Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Email I'm thinking of sending

Below you will find the text of an email I'm considering sending to the head of special ed in a suburban district where I'd like to move. Any comments? Should I give them a chance to say, no, we would rather not deal with you? I'm thinking I'd like to hear that up front... before I buy a house... Another option would be to rent for year to see how it goes in Worthington.. I still need to add a nice closing about how I'd like to meet with her and visit some classrooms to observe, etc...

We are considering moving to the Worthington School District, as my husband recently started working North of 270 and I am at Ohio State. We have two children, currently enrolled in Columbus Public Schools, both with IEP's. My husband and I would like to talk with you concerning the opportunities and services that would be available to us if we were to buy a house in Worthington. I'll try to give you brief information about our children so you know some of what we need.

Joseph is 9. (5-22-97). He is diagnosed PDD-NOS. He has been served by CPS since he was three. He started a home ABA program when he was five. He is non-verbal, but has a huge vocabulary of over 750 ASL signs, can understand, write, and read English at a level that I think is that of a typical first grader--although clearly pieces of the language process are still missing. He adds and is learning to subtract, tell time, count money, etc. He needs an environment that challenges him academically, supports our home behavior program, and includes a teacher or interpreter or aide that understands his sign. I have a video of him signing with one of his home ABA tutors if you wish to see how fluently he signs.

Alex is 8. (7-11-98) He has lived with us since the summer of 2001 when we adopted him. He is diagnosed ADHD and LD. He has been served by CPS since he was 5. He is currently in a mainstream 2nd grade class with the support of a tutor for about one hour each day. He has some visual processing issues that make reading challenging, and is about one grade level behind in reading (according to the school--I think he is doing a bit better than they.) He has a lot of challenges with math. We have been discussing placement in an LD classroom for next year. He is a creative, energetic child who loves gymnastics and dance. We are currently working with a psychologist at Ohio State to try to cope with some of his emotional and behavioral issues, which I hope will help his school performance.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is a tough one - whether it is better to send a letter ahead of making a move or not. My hope would be that the smaller district would have more resources to devote to special ed. My fear is that initially telling them things you hope for would make them defensive (no, we can't get Joseph an aid, etc.) when they haven't met Joseph and Alex. If you moved in, they met your boys, perhaps you could then really give arguments for what you hope for at conference time with a clean slate. In my experience the current IEP stood until a new conference was held when a student moved in from a different district. Perhaps there could be some exceptions made, and perhaps that is something good to ask for given the circumstances. I do wonder if a face to face meeting with someone (like the head of the special ed dept. in the district) would be more beneficial. The reality is that parents do shop around for the best schools. Hopefully they could show you how they treat each child/the hopes that they would have, etc. What a dilemna - there are pros and cons either way. Sally, do you read this blog???