I think we got somewhat lucky in that right near my work is a full career, secular, non-profit, Montessori. They not only accept "difficult" students (they say there are no difficult students or learning disabilities, just inappropriate teaching methods), they welcome them. Their documented success rate with "different" kids is in the 90% range. Success being equivilent abilities to their peers.
Ro's classroom is like a kids wet dream. They have all the Montessori stations, a rabbit to care for, a garden to care for. All that cool interactive stuff. From the summer session she was in Ro is ahead of much of what they were teaching, but they'll rectify that soon enough!
The high school building was great too. The students do most of their work in a large room with tables. There are no individual desks, and no one is confined to an area or a task. When we walked through several of the 10th grader-ish students were identifying blood under microcopes, something we never did in high school. They were collaborting and teaching each other while the teacher merely guided, Socratic-method style. I would have killed someone to go to this kind of high school. I might have actually enjoyed it!
As we were leaving, several students we returning to school. Seems one of them had a minor part in a commercial play downtown and she and her friends were returning from that morning's performance. Full support of the school, as they saw it as a learning opportunity, and not just for the performing student.
Just walking around those kids was a breath of fresh air. They were all bright and positive and respectful.
One thing that impressed is that the administrator knew every kid in every class by name.
Basically, they are doing all the things I was doing as homeschooling, but they've got more time and 'stuff' to use. (That montessory equipment is damn expensive).
What sucks, is that I have to pay twice. There is no way for me to recoup my school taxes to offset the cost of the private school. What should be costing me $4500 a year is actually costing me over $7000, because the public schools won't give up their cut, and they've got the men with guns to enforce it.
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