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I talked with the Special Education Executive Director, the Superintendent and other administrative types to help establish that there was something worth keeping at Sensi's autism program. The Autism Program parents presented our case to the school board. I personally talked with the administration staff twice after the school board meetings.
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I thought we had successfully navigated the situation; we had reassurances from the district that the Autism Program would stay intact. What they couldn't assure me what how the teachers would take the news that one of their own was being eliminated from the roster. For the teachers it seems as if it was their last straw, for me I know it was. After all the meetings, stress, effort to convince the district to keep the program, the teachers essentially eliminated their autism program themselves by making it clear to the parents that they didn't intend to stay.
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Luckily, when the whispers of eliminating the program where starting I looked into other schools and other districts. I toured a wonderful school in another district that had all that Sensi's current program offered, but not the special extras like Girls' Club. I thought we wouldn't need that placement after we advocated to save Sensi's school, and were assured that it would stay as it is. But I looked just in case our advocacy efforts were not enough. I had told them we didn't need to take the placement last month. I am relieved that she still can have her spot, they hadn't filled it with another student. We are starting her new school in the Fall.
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The drive to the new school will be just 5 minutes longer than the current commute we make now. The new program doesn't have a girl's club or an annual play production, but it will have stability. They are set to grow; as more of our kids are coming into elementary school they are planning ahead for them. They have an established program that is responsive to our kids' educational needs. I am looking forward to working with them this summer to transition Sensi to her new school.