Local School District Making Sure Each Student Succeeds No Matter Their Skill Level

At every school, you'll find that each student is unique.

So schools all around the country are trying different methods to challenge and advance each child at their own level.

15% of students in the Merrill School District have some sort of disability, including disorders like autism, emotional and behavioral disabilities.

That's why the district has a group of parents, teachers, and other specialists dedicated to making sure students get an education that's designed to benefit them.

"We all get together and decide which is the best route in which this student can learn and experience and have education," says Craig Hoffman, the Emotional, Cognitive, and Learning Disabled Specialist for the Merrill School District.

For 15 years, the district has used inclusion, where students with special needs are placed into a regular classroom among their peers.

"I believe all students should have the opportunity to learn and experience as much as possible and the only way they can do that is in a regular classroom," says Hoffman.

But some teachers don't have a background in special education, that's why Dr. Sample works to train them, so they can engage the students as effectively as possible.

"The firm belief is that all students can learn, we no longer have students with disabilities or students without disabilities, we just have students," says Dr. John Sample, the Director of Special Education.

If they don't believe a student will excel in a regular classroom, they'll try other methods like placing them with other students who have the same disability.

No matter what method they use to teach, they say they're seeing results.

"Once they cross that graduation line, it's just a stupendous feeling that yes, they made themselves successful," says Hoffman.

The director of special education says while inclusion is nothing new, more and more school districts are choosing that route.

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