Warrior Center will offer classes for special needs students

The lower lefthand wing of Thompson Middle School will host the Warrior Center for special needs students beginning with the upcoming school year. (Contributed)

The lower lefthand wing of Thompson Middle School will host the Warrior Center for special needs students beginning with the upcoming school year. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Some Alabaster students who currently attend Linda Nolen Learning Center in Pelham will begin attending a similar center in Alabaster starting with the 2014-2015 school year.

The Alabaster School System is working this summer to modify a wing of Thompson Middle School to house the city’s first Warrior Center, which will serve city students with significant special needs.

“It will be great to get them back in Alabaster,” ACS Coordinator of Exceptional Education Dr. Keri Johnson said. “They won’t have to get on a bus for 30 minutes every day, and parents who live in Alabaster won’t have to drive to Pelham to pick up their child.”

The Linda Nolen Learning Center is a Shelby County School System campus serving special needs students from across the county.

Through Alabaster’s separation agreement with the Shelby County School System, some Alabaster students will be allowed to attend LNLC through the 2019-2020 school year, Moseley said.

As a result of the agreement, certain grades of current Alabaster LNLC students will be transferred to Alabaster schools over the next several years.

In the 2015-2016 school year, the transfers will affect kindergarten, first, sixth and seventh grades. In the 2016-2017 school year, the transfers will expand to kindergarten, first, second, sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

The 2017-2018 school year will see the list expand to kindergarten-third and sixth-ninth grades. The 2018-2019 year will expand to kindergarten-fourth and sixth-10th grade, and the 2019-2020 year will include kindergarten-11th grades.

Johnson said although the Warrior Center will be housed at TMS, it will have a separate entrance, and will be only be accessible by Warrior Center students. A partition will separate the Warrior Center from the main TMS hallways, and crews are working this summer to remove lockers from the Warrior Center section of the school.

Warrior Center students will have access to an adaptive playground designed for special needs students, and Johnson said she is working to keep class sizes to six students or fewer at the center.

“We are excited to get our kids home,” Johnson said. “We have had applications pouring in to work there. It’s going to be a great place to be.”