Stephanie's Charter School Success Story

A mother searching for the right solution for her child with Sensory Integration Disorder finds that solution at CCA after the inability to make her CCSD school work.

Born early, Stephanie's first child, Michelle, has ADD and Sensory Integration Disorder (which is on the autism spectrum but is not autism.)  Stephanie is a mother and a nurse – so she knew there were issues with her child's ability to process stimuli from an early age.  Throughout preschool and kindergarten,  she would ask the teachers how her daughter was doing during the day in class.  She wanted the information for herself and to pass it on the Occupational Therapists seeing Michelle, too. 

When Michelle began first grade, Stephanie brought in a letter from a therapist informing the teacher about Sensory Integration Disorder and ways to work with her so she'd get the most out of the class and be the least distraction for the teacher.  It seemed like the teacher ignored all of the information in the letter and ran into problem after problem with Michelle as a result.  Some things the teacher did directly contradicted the directions from the therapist – like punishing her bad behavior by taking away her chance to burn off energy at recess.  Stephanie went through multiple times asking for the school to perform tests, being assured everything was in place, and then finding out nothing had been done.    She found out the teacher who had gotten the letter from  Michelle's therapist threw the letter away.  The school had to do things a certain way: they had to try and fail and put Michelle though the works  because that is "the way it is done" – they would not listen to the knowlege Stephanie gave them. 

As soon as she was able, Stephanie transferred Michelle to Cherokee Charter Academy.  Stephanie couldn't be happier and Michelle is thriving.  "Her current teacher understands her quirks and communicates with me so we can adjust with the various therapies she does. She has the tools she needs for her issues at school and no one takes them."  At CCA, they integrate the input from Michelle's team of therapists into their plans for her and she is happy and learning.  Stephanie says, "Now everything is great and she is learning!"  She is a happy mother who credits the charter school with saving her daughter from path she was on. 

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Jim Beam November 05, 2012 at 08:26 PM
So much for the myth that the traditional public schools do such a great job with special-needs kids. Even worse, the teacher who threw away the doctor's orders without reading will be getting a 3% raise this January. So much for accountability. Thankfully, this child is finally getting the education she deserves. Vote YES on Amendment 1 so that all GA children can.
Debbie Pascoe November 05, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Yeah. The myth. It doesn't bother me that people say that traditional public schools do a good job with kids with special needs, IEPs, etc. I'm sure many do -- they have the resources and people, right? But to suggest that ALL do a great job and that NO kid with a special need is going to get what he/she needs in a charter school is just plain silly. But some people listen to that stuff -- gotta dispel the myth, man.
Stevie Nicks November 05, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Debbie, I am truly happy that Stephanie had the opportunity to take her daughter elsewhere that worked. I am especially happy that Michelle has found somewhere that is a great fit for her. This is a success story for charter schools and I am sure many more happy ending stories can be found. Defeat of Amendment 1 will not make these kinds of success stories go away....it will not impact the positive or negative things that happen in charter schools in any way. What will change is that way that charter schools get approved and that $1 million will be used to run government organization...$$ that could be in the budget for ALL schools, charter and traditional. VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1! The teachers in Cherokee County are gettin a mid-year raise, partial raise. For many teachers the raise will not cover the increase in their medical insurance, run by the government, so their take home pay will actually be less after the "raise."
Monty Brewster November 05, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Wow. So there are only 2 success stories from CCA?
Jim Beam November 05, 2012 at 11:59 PM
The teachers deserve the raise, esp. given the recent high SAT scores. But most of recession-America is getting no raise whatsoever so a search for salary sympathy here will fall on the deaf ears of people working just as hard in the private sector but not getting any taxpayer-financed raises. As Monty said earlier, we're in a recession. It's not 2006 anymore - time for this board and super to stop spending like it. Defeat of Amendment 1 closes the charter school and increases classroom size when those students get forced back into CCSD. That's lose-lose for everyone.
Monty Brewster November 06, 2012 at 01:51 AM
So, to compare teachers with other private sectors... when you have more customers, this would generally generate more revenue. CCSD numbers have increased but they get less funding? CCSD performs better than any other county... and again, less funding and more haters come out to bring them down. Where else in the world does this happen. Stop comparing teachers and education in general to the private sector if you aren't going to pay them appropriately and treat them with respect when they are the performing better than anyone else.
Monty Brewster November 06, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Hopefully, her CCA teacher will also be getting a raise. That would be a third success story to write about, Debbie.
Jim Beam November 06, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Monty, our teachers are being more-than adequately paid. Teacher pay will be an issue when our national ed. rankings currently near the bottom outpace our teacher pay, which is currently in the mid 20s (last I checked).
Monty Brewster November 06, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Actually, when compared on an even playing field, GA is ranked 7th.


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