Group of mothers advocate for special needs school in Horry County

Group of mothers hopes to turn old Socastee Elementary School into a special needs school....
Group of mothers hopes to turn old Socastee Elementary School into a special needs school. (Source: WMBF News)(WMBF)
Updated: Jan. 2, 2019 at 5:24 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A group of Horry County mothers is fighting for more education options in the district for children with special needs.

Summer Watts’ daughter is one of 6,459 children with special needs in Horry County.

Watts and other mothers are in the process of launching a nonprofit to secure a grant that would help start a school for special needs students.

She said one of the major roadblocks to securing funding is a lack of a concrete plan, including a facility. They believe the now-empty Socastee Elementary School would be the perfect place, and hope it could be turned into a special needs school rather than potentially being demolished.

According to Watts, the building is set to be torn down, which could cost over $600,000.

The group of moms said the county needs a school that focuses just on special needs children so they can learn and excel at their own pace.

“There’s a big issue with their work. It’s not tailored to each individual child. You might have two kids in the same classroom - one that can’t hold a pen, doesn’t know how to talk or communicate - and the other one that knows how to do their ABCs and 123s, and they’re trying to teach these kids at the same time, so it’s not fair,” said Watts.

Watts added the closest special needs schools right now are in Charleston and Greenville.

The group plans to present their plan at an upcoming school board meeting.

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