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Maine: Program to deal with students with severe behavioral issues expanding

May 29, 2018, Maine Times Record: Special education program moving A regional special education program in Bath will be moving to Wiscasset this summer, where it will continue to serve students who need more help than existing programs are providing. Last year, the Maine Department of Education granted Regional School Unit 1 and three other nearby school districts a grant to create a regional education program as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage regionalization. The four districts used the $518,000 grant to create the Sheepscot Regional Education Program, a day-treatment option for high school students who require out-of-district placement or otherwise need more intensive services than currently provided in the school districts. … The program serves high school age students dealing with a variety of issues that make staying in the classroom difficult. “The kids that end up getting referred here have a mental health diagnosis,” said Lourie. “They have an (individualized educational program), and they’ve exhausted less restrictive interventions. This is really kind of a last stop before kids get sent out. “All kids have individualized programming because they’re all in different places academically,” she added. “And there are also kids who have significant trauma and, secondarily, they have significant anxiety disorders, significant behaviors. Most come from a pretty difficult situation. We have homeless kids.”… ... Many of the students are diagnosed with obstinate defiance and other issues, which can manifest as swearing, yelling or other disturbances. They exhibit a number of behaviors that would be disruptive for the traditional classroom…. “We can go 10-12 students, but we need more ed techs,” said Lourie. “I have close to 20 (students on a waitlist), and that’s not all that could be on that list either. These are the top five from each district.”…

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