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#1 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5yr daughter recently started kindergarten and she has been adjusting fairly well. This is her first time ever being in a school setting. At my daughter's school, the teacher's are not allowed to help the students in the bathroom, and I completely understand that. Last week my daughter came home in tears because her teacher wouldn't help her un-do her button on her uniform pants and my daughter had an accident. She had to sit in her soiled clothing in the nurse's office until her Dad picked her up. I explained to the teacher on the first day of school that my child would need some assistance to negotiate buttons on her uniform bottoms and she assured me that she would help her, but she could not go inside the bathroom with her and that was very understandable. My daughter doesn't need help with wiping herself, she just has a issue with buttons because she can't dependably do it every time by herself (she has low hand strength in her right hand). Today I received a call at work from the nurse stating that my daughter had soiled herself again (this is the second time), so my sister went to pick her up. Prior to my sister picking her up from school, the principle was waiting in the health suite too. She told my sister that the next time my daughter has an accident in school, someone from home will have to come to the school and clean it up?!?!?! (are you kidding me). My sister also told me that my daughters shoe was off, and as she was helping my daughter with her shoe, the principle snapped and said "Let her do it herself !" as my sister continued to help. I'm so upset. When I got off of work, my little sweet baby ran up to me and wrapped her arms around my neck and asked me was I going to be mad at her....I said "No way cookie lips, mad at you for what?" and she told me that her teacher said I would be mad at her because she wet herself again. I bursted out in tears because I have NEVER reprimanded my daughter for having an accident, nor do I make her feel ashamed of herself because she had one.....I don't know what type of things these people are putting in my childs head. I feel like they are causing confusion by making her think that she's going to be in trouble because she soiled herself. I feel so helpless when it comes to dealing with this school. They even asked for all the students in my childs class to bring an extra change of clothes just in case of an accident, but was the point in sending them if they aren't going to use them??? I'm so fricking pissed off and I feel like it's all my fault. Does anyone know any good websites that I could order pull-on uniform pants/bottoms???  

 

Thanks in advance,

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#2 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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I take this is not a public school?

 

I would be out ASAP and demanding a refund--threaten a law suite for emotional damages--that way you will get your refund!!!!!!!!! Raise hell over this--------yuck!!!!!!!!!


 

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#3 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter attends a charter school, and I'm thinking about removing her.

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#4 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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for your own sake- contact your ped and get a paper written up about your daughter hand- file it with the school or what ever school you go with--maybe get qualified for help that way??? at least make it be documented and in her file----(in the future remove the button and use velcro)

 

I'm sure they will deny what your sister was told about the clean up and make excuse after excuse.

 

I would call the peds office first and the next call would be to the principle to set up an apt and the third to the school district (have a feeling you will get no where at the school)-I wouldn't even bother with the teacher (did she bother to even contact you at this point??) and last call to find another school

 

good luck


 

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#5 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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If you are in the US, I would look into getting her a 504 plan.  Because really, it would take an adult 2 seconds to undo a button and she could skip off and take care of things.  Even if she had to go to the office (if for whatever reason the teacher can't do it).  In the mean time I would take off the buttons, sew them to the front of her pants and put velcro on for the closure.

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#6 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I take this is not a public school?

 

I would be out ASAP and demanding a refund--threaten a law suite for emotional damages--that way you will get your refund!!!!!!!!! Raise hell over this--------yuck!!!!!!!!!



A law suit?  On what grounds??

 

Honestly, I kind of understand where they are coming from.  In a kindergarten class, if everyone is having accidents, that's going to greatly disrupt the teaching environment.  I also understand why they would want a parent to clean up the mess after it has happened repeatedly.

 

Can you help your daughter learn how to pull down her pants without unbuttoning them?  

 

Clearly if you don't feel the school is a good fit, then look elsewhere, and I agree that the principal was out of line, but it is not unreasonable to expect a child of that age to be able to not need assistance with the bathroom, and it is a requirement in any school district I've ever known of (and many preschools as well).


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#7 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

Clearly if you don't feel the school is a good fit, then look elsewhere, and I agree that the principal was out of line, but it is not unreasonable to expect a child of that age to be able to not need assistance with the bathroom, and it is a requirement in any school district I've ever known of (and many preschools as well).


I've known kids that age who need help with buttons, buckles, etc. I think that part of the problem is that the school has a uniform. If there were no uniform, then the mom could dress her in clothes that were easier to navigate.

