I’m excited to share that a few weeks ago, Vivian started at a new school, Connerton Elementary School. It’s a more appropriate school for her specific needs, as it supports the Florida Access Points program. It’s been a real struggle to get Vivian placed into a different school, and it all really started last summer.
As a little background, we moved about a year ago from Pasco County to Hernando County. Hernando County has a different set of practices for ESE classes. This meant Jen’s 504 plan and Emma and Vivian’s IEP’s all needed to be revised to fit the new school’s and county’s ESE protocols. And, in Vivian’s new Pre-K class, we found that she regressed in many areas. I also found out that Emma and Vivian would be in the same classroom in the coming 2017-18 school year. I was unsatisfied and wanted change.
So, I applied for the School Choice program and requested Emma and Vivian be placed back into Pasco County Schools. They were accepted at Shady Hills Elementary and everything looked great, until orientation day when I found out that Emma and Vivian were both in the same class, a self-contained Autism class achieving the regular Florida Standards. This class was perfect for Emma, not so much for Vivian. So, I requested that Vivian be placed at a different school – one with the Access Points program.
However, there were many hurdles to overcome in order to get Vivian into another school. First, she needed to be formally evaluated by the school psychologist to determine if she was eligible for the Access Points program. Then, her IEP needed to be re-written (again) for compatibility with Access Points. Then, because we are part of the school choice program, a school still open for school choice this and next year and had Access points needed to be selected. The two closest schools with Access Points in Pasco county were “full” and closed to School Choice.
So, Connerton Elementary was selected. it’s one of the newer elementary schools in the county, tucked in the back of a nice, developing community. I took a tour of the school as soon as I could and I was satisfied with the condition of the facilities and was impressed by how pleasant the staff was.
And so far, I think Vivian is settling in well in her new class. She is receiving additional assistance, and there is less of a push of standard academics and more of a push on self-care, life skills. They still complete academic work, just at a different pace.
Until Next time….