High-school senior Keila Alequin, who has visual disabilities and started learning Braille when she was 7, won top honors in a Long Island Braille contest that tests spelling, reading speed, reading comprehension and understanding of charts and graphs. Alequin, 18, will compete in the national Braille Institute of America championship in June.
Even as some Southern California districts lay off hundreds of teachers, they are hiring special-education, math, science and foreign-language teachers. At a job fair, one district was offering a $9,000 bonus for special-educators.
Amid the economic crisis, more school counselors are seeking out students who may be struggling personally or academically. Once they've identified such students using data or personal contacts, counselors are holding group counseling, programs for transfer students and academic early-intervention sessions.
A virtual school based in Kansas City, Mo., helps students who have been suspended from traditional middle schools to keep up with their academics from home. Such students are often poor and academically far behind their classmates. The program is meant to keep them from dropping out.