 

Although I'm a big fan of 504 Plans (one of my DDs had one when she attended public school) I think asking for one at a charter for bathroom issues is a touchy subject. The charters here can easily decide which kids they want and which ones they don't. And difficulty accommodating a SN child is part of that. Even though it is a very minor accommodation, it's a BATHROOM accommodation.

 

I like the suggestion up stream to take all the buttons off and sew on velco. It's practical. It should solve the problem.

 

I would demand a conference with the teacher and possible with the principal about how they talk to my child and to adults. I might do that  before allowing my child to return to school. I think saying "your mom will be mad at you" to a child about any subject is highly inappropriate. I also think that the principal barking directions at the aunt who was there to pick up the child was highly inappropriate.

 

I suspect that there are ways around the pants/bathroom issue. However, if this reflects the discipline style and attitude of the school, I would not want my child to attend there.


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#8 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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A law suit?  On what grounds??

had this been private you would be facing loss of entrance fee and tuition, cost of uniforms, material fees, etc. and most would not willing give that back - when even threatened they reverse very quickly and refund with no question asked-most would not want the negative fall out

 

there was no way to know for sure based on what the OP posted in her 1 st post

 

I would file a complaint with the district since this is public


 

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  I also understand why they would want a parent to clean up the mess after it has happened repeatedly.

 

 

this is not even allowed in the public schools in my state---there simply is no way a parent would be put in the position and I highly doubt a private school would ever allow it either--that's called liability in this state

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#10 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MotherOfOne77 View Post

My daughter attends a charter school, and I'm thinking about removing her.



If you can change schools I would highly recommend it. I wouldn't want my children in a school like what you described. My dd is in kindie this year too and I'd be livid if her school did what your dd's school is doing. It does not sound like a positive learning environment and reading your post makes me sad for your dd. :(

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#11 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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OP that sounds awful.  :(  I would be looking for a new school.


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#12 of 26 Old 10-04-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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Here's the deal with charter schools: They combine, sometimes, the worst of public and the worst of private schools. They don't have to abide by the rules for public school (where no child would be able to be thrown out for not being able to unbutton her pants), and they're sometimes looking for reasons to get rid of children who are likely to bring scores down. If they see your daughter as 'developmentally behind' (because she can't undo her pants, assuming that she's also going to be intellectually challenged), they might be pushing to get her out. Or they may want a spot for someone else, but can't say that. Now, obviously, I've made a lot of surmises here, but it's one reason I'm quite lukewarm about charter schools. They're just not equipped to deal with kids who might need a little more help. A standard public school might be able to refer her for some occupational therapy for her hands.

 

I would:

1. Schedule a meeting with the principal and the teacher ASAP. Explain to them the difficulty your daughter has with buttons, which is due to the weakness in her hand. Ask them what plan they have for helping her with this. (Is it possible she's not asking for help because she's embarrassed?) Could they modify the uniform policy and let her wear pants with an elastic waist. (There are uniform pants/twill pants with an elastic waist.) Or do the velcro thing someone suggested.

 

2. Ask for a letter from her doctor, and bring that to the principal.

 

3. Start looking for a school that's a better fit.

 

 


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#13 of 26 Old 10-05-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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I would definitely get a letter from your ped and then schedule a conference with teacher and principal to resolve the issue and make sure that everyone understands this is a medical issue, not just "an accident".  And to request they not put words in your mouth (e.g. telling your daughter you would be mad).  Get the modification that she will get help when requested (outside of the bathroom) in writing and make sure it is filed with the office. 

 

As a practical matter though, you may also want to find some better uniform options for her.  Depending on what the actual uniform code is, Lands End has elastic waist/pull on pants that have a fake button and fly on the front which might be idea.  They also have a knit pull-on skort.  If there is a dress or jumper option -- maybe that and a pair of bike shorts underneath would be easier for her?  Or snaps rather than a button (that might be easier for her to do.)  Many of us here have dealt with uniform issues, so if you post what the code is and what restrictions there are (e.g. if it snows then you might not want a skirt!)and I'll bet we could come up with lots of suggestions.

