You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Ivy Tech opens path to better life for refugees
    A mother and teenage daughter from Haiti. Cousins from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An eager, young woman from Burma.
  • Campers solve real-life problems
    Local business men and women got help this week solving workplace problems with solutions offered by some of northeast Indiana’s best and brightest – gifted and talented teenagers.
  • SACS to allow Internet schooling
    Southwest Allen County Schools students will have the opportunity to attend school from home – through online classes – during staff training days and snow days this year.

Southwest Allen special education to see changes

Changes to Southwest Allen County Schools' special education department are ahead.

The school board voted Tuesday to dissolve the SNS Advisory Board – a group that oversees the special education cooperative for Southwest Allen, Northwest Allen and Smith-Green Community Schools.

The advisory board will remain in effect for the next school year, but will be dissolved as of July 1, 2014.

After that point, the three districts will establish memorandums of understanding so they can continue to share special needs personnel as needed, but eliminate the sharing of special education programs, said Roxanne May, director of apecial education at Southwest Allen.

Dissolving the board has been in the works for several years as the three districts worked to establish separate programs, May said.

May said all three districts will need to approve the change before the advisory board is officially dissolved.

"It won't be a huge change here at Southwest," May said, explaining that Southwest Allen does not currently share programs with the other two districts.

Northwest Allen and Smith-Green share at least one program for special needs students, she said.

The biggest change for the district will involve how often a Southwest Allen special education teacher is shared with the other two districts, she said.

"We'll still do that, but on a very limited basis," she said.

The board also approved a coordinator of special education position that will be filled by Patty Hartman, a current Southwest Allen employee. Hartman would be tasked with assisting May in supervising the district's special education activities.

Also Tuesday, the board approved a change to the district's four full-time school psychologists.

May requested that the board extend contracts for the four psychologists to 191 days for this school year and 196 days for each following school year.

The change would add five days this school year and 10 days for future years, she said, giving school psychologists additional time to complete educational evaluations, write reports, attend case conferences and complete other necessary paperwork.

"Over the last few years, the school psychologists' job responsibilities have increased, as have the director's responsibilities related to administrative and compliance requirements," May said.

Business Manager Jim Coplen said there would be no additional cost to the district for the added days because of retirements.