Special education students in Northumberland to be integrated into general school population

Megan Schiffres

by Megan Schiffres

LOTTSBURG—Special education students with intensive support needs in Northumberland County will be integrated into the district’s general population beginning next academic year.

“We are excited about this opportunity and plan to expand inclusive instructional models, implement best practices and increase opportunities for work and life skill development,” said director of special education Adam Letizia.

These students were previously educated at a regional program which also serves Richmond and Lancaster counties called the Northern Neck Regional Special Education Program in Richmond County.

Last year 14.5% of Northumberland students had a disability, according to the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) School Quality Report. The same report showed an achievement gap at the middle school for students with disabilities compared to the rest of the student population in both English and math assessments. Only 40% of students with disabilities passed or showed significant growth in English at the middle school that year, and only 60% passed or showed significant growth in math.

Despite the achievement gap, Northumberland schools have performed better than average on VDOE indicators related to special education. According to the VDOE’s 2017 Special Education Performance Report on the district, Northumberland scored above the state average for its …

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