 

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#14 of 26 Old 10-05-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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I think you need to call or e-mail the principal to let him know the diagnosis your dd has, the discussion you had with the teacher before she started, and your concern about the treatment she has received because of her disability, and ask if they can accommodate her or not.  E-mail may be the better way to do this because he can't interrupt you if you e-mail.  I see no reason why the teacher can't reach down and help her with her button while she is in the classroom so she can go use the bathroom.  I think you should clarify with the principal that you are not asking for someone to go stand outside the bathroom with her, you are just asking that someone step in to help her unbutton and rebutton her pants quickly while she is in the classroom and that she can hold her pants up on the way down the hall.  I also think you need to touch basis with the teacher to see if your dd is waiting until the last minute before getting help and going to the bathroom or if the teacher is now unwilling to help her.  If your dd needs extra help she also needs to get in the habit of not waiting until she really has to use the bathroom before getting help because the teacher can't always turn her attention from the other students right away.  Some states don't require charter schools to accommodate students with disabilities so you may have to go to a different charter school or enter the public school system and get a 504. 

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#15 of 26 Old 10-05-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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As far as the uniform issue, I get that teachers cant help all students with buttons etc.  So pull on options would be good.  I know Gymboree has a uniform legging pants as does lands end.  Skirts with bike shorts can also be an option for warm weather.  

 

 

As far as attitude of the school, that is UNBELIEVABLE!!!  They could have said, "I think your DD needs an easier uniform option until she can manage buttons. "  Wow, wasn't that easy.  Instead of that bull they fed your daughter and her aunt. Its not your fault.  Every kid has an accident or two or three and they should never be made to feel bad.  I even know 2nd graders that have had accidents because they got busy playing, and they were not made to feel ashamed.   huggs mama.  I am sosorry you had to go thru this. 

 

 

PS we are at a charter and I would be livid if they pulled something like that. The nurse has so many sets of extra clothes for the kids.  They are sent home with their wet clothes in a plastic bag and you bring the schools back to them later in the week.  The school doesn't even call.  They just figure it happens to everyone at one time or another. 


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#16 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Although I'm a big fan of 504 Plans (one of my DDs had one when she attended public school) I think asking for one at a charter for bathroom issues is a touchy subject. The charters here can easily decide which kids they want and which ones they don't. And difficulty accommodating a SN child is part of that. Even though it is a very minor accommodation, it's a BATHROOM accommodation.

 

I like the suggestion up stream to take all the buttons off and sew on velco. It's practical. It should solve the problem.


I don't see a problem.

 

I would put in a written request for a 504 meeting immediately.

 

Charter schools are public schools and are subject to IDEA and the ADA.  When ds was reaching the end of the discipline trail last year at his charter I did a lot of research into how his school could and could not handle it; in Texas they cannot easily decide who they want/don't want (a few years ago our charter actually had a former principle fired for "inviting" a couple of students that were under-performing on the state testing to leave), though any school can trample on your rights if you don't know and understand them. Our charter school has handled ds' issues much better than his former "regular" public school (with a similar principle though different special needs) and seems much more aware and on top of special needs issues/law/accommodations.

 

 

State Charter Law ... - National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

 

Quote:

CEC | Public Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities

Although public charter schools are afforded some level of exemption from state or local laws or requirements, they must conform to all federal laws and regulations including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A charter school is prohibited by law from discriminating in admissions and must accept every student who applies or hold a lottery if there are more applicants than the school can accommodate.

 

 

Under IDEA/IEP, if your child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, your child is entitled to an education that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which your child receives educational benefit.

 

A 504 is helping your child get the same education that everyone else is getting--more for a student that needs accommodations to help them learn (like sitting next to the teacher) or for behavior, and that they are not punished for things that they cannot control due to the ADHD (like needing to work standing up or not sit inside a group).

[A IEP or 504 is not an escalation or punishments for the teacher/school. It's more about getting all appropriate parties involved and on the same page. The student, parent/legal guardian, teachers, principals, Pupil Services administrators, support staff (i.e. nurse, counselor, psychologist, language/speech pathologist) as well as the student's physician or therapist may be involved in the placement process including the 504 meeting.]

 

Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA.

 

(http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.summ.rights.htm)

 

Key Differences Between Section 504 and IDEA

(http://www.wrightslaw.com/howey/504.idea.htm)


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#17 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 

Charter schools are public schools and are subject to IDEA and the ADA.  When ds was reaching the end of the discipline trail last year at his charter I did a lot of research into how his school could and could not handle it; in Texas they cannot easily decide who they want/don't want (a few years ago our charter actually had a former principle fired for "inviting" a couple of students that were under-performing on the state testing to leave), though any school can trample on your rights if you don't know and understand them.


