I am also the parent of a special needs student that has been attending Washington for 3 years now although he has been in the Norman schools special needs services since he was 4 years old. I have experienced nothing but professionalism and have never experienced a problem. Indeed, after moving from another school district that refused to even evaluate my son, Norman was a refreshing experience. While they are understaffed--which I blame more on state budget cuts than the school itself--I have never felt a lack of support. My son has made amazing strides and improvements from scoring a 5% at the beginning to now the current 87%. For my son, the special needs staff of Washington have been miracle workers! My children love Washington and while in the market for building a home, my main criteria was for it to be in the Washington School District.
I agree with the other parents. Washington Elementary is a great school. It's what you'd expect from the Norman School District. If you are a Special Needs Parent, be on your A Game! Because Norman School District is well-known for their Special Ed/Autistic Programs, they are understaffed to deal with the amount of IEPs that are needed. We found out our child was Autistic right after the New Year and we were told we couldn't even get the IEP process started until the following year. The school psychologist was completely indifferent when I tried to ask questions about the process and refused to talk with me until I submitted the diagnostic paperwork that I hadn't gotten back yet. Once submitted, she was a little more pleasant. The meetings and approval process for an IEP is very involved...classic Norman procedures. They need to hire more staff to handle the overload of cases popping up within the district. I spoke with other parents of Special Needs kids and they were very displeased with Washington. They said IEPS, 504s, and paraprofessional helpers were a huge issue. Needs weren't being met. Again, I loved Washington!!!! When we didn't need an IEP, it was great!
Eighteen kid years at this school since 1997. Thirteen consecutive years with four kids. It is as good today as it has ever been. Good balance between core work and other educational experiences. From a parents point of view; Yes. A Winner year after year.
This school is excellent because of its current principal, Dr. Linda Parsons. Her leadership overcomes the obstacles presented by the remote, and disconnected Norman Public Schools administration. She has pulled together a team of educators using excellent discernment attained through years of educating children in a public school setting. One of my three children was more of a challenge to teach, and Dr. Parsons led a team of support to greatly improve his test score, confidence, and performance at school. At any school site leadership is critical to performing above average. This school has that quality. The children treat each other with dignity and respect and are expected to excel in all areas of their learning and development. The families have very little competition between them and live very economically humble lives, in modest neighborhoods, with a rural landscape. We are truly blessed to be a part of this school