Public or Private School?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Hopeforbetterdays, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Hopeforbetterdays

    Hopeforbetterdays Hopeforbetterdays

    With all the issues that I have had with teachers and IEPs, has anyone ever switched their child from public to private school.

    My son will have to repeat kindergarden and we were thinking of taking him out of the public school system.
     
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I took my difficult child out for 3rd and 4th grade. We homeschooled him - and probably saved his life. He was being verbally and emotionally abused by several teachers and was suicidal. We concentrated on him becoming a healthier, better person. And we made a lot of progress. Then we worried about academic goals.

    When difficult child went back he was in a self contained room with 1 teacher, 2 aides, and a total of 3 kids at first. By the end of the year they had 7, but still the 3 adults full time. The teacher and aides were just amazing. Helped iwth all his issues, his academics - he was so far ahead the mainstream classes were torture to him! One of hte aides is probably the MOST intelligent person I have ever met. She just is, and she brought work in that was up to HIS level, not the schools level.

    I have not seen ANY private schools that were a good thing for my kids. Many times the private schools are good for the "normal" kids, but do not have the resources for kids with special needs. Just no $$$. One parent here was told SHE had to pay for the 1:1 aide the student needed!!!

    Public schools are required by LAW to meet whatever needs your child has. It can take a lot of work on your part to get an IEP that works, and to make them follow it. The threat of a lawsuit worked for me. But it was AFTER they screwed my kid up so badly (teacher went WAY against the IEP, fed obsessions, my son ended up in a psychiatric hospital for violence and NOT getting the difference between reality and fantasy) they were afraid of what I was going to do. Another parent was suing for the same thing with the same teacher. I agreed not to sue, and got the agreement that as long as I have a child in the school I can have whatever I feel the child needs. ALL of my kids are covered by this - notarized the agreement even! May or maynot be binding but I am not having a lot of trouble.

    I am sorry the school is so hard to deal with. MAny of our kids need to repeat kdg as they are just not ready for 1st grade. Our school district has a class between kdg and 1st for these kids - and enough kids are in it that they have this class in 4 of the 6 elem schools. It does give the kids time to mature a bit more. Boys esp seem to need this - they mature differently from girls.

    Just my opinions. Hugs,

    Susie
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    We tried many things with our difficult child. We partially homeschooled her a few years, and those were by far the best years for her and our family. She took two classes at Public School and we did the rest at home.

    Public School (full time) at first (early years) was okay, but that quickly changed and was problematic. We put her in a private school for Learning Disability (LD) kids and that was better due to small classrooms and more caring teachers/administration. However, the curriculum was not ideal.

    I think the right private school or a top notch homeschooling program would be ideal. (best options for most of us). However, be careful that if you switch to private school...that you still stay involved. (I have seen this happen...parents breathe a sigh of relief...but parental involvement is often key to a child's success).

    I think public school is a possibility, but there are few that do a really good job due to funding and overcrowding. in my humble opinion, most would be hard pressed to find a public school able to do a good job...but if your school is not overcrowded,, they are cooperative and you work closely with them, it can be done.
     
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I tried private school for my daughter for first grade. It was an unmitigated disaster. She threw PB&J sandwiches across the lunch room because it was funny, cut one girl's braid off, pushed and shoved in all lines. The school did the best they could but they just didn't have the experience in dealing with a child with behavior issues. The most they were used to was the spoiled brat who had temper tantrums when he couldn't get his way. They very politely asked me to not bring her back the following year.

    Public school was not the best solution. Some years were great because of a terrific, caring teacher. Some years were awful and I'd be in the office almost daily fighting to get her moved to a different teacher. At least there were some supports for both her and the teacher.

    Homeschooling was out of the question. One of us would have ended up bloody and it probably would have been me.

    Homeschooling was not an option for us.
     
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My wee difficult child is in Montessori school. He started there a year ago and is in kindergarten.
    We debated between attempting public and this school for some time. Thankfully, the therapists working with him were glad to visit public school together, and they both, independantly, identified a whole host of situations that were disaster-set-ups for difficult child. One teacher, 26 kids, and a "floating" aid who worked in 5 classrooms, so she wasn't even always present. Twice a week they have "group sing", where all 125 kindergarteners get together in a room the size of half a gym and sing for an hour, whlie standing and "dancing" softly. (A - my difficult child refused music class at the early intervention school... B - dancing "softly" is not even on his radar). Gym class - 50 kids, 1 teacher... Recess 125 kids, 2 teachers... I could go on and on.
    Anyway, Montessori has worked well so far. He's allowed to move about while he works, and that, in itself, is the single biggest reason I think its working out for him. I don't know what your difficult child's issues are, but I'd encourage you to investigate. I thought Montessori was a type of parachoial school and almost bypassed every even looking at it. (and certainly nothing wrong with parochial schools - if we had one that was a better fit for difficult child, he'd be going there instead).
     
