I see many young parents stressing over which school would be the best for their child and which district is best. I have answered this question several times, based on 16 years of being a parent.
*There is NO ONE BEST THING that works for ALL our kids. *
There is a reason why we have an *Individualized* education Plan (IEP) which is to ensure the child’s experience is tailored based on their unique needs. Just know that the reason an IEP exists is because there is an achievement gap due to our child’s developmental difference compared to their Neuromajority peers and it is up to the school team to adapt teaching instruction to “bridge this gap”. Never lose sight of this, and do not ever let the conversation gravitate around “deficits or disability”. Pivot to strengths-based, goal oriented strategies. Work collaboratively towards solutions!
Teachers move, Paras move, if they dont move, that could be a problem of stagnating old practices too ! Remember it is “UP to us“ to hold each district accountable and each school site accountable for the educational experience they are preparing for our child. It is NOT their responsibility alone.
Special Education Teachers are NOT necessarily paid higher than Gen Ed teachers when they sometimes have the hardest task of customizing the lesson plan for every child. So, the impetus lies with us to
- push for “standards” in curriculum and teaching practices,
- working collaboratively with the IEP team to come up with age appropriate and competitive goals,
- track and monitor progress and ensure new goals are in place as soon as the child masters the skills.
It is also up to us to advocate for and ensure “childfind” is able to identify ALL areas of support - speech, occupational therapy, Behavior support, Physical therapy, Adapted PE etc. and ensure all those supports with granular goals are in place on our child’s education plan - IEP.