Opinion: D.O. program is a proven ‘gem’

I am writing in support of definitely continuing the Diversified Occupations program at Hannaford Career Center.
I am in total agreement with Peter Ryersbach and Clifford Bell that the D.O. program has been very successful in educating students, involving the community and using appropriate tools to further student success. This program is a “gem.” It has produced many successful, happy, motivated students who are now working and living in our community and are considered a valuable part of it.
I am a retired speech/language pathologist who worked in the D.O. program for eight years and saw firsthand the incredible dedication of the staff and the students working to ensure that they had enough self-esteem to forge ahead with their work and be successful in their lives. Mainstreaming may work with certain students, but others need small, focused classes with integrated learning that are a proven success.
Why change a “gem” that has earned high marks for many years?
Jean Fifield

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