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  • Antonie Boessenkool

LA special needs students have a school just for them, with a ‘focus on their strengths’

On a recent weekday morning, Ellis Crasnow showed off the “innovation lab” for high school students at the Valley Glen school of STEM³ Academy. It was impressively equipped, with flat-screen computers, 3-D printers, a tall red tool chest and big lab tables. In the corner sat a student team-built robot, capable of hoisting itself up a rope with a winch...The kids that Crasnow is talking about are special needs students. They are autistic, or they have ADHD, high anxiety or depression. They’ve typically struggled in traditional classrooms or been bullied, or they’ve avoided school altogether. They’re also passionate about a topic, whether it’s engineering, science, history or art.

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