Twenty-eight new students with educationally-related disabilities joined the Tallmadge City School District this fall, reports Rebecca Furbay, the district's director of student services. This trend has had "a huge impact" on the way the school district services students with disabilities, she told members of the Tallmadge Board of Education Sept. 21.

"We had some students come to us at a very young age that have some pretty significant needs," Furbay said, a situation which has prevented them from being serviced effectively in the general education classroom. For that reason, a multiple disabilities resource classroom has been added at Dunbar Primary School, 731 Dunbar Road. Such students now have the opportunity to move between a general education classroom with their peers and a smaller environment with intervention specialists targeting their particular needs, Furbay said.

Several youngsters who enrolled in the district this fall had no preschool experience and had undiagnosed special needs, according to Furbay. She said district officials are focusing on meeting those needs, while being fiscally responsible and not adding any staff.

Food service agreement

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Tallmadge Board of Education approved a food service agreement between Akron Summit Community Action Inc. and the Tallmadge City Schools for the 2016-17 school year. Steve Wood, the district's chief operating officer, said breakfast, lunch and a snack will be provided for 156 youngsters enrolled in the Head Start early intervention program which operates inside the former David Bacon building, on Strecker Drive off Southeast Avenue

The move will more than double sales from the high school cafeteria, Wood said. He explained district officials try to break even on food service at all the buildings and having additional revenue without adding significant cost is a boon. "The math works very beneficially for the district," according to Wood.

Tallmadge Superintendent Jeff Ferguson said there has been a movement throughout Summit County to ensure children have access to high quality preschool, like Head Start.


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