I've had mixed experiences with the Southeast Polk school district. My son is very high functioning and is on the autism spectrum. The school environment can be quite challenging for him. Our home elementary school is not equipped to serve his needs so we were first sent to another school within the district. The experience there was so horrible, I opted to homeschool my son for a year. (This was not taken lightly as I had serious concerns about being able to handle homeschooling a child who while very bright, had some very challenging behavior that can get in the way of learning.)
After a year, when I finally felt my son had recovered enough to try again, we walked into Clay ready to do battle if need be to ensure he got what he needed. I told the principal, the special education teacher, and the AEA straight off, that I was expecting the worst. I was looking out for my son's interests not theirs or the districts.
Right off things were much different though. The principal has a special education background and I could see that she understood how to support her staff so that the children were given the support they needed. I could tell that everyone present worked as a team and they truly were looking out for my son's best interest. I feel like the special education teacher truly understands my son and his needs. I don't feel like she is just doing her job, I feel she truly cares and nurtures my son. I also feel like she is well respected by other teachers and administrators so that when she advocates for my son and his needs, she is listened to and there is follow through. I feel like I can walk in and talk to anyone at Clay who works with my son and voice a concern and it will be discussed and handled.
While my faith in the district as a whole is far from being won back, Clay has completely won me over! I walked in the door expecting the worst and expecting to have to look at the very challenging desicion of continuing to homeschool my child, to having full faith in the entire team at Clay. I know that when my son walks through those doors, that there is a whole team of people who truly care and will do what is best for him, even when it is not the easy answer. I don't think there is any higher praise than that.
My daughter went to pre-k there for maybe two weeks and when I went to pick her up one day they told me she had to go to willowbrook. I wasn't made aware ahead of time, and if I wanted her at willowbrook in the first place, I would have asked for that as an option. When I discussed my frustration with the principal it went in one ear and out the other. Also, my daughter was on IEP and was treated badly. By her teacher and her peers. A four year old with special needs. Yep! Terrible school and terrible customer relations. I'm doing all I can to move so we do not have to deal with southeast Polk schools by kindergarten. Ankeny is wayyyy better, just check the ratings!