  6. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    I am debating the same thing. My daughter is in private school right now, but is struggling academically. She is on her way to failing 4th grade. Our school provides extra reading help and after school tutoring for difficult child, but I am not sure if it will catch her up. I also pay for tutoring privately 2 hours a week.

    I like the smaller class size and sense of family within the school. But I can't get her teacher to reduce homework load which is large for her and sometimes just makes her snap. It can be too much.

    I have another conference with her teacher next week. I don't know what we will do or whether or not they will take her back next year.

    I like the religious aspect (Catholic school) and I feel difficult child needs God to lean on. The administration knows all the baggage she brings and have been super accomodating. I have been looking at public school, but then I am looking at middle school very soon and with over 900 kids, I think it will be a disaster for her. Her current school goes through 8th grade.

    Go with your heart...and make the most informed decision you can. Hope this helps.
     
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi, we are in the process of moving our son (age 14) from private school back to public school. He was in the public school system from K through 6th grade. When we weren't able to obtain either a 504 plan or an IEP in the public school, we moved him to a small private school that we thought would better meet his needs. Unfortunately, he needed to take a 6-week medical leave this fall to attend a psychiatric day treatment program because he was emotionally shut down, unable to attend to schoolwork and needed major medication adjustments. When he returned in better emotional shape but needing additional support, the school was not flexible enough to make accommodations like allowing reduced homework or providing organizational help. We have come to the conclusion that the public high school with an IEP will better meet his needs, and we are now working with a Special Education attorney to guarantee that he will get an IEP.

    Unlike the public school, the private school has no obligation to keep your child should he behave inappropriately or need help beyond the scope of what the school routinely provides. You are at the whim of the school's good will. The public school must find a way to educate your child, no matter what his needs may be.

    Having said all this, I also have a daughter (age 13) in a small private school where she is thriving. But she is stable on her medications, a motivated hard worker, and not a behavior problem in the slightest. Her sitaution is very different from my son's.

    What are your son's issues? How does the public school address them? Have you located a private school that you think will meet his needs?
     
  8. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    There aren't any private schools in my area that take kids like my difficult child.
     
  9. I think it depends on the schools in question. Some private schools are designed to work with students who have psychological disabilities or learning disabilities. They are quite expensive, but some of them are definitely worth the money. If you are speaking of a private school that is not oriented towards students with disabilities, I would not consider it. Bottom line is, they have no obligation to work with your child.

    Some public schools have great special education programs , mostly due to strong parental advocacy. Others don't... You really need to check each individual school out in my humble opinion... Folks in my area move in order to get into the "good school districts".
     
  10. Hopeforbetterdays

    Hopeforbetterdays Hopeforbetterdays

    My son has ADHD and developmental delay. He doesn't have any behavioral problems at school. He only has meltdowns at home when it's been a couple hours off his medication. He has just been on medication now for a month in a half. Trying to get him on a stable dose that is good for all.

    He has been in Special Education since age 3 and we have had some good experiences and bad experiences. According to the last IEP meeting if I do transfer him to a private school then the public school system is still responsible for meeting any needs that he may have. May that be PT, Occupational Therapist (OT), or speech therapy according to the laws in Tennessee.

    We haven't decided whether to put him in private school or not but we were checking it out as an option. I'm just so fustrated all together. It seems like everything is a up hill battle and when we gain ground then the next year we lose ground. I just need a little bit of consistancy in my life with my child. :furious:
     
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Has your son ever had Autistic Spectrum Disorder ruled in or out? With symptoms of ADHD-like behavior and a developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) should be something you look into before transferring to a private school. Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) generally gets lots of services in the public school, and if the public school can't meet their needs, the school district must contract with a private program to get them appropriate help.
     
  12. Hopeforbetterdays

    Hopeforbetterdays Hopeforbetterdays

    No he has not been tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The developmental delay is because he was born at 27 weeks. We are pretty sure that the ADHD is a correct diagnosis because he is doing better in school and attending more which he wasn't doing before at all.

    We are being very careful about the decision we make because we want to do what is going to help him most.
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Unless a private school accepts federal money, it's my understanding that they are not required to adhere to IDEA. Additionally, few traditional private schools are equipped to handle special needs kids.

    If the school district is saying they will provide related services, you need to get that in writing.

    The IEP Committee (which includes the parent) places the student in a private school, they are responsible for tuition and insuring that the private school follows the IEP.
     
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