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Preschool caters to all abilities

The gym is a critical part of the education program for children with special needs, said Cutting.

The school's reputable special needs program serves children from nine school districts in five counties. The preschool specializes in helping students with autism, but accommodates all special-needs children.

But Schonowe is more than a special-needs school, it's also a popular nursery school in the Rotterdam Community.

Michele Fateto, of Rotterdam, visited the school at its annual open house on Friday, April 25. She said she was thinking of sending her 3-year-old child to nursery school next fall.

"It's a nice place," said Fateto after taking a tour. "I actually know a couple of people that teach here."

County Legislator Angelo Santabarbara, R-Rotterdam, whose daughter Marianna, 5, attends the school, echoed Fateto's sentiments about the Schonowe community.

"I live down the road and this is the neighborhood school," said Santabarbara. "Marianna doesn't go to school until noon, but all morning she asks us if it's time for her to go to school yet."

Santabarbara's wife, Jennifer, said she's made friends with several mothers of Marianna's classmates. She said a group of mothers and children often get together to host play dates.

Santabarbara isn't the only politician who has a child at Schonowe. Santabarbara said Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Amsterdam, sends his young children to the school as well.

"The teachers do a good job here," said Santabarbara, who attended the open house event along with 50 other parents.

"And because of the integrated classrooms, the kids learn from other kids. Maybe someone isn't so good at reading but another kid is. You watch and you learn."

For information on Schonowe Preschool, call 355-0826.""

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