Special ed classes are moving toward inclusion of students with special needs into mainstream classes with the restructuring of special education in elementary schools.

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In Orange, Massachusetts, two elementary schools are transforming into “innovation schools” thanks to a $67,637 grant from the state.  This is a category of the education department which allows increased flexibility.

Currently, the special education program sees students pulled from the classroom for extra help.  Some students are taught in wholly separate classrooms.  Under the new model, all students would be in general education classrooms, and a student support center would be provided for those who need it to work one on one or in pairs with certified special education teachers.

According to district Curriculum Director Roxanne Dorrie, the intent is to close the achievement gap between mainstream students and students with special needs.  Some may need social skills help or life skills or intensive reading support that cannot happen in the classroom. They would receive this help in the student support center.

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