Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Miriam Announces Site for New High School for Students with Disabilities

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Miriam Announces Site for New High School for Students with Disabilities

Article excerpt

A private high school for children with learning disabilities will open this fall inside Parkway United Church of Christ in Des Peres until a more permanent site is found for expansion.

The Miriam School, which serves learning-disabled students in elementary and middle school with average intelligence or above, announced last week that it is leasing and renovating part of the church's education space for its first class of ninth-graders this fall.

Miriam Academy will be the first private nondenominational high school for children with learning disabilities in the area. It will start with 10 freshmen in August , adding one grade level a year. Eventually, officials hope for 100 students.

School leaders say the high school will fulfill an unmet need in the St. Louis area.

"It gives the St. Louis community another option," said Andrew Thorp, Miriam's executive director. "Some kids do like a bigger environment, and they're ready for large classrooms. This is for kids who continue to need that individualized support."

The high school will be a continuation of the Miriam School, an elementary and middle school in Webster Groves .

At the high school, staff will tailor each student's experience based on what they want to do after graduation, whether to attend college or begin a career.

The school will be aimed for students with average to above- average intelligence with challenges in language, reading, math, sensory and social skill development.

It's this kind of atmosphere Amy Cordes wanted for her son, Sam, as he entered high school. Sam has autism and attended Miriam School in Webster Groves for four and a half years, recently completing eighth grade. Miriam met his sensory and physical needs, Cordes said.

Before Miriam announced its plans for a high school, Cordes and her husband were anxious that there was no area school with the services Sam had received at Miriam. …

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