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School board approves changes to early childhood special ed

The Gloucester County School Board gave the green light last Thursday to changes to its early childhood special education (ECSE) programs during its meeting at the T.C. Walker Education Center.

ECSE programs serve children ages two to five with developmental delays. Currently, there are two ECSE classrooms at Botetourt and Abingdon Elementary and one at each of the other three county elementary schools. Each class has a teacher and a teacher assistant to work with the children, who attend daily, with the goal of readying the children for kindergarten.

Each class has 12 children, including eight with disabilities and four who are “typical peers,” or children without developmental delays who serve as role models.

School division special education director Fran Goforth addressed the board with her staff’s proposal to separate the two-year-olds from the three- and four-year-olds, and to relocate some of the programs.

Under the proposal, the ECSE three- and four-year-o...

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