OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Imagine spending hours on the road each day to bring your child to school and back home. That's a drive many parents take Monday through Friday.
One Vancleave family makes the four-hour journey five times a week. They travel to Dynamic Dyslexia Design, also known as the 3-D school, in Petal. It's the only special purpose school in the state that only accepts children with dyslexia, but that could soon change if the school gets approval to set up in Ocean Springs.
Kylar, 8, has made drastic improvements since he started at the 3-D school. His mom, Tamela Johansen, said he always had a high IQ but was reading at a kindergarten level while in the second grade. She said he's made a 180-degree improvement since his days of hating school and barely passing.
"He's very happy. He loves school. He's excited to go to school. He doesn't want to miss school at all. He loves to go. He can read pretty fluently now. He's doing really well. His math skills are excellent," said Johansen.
All four of Johansen's children have dyslexia. Therefore, she understands the importance of early intervention. She said her oldest daughter is now a straight A student.
"At the 3-D school, they call it complete immersion. Every class the child is in is a therapeutic class," she Johansen.
She said the two-hour drive to get to the school also has its drawbacks. She said 12 hours of her and Kylar's day is dedicated to school and driving. That's why she's hoping a school on the coast is forthcoming. The 3-D school is hoping to set up classrooms in the Taconi School in Ocean Springs.
"We gonna find room for this program. It's a wonderful program. It would be wonderful here in Ocean Springs. We have five rooms that are available right now. That's not to say that another entity like the American Legion is gonna come into our Taconi school," said Ocean Springs Alderman John Gill.
School officials said there is a big demand for the school from parents in Slidell and Mobile and opening a school in Ocean Springs would be a good midway point for parents to drive. Gill said the board will discuss the school at its next meeting on Feb. 7. School officials said they need the city to approve a lease agreement soon to begin preparing for an August opening.