Parents rally against closing special needs school

Protest to happen Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale

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FORT LAUDERDALE - Parents are expected to protest the closing of a special needs school.

The rally will be held between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the K.C. Wright Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

It's one of two special needs schools expected to shut its doors at the end of the school year.

Wingate Oaks is expected to shut its doors at the end of the year and last week, parents expressed their anger about the possible closing.

Wingate Oaks is one of six Broward schools that serves children with a variety of needs, from autism to cerebral palsy to unique medical disorders.

Along with Sunset School in Fort Lauderdale, Wingate was chosen by the Broward School district to close due to low enrollment. Both schools serve less than 200 students.

Last week's meeting was held inside Wingate's cafeteria by Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Wingate's principal, and other board members. It was so full it was standing-room-only.

A district spokesperson said the closures are about efficiency and aligning services.

Beginning next school year, students would be funneled to the four remaining special-needs schools instead. Wingate Oaks students would go to Bright Horizons or Quest. Students who attend Sunset would instead to go to Whispering Pines or Cross Creek.

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