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Special ed preschool saved - Brooklyn Paper

Special ed preschool saved

The Brooklyn Heights Montessori School is on the verge of closing a popular pre-school program for special needs kids. Parents are, as you might imagine, angry.
The Brooklyn Paper / Allyse Pulliam

A renowned special education pre-school in Cobble Hill threatened that was facing imminent closure has been saved — albeit temporarily.

Parents were relieved when they heard from Brooklyn Heights Montessori School administrators that the beloved “Little Room” program for 27 3- and 4-year-olds with special needs would stay open through August 2010. In the interim, the school will look for another institution to take over the program, which will not be enrolling any new 3-year-olds next fall.

“I’m absolutely happy that it looks like we can still save this program,” said Kara Bohnenstiel, whose son, Myat Haggart, attends classes in the Little Room. “But there’s concerns about how challenging it will be to keep it going.”

The school, near the corner of Court and Bergen streets, alarmed parents when it revealed that the award-winning special ed program might close this summer because it is incompatible with future plans for the school.

Administrators also said that the special ed program is a financial drain, because state reimbursement rates don’t fully cover the costs of the Montessori School’s approach to the program. The Little Room, for example, caps class size at nine students, while the state would allow 11 students per classroom.

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