I'm in the wonderful position of having to choose between two good schools for Kindergarten (and hopefully beyond).
Our neighborhood school. About a mile away. Maybe 2 miles by car. I'm assuming busing is available too. Kids in the neighborhood. I don't know any of them yet because all of the few kids on my cul-de-sac go to the two charters in my area. I was very impressed at the parent night. Parent involvement was stressed and encouraged. The full day K teacher has a background as a SpEd teacher. There's a lottery to determine full or half day so that teacher isn't guaranteed. Both teachers didn't think it would be a problem to repeat Kindergarten (DS is a Sept Birthday-we're only sending him this year because we don't think a 3rd year of PK would benefit him). Class sizes are pretty big 27-31 but the full day class has an aid the whole day and the half day has an aid half the time. One of the K teachers said it might be possible to have tuition waived for full day because of his IEP but I'm thinking it's a long shot.
A charter school with a fantastic reputation. It almost 3 miles away and busing is not available. It is known as very academic. During his full eval the testing showed below average cognitively however it was noted several times that it's not highly predictive at his age and may be an underestimation because of his passive nature etc. In my gut I think he's pretty average and his reasoning skill have jumped in the last several months. Still it's a concern.
Honestly, after the first charter indicated that they didn't want to deal with DS's needs I stopped researching the charters. I figured it would be a long shot that he'd get in. It's a sought after school and it's decided by lottery.
They didn't want to see his IEP unless he got in. I currently have a call into the SpEd teacher there. They are thought of as more inclusive than the other charter. I know of friends of friends who have kids on the spectrum who are successful there. DS's SpEd teacher has successfully transitioned kids to this charter. She said they are willing to modify the curriculum. I plan on emailing her ASAP since I won't see her until next Thurs.
I have neighbor who sent all 4 of their kids there and I will be talking to them soon too. Parent involvement is strong. It seems like a very close knit community and goes all the way through HS.
DS got a spot in their Full Day program. Not a deciding factor but Full day is also tuition based and will cost ~$550 more than the neighborhood for the year with I'm assuming no chance of getting the cost worked into the IEP.
Does any one know anything about Core Knowledge Curriculum? I'm not finding anything on google about it and ASD.
DS will likely remain in mainstream classrooms with pull out support. At our last IEP meeting it was mentioned that in a few years a 504 plan might be more appropriate. I'm worried he'll lose his IEP when it's time to re-evaluate after next year. I'm not sure if there's more of a risk of that happening at a charter. I'm also a little nervous the support will be less just by nature of the different funding used for the SN Teams at charters. My local Arc told me that charters can essentially show you the door if they don't want to meet your child`s needs.
Any other thoughts. I'm leaning towards our neighborhood school. DH is leaning toward the charter. DH will likely go along with what I decide because I'm more informed. I'm a little worried I would be passing on a great opportunity by turning down the charter. DS's SpEd teacher said if we go to a charter we can change our minds up at the end of a grading period or the end of the year and go back to our neighborhood school. After that the Charter becomes our home school and we'd have to enter the lottery to get back in our neighborhood school.
Sorry this is disjointed I'm just gathering my thoughts. The charter called me today and wants and answer on Monday.