UPDATED: Federal changes will impact Waterloo special education - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATED: Federal changes will impact Waterloo special education

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Funding changes are creating a change to the way special education services are delivered through the Waterloo Community School District.  Previously, the district has collaborated with the Area Education Agency (AEA 267) for programming at Castle Hill School in Waterloo.  But because of the funding changes, the district will now take over services provided at Castle Hill, effective following the current school year.

Students attending the program from Waterloo Community School District will be served by the district's preschool and elementary programs while students from surrounding districts who have traditionally attended the school will have the option of being served as part of the AEA 267 Bremwood School program in Waverly.  This means Castle Hill School will be closing.

"We have reached this decision collaboratively after a great deal of thought and consideration about how best to serve the students who attend this program," said Dr. Gary Norris, Waterloo Community School District superintendent. "While the AEA has done a tremendous job for many years operating the program, together we knew that changes needed to be made given the circumstances."

Castle Hill staff members are working to ensure that despite the planned change, students and families experience no change in the quality of programming throughout the remainder of the year. Parents will be invited to spring meetings with staff to discuss the transition plan for next year.

"We have a long history of collaboration with the Waterloo Community School District and we will work side-by-side with them to ensure that all students continue to receive the highest quality education," said Dr. Roark Horn, AEA 267 Chief Administrator.

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