children under the age of 21 from being placed in Residential Habilitation Centers (RHC) like Fircrest.
1959. The School is in the Ridgecrest/Briacrest neighborhoods, just south of Hamlin Park. The site was also earlier in the century an Navy Hospital and then the Firlands TB Sanitorium.
According to the Friends of Fircrest website, Fircrest's its mission is:
Fircrest provides specialized, high-quality personalized service to the most challenging individuals with developmental disabilities. These services are consistently provided in a manner and environment that assumes, as the highest priority, client respect, dignity, and individualism.
|Fircrest School Campus|
Fircrest is considered to be a "center of excellence" by professionals in the care of the disabled. It serves a diverse population of medically fragile people with severe disabilities who are often profoundly retarded and often behaviorally challenged. There are currently 24 residents who are school age and only one is a Shoreline School District student.
So it is rather perplexing as to why Supt Walker would decide it was a good policy to attack Fircrest residents, staff and families at this time.
It seems to us, that she is remarkably out of touch with the concerns of the Shoreline/LFP community which strongly supports Fircrest's mission and the families who rely on it.
The students who reside at Fircrest rely on the expert care they receive and it is curious as to why Supt Walker and the Shoreline School Board would choose at this time to attack this valuable asset to our community. It seems to us that the teachers who would have to provide the attention required to these students,were they in the classrooms would find it difficult, taxing and distracting to other students, to say the least. If these profoundly disabled students require expert care that is provided them at Fircrest, who is Superintendent Walker to deny them that service?