A junior high special education instructor approached the Oglesby public schools superintendent and school board Wednesday about creating a Special Olympics team.

After an introduction from superintendent Michael Pillion, sixth- through eighth-grade instructor Allison Twardowski and the board discussed the possibility of creating a Special Olympics opportunity for Oglesby students who spend more than 50 percent of the day in special education programming.

She suggested the district start small, hopefully participating in a track and field sectional meet in spring and the summer games on Father's Day weekend at Normal. Middle school students from Washington School as well as students ages 9 and older from Lincoln School also might participate in individual activities includ-ing bocce ball and bowling as well as, possibly, basketball in the fall.

"It all depends on what interest we have," she said.

Board president James Knoblauch asked Twardowski to circulate a survey of the students to determine their interest in various activities and to provide that information to the superintendent before a 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 committee meeting involving board members Bob Etzenbach, Ryan Mickley and Roger Miskell.

Nearly all costs and fees including T-shirts and overnight stays, if necessary, are covered by Starved Rock Area 16 Special Olympics, she said. She said some districts specify that parents, guardians or an adult volun-teer must provide transportation to and from events.

She indicated she could be coach, with help from volunteers who go through background checks.

The Tonica school has had a team for 13 years, and Twardowski said she could get guidance from Tonica as well as Special Olympics' Starved Rock/Area 16 director Cheryl DePaepe.

"I think we should pursue it," school board member Marc Strand said.

Craig Sterrett can be reached at (815) 223-3206 Ext. 135 or ntlocal@newstrib.com.


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