I'm sure it varies with where you live. Where we live, charters aren't a good option for kids with special needs -- at all. They are all about test scores and high performance and they have wait lists. Any child than needs anything extra will be run out, and our court system isn't helpful about this. It would literally have to be federal case. I do understand the federal laws, but I live in a state that THRIVES on ignoring the federal government on a variety of issues.

 

Seems a lot easier to just get the kid some pants she can get off and on by herself. winky.gif


I'm all for fighting for our kids, but fight smart! Buy new pants and pay for rush shipping!


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#18 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'm sure it varies with where you live. Where we live, charters aren't a good option for kids with special needs -- at all. They are all about test scores and high performance and they have wait lists. Any child than needs anything extra will be run out, and our court system isn't helpful about this. It would literally have to be federal case. I do understand the federal laws, but I live in a state that THRIVES on ignoring the federal government on a variety of issues.

 

Seems a lot easier to just get the kid some pants she can get off and on by herself. winky.gif

I'm all for fighting for our kids, but fight smart! Buy new pants and pay for rush shipping!


I agree.  If you love everything else about this school maybe bite your tongue and wait and watch.  If this incident is not isolated, I may look for another school. I would keep an eye out for how everything else is.  I would probably tell the Principal the changes I made, and that while I understand fostering independence I did not appreciate the unprofessional way the situation was handled.  This could cause backlash, but I probably could not keep my mouth shut. 

 

Tell us how it goes.   
 

 


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#19 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'm sure it varies with where you live. Where we live, charters aren't a good option for kids with special needs -- at all. They are all about test scores and high performance and they have wait lists. Any child than needs anything extra will be run out, and our court system isn't helpful about this. It would literally have to be federal case. I do understand the federal laws, but I live in a state that THRIVES on ignoring the federal government on a variety of issues.

 

Seems a lot easier to just get the kid some pants she can get off and on by herself. winky.gif

I'm all for fighting for our kids, but fight smart! Buy new pants and pay for rush shipping!


Our charter sells that too (the scores, performance, and has a wait list) but, the charter chain is controversial in our state and the school had that issue with the former principle so that may be why they are so "well-behaved" now. I don't think the principle/score thing ended up in court, I think the parents just complained to the state. I appreciate that getting a school to follow laws regarding special needs can be a huge fight that a parent may not to wage, but sometimes a school's attitude changes when faced with a knowledgeable parent who stands up to them.

 

I would alter the pants and pursue a 504 -- she may still need it for a uniform accommodation if the pants don't fit the code and I would spell out how any future accidents would be handled.

 


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#20 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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I would definitely get a letter from your ped and then schedule a conference with teacher and principal to resolve the issue and make sure that everyone understands this is a medical issue, not just "an accident".  And to request they not put words in your mouth (e.g. telling your daughter you would be mad).  Get the modification that she will get help when requested (outside of the bathroom) in writing and make sure it is filed with the office. 

 

As a practical matter though, you may also want to find some better uniform options for her.  Depending on what the actual uniform code is, Lands End has elastic waist/pull on pants that have a fake button and fly on the front which might be idea.  They also have a knit pull-on skort.  If there is a dress or jumper option -- maybe that and a pair of bike shorts underneath would be easier for her?  Or snaps rather than a button (that might be easier for her to do.)  Many of us here have dealt with uniform issues, so if you post what the code is and what restrictions there are (e.g. if it snows then you might not want a skirt!)and I'll bet we could come up with lots of suggestions.

 



thumb.gif

 

In addition, I would detail the entire situation--the incidents, what they'd told you beforehand about helping her, their comments after the incidents, everything else that's relevant--in a letter.  Send the letter to them and request a meeting with the principal and the teacher involved to discuss your concerns.  Also bring the letter from your pediatrician that explains your daughter's difficulties.  IMO, the way they handled this situation is deplorable.  I would be outraged if I were you, and they need to answer for what they've done as well as reassure you that, if this happens again, they will deal with it much more appropriately.

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#21 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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the suggestions have all been great that you are getting but I would not give them a 3rd change at this----to think that the principle has nothing better to do than to be waiting for your sister------that blows my mind----this is a kindy student and the principle has to wait & be rude to your sister-given that, I would not trust the education is forefront at this school--this is simply uncalled for and awful 

 

accidents happen at not just the K grade- and this is how they address it?

