Despite whether or not your child has a learning difficulty, parents should assess their children’s needs and find suitable, local schools. For example, some children respond better to more rigid schedules and discipline, while others thrive in an open, hands-on environment. For a child with special needs, finding a good fit is most important.
Just because your child is diagnosed with a disability does not mean that he/she cannot attend private school. Public school districts are required to spend a proportionate share of their federal special education funds for students with disabilities parentally placed in private schools, to fund service plans. Public school districts are required to meet with the administrators of private institutions in their area at least annually to discuss what services they will provide.
“A human being mints many coins from the same mold, and they are all identical. But the holy one, blessed by God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each one of us is unique.”
Parents may decide to enroll their children in home school programs for a variety of reasons. Some feel their child needs the small structured environment of home. Some do not want their child exposed to the standardized requirements of a public school. Some need to avoid social situations. It could be that the child is involved in an activity that requires them to have an extremely flexible schedule.
If you believe your home-schooled child has a learning difficulty, you have the right to an evaluation and to seek services from your local public school district. However, the school district is not required to provide services to home-schooled children.
Some families may view Virtual School as an option for their students.
Miami-Dade Virtual School (M-DVS) provides online options for students to earn high school credits. Courses are based on the Sunshine State Standards or the requirements of the College Board. There are several online options for K-12 as well.
The State of Florida offers a number of scholarships, including scholarships for learners with disabilities. The Family Empowerment Unique Abilities Scholarship (FES-UA), is for students ages 3-22 who have a qualifying disability. Please see Teach Coalition’s website for a listing of those available and the application process.
Please see the resource directory for a more comprehensive listing of schools, but here is a short list:
Kesher, LD is a Jewish day school (grades 1 – 12) that provides Judaic and secular studies for students with learning challenges and developmental delays, such as dyslexia, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.
The Tikvah Center at the Gordon Day School is a specialized program, for children 5-10 years old, on the Autism Spectrum which utilizes an Applied Behavior Analysis approach coupled with several different academic learning programs in small student teacher ratio and inclusion settings as well. The Tikvah Center’s curriculum promotes growth and development in each child’s academic, social-emotional, behavioral, ethical, and spiritual domain.
Jewish Day Schools in Miami Dade County
The Scheck Hillel Day School offers several differentiated learning programs, including Nativ for dyslexia, Kesher for varying exceptionalities and a learning center.
Crystal Academy is a non-profit, non-sectarian, private school and therapy center that provides an academic and therapeutic learning environment for children between the age of 5 and adolescents utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior. Individualized programs cater to children with developmental delays including but not limited to autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental academic disorder, nonverbal learning disorder, attention deficit disorder and more.
McGlannan School serves children ages six to fourteen years of age (grades first through eighth) with average through superior intellect and challenged by dyslexia, including related language based learning difficulties such as memory and processing deficits. ADHD may be present as a secondary diagnosis. McGlannan School cannot accommodate students with a primary diagnosis of behavioral or emotional disorders.
The Victory Center is a non-profit, non-sectarian learning center on the campus of the Michael Ann Russell Jewish Community Center which provides intensive therapy based upon the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from elementary school to young adult. The Victory Center curriculum focuses on language, self-help, social skills, and life skills.
The Laura Cushman Academy (LCA) offers special education and full inclusion, in multiage Primary School classes through grade eight, LCA students receive guidance from multiple specially trained and educated faculty members who utilize a clinical curriculum while incorporating The Cushman School philosophy and values into their daily lesson plans.
Great Heights Academy provides services to children with a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities that may include, but are not limited to intellectual disorders, autism spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), Asperger’s, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy and other conditions associated with intellectual and physical disabilities. Currently the school is home to children from Kindergarten through twelfth grade with intentions to expand into adulthood.
The Miami Learning Experience is a non-profit 501(c) 3 center that serves the life span and targets individualized academic, social, and emotional growth for all children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Please see the resource directory for links to individual schools
Understanding the Home School Option