From S.F. Examiner by Amy Crawford:
Two of the 26 students in the fifth-grade class at New Traditions Elementary in the North of Panhandle area have learning disabilities.

Instead of spending their days sequestered in special classes, this year they are part of an effort by the San Francisco Unified School District to keep them with their peers.

“They are part of the classroom,” said New Traditions Principal Maria Luz Agudelo.

In the past, Agudelo said, special-education students would spend most of their time in a separate room with Maskin. That isolation carried a stigma, Agudelo said, and the students missed out on socialization.

This year, teachers report that they are sitting with their peers at lunch and playing with them at recess.

District officials said mainstreaming as many special-education students as possible has long been a goal, but the new approach also is a response to a 2010 audit commissioned by the Board of Education.

6,383: Special-education students in San Francisco Unified School District
11.4: Percentage of special-education students in San Francisco

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