Programs at the independent district they are letting me tour

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I will find out which of these programs are going to the new facility. They are all far away from me but none further than our horseback riding . If it ended up being a good fit I suppose I could consider moving but for his sake, one step at a time and I dont know how that would affect the funding etc..... I guess If I moved into a participating district (those who are part of this coop.... ours isn't so it costs them more and they already called and confirmed they would have a spot if we wanted it)

    What do you guys think? Some of the same issues are there but what is different (from the attorney advocate who has worked with this group AND our district for many many years..... ) is that they have the resources to think outside of the box. One of her kids is in the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program and he has major meltdowns.... the kind that would send Q right into the same fit like at the hospital. BUT they saw even their own program didn't work out for him (he caused stitches in the directors face and the director said, that is part of my job, now to help him..... and the kid is still there working with them)
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I just found out from Q's neuro that she was on the board to consult for some of these programs and she was careful to say she has not seen them in operation with kids but has had tours at night and has been able to talk to the staff. She said they seek out people who have done this and LIKE doing this. ok, that is nice to hear....
     
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    *Here is the description of the venture program, which I think is one of the ones they are having me consider....actually sounds like Q...hmmm/?????


    Student Profile
    Venture students typically have a long history of receiving special education services in their previous school years.
    At some point during these years, they have required resources beyond what is available in their school environment.
    These educational needs are due to the combined impact of their medical/mental health diagnose(s) and their
    educational eligibility for special education services (most often, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)). These students are referred because they
    require a more intense level of staff support and services throughout most or a portion of their school day. They
    require a unique environment that provides personal space and helps the student maintain a positive school
    reputation. For various reasons, it has been determined that the behavioral strategies typical in Emotional/Behavioral
    Disorders (EBD) special education models, have not been appropriate or effective to meet the students’ unique
    needs. Students have met special education criteria in Other Health Disabilities (OHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)), Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD), or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). These students can manage
    direction to move between classes and manage academic and social transitions throughout the day given
    accommodations as identified on the IEP.
    Mission/Goals
    Venture provides a specialized, small group education setting for the very low incidence disability area of
    neurobiological disorders. The program goal is to provide a customized environment, low staff-student ratio, options
    for mainstream, work experience, small group, and individualized academic programming. In addition, there is
    intensive instruction in coping and calming strategies and flexible design for specific needs. A focus on developing
    pro-social behaviors, self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, communication skills, problem solving skills, and teaching
    students to generalize these new skills in a variety of environments is emphasized. Transition and vocational
    programming is offered.

    Components
    Academic Skills:
    - Academic instruction typically focuses on implementation of traditional appropriate high school curriculum and
    transition areas.
    - Students are taught in small and individualized settings.
    - Instruction provides emphasis on literacy, math and social/emotional skills
    - Minnesota testing and grad standards are implemented for all students.
    Social/Behavior:
    - Participate in small group and individual activities/classes to develop pro-social behaviors while developing the
    ability to understand and implement coping and calming strategies based on their individual needs.
    - A continuum of behavior intervention strategies are used to help students manage symptoms and increase
    success in adult life.
    - Pro-active behavior management strategies, gentle teaching and social learning profile assessment are used to
    encourage success.
    - Crisis Prevention Intervention strategies implemented when necessary for caring, safety, security and welfare of
    all students and staff.
    - Self-regulation techniques are taught to increase self-advocacy, coping and calming, and management of
    needs in adult life.
    - Students are actively involved in beginning to develop their IEP, and supported to lead the IEP meeting. Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD))/Customized/Special Populations 11/16/2011
    Vocational/Transition Skills:
    - Participate in transition activities when they reach transition ages.
    - Job skills training experience and career exploration offered
    - Course offered to address development of transition skills in the areas of education and training, employment,
    and independent living per individual student needs
    Family/Interagency Collaboration:
    - Venture collaborates and communicates with families on students’ education plans.
    - School Social Worker coordinates and communicates with community resources and co-located mental health
    services (i.e. Hennepin County social worker or community based services, Department of Rehabilitative
    Services (doctors), specialty support groups, and mental health support)
    Inclusion/Community-Based Services:
    - Opportunities for inclusion and instruction at resident high schools.
    - Experiences extend learning in the classroom and provide opportunity for practice and generalization of social
    skills.
    Physical Fitness and Motor:
    - Movement and Learning activities include physical education class. Students are encouraged to participate in
    individual and group activities that develop life fitness, recreation and leisure skills
    - Physical activities are embedded into the school day.
    - Students have the opportunity to access a calming room designed to allow them to participate in motor and
    sensory activities for self-regulation/calming
    Program Core
    Licensed Ratio: 2.7
    Non Licensed Ratio: 3.35
    Staffing Includes:
    Program Core
    - Licensed/Highly Qualified Instructors
    - Educational Assistants
    Support Staff
    - Program Facilitator
    - School Social Worker
    - Behavior Support Teacher
    - Work Experience Coordinator
    - Social Emotional Learning Specialist
    - School Psychological Services
    - Nursing Services
     
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, as a complete outside to the US system and its workings, to me it sounds very impressive.
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In real estate, they say that the three most important factors are: location, location, location.

    Well... when it comes to working with a school? I'd have to say the three most important factors are attitude, attitude, and attitude. Attitude toward the student, attitude toward the student's family and support team, and attitude toward "problems" - how they are viewed, how they are tackled, etc. etc. If you've got that? then there HAS to be a way.

