I am a parent of two children in charter schools. The school that I want to speak about specifically is Summit Academy. Summit Academy is for children with ADD and ADHD and other learning disabilities. My son has attended there for the past five years and has grown in more ways than I would have dreamed he would in the public school system. Summit Academy not only strives to meet the academic needs of the children but the overall child as well. They understand that self esteem and social skills are vital to a child’s success in life. They also understand that each child is differently abled and they work diligently to meet the needs of each child. The teachers are dedicated to finding new ways of helping the kids reach their full potential.
I don’t think that it is fair to look at just the numbers when it comes to testing. It is understandable that a school like Summit would haver scores overall since the student body is made up of students with a wide range of abilities. It is unfair to compare them to the public schools who are not equipped to handle these children. The teachers are not trained in this area and these kids end up falling through the cracks. But since they are dispersed throughout the district their testing scores have little effect on the average scores of the school as a whole. As was my experience with my son; He was basically segregated from the other children and only his academic and physical needs were being met. He had no friends, low self esteem, and was very angry. At Summit Academy my son is learning responsibility, respect, and self control. He also enjoys being a leader and helper in class. Though he may not meet state standards at this time, he works hard everyday and has built relationships that he otherwise would not have been able to have in the public school setting that he was in.
It is my sincere hope that charter schools like Summit Academy be supported. They are ready and able to provide for the children that the public school system is unable to properly accommodate. They concentrate on the areas that a child needs help the most until the child has succeeded before moving on. It is very important for these children to have success in their lives in order to have the drive to move on. Otherwise they would give up. If it were not for the Summit Academy school, I would have to turn to homeschooling. Since schools are so geared toward teaching and studying for tests, they do not have the time required to teach children who need more time and patience.