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New Summit School closure leaves special needs students at a loss

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - With school underway, some parents of special needs children are scrambling to find classes for their children.

One Jackson school that catered to children with disabilities won’t be opening its doors in the fall.

According to parents, New Summit School was a beacon of light for their children but because of indictment charges against owners, Nancy and Zach New, their limited options are even fewer.

" I reached out to the them, on which was on yesterday, and they said the school was closed for the fall,” said Angela Gray.

Her son has autism. She planned to send him to New Summit after he stayed home last year during the pandemic. The Jackson resident heard rumors from parents that the school was closing.

The 49-year-old said she repeatedly called the school and could get no answers until Wednesday.

“It’s just hard for kids, and parents rather, to find placement for kids that are on the autism spectrum that’s not expensive. We have no where to send our children,” said Gray.

New Summit School officials have not responded to requests for comment on its status and closure.

New Learning Resources operated the school. Attorney Matthew Thompson represented a group of parents who filed for the appointment of a custodian through the Hinds County Chancery Court to keep the school opened.

Thompson said the assets of New Learning Resources, run by Nancy and Zach New, were frozen when the mother and son were indicted on fraud claims. The custodian found that there wasn’t enough money available to pay teachers and staff.

“That one incident, look how many lives have been changed,” added the frustrated mother.

Meanwhile, Gray said private schools are expensive and pleads with the state to provide more resources for special needs students in public schools.

“Train teachers to teach kids on the autism spectrum, so we have options beside the private sector,” added Gray.

Officials with the State Department of Education said it helps local schools and districts provide effective educational programs to students with disabilities, who need special education and related services.

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