What Questions Parents should ask when Visiting Special Education Private or Alternative Schools?

There are times when either the IEP team or the parent may feel that a special education private or alternative school is appropriate to meet a child’s needs. When visiting the proposed school, we advise parents to use the following questions as guidance to better determine whether the school can meet the child’s unique needs.

  • Does the private school have any special education licensure?
  • What areas of need does the private school address concerning children with disabilities? Are there any areas the private school specializes in as compared to other areas?
  • What is the admission process and criteria?
  • How many children per class? What is the Student/teacher ratio? Do the students in the same class have similar needs?
  • How many classrooms does the school have per grade?
  • What is the age range of children in the classroom?
  • Are teachers certified? If so, in what?
  • Who provides the following?:
    Occupational Therapy:
    Speech and Language:
    Counseling:
    Social skills:
    Psychology services:
    Parent training:
  • What training have their therapists received?
  • Is a nurse always on site?
  • What are the educational programs used for direct instruction in the following subjects and how are they provided, and how many times per week?:
    Math:
    Reading:
    Written expression:
  • How are students broken up during programs? How are they grouped in the classroom?
  • How are IEPs handled? Does the school create a new one when a child starts attending the private school or do does it implement the IEP from the previous school?
  • How are Behavior Intervention Plans developed and administered?
  • Has the private school ever had to call the police? If so, how do you determine when to call them?
  • What are the discipline procedures of the private school?
  • How do they determine when a child is ready to return to the regular education setting?
  • Preparing before your visit to the private school can better help the parent determine whether the school is a good educational fit for the child.

For more information about special education contact us or call (610) 750-5565.  The information within this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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