Most of the time, if a news article talks about Special Education, it is because the news is bad. It is incredibly refreshing to hear a story about a school that has an excellent Special Education program. A school in Elgin, Illinois, has been granted a very high honor by an important national organization.
It seems to me that we hear three or four negative stories about things happening in Special Education before we hear one that talks about a positive situation. I’m not sure if this is because bad news, scandalous behavior, and words of hate, fly faster across the internet than happy news does, or if it is because there really is more bad than good going on in Special Education.
When we hear that some schools have used “scream rooms” it is clear that things are not as they should be in some Special Education programs. Stories from parents whose children were mistreated by the child’s teacher or principal don’t make things look any better. This is why it is so wonderful to hear a story about a school that really does have an excellent Special Education Program.
The Larkin Center School is located in Elgin, Illinois. It recently has been named a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers. The association is a national professional organization that is dedicated to ensuring that all children and adolescents with special needs receive the best education possible.
The Schools of Excellence award is “the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through” the National Association of Special Education Teachers. This award is only given to schools that meet rigorous professional criteria, and that have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment, and achievement in the field of special education.
The Larkin Center School is different from other schools in many ways. It includes a day school for students who are at risk of dropping out of their public schools. All of the students at Larkin Center are eligible for Special Education.
The student population includes students who have a variety of behavioral challenges, emotional challenges, learning disabilities, or an autism spectrum disorder. All of the students who attend Larkin Center were referred from their original school district. The school serves about 70 students.
In order to ensure that all of the students receive the best education possible, Larkin Center teaches to an individual child’s strengths as much as possible. The teachers use many different varieties of instructional approaches. In other words, the teachers change the method of teaching that they use in order to best fit the needs of a child, (not the the other way around). This school is able to do plenty of one on one, or individual, instruction.
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