Next month we'll be touring a couple of special needs schools. What questions should I ask?
The two schools are the county special ed program (BOCES
) and a private special ed school The Center For Discovery
The private school does have a contract with our school district, so getting them to pay for that shouldn't be an issue if there is no appropriate placement at BOCES or if BOCES has a waiting list. Actually, The Center for Discovery has a waiting list also, but we got on last year and our school district has already sent an enrollment package for Kayla.
The Center has a special autism program, including a program for kids with Down syndrome and autism (I was surprised by this when I first contacted them). The classes are 6 (or fewer) kids, 1 teacher, 2 1/2 paras (I don't know what 1/2 a para is, LOL)
They use something called a SENSITIVE Teaching Model:
The core components:
* Social Interaction
* Environmental Interaction
* Nutritional and Health
* Structured Approach to Teaching
* Independence in Interactions
* Total Communication
* Integrated Services
* Vigorous Exercise and Physical Well-being
* Evidence based outcomes
BOCES has these programs:
Program 12:1:3 - Coser 202
Class Ratio: 12 Students : 1 Teachers : 3 Paraprofessionals
These classes are designed for students with multiple disabilities who require a program emphasizing habilitation and treatment. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling services are major components of these classes. Students involved in programming of this nature require very high levels of support and adult intervention.
Program 8:1:1 - Coser 206
Class Ratio: 8 Students : 1 Teacher : 1 Paraprofessional
Sullivan County BOCES presently offers several types of programming for students who need an 8:1:1 ratio. These programs provide educational experiences for the student with learning problems as well as behavioral and/or social/emotional difficulties. Primary and intermediate students are instructed in self-contained classes.
The Structured Teaching And Related Services (STARS) program is designed for children with autism spectrum and other communication disorders. This program emphasizes a visual structured learning environment.
I think the STARS program is one of the 8:1:1 classes but most of those kids have behavioral issues.
Sigh. I hate having to do this.