LIMA — The Great Day Academy, which educates children with autism and severe developmental disabilities, and the Marimor School have merged to form the Great Day of the Marimor School.
The school is the result of months of negotiations between the Allen County Developmental Disability Commission and the Allen County Education Service Center (ESC), and is responsible for the wonderful day-to-day finances and education at 2550 Ada’s Marimor. Because of the sharing, it remains a separate organization. road.
Discussions began in March when the ESC searched for a new location for the autism unit, formerly known as the Great Day Academy on Slavtown Road.
The academy did not have a cafeteria on the premises after changing the lunch room to a classroom to accommodate the increasing enrollment. The students were walking in the parking lot for lunch and a break. This was a challenge for students with mobility problems.
Admission to Marimor School, on the other hand, is about having the most intense medical and behavioral needs, as most children with developmental disabilities now attend homeschool districts or other academy schools tailored to their specific needs. It has decreased to 12 students.
“Most children should attend public school,” said Teresa Schnipke, director of the Allen County Developmental Disability Commission. “Most children need to be with their siblings.”
The agency has been offering a joint preschool program since 2009.
Marimor’s Great Day, which is open to children enrolled in kindergarten up to the age of 22, will be run in a similar fashion. The Developmental Disability Commission bears incidental costs such as facilities, maintenance, behavioral support and case management, and ESC is responsible. Educational services. School districts that send children to Marimor’s Great Day do not pay during the pilot year.
Students who previously attended ad hoc autism schools will have access to larger classrooms with handicapped bathrooms and changing rooms. They do not have to walk across the parking lot for lunch or PE classes. Soon, there will be a comprehensive playground just outside the classroom door.
The merger should save the Developmental Disability Commission about $ 1 million annually, as the agency was able to eliminate six education and management positions. Some of them retired or were hired by ESC to continue their education on Great Day. The $ 5.4 million levy received by the Developmental Disability Commission will instead support other costs such as facility costs and operational needs.
The Marimor School was founded by parents of children with developmental disabilities who had few educational opportunities when taxpayers approved the first levy to fund the school in 1977.
However, the Developmental Disability Commission has shifted its resources to support adult day services at Marimor Industries and other Medicaid exemption programs offered by individual group homes, employers and organizations that support people with disabilities. doing. We also hire early intervention specialists to handle infants who are experiencing developmental delay.
“The Medicaid exemption did not exist in 1977,” Schnipke said. What the agency used to support schools for 100 children is now helping adults in group homes as their parents grow older, Schnipke said.
Teachers prepared the classroom on Wednesday at Great Day in Marimor, a new partnership between the Allen County Developmental Disability Commission and the Allen County Education Service Center.
Great day at Marimor School
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