OH Memorial/Reunion -- Information Request Schools & Kids, posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Mountain View, on Aug 18, 2007 at 2:32 am Daniel Mart is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
A fellow Briones classmate and I are making the seemingly impossible attempt at the largest reunion of the OH, spanning from its innagural year in 1969 up to the present day. As a pre-cursor, I am spearheading a memorial to be built at Jauna Briones Elementary School, honoring every PAUSD OH teacher, aide, therapist, etc from 1969 up to the present day (a friend and I are in the design stages). I am dead serious about this, and am going full force ahead now.
If you attended the OH, know info for others who attended/currently attend the OH, and/or have "any" info/photos on past teachers, aides, therapists, administrators, etc, please please please contact me. My e-mail is email@example.com and my AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is milliebroadway ... also, my MySpace is Web Link
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Mountain View, on Aug 19, 2007 at 12:05 pm
The OH Center stands for Orthopedically Handicapped Center ... it opened at Briones school in 1969, and hold the distinction of being the first special education program in California. JLS and Gunn both have OH programs, but the one at Briones is the main one.
Sadly, these days, because of politicians who don't know what they're doing, special ed in this state is a mess and of such poor quality. I do hold hope that it will change, and am not afraid to fight for what is right.
The fact that you don't know about it is yet another sad example of how low special ed has become in this state ... in its best years, the JBOH was very, very well known. The building used to be bustling with activity ... nowadays, there is barely a dozen disabled students.
Posted by Been there, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 24, 2007 at 9:19 am
Daniel, I know your intent is good, but times and expectations are very different now from 1969. Much good has happened since then.
In 1969, school districts didn't pay for special ed at all..nobody did, in fact, except a few non-profit institutions funded by and taught by Catholics and Catholic nuns...there was no federal funding or state funding at all. Special kids were put in institutions or kept isolated at home. So, in fact, it is MUCH better for all the kids now, there is much more available now than then. History is critical
You see fewer disabled kids at Juana OH now than even 20 years ago because
1) a great many kids who were not ALLOWED in the schools at all are now fully integrated, leaving only the severely disabled to be in Special Day Classes, separated from their peers only through sheer inability to integrate.
2) The District has at least 4 elementary school Special Day Classes that I know of ( there may be more) where the severely disabled children go, spread out over the district.
Just an FYI to fight the idea that things are worse now. They aren't. We are just expecting ever more.
Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Mountain View, on Aug 24, 2007 at 10:54 am Daniel Mart is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
One of my best friends from fifth grade, who now lives in Oregon but is moving back here soon, says that the special ed program up there is now like how the OH used to be down here. So, it can be done ... in other states, they have realized the benefits of a program like this. I am extremely shy and would not be who I am today without my experiences in the OH ... the same is true for many other students. One of friends from the OH is now involved in the promotion of the stem cell field and has done some stuff with the Bridge School, and he basically says that people from the school, the Christopher Reeve Foundation (whom he has collaborated with and still knows people) and other supporters ... they do not get along with the politicians; with the government. To say that special ed is put on California's back burner is an understatement; it is virtually ignored by the highest powers-that-be (the people that are in a system that was "initially" put there for the people, ie the public). Programs do not have enough money; they just are not all given enough ... another ripple effect.
I wrote an article in 2003; you can find it by doing a search on sfgate.com ... it is entitled "Don't Deprive Kids of Their Special Class." Read it.
You "are" correct in saying that things are different now ... they are a whole lot worse.