My son was offered admission to Collier. He is an 8th grade high functioning autism student with an aide. Collier doesn't have students with aides, but after meeting with us and my son's case manager, they offered him admission. Both Bob Szafranski, Director of Social Services and Cynthia D'Arcy, Assistant Excutive Director of Education, and Barb Raffel assured us my son could attend with a personal aide. They had him pick out classes.
My son was so very happy and excited to make the transition to Collier. With an autism spectrum child, transitions are HARD, so this was amazing. Three days later, after finding out Collier had to hire his aide, Mr. Szafranski, called to refuse his admission. My son didn't speak for two days.
I don't know how a special ed facility can respond to at risk kids in such a manner and I remain appalled. My son asked me to call Mr. Szafranski to ask if he could attend without an aide, offering to take classes in the summer in typing so he could do his own notetaking. I called. My call was not returned.
It's a beautiful place, Collier, but we were treated atrociously.
My son attends this school and it has been transformational. The school service students who are not able to learn well in public school settings - they offer small classes, excellent teachers and great counseling services. Tuition is paid by our school district because the students all have IEPs.
collier has done so many great things for me, including supporting me through my hard times and celebrating in my triumphs both in and out of school. its just a wonderful place to be. the teachers and faculty do everything they can to help the students. and since its a very small school you get a chance to familiarize and get to know the staff on a more personal note. it truly has helped me grow.
Collier is a true blessing. The faculty there really care about the students, and go out of their way to make sure we are prepared for anything or whatever. There are many kind, caring and generous people at Collier, and I encourage you to take advantage of the oppurtunity. When you start at collier, it is a very scary place, but every one of the students are kind, caring and many go out of their way to make you feel at home, I consider Collier my second home. If you are considering an alternative school, choose Collier. The grounds are also beautiful, seculeded as a mountain retreat, and a very collegial campus, offering old world charm. Smith Hall dates back to the 1930's and the collier house (now convent) dates back to the late 19th Century. Not to mention the up-to-date recreation room and many other facilities for the students enjoyment!