Being physically challenged is never a barrier to attaining one’s goal in life if proper education is available to nurture the dream from an early age to adulthood.
Special schools basically serve this purpose to help individuals rise above the barriers to reach their dreamland.
They cater to the needs of student groups such as those that are hearing impaired; have learning difficulties, speech impaired, mentally retarded, visually impaired and other forms of handicap including being blind or deaf.
Special Schools Rising To The Challenge
In South Dakota, there are a number of special schools that are designed to cater to the need of these groups of students up to their adult life.
Both the private sector and the public schools join forces to see to the adequate training of students in this category.
There are currently twelve special public schools and four private special schools in South Dakota that offer such educational privileges to people within the communities.
The four private special schools comprise preschools, elementary schools, and high school categories and cater for about 139 students in South Dakota.
The 12 special public schools in South Dakota serve about 242 students in the communities covering more expansive categories including pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school categories.
The majority of the enrollment in the public special schools is of American Indian roots. There is a 5:1 student to teacher ratio which is far less than the 14;1 South Dakota State average.
For a glance at some of the public special schools, here are a few:
- Transition Advantage-03 High School
- Structured teaching – 12
- Success Academy
- Jefferson Building – 64
- Development Disabilities Program
- Lincoln Building – 44 High school
South Dakota School For The Blind And Visually Impaired
South Dakota School for The Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI) is a special school for the visually impaired and the blind situated in Aberdeen. The school was established in 1900 in Gary but has only been under the control of the South Dakota Board of Regents from 1945.
It is a state-supported special school that caters to meet the training needs of children who have such impairment from childhood up to age 21 years.
It wasn’t until 1925 that the institution was expanded from its initial design of catering to only blind children under the school age to a much higher age limit of 21 years. This consequently provides a twelve years schooling privilege to such student group at the state’s cost.
The South Dakota School for The Blind and Visually Impaired as the most appropriate name for the school was adopted in 1998 to cover all areas it serves to meet students’ needs long after 1961 when it was moved to its current location in Aberdeen.