Tag: special education

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School
I was going through old photos when I made a sad discovery. In third and fourth grade, my granddaughter lost her smile. She also lost two years of her education because her school was unable to adapt materials and methods so she could learn. These were her final years in public school, as it was... Read more »

Park School Needs a Playground its Students with Disabilities Can Use

They are so close to their goal…make a donation today The school playground is usually empty. The swing frame holds no swings. The wooden climbing structure is decaying, faded and cracked with age. The wood chip surface is thin and unusable for children whose wheelchairs can’t be pushed across it. When the Penny Park, a... Read more »

Special Education for Evanston High School Students: If You Build it, Should They Come?

Many Evanstonians were outraged by a highly insensitive comment by Alderman Ann Rainey about creating a new special education program for high school students. At a zoning committee meeting, Evanston Township High School (ETHS) officials requested a special permit to build a therapeutic day school in an area zoned for commercial use only. After an... Read more »
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Do The Right Thing for Kids Needing Special Education: A Valentine’s Day Message to the State of Illinois

As someone who loves her grandchildren with special needs, I am begging you this Valentine’s Day to have a heart. And as a lifelong advocate for civil rights, which includes the rights of people with disabilities, I am asking our State Senators, Representatives, and Governor to think deeply about the consequences of a bill under... Read more »

Park School Has a Playground its Students Can’t Use

Have you ever tried pushing a twenty-five pound child in a stroller through sand? It’s comparable to pushing a ten-year-old in a wheelchair through a playground with a wood chip surface. You’d better be really strong. This is just one of the challenges the playground of Park School presents for staff trying to get students... Read more »

Social Impact Bonds: Chicago Plays Pay for Success with Young Kids

I’ll confess that in my capacity as an early childhood director for over twenty years, I often made the argument for the benefits of quality early childhood education. I discussed it at community meetings as a way to level the playing field to give every child a decent start in life. I wrote about it... Read more »
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Special Education, the PARCC Test, and Opting Out

Just how should a student with special needs that include significant communication and anxiety disorders express his desire to opt out of the Partnership in Assessment for College and Careers (PARCC) exam? Will throwing his laptop across the room count? How about banging his head on his desk? Does he need to scream or cry... Read more »

How Teachers Impact the Lives of Children with Special Needs

My granddaughter, who has so much trouble with her expressive language, has no trouble letting me know who her true heroes are. She can make a list on her iPad of every teacher she has had since age two.  When I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, that’s one question... Read more »

What Summer Looks Like for a Child with Special Needs

Ethan is in full-blown refusal mode. He has realized that his “summer camp” is really a version of school, minus his familiar teachers and peers. Not much playtime or recess, even on beautiful 80-degree days. Sofia, on the other hand, is struggling at a summer camp with lots of play but no consistent schedule. Even... Read more »
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Arne Duncan and Special Education – A Dangerous Mixture

I said I was on vacation and not posting again after Monday, but on the eve of my departure, this came crawling across my Facebook feed via my fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Chicago Public Fools: Arne Duncan Proposes New Accountability for Special Education by Diane Ravitch. Duncan actually said the following: “We know that when students... Read more »