I grew very concerned when my daughter wouldn’t stop crying at school. Instead of the school calling me, it was another parent who let me know that my girl would just not stop crying. Her stomach hurt, her spirit hurt. When our children show these types of symptoms and refuse to go to school, it’s clear that something’s not right. That was at the district school I pulled her out of because it was not the right environment for her.
My daughter is diagnosed with a developmental delay, to be precise it’s a delay of about two years, and has had an Individualized Education Plan for 7 years now. I found out about charter schools through a friend of mine when I was looking for a school for my older daughter. She had a good experience at her charter school. But with Xiomara, I had to find the right place for her. We had her at three different schools before finding Crossroads Charters Schools; after we toured the school and asked about the support services that would be available, we knew we had found the best place for her.
For our entire time there, which is now 8 years, Xiomara’s progress has been consistent, she has been meeting all of her goals and has always been treated with love, respect and empathy. Crossroads is preparing Xiomara for life, empowering her to be independent and confident. Things that might seem simple for a child her age are difficult for her, for example she used to struggle a lot tying her shoes, brushing her hair and putting it up in a ponytail. It wasn’t until she was 8 that she started speaking in full sentences, and reading was definitely challenging. So she receives occupational, language and speech therapy services as well as individualized attention--several of these activities she does with other children that have diverse learning needs. She really thrives in that group and has discovered she can also support other children. This has made her blossom! And she’s also part of the main classroom, where she has formed beautiful friendships as well.
The partnership that I have with the school staff has been integral to my daughter’s positive experience. I value that the teachers text me and send me videos of her progress and accomplishments throughout the week. Little surprises like that during my workday are reassuring and inform me about what I can also be supporting her with at home. When I meet with her support team, I know what goals and objectives they’ve planned for her and we also create moments to celebrate her. Xiomara has developed a love for reading, for art and for helping others. She wants to be a graphic designer when she grows up.
Every parent wants their children to have the best possible education. We have the responsibility to research our school options and to find the best and safest learning environment for our kids...not just the best academic experience, but a space where their socio-emotional wellbeing is a priority too.