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Private School: When to Consider the Option

When do you decide that your child may be more successful at a private school vs. the public school they are attending? My son has been in public school since pre-k and the school is doing the best job they can to support him. I have been truly blessed in that aspect. He receives reading remediation, therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. When we held an IEP meeting last year I realized that my son only was in regular curriculum with his peers for an hour a day in total. Which means he did not have any friends. Socializing with peers is an important part of school and he was missing out.  That's when it dawned on me that even though he was getting academic support he was missing out on the Social part of life. 

One day he asked "Why do I need to be pulled out of class all the time?" That's the moment I realized that I possibly have a year or two years before he may stop giving 100% effort in class. I had a conversation with my cousin who described her journey with being pulled out of class for special services and by the times she was in middle school she was done with being pulled out f class. I knew when he asked me that question that I needed to start looking at alternatives. With that being said when considering private school options think of the following:

  • Slot Openings- most schools have certain grades that will have more space available for entry. The starting grade of the school, 6th, and 9th. The other grades will have openings as well but will not have as many seats available.

  • Social Interaction- is your child able to interact with their peers and feel as though they are part of the regular class.

  • Academic Growth- will your child continue to receive the optimal education services that will address their academic challenges?

I considered all of these and decided that I would start looking at schools that specialized in language based learning disabilities. Please note that all schools that deal with learning disabilities are not the same. They typically have a speciality that encompasses other symptoms as well. For example you have a school that specializes in children with ADD/ADHD and the curriculum will also offer executive function support as well. I also learned that they have criteria that indicate which levels they will accept. For example one school may deal with children who have severe to mild dyslexia while another school focuses on children with moderate-mild dyslexia. The difference comes into play when you submit our application. I will discuss this more in my next blog post.