Private vs Public

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by JustExhausted30, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. JustExhausted30

    JustExhausted30 New Member

    I am new here and just want to start out by saying what a wonderful idea to have this forum. Thank you!

    I guess I should start by saying that my difficult child is 12 will be 13 next month. Life with him has not, in any way, ever been easy. My issue right now is that today he was charged with a misdemeanor for disrupting the school campus ( or something to that effect). I have been contemplating taking him out of his current middle school and placing him in a private school that his psychiatrist highly recommends. I have a meeting with that school on the 29th. I really just fear that he is getting lost "in the mix" at his current middle school, it is a large school and they have basically told me they don't have time for his ****. He is skipping all of his classes and then when he gets caught (which is EVERY time) he escalates the situation and just blows up.

    My thought is that maybe a private school would be better for the following reasons:
    Smaller class, more individual attention.
    Can't "skip" at a private school.
    and again,..... more individual attention!!!

    Any ideas or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. AmyH

    AmyH New Member

    We are also looking into a private school that specializes in difficult child's. I am hoping this works. I all to often feel that the public system has an "idea" of what a child should be and if they do not meet that then they get lost in the mix.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    You say your son sees a child psychiatrist. Does he have a diagnosis? Is he taking any medications?

    With a private school, you have to make certain that the school can meet your son's needs. If it can't and your son can't live up to the school's expectations, the school is under no obligation to keep him enrolled and you will have to find another school setting (sometimes in the middle of the year if an offense is severe enough). Do you know what kind of private school your son's psychiatrist is recommending?

    My own son is not a behavior problem, but he has a severe mood disorder that leads to emotional shutdown. He has been in a small private school since 7th grade, and he is currently a 9th-grader. At this point, he is doing little classwork or homework, and the school has decided not to offer him a place for 10th grade. We are currently starting the IEP process in our public school system because he will have a safety net in that the public school must educate him.

    Does your son have an IEP with his public school?
  4. JustExhausted30

    JustExhausted30 New Member

    My son does have a diagnosis of ADHD since age 5 and then bipolar disorder was added about a year ago. He is currently on Vyvanse 70 mg daily along with Seroquel 50 mg in the morning 50 mg at 3pm and 900 mg at 7pm. We have tried Abilify but it gave him terrible neck pain with stifness.

    He does have an IEP however he has been up for manifestation hearing once already this year and he is really lucky that they didn't put him up again with this episode he pulled especially being they charged him and he will now have to go to court and is now involved in the juvenile system. I really am disappointed with how this last situation was handled being that the assistant principal admitted to "being right in difficult child's face" screaming and yelling at him. Even went to the extent to tell difficult child "you look mighty angry difficult child... why don't you put your anger where your fist is and hit me":surprise: So of course instead of difficult child making the right decision (to just keep his mouth shut) he told him well if I hit you I'd probably knock you out! So that is what got my son charged with a misdemeanor and they also threatened that he could have been chaged with a felony assault for "making a threat to hit a school administrator". I did make contact with the school board and the directed me to the principal of the school who basically put me on speaker phone with the assistant principal who did this and really nothing got done. I really don't know where to turn at this point as far as that whole situation goes. I really feel stuck in a hard place because at this point difficult child has over 40 referrals for the school year and I really believe if I press this issue they will just turn it around on him and make it seem justified. Who else can I turn to?

    As far as the private school goes it is supposedly a school for ADHD, ADD and SLD. His doctor highly recommends this school however I don't know any other parent that has a child there. I have called the school and I meet with them Tuesday.

    Hope this info helps and thank you for the replies.
  5. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    A manifestation determination hearing is to determine whether or not the misbehavior is a "manifestation" of the disability. Given your son's diagnosis(s), you should NOT lose a MD hearing. What this means is that the SD has to come up with a new behavior intervention plan. The IEP team, of which you are a full participating member, may also recommend a more restrictive placement. Your SD MAY NOT suspend or expel your son. This is what Smallworld meant when she said that the public school is the "back up becasue they MUST educate.

    I would really NOT let what the ass't principal did go; it is a SET-UP for your difficult child and is abusive in my opinion. At the very least it is not smart. It is no secret that our kids can often be provoked to act out in ways they would not have absent the provocation. It is REALLY not OK for the porvocation to be coming from a role model and "school leader."

    Kicking this to the JJ system is not OK. I would ask for an emergency IEP meeting. If the school refuses, file for Due Process, but to do that, you will either need a very good on-site advocate or an attorney. You need a parents' rights attorney; just being a lawyer isn't helpful.

