A Waterloo school serving special needs students will soon be closing. For more than 20 years, Area Education Agency 267's been providing special education at Castle Hill School but that will change at the end of this school year.
AEA 267 and Waterloo Schools say they're committed to keeping the same quality of education, it'll just be provided in other locations.
The Waterloo district says changes at the federal level and budget constraints are forcing the district to close Castle Hill at the end of this school year. The district will take over providing special education services for Waterloo students at other local elementary and preschools. Students in surrounding districts attending Castle Hill will likely be served by Bremwood School in Waverly.
"Waterloo's made a determination that is' more cost effective for them to take their students back into their programs. Since 1990, they've built all new elementaries. They have beautiful facilities. So they feel like they can best educate their students back in their own environment. So if they take their students back, it wouldn't be cost effective to run the program for just what would be less than half the students already there," said Dr. Roark Horn, AEA 267 Chief Administrator.
In fact of the 112 total students AEA serves at Castle Hill and other Waterloo locations, Just 26 students are not from Waterloo Community Schools.
Staff at Castle Hill are AEA 267 employees. Many of them will likely be retained for special ed programs with Waterloo Community Schools. Others may transfer to other AEA sites.
The Waterloo School district is still deciding what will happen to the Castle Hill School building after it closes.
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