Tuesday, September 5, 2017

AIM High!

First day of school here.
Usually this means I have not slept, and have probably gotten this far in my day on klonopin and coffee.

Jaysen started a new school last year.


Yes. And this one is amazeballs.
Like bring tears to your eyes, amazeballs.
Like smack-yo-momma, make you cry, amazeballs.

I was going to keep the name of this school anon as well, but it really does deserve recognition.
AIM High is a school for kids like mine. Maybe like yours. But really, all kids would benefit from education like this.
It has literally changed his life.
And mine.

AIM is designed for kids on the Spectrum.
I was freaked out because as a private school, they "don't do" IEP's.  ACK!
In fact, there is not one Special Education teacher on staff! Not one! *cue arrhythmia and sweating*

It was explained to me that they don't need those things. The teachers (and ancillary staff) are so freaking compassionate, this is their passion in life. They don't need IEP's because the whole building is an accommodation. The way the days are laid out and the class sizes (averaging 6-10 students per class!), the individualized instruction, the support of the entire staff, and student body...it's honestly more like a huge family.

But education is still paramount. They use an evidence based education model. They have a full curriculum with core academics  as prescribed by the MMC. They have electives. They have a band. They teach life skills. They teach social skills.You can get an actual diploma and they assist in transition planning like college visits, ACT prep, and job internships. And if the student is not college-bound, they have a 5th year option for dual enrollment at a post secondary school.
They do not give up on these kids.


The suck side is it is a tuition-based private school, and VERY expensive.
I cannot afford this school, even with financial aid. ShittyEx has agreed per decree, to a minimal contribution of less than 1/4 of expenses (Gee, thanks).
I will do everything in my power to keep Jaysen at this school, and continue to do so with the help of my family. He is absolutely worth every penny.

The principal disclosed to me, after our first year was coming to a close-
This school was created for kids like Jaysen.
Kids who are lost in the public schools despite the "support and services" they received.
Kids whom the public schools failed, and as a result, do not have an educational foundation to draw on.
He told me he was warned about Jaysen. Did he really want to take him on?? He's a lot of trouble, aggressive, "not teachable". He is "volatile" and a "behavior problem". Good luck with that kid.
The principal wanted to take a chance on him anyway. He ain't no sissy. 
A few months in, he admitted to me that Jaysen was nothing like the prior administration described. He found Jaysen to be sweet, polite, eager, hardworking...Yes, he needed help with self-regulation and managing his frustrations, but he had made so many improvements in that area already.

There were no meltdowns last year.
There were no faking sick days.
There were no tears or arguments.
There was no frustration with homework, because they do their homework after "regular school", with teacher support. I know, right?!?!?
Jaysen actually learned stuff, guys. Not only that, but he learned, retained, and applied stuff!
He was excited for school to start again this year, and that has NEVER happened.

AIM High School

We love this place.

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