Lubbock Cooper earning high marks for special education - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock Cooper earning high marks for special education

Denise Zdenek, mother of child with special needs Denise Zdenek, mother of child with special needs

A new report released Thursday reveals one Lubbock school district is making strides in its special education program.

Statistics from National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities show that 56 percent of disabled youth will drop out of high school.

Data from their Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) show the graduation rate for special education statewide is 75 percent.

The same report shows that Lubbock Cooper Independent School District graduated 100 percent of its special education students last school year.

"Our goal here at Lubbock Cooper is to find out what the needs are of these students and to implement programs and to put in special support so that doesn't happen," said Les Lee Hill, director of the special education program.

Denise Zdenek knows all too well the added challenges that come with raising a child with disabilities.

"I have a son who is in 10th grade at Lubbock Cooper High School and he is profoundly deaf," Zdenek said. "Peers were a huge issue for him. In a school where everyone else talks and you don't, you get isolated."

Zdenek says her son, Pierce, was born deaf. But since he has attended Lubbock Cooper schools, she says he has excelled.

"He was attending the School for the Deaf and that was not working out well for him. So I asked for permission to bring him to Lubbock Cooper and he has only made progress, significant progress each year he has been here," Zdenek said.

Hill says the special education program at Lubbock Cooper ISD has a highly qualified staff with specialists in all areas. Plus, three new special education programs implemented this year. Hill and Zdenek are both confident next year's report will be just as promising.

"Lubbock Cooper has been really phenomenal with that. They have included him and he's made a great deal of friends. He has social groups, he is the most social child," Zdenek said.

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