Friday, July 29, 2011

Does The School Fit My Child’s Needs?

According to Cassandra Archie, co-director of Sinergia's Metropolitan Parent Center, it's important for parents of children with special needs to think critically about whether the school fits with their child's needs. To that end, she compiled a checklist of questions to help them make an ongoing assessment. It can be used throughout the year, but she says parents should know and understand some of these items immediately, like in the first month -- for example, regarding philosophy and behavior issues.

  • What is my child’s school philosophy?
  • How is the school guided by that philosophy?
  • How long has the principal been at my child’s school?
  • Does the principal have any teaching experience?
  • What training does a teacher receive for a particular class they are teaching?
  • What types of opportunities are there for integration with non-disabled students?
  • Are there any after-school programs offered? If yes, which ones?
  • How does the school address behavior issues?
As the school year progresses, if it happens that parents need to seek another school, or the district has given them permission and supplied them with a list of alternatives, here's a post we wrote on Changing Schools.

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