Approaches to education are constantly changing, whether the changes stem from political shifts, financial strain or the availability of new research. And it seems that every school year, there are new things for parents to understand about their child's education.
As noted in this Washington Post article, numerous trends are emerging in schools across the country today that attempt to change the way students are taught and succeed. Below, we look at a few of the strategies that could be particularly interesting to parents of children with special educational needs.
Traditional forms of discipline in school may be effective, but they can also be emotionally scarring and academically devastating for a child. To avoid this, some districts have adopted restorative justice practices.
Instead of punishing a student with an expulsion or other punitive measure, schools with restorative justice practices in place instead provide options like mediation, peer counseling or community service.
Better seating options
Think about how long your child spends sitting in a classroom. For students with physical disabilities or attention problems, sitting still in an uncomfortable chair can be impossible.
As such, some classrooms offer flexible seating options, from rugs on the floor and standing desks to inflatable balls. Teachers who have tried this option say attention among students improved after doing so, and many said they would never revert to tradition classroom seating.
Alternatives to homework and grading
There are countless alternative approaches to homework and grading that district, schools and individual teachers may explore.
One alternative includes standards-based grading, which eliminates homework and instead gives children multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding of a particular area. Another approach is to prioritize projects to deliver lessons, while some classrooms focus on personalized learning.
Finding what works for your child
Whether schools across Santa Cruz adopt these and other academic approaches or not, it is still crucial for every student to receive the attention and support he or she is entitled to by law. If a school will not or cannot provide the resources your child needs, you can discuss your legal options and possible solutions with an educational law attorney.