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District Seeks To Improve Special Education Services

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By Jessica Gould

A new center in the district aims to improve special education by matching children with the services they need. Child development specialists say that by age three, most children are able to tell a story, throw a ball or ride a tricycle. But what if they don't? D.C. Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee says it's important to catch developmental delays early.

"If we can identify children before they enter into kindergarten and begin to provide them with the services they need, oftentimes their transition into kindergarten and school can be easier," says Rhee.

For years, the school system has struggled to assist special education students. But with the opening of the new Early Stages Center in northwest D.C., Rhee says things will be better.

At Early Stages, children are evaluated on their cognitive, physical and social abilities free of charge. Rhee says the tests will help experts identify the assistance each child needs to succeed.

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