Which school should we choose?
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|Thu, 05-21-2009 - 1:13pm|
We are in the process of selecting a school for DS this year when he enters kindergarten. He has been diagnosed with ADD (inattentive type), and is currently receiving speech/language therapy for receptive language issues and is also in a private social skills group because of pragmatic language deficits. We went private because the county stated that his academic skills were within the average range and, thus, did not warrant services. Our intuition was that we needed his language issues addressed as he has a noticeable difficulty finding words and because he has difficulty structuring conversation. He is highly active, very sweet and outgoing, but has a somewhat quirky personality. Socially, he is somewhat immature. DS is more a hands-on learner.
Below are the three options we are considering. We would love any input from parents who have had similar experiences.
(1). Private School with a Progressive Approach – DS is currently at pre-K of this school. We like the campus. We like it is not academically oriented, lots of recess time, the more hands-on learning environment. We are worried, however, about whether DS is capable of the individual direction necessary to thrive in the environment. We are concerned that he is at a disadvantage vis-à-vis other students because of his language issues since this school is more child directed play. DS also need lots of teacher redirection. We don’t know if this school is experienced in encouraging children like our DS. Ok, we are confused about this school. We like the lots of recess time, small class size, hands-on learning environment. But in the pre-K year, we had some difficulties in coming up a plan with the teachers to help DS. Under our suggestion, we are communicating with the teachers through a daily log. We feel the teachers are not giving DS enough help on social skills and programmatic language. DS hasn’t make any friendship with any kids in the last year. We are not sure DS should stay one more year to see how things are going to work out, or should we just leave.
(2). Specialized Private School – We found a school which only admits children who are not quality for special education and don’t seem to fit the mainstream, such kids need extra help on certain areas, like minor sensor disorder, fine motor skill, programmatic language/social delay, etc. They don’t admit children who fall to the autism spectrum. From all that we hear, they are extremely adept at integrating the social/language therapy in the school environment. We also feel the teachers may better understand/appreciate children like our DS and would be better able to boost his self-esteem. Our primary concerns involve only one recess time a day, the small size of the class, and whether he would find enough similar children to make friends. Its facilities are smaller than DS’s current school. The consultant of his social skill group recommend this school. I toured the school. But I didn’t feel the one kindergarten teacher was warm, she seemed a little harsh. The children there don’t seem very energetic and smiling. That’s only 10 minutes tour. I could get a wrong impression.
(3). Public School with IEP or 504 Plan - The teachers would have a lot of experience. Our concern is less recess time and a large class. But we like the neighborhood school feeling, it could be easier to arrange play dates, and easier for DS to meet some kids whom he can click with. We are concerned that the emphasis on academics may take away from our DS addressing his language deficits.
Sorry. It’s long. We look forward to any and all opinions. Thank you!!