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Tupelo, MS: "SPED population has grown"; gen ed/SPED students share expectation

June 16, 2019, Tupelo (MS) Daily Journal: INCREASING INCLUSION As special education population has grown, so has incorporation in regular classrooms Jack Martin, 12, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age three and was non-verbal until he was five years old. When he entered school, he started out in a self-contained special education classroom, later spending about half the school day in a regular classroom.
Jack now spends approximately 80 percent of his time in regular classrooms. His mother, Lisa, said the Martin family has been fortunate Jack is now well-adjusted in a regular classroom, and his special education teachers and an assistant teacher have provided the right support for his inclusion in a regular class. … Special education is a growing demographic in schools across the nation, and these students are spending more time than ever before in regular classrooms. Nearby southern states Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas have the highest growth rates of this demographic. In Mississippi, the group has seen a modest but steady growth rate over the last four years. … Districts are changing their philosophies on special education, emphasizing inclusion more than ever. … Savannah Tucker is a special education teacher at King Early Childhood Education Center in Tupelo. Tucker said expectations for general education students and students with special needs are more similar than ever before. Tucker said it has been beneficial to have administrative leadership that supports an environment where all students get the same school experiences. …


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