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Fairmont, MN: New center to accommodate kids with social/emotional deficits/autism

Dec 19, 2019, Fairmont [MN] Sentinel: Arise Academy celebrates opening A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Wednesday at Arise Academy, Southern Plains Education Cooperative’s new site in Fairmont. The former Lincoln School was renovated for $10.8 million with funds from five member school districts. The cooperative provides special education and alternative learning programs to Blue Earth Area, Fairmont Area, Granada-Huntley-East Chain School, Martin County West and United South Central. While the majority of students who get services from the co-op receive them in their own district, Arise Academy houses several programs for its 90 students. Sarah Mittelstadt, director of SPEC, discussed them. The Area Learning Center services 30 to 60 students in grades 9-12 at risk of dropping out of high school. Students are able to achieve greater success with smaller class sizes, individualized attention and personalized education. The Bridges program is for students in grades K-12. These students have social and emotional deficits that lead to behavioral issues in a structured classroom setting. The goal of the program is to help students develop skills so they can continue their education in their home district. The PALS program involves half-dozen students who are non-verbal and have autism or similar disabilities…. There are 12 classrooms in the building but also a number of other smaller spaces where students can get away and de-stress or calm down. The walls and floors are in shades of blue and gray, which Mittelstadt says are calming colors….


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