Special Education in the Albany School District
It's so challenging finding the right school for any child as they grow. Education unfortunately does not cater to diverse populations but rather one or two types of learners. My child is not dyslexic nor is my child bilingual, but they did have challenges at Albany and we pulled them out. The school district is notoriously bad at catering to neuro-atypical students across the board and it gets more challenging in the upper grades. Albany is fantastic if your child is an A+ student who needs very little intervention, but anything else is a struggle. Berkeley Unified (if you're looking at public schools) is more supportive of SPED needs and I know STAR academy in Marin is also a fantastic school for SPED. Hope this helps in some way!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
RE: AUSD, SFUSD, and special needs
My kids go to school in Albany. I think it has a terrific program for special needs, with an emphasis on inclusion to the extent possible. My kids have had at least one kid with an aide in their class most years. They also have the special day class and all the supports but they really try to have as much inclusion as the kid can handle, which is great for all the kids. Anon
I have a 6 year old daughter with significant language and cognitive delays. She is currently in a SH class in WCCUSD. The only time she is with ''regular ed'' children is during recess. I am considering moving to Albany because I believe that AUSD would provide her with a program where she would be more integrated with ''regular ed'' kids while providing her with all the support she needs.
If you have or had a child with special needs (and an IEP) in Albany Unified, please let me know your overall opinion of his/her education there. Did your child receive enough support? Was s/he significantly integrated in the school? How did the other children treat your child?
Thank you for taking the time to respond! -Mother-of-Special Needs Child
I have a daughter who is 13 and currently attending AMS. She is a gifted child who has severe learning dis. and emotional, and social issues.
I moved her from Raskob school in Oakland into Ocean view at the end of 4th grade, and she stayed there for all of 5th grade before moving to Albany middle school.She did not do well emotionally at Raskob and I was holding my breath when she started Ocean view, but it turned out to be the best experience to date for her.
She had SE classes for reading and math, but was in a regular classroom as well, where her teacher was great and was able to focus on her abilities and work with her strengths. Middle school, came and that all went out the window .
They put her in the ''resourse room'', which is a class room of 12-14 1 teacher and 1 aid, for all kids that are struggling.There was definitely no specific education plan to address her learning dis.in the ''resource room''.
After obtaining an advocate form DREDF, and going to metting after meeting she now has a modified schedule that is working better for her. my experience is that the folks are really nice at AMS but didnt listen to me as a parent until I brought in an Advocate to back me up.My daughter now has one on one with the reading specialists , small math class and likes her GE teacher for English and History. I cant say she's doing great but much better after a 2-year fight.Good luck and hang in there! -jackie
I have a child in special education at Cornell. He is in the general ed classroom with full-time paraprofessional assistance, and he has pull-outs for other services. Without seeing your daughter's assessment or IEP I can't begin to speculate about what her placement would be. However, I can tell you that the school is very inclusive of children with special needs. They are members of a wonderful school community. The principal talks about what a privilege it is to have a special day class at Cornell and cultivates an environment of respect. We also think very highly of the SDC teacher. Our experience with special education in Albany has been very good overall. If you have any more specific questions, you can ask the moderator for my email address. Special Ed Mom
I have a child in Special Education with ADD and some language processing issues. We have been in an ongoing disagreement with our school district (Albany USD) over his IEP and are at the point that I think we need an attorney to help us, as we are heading toward filing a suit (due process complaint) against the district for failing to provide appropriate services, and several other issues. Any suggestions? Unhappy Albany parent
Catherine Doble is a great attorney from what I have heard. Unfortunately I do not have her number. I am also an Albany parent and unhappy. Would be interested to know which school your child attends and what grade he/she is in. Also are you a member of the Yahoo groups put on by an Albany Parent for families who have children with special needs? My child has processing issues and I would have to agree that I don't think they are addressing the issues appropriately. Frankly, I don't think they know what to do. Good luck. anonymous
DREDF will be able to provide some legal advice. They may also be able to refer you to an attorney. http://www.dredf.org/ Good Luck