Perandoe withdrawal moves ahead

The Columbia Board of Education has announced vacant positions to be filled after the district’s withdrawal from the Perandoe Special Education district.

Once the withdrawal is finalized, the district will need to employ its own personnel to attend to the needs of students who were previously aided and taught by employees of Perandoe.

The current vacancies, as discussed during Thursday’s school board meeting, include two special education teachers, a school psychologist, a part-time occupational therapist, a part-time certified occupational therapist assistant, a half-time deaf and hard-of-hearing teacher, and part-time vision impairment instructor.

The district also has vacancies for a Columbia High School assistant track coach, a CHS part-time assistant track coach, a CHS junior varsity volleyball coach and CHS freshman volleyball coach.

Columbia has been taking steps to withdraw from the Perandoe special education district for several months.

Columbia school superintendent Dr. Gina Segobiano has said in the past that the strongest benefit of the withdrawal is being able to employ and supervise its own special education staff to serve the approximately 70 students from Columbia schools who currently use Perandoe services.

The withdrawal is also expected to save the district money.

Segobiano said at last Thursday’s meeting that Columbia will formally be recognized as a standalone district on July 1.

Columbia received news that member districts unanimously approved the district’s withdrawal, and there would not be a need for a public hearing with the Regional Board of School Trustees.

“It looks like we’re ready to move forward,” school board president Karen Anderson said. “But there’s still a lot of work to do.”

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