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Scott Center future uncertain; students placed in age appropriate classes

The Scott Center, which provides educational services for severely mentally and physically challenged students in the Oxford School District and surrounding districts, faces an uncertain future.

The center was founded in 1972 as the Lafayette County Developmental Center was later named after C.M. Scott, a parent who had a child there and who led the efforts to get the facility to where it is today.

Superintendent Brian Harvey says that soon students will be taken out of the center and placed into schools with “their age appropriate peers.”

“IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requires that school districts provide educational services to students with disabilities in their least restrictive environment with their age appropriate peers,” Harvey said in an email to the EAGLE last week. “OSD special education teachers over the course of the last few months have been holding IEP (Individualized Education Programs) meetings with parents of students who live within the OSD and have been at the Scott Center.”

Harvey added that services that are required as part of the IEP will continue even if the students’ placement is different.

“We will still have some students who attend the Scott Center and the services that are necessary per the IEP will continue,” the superintendent added. “The Scott Center building’s future could be impacted by the capital improvement discussion as it relates to the location of the new elementary school.”

At the final bond referendum meeting held by the OSD this past Monday, the fate of the center was brought up again. Harvey said that 20 to 25 students have already been placed in classes with their age-appropriate peers.

“The level of service is going to be maintained, that is not going to change,” Harvey said. “However, where we provide the service for some of those children will change.”