Consortium Plans New School

November 09, 2017 07:13 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - The goal is to meet the needs of *all* students.

Now, a group of southern Minnesota schools has proposed a new facility to help do that ... on a site in desperate need of "urban renewal".


“I drove past it and saw an opportunity,” said Denise Kennedy of the Southern Minnesota Education Consortium.

"Our plan for that parcel is to establish a level four program," said the Consortium’s Dan Armagost.

It's the dream of the consortium and it's seven rural school districts that stretch from Spring Valley to Alden.

"When we talk about level four program, those are your students who have such a high level of need that they need to be educated outside of a typical school district” the consortium’s Denise Kennedy. “Typically that kind of program has some mental health services involved in that, kids with severe emotional support, behavioral support, kids who might also have extreme autism might need that support."

“We'll look at having our ALC moved to that site also" Dan Armagost added.

This week, the Mower County board approved the rezoning of the parcel near the junction of I-90 and Highway 56 to help make it happen.

"The central location gives access to all of our districts and all of our students," the consortium’s Dan Armagost said.

"Right now the kids with extremely high needs, we can't serve them in the districts that they're in," Denise Kennedy said.

“So we rely on our larger neighbors to provide that" added the consortium’s, Dan Armagost.

Initial plans call for a facility that would serve mostly high school aged students ... with the potential for future expansion.

"Really, when we look at it it's working together with the seven districts to find out how we would finance something like this" Dan Armagost said.

“I don't see it being a program with high numbers of kids but the kids that are there are going to be the kids that have the highest level of need that we serve” the consortium’s Denise Kennedy added.

“The optimist in me says we could have a school in two years,” Dan Armagost said. “The need that we have is now.”


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