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Questions about BUSD Special Ed
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Hello, I need any personal recommendations or experiences if you've had a special need's child and has dealt with BUSD. I'm new to the area and I'm curious what programs are out there and I've done some research but it seems like it's difficult to find information on PreSchool or programs headed by BUSD for special need's kids. My son is about to transition to IEP. He's bilaterally CI'd (cochlear implanted) and was diagnosed early with PDD-NOS and is getting treatment that is home based. I know of CEID but there's a long wait list. I'm a worried mom not knowing what programs are out there that I can look into so I have my questions prepared for the programs they present. I also want to arrange tours if that's even possible. Thanks in advance for help with this. Also, any advice through the IEP process would be extremely beneficial and helpful! Thanks again! mamatoadeafboy
hello there BPN ers,
my sweet almost 5 year old is entering K in the fall of '11; which school in the central zone, in your opinion, is the best for her needs of partial hearing impairment/fine motor impairments?
She is in private speech and OT programs. Her hearing problems are not correctable, and I am struggling with BUSD to have her issues evaluated (and wow, they are not real helpful).
My little one is cheerful and motivated to learn despite her hearing loss and motor issues, and we are hopeful that there is a school in the central zone that would welcome her and her involved parents. We will happily take her to which ever school serves her needs best, and she is really excited to be going to K!
Any suggestions? gratefully, G's mom
If you're struggling with the district to get an evaluation, you might consider hiring an advocate or contacting DREDF at www.dredf.org. Also, join BSPED; more info here: http://www.berkeley.net/index.php?page=bsped Hope this helps! Jill
If you are still interested in central zone schools, each of them have great programs and access to special assistance. Schools are very good at keeping the kindergartners in their own area away from the big kids as needed. Some of the on site specialists change from year to year, as do the teachers, as do the principals. If you are intending to use an after school program, you can look into what is offered at each site. If you want something within walking distance, you may want to pick a closer school. Other than that, set up school visits - including John Muir, keep on the IEP folks and ask them about access to John Muir. Anon
I would like to hear from parents with recent experiences with King MS in Berkeley for students with Learning Disabilities. I have a son with several LDs including ADHD, dysgraphia, slower processing speed and verbal fluency issues. He is super bright but getting words on a page is super difficult without loads of one-on-one help. Has anyone had recent experiences with King and accomodations for LD kids? I know that BUSD and King have a Special Ed team and that support staff / resources are supposed to be available for identified LD kids. How does this translate into real accomodations in the classroom and other learning support? Would love to hear recent experiences as I am needing to decide between keeping my child where he is and paying private tuition and extra tutoring support or moving him to King and eventually to Berkeley High. Am recently divorced so money is a real issue but do not want to make the move if the services required are not going to concretely be there for him when dealing with actual teachers, classroom situations and homework. Single Mom of 2 kids with LDs
I'm looking for information on special ed inclusion programs in Berkeley. My child with special needs will be entering the district next fall and we'd love feedback on other parents' experiences with the various inclusion specialists and programs in Berkeley. Our gut feeling is that we need a small school with a really supportive inclusion program where special ed teachers, regular ed teachers, parent and kids are supportive and accepting of kids with learning, physical, and speech differences. Our child will be in a regular classroom but will need a lot of support in many areas. Thanks! anon
My son is about to enter King Middle School. At the end of 5th grade his insightful teacher recognized that his spelling scores were way below all his other subjects. Historically, he always excelled in math, but he was a late reader. His reading improved after third grade and he is now above grade level in everything but spelling. His teacher initiated testing and that confirmed her suspicions that my son has a learning disability. We squeezed a 504 plan into place right at the very end of 5th grade. Now that he is about to start middle school, I am unclear what is the most helpful way to approach my son's disability with King. Should I talk to the administration? Wait until he has classes and discuss it with his teachers? What have other parents done? He is an all around above grade level kid with this one glaring issue, although his reading was probably impaired in his earlier years. Thanks for any help. I am interested in what has and has not worked. Mom of Middle Schooler
I just left from my son's iep meeting at King Middle School. He is an 11 year old twin, with cerebral palsy. Because Berkeley Unified only has inclusion programs for special ed. students, it's clear that he needs an i.a. to assist him throughout the day. I've been informed that the district will probably deny the request, even though it is his right, due to budget constraints; however they can do it if I ''fight'' for it. Any suggestions/recommendations? Thanks.
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/relsvc.aide.steedman.htm http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/parapro.qual.htm http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/parapro.aide.htmJill
My child will be starting kindergarten in BUSD and will need a 504 plan due to a physical disability that requires some accommodations. I don't really know where to start and how to actually obtain the 504 and then ensure that the accommodations are in place...anyone who has been through the process -- can you give me some info? thanks so much...
After you receive the plan, I highly recommend that you provide a copy to each of your student's teachers, every year. I copy my daughter's plan on brightly colored, 3-hole punched paper, and include a cover memo highlighting the most important accommodations. Good luck. anon
Unfortunately, I have had 2 friends in Berkeley with children who desperately need these services, and both were denied. One family wasn't even given the evaluation. I have a feeling that BUSD denies most people, and then you have to fight them. It might help to send them documentation from any other professionals or even to have one of them make the request for you. Good luck. dawn
My son is 28 months old and diagnosed with ASD. He is mid - high functioning, but is just beginning to use words. Although it hasnt seem like I've had long to appreciate the pre 3 services he's had, I am looking into being informed for his IEP in the fall. I asked the OT about it today and she informed me that they will also do a transition meeting..What I thought to myself, even 9 months away seemed soon! It really stinks to be in an uninformed place after all the research I did for pre 3..I really need to gain more knowledge about this process and also would love advice as to a good parent advocate, if I should get an independent developmental assessment etc. as I would have to get on a list now to get in before his transition meeting in June. We are in the Berkeley School District. I would really appreciate hearing what others have done to prepare for this. I really don't want my son to just be given whatever because I havent done the proper leg work.
There aren't a whole lot of options here in Berkeley, so my advice is to just know your son and know what will work for him. Here are some things for you to ponder:
1. What kind of classroom setting will work for him? You'll have a choice of entirely special ed, mixed (some percentage) special ed and head start kids or a ''full inclusion'' model where he's the only, or one of the only special ed kids in a room full of regular ed kids.
2. Depending on what kind of classroom placement you get, will he need an aide?
3. What other services does he need? Speech therapy? Does he have sensory issues? Does he have physical issues? If so, should he see the therapist 1:1 or in a group?
4. Do you want a home program in addition to his classroom? Are you doing ABA? Do you have an agency you want to work with?
Lots of questions, I know, but just some things to keep in mind. Feel free to contact me directly if you want. Jill
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