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Fairfield, OH: Special needs school to expand to include middle school along with high school

Aug. 26, 2019, Cincinnati Enquirer: Fairfield schools make room for middle schoolers with academy expansion https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/08/26/fairfield-schools-make-room-middle-schoolers-academy-expansion/2119685001/ School officials here are working on a plan that would expand the Fairfield Academy to include middle school students within a year. But to do that, the district’s storage space in the building would have to be renovated and converted into space for the 30 middle school students the Academy would enroll in the 2020-2021 school year. “We are going to use the same layout or a very similar layout to what we have (for the high school students) because we know that we’ve experienced success there,’’ said Joe Penney, the Fairfield Schools’ business director. “It’s a welcoming educational environment.” The Academy opened in 2013 to serve students in grades 9-12 who need a different learning setting other than the large freshman or senior high schools…. “This is something I’ve been thinking about for many years. I’m so proud of the Academy. We try to meet kids where they are.” Typically there are about 100-115 students enrolled with a maximum of 120, Smith said. The expansion would add 30 students – 15 from Crossroads and 15 from Creekside middle schools. … Middle school students will have a full school day at the Academy. They would have lunch and take elective classes at the nearby Crossroads Middle School…. The Academy opened in 2013 to serve students in grades 9-12 that prefer a different learning setting or didn’t do well at the freshman or senior high schools. Since then about 500 students have gone through the program, with 215 graduates, Jamison said. … Students have access to mental health, social, and emotional support, community resources, an intervention specialist and other community resources, said Mandy Aug, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction…. “Research shows early intervention and support can yield greater long-term social and academic success for students,’’ Aug said. “We believe we can have that same success for students in grades 6-8.”…