Anyone who reads my blog knows about the many transitions and adjustments we have had to make concerning Tres education.  His elementary school years were wonderful.  Middle school was great.  Our first IEP for high school was a disaster.  There were at least 5 people in the room and only 1 addressed Tres the whole meeting.  The lead teacher who we had just met told me in the meeting in front of Tres that he would fail if we attempted to put him in any classes on the”normal” diploma track.  I was in shock first that an educator would speak that way in front of a student, and second she did not even know him or even attempt to address him.  This was a kid that got A’s in biology on test for cell mitosis.  I was done.  They wanted to set up goals.  I realized that they had already made up their minds about his ability’s and future progress.  What goals were needed.  So we home schooled for two years.  Now here we are in a new environment with new school options. Tres was tired of being at home and wanted friends.  He wanted to feel like he was in high school. We found a charter school on line very near our home.  The amazing thing was everything was computerized and the classes were only in session half days.  Perfect for Tres because of the fatigue factor and because he is the most independent on a computer.  We wouldn’t have to worry about pencils or turning pages in books or blowing up the font to make it easier for him to read.  We immediately called and set up a meeting with the principal.  The initial meeting went well and concluded with both the principal and I being in agreement that the school would fit Tres unique needs.  I emailed a copy of his IEP to the school and a week before school started went down to drop of our application.  At that time I was told by the principal that after reading his IEP they no longer felt the school would be a good fit for Tres and we should send him to our neighborhood school.  When I asked why the change all of a sudden she confirmed that it was because he could not use the bathroom by himself.  I was floored, and angry.  Not for me, but for Tres.  He was soo excited to go to school at this charter.  We had subsequent meetings and ended up even involving an advocacy group.  What came from it all is that even though charter schools are paid with government funds, they reserve the right to accept/deny students with few laws or mandates stating otherwise.  Charters are considered schools of choice and if we don’t like what they have to say we go to a different school.  My question is then who are they a choice for?  Do kids with disabilities who require what’s considered too much hands on really have a choice?  If the monies that are taken from public schools to fund charter schools to create more choices for families are not intended for kids with disabilities what choices are they left with?  Public schools with little funding.

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