Special Ed options for Middle School other than OUSD
Our child needs therapeutic and pull out support for behavioral and learning challenges. We're looking at middle schools outside of Oakland. We think we might be priced out of the schools that might work best, but are checking here in case folks have some advice/options we haven't thought about. Maybe Concord? San Leandro? Castro Valley?
5th grade experience was at a great school community - strong principal, excellent therapist team, thoughtful assessments. But OUSD repeatedly did not evaluate and update our child's progress, did not follow up with IEPs, missed important areas we needed addressed. There were major and chronic deficits in the resourcing and training of "mainstream" faculty on effective practices communicating with special ed staff and supporting our child's needs. There was a constant battle to get assignments recorded and shared clearly and bringing our child along clearly and adequately only happened 50% of the time. Most students who had challenges were physically separated from the school population even for many all-school events.
6th grade, middle school, was better with more experienced (though even less resourced) special ed staff and therapy. Excellent site leadership in so many ways. But the school is likely best for folks who are primarily Spanish speakers and the parent and student culture relies on this (so awesome for some, but not a great fit for us as it played out). Our child is most interested in choir, band, theater, etc. and those programs are only sporadically offered. After school program was poorly supervised with constant turnover and could really only work for the kids who are most socially capable. We were the only QTBLG family which was not ideal, but relatively minor in most ways.
Leaving this school and still staying in OUSD isn't really an option. Middle schools options for the therapeutic support we need are extremely limited.
For 7th grade, we are open to the idea of selling our house, moving, renting, really getting into a place with more opportunities and resources. This will mean more commuting, possibly considerably smaller housing, etc. We've been considering other states with stronger special ed resources (there are many) and middle schools where there are arts programs, therapy, and less turnover at the top (OUSD is in a total churn there). But we increasingly think we may need to stay.
Have others been in this position? Are you happy with the special ed services in your non-OUSD district?
It looks like we'd be priced out of Alameda, Berkeley, Albany, (the usual suspects).
We haven't found private schools that have the support we need.
We expect to be fully mainstreamed in the next year so special ed - only schools aren't the best fit either.
Here's what we are hoping for:
Daily on-site therapy for students with behavioral challenges. (Rare in Oakland middle schools but we see this district-wide in other states.)
Strong experienced team that is used to communicating about IEPs, assignments, between special ed team and mainstream faculty.
A parent-involved school culture that includes regular communications about ways to be involved and connect families.
QTLBG, racial, income diversity.
Thanks for any thoughts or resources.