Sudden closure of Carroll Co. Special Learning Center sends parents, teachers scrambling

CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn. — A sudden school closure is leaving students and parents scrambling.

“I was very upset, because this school meant the world to me and my daughter,” parent Jessica Rhodes said.

Rhodes relies on the Carroll County Special Learning Center to care for her 7-year-old daughter, Wyllow.

“She gets speech therapy there, occupational therapy there and the teachers give them one-on-one time,” Rhodes said.

The Tennessee Department of Education made the tough decision to close the center, which provides services for students with disabilities.

Rhodes says she even started a petition on Facebook to keep the school open.

“I got over 800 signatures,” she said.

Director of Carroll County Schools John McAdams says he found out about the state’s decision at the end of May.

“They believe their best placement will be with their peer students in a special school district,” McAdams said.

McAdams says more than 50 students were enrolled at the Special Learning Center last year. Those students will now go to one of the five special school districts in Carroll County.

“It’s very disappointing,” McAdams said. “We feel like a lot of services have really been provided in an excellent manner.”

Now forced to find another school for her daughter, Rhodes says the parents should have more of a say in the decision.

“We want our children to attend this school. This is their safe haven,” Rhodes said.

The director of schools says teachers were notified they were losing their jobs. He says many of them were hired at other school districts in Carroll County.