BUSD SpEd Inclusion Programs: what's the real story?
Hi Berkeley Parents Network
We're trying to figure out where in the East Bay we should put down roots. Our 3 year old son has autism, and so the biggest factor is whether he'll have the support to thrive in school. We've heard very polarized opinions about the inclusion programs in Berkeley; we understand that among parents of special needs students, BUSD has a poor reputation, but it is starting to look like BUSD is the surest bet to get our son into a well resourced inclusion classroom. We are currently in Oakland, and while OUSD has some very good inclusion schools, they also have many under-resourced schools, and even if we moved into the hill areas near the good schools, it would still literally ba a lottery to get him a good placement. Whereas it seems like Berkeley has more consistency across programs, and so moving to Berkeley would be a safer play. I wonder if BUSD's poor reputation stems from the fact that they have ONLY inclusion programs and no special day classes, so parents who need their kids to be in a more restrictive environment don't really have anywhere to turn, and that would be deeply frustrating. But if that's the case, and we are looking for an inclusion classroom, then wouldn't BUSD be a reasonable choice? I'm looking for parents who have experience with BUSD inclusion to offer a more nuanced take than what we've gotten so far. (We know Piedmont is the best but we're not sure we can afford it.) Thank you!!!