School For Children With Special Needs Closes

The final bell has rung at a Gulfport school for students with special needs. Parents and teachers at Learning Tech Quest say they were told earlier this month that the school will not be in session next year because of financial problems.

When Teresa Purchaser heard that the school in Gulfport was closing, she didn't just have to figure out what to do about her children's education, she was also out of a job. For two years she taught children with learning disabilities like dyslexia, and attention deficit disorder to feel like they too can learn.

"They were slow learners so they got behind," Purchner said "Then they would come to our school and we would catch them back up and they were just so excited just to be brought back up."

The classes were small with fewer than six children. Some former students and parents describe it as a place children could feel good about themselves.

Former teacher Tina Katz said "The fact that it had some similarities to home schooling. It didn't teach to the chronological age of the child but rather to the ability of the child."

Now that Learning Tech Quest has closed Purchner has decided to home school her children ten year old Shelby and seven year old Tyler who has special needs. Purchner says she's gotten calls from several other parents who aren't sure what they'll do or where they children will go. She says there were about 30 students enrolled when Learning Tech Quest closed. We were unable to reach school director Melissa Leyser for comment.

by Danielle Thomas