As an educator, who holds multiple professional liscenses in the state of Florida (ESE K-12 and Elementary K-6) and who is endorsed by the state in both Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as ESOL, I feel the principal at South Florida's Autism Charter School has developed the most accepting and beneficial programs for students with ASD. Conducting trainings continuously throughout each school year to bring awareness to school employees, student parents and community members the principal extends herself and her knowledge. Over the course of my career I have worked in three school districts in the state of Florida and over the supervision of numerous principals. None have worked as hard or as hands on, delivering knowledge and support to their team. SFACS is a welcoming, family environment to both the students and staff members. We work as a unit regardless of nationality, culture or experience in order to create a nurturing foundation for the youth on the ASD Spectrum. Our principal is not a boss but a leader who truly cares to promote a positive atmosphere for all those in her company. Furthermore, SFACS assigns individuals to support all new hires throughout the processes.
As a graduate of Exceptional Student Education, I have to say that a PhD does not give the principal of this school the right to treat employees with intimidation or disrespect. She needs to take a refresher course on the Golden Rule: Treat others like you would like to be treated. Don't try to make others feel inferior to you, especially educated, articulate, caring, and intelligent women. During my brief employment, I was appalled by how some teachers and assistants treated their students. Instead of mentoring, I received nothing but an arrogant, condescending, and nonchalant attitude from my fellow colleagues, office personnel, and especially from the principal herself. Unfortunately there was no team mentality and reverse discrimination between black and white staff members. Needless to say that I did not allow my negative experience to deter my dream of making a difference in the lives of special needs students.
I am so proud of my son's school. My son has been there for 3 years now and I don't want him anywhere else. We have tried both public and private schools in the past and this is the absolute best fit for him. I have finally found an environment where I feel he is learning, growing, and most importantly SAFE! The director is amazing. She eats, sleeps and breathes "autism". Her door is always open. In fact, parents are required to complete 4 parent training workshops as part of the requirement of having your child in the school. Topics are preselected or you can just schedule one on one with her instead. Parents are also required to complete 30 hours of volunteer training. The common message here is "they want the parents involved in their child's education". I know I am one involved parent. When you are there all the time you see just how hard the director and staff work. The new campus is huge and our kids have more space than ever before. My son asks to go to school daily. He absolutely loves it! The school is only four years old and I cannot wait to continue to see it blossom!
What a big disappointment! I made my research before having my child attend to this school. I spoke to the principal, meet a few teachers, attended to educational seminars provided by the school and visited the facilities. I can say it s been my child worse school experience. The teachers and assistant are not properly trained in ABA. The principal has no professionalism and does not have a clue on how to run a school. Favoritism is very noticeable. I recommend you visit the school on a regular schedule and do your own assessment. Do not let them fool you that you would disrupt the children regular school day. Overall a bad experience.
My child attends SFACS and I can attest that the principal is a great resource and has dedicated her life to children with Autism. Sometimes as parents and professionals we need tuff love and the principal is never afraid to educate and comment on something if it is in the best interest of a child. The principal was the director at my son s previous school and all I can say is that she made me a believer my son exceled and although he is not perfect he has come a long way. You want to discuss segregation, this school aims to prepare and provide these children with every typical child s experience in life. Your comments are meritless, I truly ponder if you are a parent of an autistic child as I have visited many schools and none come close to the quality and results SFACS provides. Please to whom has made it their new life s journey to make defamatory character statements of the exceptionally talented, dedicated, highly educated professionals employed at SFACS your lack of education is evident in your comments you provide no facts, therefor please do yourself a favor if you have no solid proof stop with your bias lies.
SFACS is the most amazing and most appropriate school for my child. I am a Special Education Advocate and I have seen all types of school. I have seen my son improve in all areas but particularly in behavior and language. The staff is amazing, loving, and supportive. I love that the parents have to be involved and have to participate in trainings. We all work as a team for the children and that is what this is all about! The last 2 years have been awesome and I look forward to his future at SFACS! I know he is in the best possible place. I drive from another county and my other children attend different schools. We have had to make several sacrifices but they are all well worth it! I love SFACS!!!! It is one of the best in the area!
The principal has a degree in psychology and her educational administration experience is extremely lacking. The students, in my opinion, are treated as if they are second class citizens. By that, I mean that they use the ABA strategy name to mask certain techniques that seem barbaric and they play mind games with the children instead of getting to the root of their behavior issues to really make positive changes. I was extremely disappointed in the way they were treated. If you did not agree with using maneuvers, questionable tactics, and watered down, repetitive activities that did not strengthen their academic skills, you were hated, threatened, and manipulated into wanting to leave. There was not academic curriculum, the teachers all found their own material from which to teach to the best of their abilities, and the whole experience was just unprofessional and left me feeling like the children have not advocate.
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