So I get to work this morning and my phone rings... Todd called to tell me that he got the boys fed, dressed and into the "bus" and off to Ripton. BUT the problem was.. It was 7:45 not 8:45! Too funny!
While we are talking about Ripton... Those of you who are familiar with the school know how wonderful it is. Students with special needs can actually get the individual attention and education that they are supposed to be guaranteed under state and federal laws. You may have also heard that the Board of Alderman in there (not so) infinite wisdom, have forced the Board of Education to close the budget gap by closing the school! It was reported in the Post (and we all know how accurate that rag is!) that there are only 8 SN students from Shelton. That does NOT include the Pre-K program which is predominantly SN students. That number also does NOT include the students from other towns that pay tuition for those students. I still fail to see how closing the school will save money. The students will be moved to neighborhood schools - along with the teachers. The city will use the building for office space. So, where exactly is the savings??? The will still need separate bussing for SN and pre-k students. I have it on good authority that Andy's class will be moved to Lafayette School. Hmmmm didn't they want to close that building b/c it is unsafe? And full of mold? And I'm supposed to send my Asthmatic 4yo there??? Ok- so let's say the clean/fix the building (which the City can't afford to do!) the playgrounds are not age-appropriate, handicap accessible, or fenced off, so - no outside play for the Pre-k (the school is right next to Rte. 110 in Downtown Shelton- right across form our old apartment. We didn't let the cat off of her leash there...) Oh and b/c the school is already full with K-6, they will only get gym class 1x/week instead of 4x/week. And of course it only gets worse from there.. Andy isn't too bad, he's still got a few delays, but his goals are in listening and following directions for the most part. I don't know what is going to happen to Jimmy! he doesn't do change well - remember Rainman??? When he first started school and every once in a while now, he goes to the gym to "burn off" some anxiety/energy so that he can focus on his lesson. How is that going to happen now? I'm not even sure what school he's going to next year. I can't believe the BOA, BOE, and the Mayor actually let this happen! As if these kids don't have a hard enough time! If you are reading this and you are from Shelton, please join with the rest of the Ripton parents/grandparents and let our elected officials know just how much this SUCKS and how badly they are screwing over disabled children! If you click on the title, it will link you to the contact info for the board members.
Todd and I were talking last night and we are seriously considering moving Andy to a program in Milford come September regardless of what happens with Ripton. I can't send him to Lafayette. It would be unhealthy in SO many ways! I also know that Milford's special ed program is actually willing to work with St. Ann's. Mr. Conrad and Mrs. Plasky form St. Ann's have really been great to us through everything. I'm really happy to pay that tuition bill - worth every penny!