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Friday, June 21, 2024

States Warn About Shrub Oak

Jennifer Smith Richards and Jodi S. Cohen at Pro Publica
Two more states are now scrutinizing a New York boarding school for autistic students and have warned school districts about troubling conditions there.

In Connecticut, education officials visited Shrub Oak International School and alerted districts that a state watchdog group determined there were ongoing “serious safety concerns” at the unregulated for-profit private school. Separately, the state’s Department of Developmental Services, which serves residents with intellectual disabilities and autism, has decided to stop sending more students there, an agency spokesperson told ProPublica. That agency described the facility as looking “more akin to a penal institution than an educational campus.

Washington education authorities, meanwhile, visited Shrub Oak this month and warned school districts to contact the state before considering enrolling students there. Officials are reviewing the state’s relationship with the school, officials told ProPublica.

The scrutiny of Shrub Oak comes as a ProPublica investigation published in May documented how parents and workers repeatedly asked New York authorities to investigate their concerns at the school to no avail.