From the Mocha Autism Network Site
OK, So for the Oakland school District, December begins the enrollment period for the 2011-2012 academic year. No Problem I will just look in the enrollment guide for Middle Schools and everything will be just fine. I am so grateful that the Oakland Unified School District has an Asperger's Program (ASIP) in specific schools from Elementary through High School. This ought to be simple... Right?
Wait!!! What? Middle School... When did that happen? I just got over letting Da Youngsta stay the whole day of Kindergarten in 2005!!This can't possibly be happening. And besides, I thought I just worked on a great IEP and work plan for him and the 5th grade is going very smoothly with a few hiccups. Now I have to work with another Speech, OT, Inclusion and now 5 teachers? I am surely going to need to be medicated....
For those of you in the Bay Area with Elementary School Students, The Aspergers program is at Piedmont Avenue Elementary school near Fenton's Creamery. the 2 Middle schools that house the program are Edna Brewer and Montera Middle Schools Both are some of the highest ranking (I mean kick A$$ ranked) schools in the district and for both, the High Schools that children go to include Oakland Tech and Bishop O'Dowd. I toured both schools as well as spoke with the Aspergers teachers and Principals at both. Here is a Run Down:
Both Schools (as well as all in the District) consider the 6th grade as a "transition period." That means, the 6th graders are pretty much housed in a separate part of the campus in their own sort of "school" the only time they are going to be with older grades is during gym and a portion of lunch
Both schools have amazing Electives such as Concert band/orchestra, Computers, and art classes. Montera Middle school is also home of one of the few wood shop classes in the state (probably the region).
Both schools have a population of almost 1,000 students! Yep, you heard me: 1,000. the 6th grade classes in both schools are equivalent to the total populations of most elementary school.
Instead of Transitioning 5 times, 6th graders at both schools only transition 3 times Math/Science is a block Language/Social Studies is a block and then PE
There are after school clubs that last until 5pm at both schools. although if you are not in a club, there may not be space in the current afterschool programs on either campus.
The ASIP programs are innovative and non-intrusive the teachers seem to have a lot of training in social skills and they like to be there (which is always good)
Edna Brewer is an "academic family" structure where the principle and teachers rotate with the kids. For example the VP of next year's 6th grade class will move up a grade with the students and will also be their 8th grade VP. that is helpful for those of us that hate to explain everything over year after year.
There are a bunch of other things, but this is long enough. I will try to post more later.
Whew... All this for middle school? I don't think I will be able to make it... Y'all Pray for me. ~Mb