    I haven't had time to digest at all what the 5 categories currently are... but the whole approach is definitely more positive than anything you've seen in some time...
     
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    For a "newbie", it seems impressive. I'm sure it is not perfect. Brochure are most of the time appealing in nature, but like you said: the description sounds like Q.
     
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Buddy - I didn't see your post #3 when I first responded...

    Boy oh boy! Does that Venture ever sound like a positive "ad"venture for Q...
    Way closer to "on the mark" than anything else you've been telling us about... and not just "well, it's better than where he is..."

    When do you get to go see this?
     
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    they are supposed to arrange it this week. The new building is only one site for this though so even if it is far or the classes there are full, the exact same programs are in a couple of rented buildings, (the one my neuro went to---also a newer and nice building) and they are actually closer.... so I have hope.
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hope! Haven't heard you use that word "stand alone" for a while... I'm guessing you're in for a good sleep tonight.
    {{hugs}}
     
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    This sounds AWESOME and as long as the school is footing the bill, which I would INSIST on, go for it. Q deserves a place that can actually TEACH him in a setting that is geared toward him without excluding him. Let us know after you look at it. Any chance you can "pick" the site you want??
     
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    oh yes! And this is only one program, and I suspect the kids are higher cognitively...but they have the others and they said that for example there is a kid who was in the venture program but needed more autism strategies so went to the CIP program for part of his day and their tools were incorporated into the venture program. I can see that they would still think the SUN program (their version of it) could be right for Q but if they only have low verbal kids then maybe not... I just have to wait and see what it actually looks like in real life. Anything looks good on paper. But I have a little more hope having talked to people who have actually seen it.
     
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If they are creative enough to go so far as to mix bits and pieces of programs to find what works for a student... all I can say is WOW. THAT is the kind of thinking that works for a kid like Q... with multiple layers of conflicting dxes... "in the box" thinking just doesn't work.
     
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    <Like> Insane!!

    Buddy, you're right to be leery but listen to the people who know about the program. Check it out. Can't you set the tours up yourself? Why is the school making it their job to schedule appointments for you? YOU know your schedule, they don't....and they don't care so why can't you make it yourself? Just curious. to me it makes no sense whatsoever.
     
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    No, we tried. Since our school district is not a member district they dont have access like those that are do. but if referred by the director of Special Education. then you can tour. ONce I am connected then I can set up the tours at any time. Hopefully if I do like it there really will be a spot. The director I think really does not know what they have and she mentioned the "safe" program which is a program for fetal alchohol. She knows the director of that program and thought some of the behaviors sounded similar. BUT the learning style of the kids is very different and the advocate has a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) child in the program, while he is doing well.... he is (and most of the kids there are) very aggressive on a daily basis. Q has moments of hits etc.... he does not need to go to that level. He wouldn't be able to live at home then. so I am praying that she didn't ask if they only had space in THAT program and not the entire system. Now I am just freaking myself out. Just need to wait and see.
     
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This sounds like an amazing program. I hope it is as great as it sounds, or is even better and that it is a good fit for Q and that they ahve a spot for him!!!!! It sounds like almost everything you could ask for..

    It is nice to hear the hope again!
     
  16. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    This sounds very promising! It would be nice if Q's neuro could tour these programs with you, during the day, to see the staff in action. Any chance? SFR
     
  17. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Buddy,

    Don't freak yourself out!! I doubt the school would send Q to a residential facility unless it were 100% necessary! The cost of residential placements are absolutely sky high. SFR
     
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH sorry, it is not a residential facility. It is a district that is 100% special education. Districts from all around them contract with them to provide school for populations that they themselves do not have programs for. So they have programs for kids who are in jail, expectant moms, and low incidence disabilities/multiple diagnosis kinds of kids.

    But YES it is very expensive. My law advocate who has kids there that she represents says that the bills are over 100,000 per student. The staff to student ratio is very small (1:1 up to 4:1) and they have been doing it for a long time. They have only rented buildings all around the cities over the years. As rents went up they found it was cost effective to build their own building. When they decided to do that they decided to build it based on the populations they serve. So they will still have some rented sites, but their main new site that opens next fall (Q would start now if it is a fit) is a three story state of the art building. I read up on it and saw pictures of the construction, sketches, etc....really impressive. I was told that one of the rental places they have they have adapted in many ways to meet these same goals, so hopefully if we end up there (and it is closer) that building will be just as good.

    I am trying not to worry. It is the first time a suggestion has been made that doesn't make my stomach to in knots. I am getting pretty good at identifying those internal "gut" states. I know when I see it, there could be a change of heart, but for now.... I am holding on to hope.
     
  19. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Buddy,

    Keep holding on to that hope!! This really sounds wonderful:D!! SFR
     
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thanks, I was thinking, as I find myself doing a little too much lately, at weird hours....

    I wonder if I hadn't found this place to talk through these things. I am sure it is dragging on for so many of you, but you never let on and I appreciate that so much. In the past I have had to do this emotionally pretty much solo.

    My family cares, but as Q's neuro and I were talking to each other a couple of days ago, she said this is true for her too.... that we end up protecting their feelings and their worries, so to tell the details can be too much for them. It is wonderful to know they have my back, but in terms of day to day working through the anxiety and sorting things out in my head.... and the very real, helpful ideas that I would never have thought of in my emotional state.... well...............

    I really think thank you is not enough. Not being mushy, I really mean it.
     
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