Finding the Right Fit for Special Needs Students who Require Academic and Behavioral Support
As parents, it is an undeniable fact that we all want what’s best for our children, including choosing the best school. This especially rings true when finding the right educational programs and behavioral support for children with special needs.
Addressing Behavioral Support and Specialized Academic Needs
Back in 1975, when the federal special education law was passed, Congress found that most handicapped children were not receiving appropriate education. Unfortunately, millions of children were excluded from school altogether because of this. Since 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) now governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention and special education to children with disabilities.
But, unfortunately, many public school districts in New Jersey are still not equipped to provide an individualized and holistic approach for these students. To fully absorb learning objectives and succeed in building social skills, kids with special needs require a specific learning environment. Frustrated with a lack of behavioral support and specialized academics in the public schools, parents of children with special needs are taking matters into their own hands and turning to private day schools.
Private School Tuition
What some parents may not be aware of is the cost of tuition for private special education schools may be available through the sending school district. Under the federal IDEA, public school districts and charter schools have a duty to ensure that students with disabilities receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). However, if your public school district is not able to offer a suitable special education program for your child, you’re entitled to have your child placed in a private school—and to have the district pay for it (20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(10)).
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA website which provides background about the law, as well as links to the full statute and regulations. And for more detailed information on the IDEA—including an extensive discussion of the dispute resolution process—read The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child.
Supporting Special Needs Students who Require Behavioral Support
Determining the best educational options for your special needs child can be a difficult path. It’s all about understanding your child’s specific needs and finding an appropriate program that directly meets those needs.
One such enhanced alternative program to the public school district is Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. Harbor School operates as a private day school, approved by the N.J. Department of Education to provide enhanced education for disabled, autistic and students with behavioral and mental health issues from ages 5-21. Providing a nurturing and supportive learning environment for students, Harbor School also allows parents to bond with other parents from all walks of life who struggle with similar questions and concerns.
Special Education Programs at Harbor School
Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Our school seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.
Our mission at Harbor School:
Provide a safe and nurturing educational environment dedicated to the vision that individuals with disabling conditions are entitled to a full and meaningful life.