 

I don't know how your state is running charter schools but mine has closed down some (for various reasons) I would make sure a complaint in on file in the event this happens to another student 


 

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#22 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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My daughter also has low hand strength.  She can manipulate buttons, but not on herself.  I had a thread this summer where I was looking for pull on pants so if you search under my old posts, you should find it.  My favorite so far is a pull on skirt from Land's End - it's a heavy knit with shorts built in.  She can wear tights or leggins under it in the winter (it doesn't get very cold here).  There are also pull on pants and shorts at amazon and I think LL Bean as well.

 

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#23 of 26 Old 10-06-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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-to think that the principle has nothing better to do than to be waiting for your sister------that blows my mind----this is a kindy student and the principle has to wait & be rude to your sister-given that, I would not trust the education is forefront at this school--this is simply uncalled for and awful 

 


I agree with this. There are ways around the pants issues, but I would have issues trusting them with my child again because they sound like loons.

 

Unless you love, love, love everything else about this school, you might want to look at your other options, including regular public schools. One of my friends just wasted 3 years of her and her DD's life screwing around with charter schools. This year she finally gave up and enrolled her DD in regular public school and they are finally having a good year where her DD is treated like an individual. (Her DD has very, very mild special needs and needs to be in pullouts a couple of times a week).

 

Different things work for different kids, but from what I've seen, the assumption that charters are better than regular schools is unfounded.

 

(I'm sure there are so wonderful charters that work great for some kids)


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#24 of 26 Old 10-07-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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I agree with this. There are ways around the pants issues, but I would have issues trusting them with my child again because they sound like loons.

 

Unless you love, love, love everything else about this school, you might want to look at your other options, including regular public schools. One of my friends just wasted 3 years of her and her DD's life screwing around with charter schools. This year she finally gave up and enrolled her DD in regular public school and they are finally having a good year where her DD is treated like an individual. (Her DD has very, very mild special needs and needs to be in pullouts a couple of times a week).

 

Different things work for different kids, but from what I've seen, the assumption that charters are better than regular schools is unfounded.

 

(I'm sure there are so wonderful charters that work great for some kids)



We spent the first 3 years of dd#1s education in a charter and while it was the best option we had at the time, she definitely suffered b/c of it. We're finally at a outward bound expeditionary magnet school and she has a new love for school and learning. Every day she comes home telling me about how much she loves her school... and I'm actually hearing more now about how she didn't like the charter school (I had my complaints but she never really expressed that she was unhappy to me). 

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#25 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I agree with this. There are ways around the pants issues, but I would have issues trusting them with my child again because they sound like loons.

 

Unless you love, love, love everything else about this school, you might want to look at your other options, including regular public schools. One of my friends just wasted 3 years of her and her DD's life screwing around with charter schools. This year she finally gave up and enrolled her DD in regular public school and they are finally having a good year where her DD is treated like an individual. (Her DD has very, very mild special needs and needs to be in pullouts a couple of times a week).

 

Different things work for different kids, but from what I've seen, the assumption that charters are better than regular schools is unfounded.

 

(I'm sure there are so wonderful charters that work great for some kids)


Though I agree that I'd have trouble trusting this school in the future, I'm not sure what the situation has to do with the school being a charter. We had a similar experience with a regular public school in a well-off district. I don't see that any particular type of school is inherently good or bad and I've seen people post on this board of terrible experiences and horrible teachers/principles at regular public/charter/private/Waldorf.... It seems to me that the assumption is actually that regular schools are always better than a charter--you just didn't realize it shrug.gif.

 


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#26 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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 It seems to me that the assumption is actually that regular schools are always better than a charter--you just didn't realize it shrug.gif.

 


No,  that's not my assumption. My assumption, having lived a bunch of different places and having tried different types of education, is that every single school is different, and that the same school can be a completely different experience for two different kids.

 

Where I currently live, charter schools are not required to provide even the most minor accommodations to SN students. At all. Going to the state will not help, and making a stink will get a family run out of the school. I know that's not the case every where, but it is here. I've no idea if it's the case where the OPer lives or not.

 

Some of those exact same schools are fabulous for other kids, and I know that in other places charters do a nice job with kids with mild needs. So no, it's not my bias that charters are bad.  However, I do see a lot of people assuming that charters are better without even checking out their home school. I think it can be quite difficult to tell from the outside how any school will do meeting the needs of a specific child.

 

The OPer's child has issues with her right hand. It seems possible to me that those issues will eventually effect handwriting. It seems possible that physical therapy and/or occupational therapy might be helpful for her. Here, those services are only available through public schools.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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