I’m a parent advocate for children with 504 and IEP plans in the Olympia School District. My children have attended neighborhood and “alternative” lottery schools. I am thankful for the “alternative” schools, but for children with IEPs, they are not as accessible. I would like to see more community concern directed to the School Board and Student Support Services asking OSD to offer “alternative” school programs to all students regardless of IEP status.
Sadly, last October I was informed by a high school that if a student has an IEP they can apply, but would only be accepted on a case-by-case basis due to the IEP. I was told the same by a lottery K-6 school four years ago. Schools can do this, but is it ethical? What happens when a family surrenders their child’s IEP to get into the school? Are the lucky 504 or IEP children successful students with enough support at the alternative schools?
I am pro-inclusion. During this age of disparaging presidential remarks towards the disabled, our community must strengthen support for children. Public lottery “alternative” schools should not be most accessible to children without disabilities. Our community is generous with OSD funding. OSD must act appropriately to include student support at all schools for students with disabilities.
On a happier note, several years ago I called Lincoln Options Elementary asking, “Will you take my child with an IEP?” Their answer, “Of course!” Let’s work on inclusion to provide student support at some other “alternative” schools now!