Pathways Educational Program plans partial move - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pathways Educational Program plans partial move

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – An alternative school serving students with severe emotional disorders or autism in eight area school systems is making some changes next year.

The Pathways Educational Program suffered budget cuts like most schools in the state. So they plan to save some money by splitting up the Thomas County site. Some worry the split may hurt the quality of education.

The Pathways Educational Program serves a vital role in the lives of school age children with severe emotional disorders or autism.

"Pathways is one of only twenty-four programs in the state," says the program's director Jeanene Weir. "And we're just part of the continuum of services for special education. For those kids who are still, despite the services in regular schools, are still needing extra support they come to us."

But due to budget cuts, some of those kids won't be attending the Thomas County site next year.

"Next year we're going to divide the center and we'll have a space over in Thomasville city and right now it's going to be at the high school."

Right now the students are divided according to their age. For instance, only middle school aged kids are in this building. But next year, there won't be that difference.

"It is easier for us to pool classes together," Weir continues. "But at the same time, Thomasville city being so close, they could save on some costs that may be like busing and things like that because the local school systems are responsible for that."

And officials say parents shouldn't worry about the relocation of their child.

"We have a facility, we're gonna have staff who are trained, who know how to deal with these students. We'll have four classes on that site and four classes here. And right now we have two social workers on this site so that'll be divided. So we'll be able to provide equal support to all kids."

And support is exactly what these students need the most to succeed.

Pathways offers short-term support for students to help them get back on track in a regular school setting.

Director Jeanene Weir says moving some students into Thomasville High will actually help in that transition.


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