The school is geared toward kids with autism & Asperger's. They have special equipment for the kids: balls for chairs, muffling headsets, fidgets, attention minders, etc... The kids are easily given space to take a breather, or move to a different area, or work with another person if necessary. They will assign ipads and notebooks to kids who need accommodations in typing or note-taking.
There is a specific team to deal with behavioral outbursts, and this minimizes the impact on the classroom and leaves the teacher and para free to continue teaching. They have a website to keep parents informed of events, and progress on assignments and homework. They have specific classes for organization and social skills. They also have classes set aside for kids who are talented and gifted, with or without disabilities. They have a great staff available to deal with specific issues like speech or occupational therapy..
Being a small charter school they don't have as many classes or after-school activities available as other public schools. The classes and after-school programs they do have are very much geared to these kids and their more common interests. I love this school!
They are good at providing accomodations. Sometimes you have to push a little but overall they are good about doing this. The problem is they want to provide accomodations rather than do testing to find out what is going on. I believe you can't fully address the problem unless you know what you are trying to address. They are good about doing the required State testing for all kids because they have to in order to get money. They do little beyond this though despite federal requirements for the disabled and leave this instead to parents to handle.
The school used to be great since i have been going here for 4 years. Now Spectrum has been accepting low functioning kids instead of high functions kids with autism etc. You always see and hear these kids mostly boys going in the girls bathrooms and always screaming and being obnoxious they are 7 for crying out loud being put in a HIGH SCHOOL!!!!, And also teachers are very little caring of what goes in the classrooms . The front office as well does not solve your problems at all and pushes the kids to the side all the time. My brother left the first day of school because he hated it ( he has no problems at all) I used to love spectrum academy but now they are not as good as they used to be 3 years ago :(
My family moved here from Phoenix so that our son could go to Spectrum. It is difficult for me to put into words the difference this school has made in his life. He has friends (who genuinely like him), is able to learn because the environment has so lowered his anxiety, and has become so much more joyfyul. He has also been able to learn skills that he could never have learned in public school, like leadership. How can you ever be viewed as a leader when you are, instead, "that kid?" His teachers understand him and his symptoms, so there isn't a negative note every day about some behavior that is simply part of his diagnosis. IEP's actually feel like a team effort and they are followed. I am a clinical psychologist with a specialty in autism. For my patients, the only goal I ever really have is for them to be joyful. When someone is joyful, they do better academically, socially, developmentally...in every way. Spectrum Academy allows for joyfulness to be achieved. I feel SO LUCKY, and SO GRATEFUL, for this school. I wish every patient I had could go there.
My son has aspergers and spectrum academy has been awesome for him the teachers work with each kid individually and will make allowances if my son needs more time with homework and assignment s I think the volunteering that one parent complained about is very helpful to the kids and the teachers and the school and keeps parents involved in their child's education plus you can volunteer at home on your computer or at the school and events or by donating supplies overall its a great school for kids with autism and aspergers :)
Interested in parent assesment of this school as we are thinking of enrolling our child. She is high-functioning but with a below average IQ.
This school is great for average or slightly below average kids who are social on the Autism Spectrum. It is not great for kids that are above average and who struggle socially. Yes they have a leveling system but I know of several kids that have leveled out and there is nothing more for them to do. Yes they have a daily social skills program in the classrooms but success with this varies based upon the teacher involved and the needs of the child - it is not enough for the kids with more social deficits. The school is very friendly/responsive/helpful as long as your child is one of the successful ones and you don't have alot of concerns/ask for much. The average or slightly below average kids who are social like it because they can get their work done, there is little homework and they can spend the day socializing. This just doesn't work for above average with social deficits.
This is the 5th year my children have attended this school. The teachers are great and the Administration has been very responsive and supportive with any and all of my children s special needs. I am impressed with the data collection that has taken place at the school. They collect meaningful data on teachers and students in addition to the state mandated tests. The teachers have been very responsive with the leveling system. They have been very willing to adjust the curriculum level so that my children don t get board in the subjects that they excel in. Volunteering has been a joy. There have been plenty of opportunities throughout the years for me to be involved. It s fun to see the parents volunteering, getting involved, and making the school a better place for our children.
Academics are ok, but some of the teachers are just plain rude! You have to commit to hours of volunteer work, but its very 'clicky' and the adults let you know whether you and your child fit in or not. Somewhat judgemental for educated people. Mabey its because we arent mormon ! And about the bullying, dont expect it to be any different than other schools, they use the same old excuses from the 1950s too.....
This school has done wonders for my sister. She has Aspergers, CP, and 40% hearing loss in both ears. She now asks me if she can 'spend the night' instead of 'spend night' at my house. I've seen here grow so much since she started 4 years ago. I love that there are smaller class sizes with a teacher and para, and that they genuinely want to help the kids thrive.
This school's primary objective is to serve kids with ASD. Kids will many different neurological diagnosis attend this school, as well as neuro-typical children. The teachers receive minimal training in best-practices in working with this diverse population and communication from the teachers to parents is poor. The majority of students have IEPs but the school struggles with data collection and follow-through. The school has no consistent approach in working with behaviors typical of ASD children.
This school used to be wonderful! Then administration changed. It is horrible. The middle school/high school is not able to meet the needs of high functioning students. (Their charter is meant to serve high functioning autism and asperger's) It is quickly becoming a school for low functioning students.
What a great school, very responsive to my child's special needs. I would, and do recommend this school to my trends, for children on the spectrum and kids that need smaller classes.
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