    Are you able to pay privately for the placement? If so, you need to notify the SD IN WRITING by certified mail that you intend to place privately and then DON'T do it for at least 10 days AND give the SD access to reevaluate your son during that time. IF you do place privately, you may be able to recover costs of private school if you can show that the SD failed to provide FAPE.

    This is a VERY tricky area of law. I placed privately, and depending upon how one counted the days, it was possible to come to the conclusion I only waited 9 days; this was a BIG reason we lost at DP and failed to recover costs of EGBS. I am happy to report however, that the SD had to fly a 3 person evaluation team from Chicago to MA becasue in this circumstance, SD suddenly "care" about the law.

  6. JustExhausted30

    JustExhausted30 New Member

    We do have an IEP meeting set for Wednesday to discuss a placement change. However I don't know why our school district figures that "classification" determines placement and what I mean by that is this: In our SD if you are classified "SED" (severly emotionally disturbed) it means you get "X" placement. If you are "VE" (which I have no idea what that stands for) you get "X" placement. However if you are VE you cannot be placed with SED and if you are SED you cannot be placed with VE. Hence the "classification determines placement" I always thought that the classifications only determined the amount of services your difficult child may need and that those services must be provided in the LRE? Am I wrong? Because these "SED" children are kept off the main campus of difficult child's middle school, they don't eat lunch with "normal" kids, their PE consists of an old slab of cement off to the side of their little area with a basketball goal attached to one side of it. They don't even ride the same bus as "normal" kids. They ride what is called the early bird bus. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong but I am sure that is what we are headed for on Wednesday. I am just so frustrated that I want to scream.:biting: It is so hard to attend these meetings and when you know some of the laws and you bring up the ways they are breaking laws they have the nerve to look at you like your nuts and then figure out a way to turn it all around on difficult child like with that "he gets what he deserves" attitude.
    As I said in the previous post he did have a manifestation hearing earlier this school year and they did not do anything but suspend him for 3 days for this episode however they suspend him and send him home every chance they get. Very much so over the "10 day limit" even though I know they CAN go over the 10 days, so I am told, if the situation warrants. But even that doesn't sound right. Well I'm rambling now so that you for responding.
    Just frustrated
  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Does your son have an IEP? If not I would demand he have one, then put the pressure on the school to accomadate his needs and /or place him out of district. Private school for BD's are pricey and most in my area will not let anyone but the school systems enroll children. I am currently fighting to have my son placed "out of district" in a theraputic school.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    We had some difficulties with our child in the public school. However, she did have some really top notch teachers there and the curriculum was very good.

    However, the size of the classrooms was very tough. AND in my humble opinion, some of the teachers were struggling with classroom size, paperwork, etc. so her extra "stuff" was a lot for them to handle.

    We tried a variety of things, including partially homeschooling her. She went to the public school in the morning for two classes and I worked with her at home for the rest of the day. We did this for two years and it worked out wonderfully...but I found it too exhausting.

    The private school was better in some ways. We did that later. She got more individualized attention. However, it was not as good academically. Smaller size...quieter...nicer. It might be ideal for middle school. Consider a tutor if your child is needs help or if the school is substandard and you are hoping to put them back in public school or even more so if they hope to go to college later. There are lots of things to consider.

    IF you work with the public advice would be to do the IEP, help where you can, be firm, but polite. Understand that most are tyring to help you out....but can also use your assistence.
  9. my_winter

    my_winter My winter season

    My son has an IEP and the school district in my area claims that they would like to help him be successful but not in their classrooms. My son was suspended a lot, not to mentition the phone calls recieved at work, thank God I did not lose my job! The school district automatically looked to place him in an alternative school with criminals. I love my son but enough is enough. I asked for alternatives such as private schools and help with the financial burden they would not move. Private school is very expensive and I pray that I can place him there and soon! They tested him and state that he is Emotional Distrubed. He became this way because he continued to struggle with teachers and his classmates alike .Everyday he would come home with a new story of how the teachers and students would pick on him and call him name, in turn I got an advocate! I would like to know how I can remove these labels that were thrown upon him and make the school district see him as a human being and not an hopeless case.

  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi, my winter! I just ran across your post and I would recommend starting a new thread so this will be read by more people. Also, it might help to give a little more detail about what is going on with your son. I understand your feelings- I strongly believe that when my son first started exhibiting signs of depression at school, the way the teachers and admin staff ignored the signs and punished him contributed to his escalating out of control. However, since he does have a serious mood disorder now, being on an IEP actually requires accommodations and protection for him.