Assisting a child obtain an outof district placement

I frequently receive telephone calls from parents and guardians as to the poor treatment or harsh discipline, or other failures and concerns related to how the school district is treating their child. Sometimes we can resolve these issues by meeting and planning and conferencing with the school, teachers, administrators, counsellors, and the student’s family to find a resolution to better support the child. Sometimes these minimal interventions are not sufficient and the plan calls for an out of district placement for the child to attend a therapeutic school or other alternative school setting. School districts are often resistent to such a proposal as they will be required to fund the placement, and are often required to provide special transportantion or other accomodations.

Last Spring I helped a girl attending Grade 10 at a Massachusetts Public High School to obtain an out of district placement where she was able to both continue with her academic curriculam and also receive specialized therapeutic supports for dibilitating anxiety. She was able to succeed and thrive in the new environment.

I also assisted a boy attending Grade 5 at a Massachusetts Public Middle School obtain an out of district evaluation and placement where he had severe behavioral problems relating to autism. He is a very smart and intelligent child and had been frequently and repeatedly punished for behavior for which he was not supported or accommodated. The situation became critical when he ran from the school grounds and was allowed to remain off school grounds, causing him to be at risk and in danger. We were able to quickly conference and negotiate with the district to obtain an alternative placement where he could be supported and provided with a safety net and understanding for his needs and diagnosis.

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