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Brandon News

Impact Academy in Seffner to educate special-needs students

BY Barbara Routen
Special Correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: March 25, 2014 at 02:17 PM

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SEFFNER – A new private, nonprofit school, Impact Academy, 1301 S. Parsons Ave., is opening for the 2014-2015 school year to serve autistic children and students with other disabilities.

The academy was started by three women, Colette Stibich, administrator, Kathy Gross, principal, and Yvonne First, director of student affairs. They have backgrounds working with children – their own or others – with special needs and know firsthand the challenges, frustrations and joys that can occur during the educational process.

Impact Academy “will have children of all different disabilities ages 5 to 22,” said Stibich, so an individualized education plan will be created for each child. The school is equipped with communication technology for an adaptive curriculum and will provide speech, occupational and behavioral therapies.

What the founders think will work well for children is to have low student-to-teacher ratios, a sensory gym created to educate and stimulate, therapy rooms, a quiet room, hot lunches, school dances, talent shows and plays.

Teachers’ knowledgeable in special education will help children develop living skills and take students on field trips into the community to acquaint them with new places and experiences, they said.

The faculty and staff will encourage frequent communication between home and school and membership in the Parent Teacher Association. The school also will offer before- and after-school care.

An open house will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27, so prospective students and families may learn about the school, meet faculty and staff and visit Impact Academy’s 8,000-square-foot facility.

Assessments for students applying for the upcoming school year, which will begin in August, are being scheduled now. The nonrefundable application fee is $100. Tuition is $11,000 per year and $650 for books. Impact Academy will accept private pay and the McKay Scholarship.

Impact Academy will open for summer camp in June, said Stibich. For details about fees and discounts, visit the school’s website or call (813) 784-8202.

Send news of community interest to Barbara Routen at Neighbors@tampabay.rr.com.

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