Fairfax County

The following were among actions taken at the Oct. 29 meeting of the Fairfax County School Board. For more information, call 691-2991.

SPECIAL EDUCATION REPORT -- The board heard a report from its Advisory Committee for Exceptional Children that recommends improving the way the special education staff communicates with parents.

The report followed an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education that in May cleared the county of charges that it does not provide handicapped students with all legally required services. The investigation was triggered by parents' complaints to Virginia's U.S. senators.

The board's advisory group cited recent improvements in education for the system's 18,000 special education students. The system has a new center where parents can get information about special education. The center is issuing a new parents' handbook on special education.

But it reported some parents of special education students believe they can not easily get answers from school officials about their children's education. Others think the preschool program for handicapped children between ages two and five is crowded and its administrative staff overworked.

The report suggested that educators meet with parents sooner after their children's problems are identified. It also urged the school staff to let parents arrange a convenient time for such meetings, instead of telling them when to come.

The report recommended increasing assistance for minority and non-English speaking parents by providing transportation and child care during important meetings and by providing a staff member who speaks the parents' language.

The committee is to report on additional issues at the school board's Nov. 19 meeting.


The board ratified an agreement with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to buy four temporary daycare rooms and establish permanent day care rooms at 32 schools, under a $4.5 million, four-year expansion of the school system's daycare program.

The additional rooms will serve some 1,700 children. The popular before- and after-school program now is used by 2,230 children, with a waiting list of 800.