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Is anyone here perfectly satisfied with their child's public school education? - Page 2

post #21 of 24

I think being perfectly satisfied with any school choice is unlikely. Unsatisfactory experiences can be had in any school setting and I've read posts here with complaints about all types (public/private, religious/secular, traditional model/Montessori, Waldorf, etc.), and no particular school setting is inherently free of social/academic pressure or labels. Also, sometimes a parent's ideal school/education is not the best fit for their child.


We live in a large, well-regarded district. Ds' first year of K in regular public school wasn't a good one; some of the factors involved were a new school in it's first year, a whip-cracking principle with mediocre people skills known for being sent to start-up or fix schools, and a second career teacher unsuited to K in general and ds in particular. The school patted itself on the back for "not considering ADHD before 2nd or 3rd grade" while scratching their heads over ds who was academically advanced for his age but had significant behavior problems. Even when I began to get a clue about special education law and tried to get him help under Child Find they basically said that there was nothing they could do since he didn't have a speech problem and he was on grade level dizzy.gifheadscratch.gif. So lack of appropriate labels was a detriment there.


After looking for somewhere (anywhere) else to send him I found the charter chain of STEM schools he attends now. This school is small (about 700 K-12) and youngish (about 5yrs.) but ds has had two awesome primary teachers and their special ed program is improving year to year--a school lunch aide at ds' school came to ds' IEP meeting this year (ds has previously had a lot of problems in the lunch room) and showed a greater understanding of ds than anyone at his last school. This school's LSSP essentially told me that this school's SpEd program is learning on ds (with his particular combination of ADHD and Asperger's) but their willingness to try in combination with the small school/we're in this together type atmosphere is working for us so far. Ds' social skills deficits would be a problem for him almost anywhere so we have to pay particular attention to how this is handled at school; I feel more comfortable at this school than at our neighborhood school which is helpful in advocating for him. The socio-economic/racial/religious diversity at this school is a plus--almost everyone stands out as "different" in some way, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any issues. This year my dd (in K) had to work quite a bit on standing up for herself and others; she had a "mean girl" to contend with much of the year but not allowing herself to be treated badly and encouraging others not to accept it either gradually neutralized the "mean" girl's power.

post #22 of 24

My son is 7 and has autism (he is very verbal but does need some accommodations due to sensory and behavior challenges).  I am 100% satisfied with his public school experience.  His teachers are truly caring people who have many years of experience working with children who have special needs.  I went into him starting school expecting to have to fight tooth and nail for all of his rights and needs- hasn't happened- I have actually been blown away by how well they "get" him and how creative they are in anticipating and responding to his needs.  He was learned so much that I honestly was at a loss of how to teach him.  Because of his special needs, he desperately needs all the help he can get learning life skills and basic academics.  I am so thankful he has a right to that through the public school and there are caring people who work with him not because of the meager salary they get, but because they want to help.  He gets occupational therapy, speech therapy, and an aide when he goes into mainstream classes.  He gets to eat lunch in the classroom because he can't handle the lunchroom.  He is happy and loves school.  


I went to public schools my whole life and graduated at the top of my class from a private university.  I learned so much about myself and others from being in the thick of a diverse group of students 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.  

post #23 of 24

I'm thrilled with my kids public school!  I think we are pretty lucky to have had the teachers and support we've gotten.  My oldest is 13 and on the spectrum, highly functioning.  He has been in special ed since K, and the progress he has made has been breathtaking, especially in the last 2 years.  OK, yeah, I'm teary eyed. 


My ds2 is gifted with a learning disability, and the school has gone out of the way to figure out what works for him.  He's so damn smart, but he could not, for the life of him, get his ideas out on paper.  He could tell them to you, act them out, etc, but not get them on paper.  They've provided him with all sorts of technology so that he can shine despite his struggles.


My ds1 is neurotypical, as far as we can tell at this point, and the school has been equally supportive and helpful to him.  He rocks in math, but struggles with reading.  So, he's in a special math group with more challenges and he's in a special reading group with more support. 


The teachers and staff get back to you within a day usually, a couple of days at most.  They have great programs for the kids in and out of school.  And they support the families as a whole.  


So, yes, I'm 100% happy with the public school my kids go to. 


I'm certainly not saying public schools are all created equally.  They are not.  My sister has been a special ed teacher in Baltimore City, and she has horror has horror stories about trying to get services for kids who need it.  It's a lot harder to offer the services when your school is already being hit with major cuts. 

post #24 of 24

perfectly satisfied? NO


dd has been in 2 schools. we changed due to academic needs.


socialy we are happy with both schools. however we prefered the first school as the principal, teacher, parent and student interaction felt like one big happy family. 


dd has been incredibly lucky that she has had memorable teachers every single grade.


academic needs - much to be desired. the teachers try their best. really they do. but they are too overwhelmed. however they work with the parents to have hte best action plan that they can do.


one thing is for sure. in our case i think going to school has been advantageous over homeschool because of funds.


it is NOT EASY being poor and trying to homeschool. dd has gone to incredible field trips - many not open to the public. 

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