Gloversville school plan creates problem

The Gloversville school board has voted 6-2 to go ahead with a redistricting plan.

Some children up to grade 2 will go to two different elementary schools, and some children in grades 3 to 5 will go to another elementary school. The reason that I say “some children” is because those in the BOCES or Whispering Pines program will be sent to a separate, segregated school.

Before I go into my thoughts and concerns, there are a few things I need to state. I was not involved enough prior to last night. I wanted to go to more meetings, but time is not something I have a lot of these days. I also thought that there was no way this type of plan would exist, but it just proves that I should never think like that. I also understand that money is an issue. There is not a lot of it floating around to have things as they have always been.

The population here is declining, funding is not what it used to be, and sometimes we need to make a change in order to keep things afloat.

All that said, I am thoroughly upset that they are segregating the children in the BOCES program into a different building.

I am a mom to an amazing

5-year-old who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. He has made tremendous strides since the time of his diagnosis 3 1/2 years ago. He has gone from being completely non-verbal to asking me for juice or his iPad and sometimes telling me that he loves me.

That awesome kid has worked so hard to get to this point, but he still has a long way to go.

My concern lies with him being segregated in a separate building, without “typical” peers around him.

My son, who tested as average with children his age in the academic arena, should be able to spend 20 minutes in math class with his peers and be able to build that time up so that eventually he can be mainstreamed into a “regular” classroom. He should be able to spend time with his peers so that they can see that he might be different, but is no less than they are.

My son should not have to feel that he is different from the others because he is placed into a special school.

The goal for my son is to someday get out of the BOCES program. Whether or not this will happen is yet to be seen, but by secluding him, I feel that this is a significant barrier to get him to this point.

As a mom, I do everything I can for my son, outside of the school system, to help him.

We pay for private therapy if needed, I join boards and local advocacy groups, I work with my son outside of our home to teach him how to assimilate like others his age.

At the same time, when most of his day is spent in the school system, where I spend a lot of money on my taxes like other parents, I expect that they respect what is best for my son, as well as all of the others.

I was truly sad to see the direction that this went in the Gloversville School District.

I will do all that I can to help my son in our time outside of school, but at the same time, I am not giving up this fight to ensure his education, therapies, and the inclusions that are to be provided by the school district are what they should be.

ADELLE LASHBROOK

Gloversville