The challenge of identifying the “right” school for a child who needs to learn differently can be overwhelming. It takes a great deal of research, perseverance, and emotional strength. Unlike mainstream schools, most schools that provide specialized education operate on a “rolling admissions” basis. Spaces can be quite limited, especially in the upper elementary and middle school grades, so it’s critical to get started sooner than later.
If you suspect your child may learn differently or require specialized instruction, it’s important to start your research now. It’s never too early to make phone calls or schedule school visits (virtual or in-person) to become familiar with the educational philosophy, mission, teaching modalities, and student profile of each school. Although summer is fast approaching, some schools remain open for instruction and it may be a good time to speak with the admissions staff.
At the same time, it’s critical to schedule a comprehensive evaluation to identify learning needs to help determine the best educational environment. Depending on the provider and type of evaluation, this may require up to 4 or 5 visits so it’s best to get a date on the calendar as soon as possible. For some students only limited accommodations may be indicated, for others, a specialized school might be best.
Follow this blog for tips on what to look for when researching and visiting programs, as well as how to navigate the relationship with your school district. And contact me if I can provide any support during this journey.
Finally, join me on June 15, 2021 for my free webinar, “Special Education Admissions: A Beginner’s Guide.” Register here now, and I look forward to seeing you there.