The School is Just a Babysitting Service...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    difficult child goes to a military day school. It's sponsored by the state and paid for by the McKay Scholarship, a statewide scholarship for ESE students, focusing on emotional problems. It was referred to us by the school district who handed us a 2 page type-out of referrals, most of which were inappropriate (for substance abuse, runaway, orphans, girls-only, or kids 14+).

    It promised individual and group therapy, individualized lesson plans, close home/school cooperation, military discipline, closely-tied behavior and consequences.

    There is no therapy. They play it by ear as far as hours, transportation, days off. On two occasions they just didn't have school, and didn't tell us--they just didn't show up. There have been a number of occasions when they've lied: aside from covering him for stealing money, they've also told us we bounced a check and had to pay cash for transportation when of course we can look at our bank acct and see if we've bounced or not. They've also lied about his status as free lunch student: the state pays them for his free lunch and breakfast--and so do we.

    There's not much academics, they don't care if he wears uniforms, or does homework, or has an agenda. He does almost no classwork in school (we asked to see his papers); mostly read an hour a day, then write about it. difficult child says (maybe he's lying, maybe he's telling the truth), that he's teaching the younger kids math, and doing none of his own.

    He says they do schoolwork two hours a day. The rest of the day is pt and cleaning. They have a large two storey building, but when I go in it seems as tho they are only using about a quarter of it. The teacher says they own the entire building, but don't seem to be using it. However in the courtyard there are two LARGE dumpsters filled with clothing, like they are Goodwill or something. I once pulled up at the school and a large truck came to pick up the clothes. What are they doing? difficult child doesn't give satisfactory answers, he may not know or else is hiding something.

    Anyway, we are not happy about this school. Our plan is to put him into the alternative school through the public school district, and then make a complaint to the state about this school.

    The problem about the alternative school is you can't just apply: you have to be referred by your assigned community school. difficult child's public school that he went to last year (the one he was arrested from 3 times) will not refer him; they think all he needs is a little more attention from home and nicer parents). They saved him from mandatory expulsion THREE times and mandatory arrest once. They think the alternative school is 'nasty', and a nice boy like difficult child doesn't belong there.

    So we are going to appeal straight to the county school superintendant. Any tips on how to get him to give his permission?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Do you have an educational advocate or Special Education attorney? It might be wise to locate one now to make sure you follow all procedures as outlined by Special Education law. If you don't follow the procedures to a "T," you might be denied appropriate services on a technicality. In addition, an advocate or attorney will have better insight into knowing how to obtain the right placement for your difficult child.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure where you live...but if it is the Sunshine State you can go to the State website and pull up the school. If you can't find what you want to know then call the Dept. of Education toll free contact via (or I think that is the web site). The annual inspection results are available for all educational and detention facilities that includes academics, food service ratings, cleanliness etc.

    It has been a couple of years since I checked out facilities but it was very complete as annual inspections are mandatory. I hope they have that available for you. When I called I did not use my name and I was not asked to provide any personal information. It was very helpful. It does sound like there may be "issues" with the school....primarily, financial issues. Good luck. DDD