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Pelham Teacher Incorporates Special Needs Students

PELHAM, N.Y. – Janine Laruccia waited with students for 15 minutes outside of Hutchinson Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon while school buses rolled up to pick them up and take them home. The Yorktown resident has taught special needs children for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services since 1989.

Laruccia said her work at the school ensures that special needs children are included in school community activities, including assemblies and art classes.

"It's very satisfying because you're helping kids who would normally be in a more segregated location," Laruccia said.

Laruccia has been teaching for BOCES in Pelham since 1998. She has spent the past five years at Hutchinson Elementary School and previously worked at Prospect Hill Elementary School.

Special needs students come to learn at Hutchinson Elementary School from as far away as Peekskill, Katonah and Ardsley.

Laruccia said the special needs children make steady progress in their work, which brings contentment to all involved.

"When something is difficult and you can achieve it, it's that much more satisfying," Laruccia said.

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