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Old 02-23-2021, 01:21 PM   #1
montcalm
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Special Ed in the Adirondacks

Wasn't quite sure where to put this or if I'll get any response, but mainly interested in school districts in and around the park and how their special education programs are.

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:38 PM   #2
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Wasn't quite sure where to put this or if I'll get any response, but mainly interested in school districts in and around the park and how their special education programs are.

Thanks!
I know here in Schroon Lake our school system has a special education department and program. Unfortunately (well, fortunately actually) I moved here after my children were grown and have not interacted with it directly, so just know of it from conversations with locals.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:00 PM   #3
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I'm actually not entirely sure what schools do these days, but I think most of the schools in my area integrate most kids, except those that perhaps need very specialized and/or intensive support.

While it's hard to say where my boy will be in the next few years, which is when I'd like to move, I can say he has language albeit delayed compared to his peers and has no other significant physical disabilities. I'd guess he'll be in a integrated classroom in the next few years, possibly with a 1:1 aid or less.

This is a difficult prospect to assess, even in a large district with a lot of resources like the one I live in currently. But this is something I need to understand before I decide to move somewhere. I know a lot of people use facebook forums specifically for Autism (AutismUp) to discuss these kinds of things. Not sure if I can find anyone in these communities and whether or not their needs are being met, or even if their needs are somewhat similar to ours, so I'm casting a lot of nets.

(I know this is a big ask)
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:03 AM   #4
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Tupper Lake has a Special Ed department
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:18 PM   #5
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I believe that Keen/ Keene Valley has a full time speech pathologist but not sure of a special ed program at the school.
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:12 PM   #6
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Hi Montcalm:

I am a NY educator.

Each school District in NY will have a special education department/staff and a Committee on Special Education and chair that assist families and have responsibility for creation and enforcement of a student's individualized education plan (IEP.)

I can't speak specifically for the North Country as I teach in the Finger Lakes Region, but; as you begin to consider making your move I encourage you to meet/speak with folks from the school districts you are considering purchasing property in. They will be able to share more specific information.

Best of luck to you and your kiddo!
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:21 PM   #7
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Hi Montcalm:

I am a NY educator.

Each school District in NY will have a special education department/staff and a Committee on Special Education and chair that assist families and have responsibility for creation and enforcement of a student's individualized education plan (IEP.)

I can't speak specifically for the North Country as I teach in the Finger Lakes Region, but; as you begin to consider making your move I encourage you to meet/speak with folks from the school districts you are considering purchasing property in. They will be able to share more specific information.

Best of luck to you and your kiddo!
Thanks for the response.

My wife is a middle school educator so she knows a lot of what you explained but she wants to know as much as she can about potential districts before she even considers looking there.

We are also strongly considering suburban Albany and Plattsburgh area for this reason.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:51 PM   #8
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:41 PM   #9
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I'm south of the park in Saratoga Springs and I know that the neighboring town of Ballston Spa has very good special ed.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:15 AM   #10
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This was actually one of the key factors when we moved back to NY over a decade ago. While all school districts are required to have a special education program, all are not equal. We found that a large number of ADK school districts bus the children out to "foothill" districts to comply with state requirements. For the property we were looking at in southern Hamilton County, it would have meant 2-3 hours a day on a bus for our daughter.

We were fortunate enough to have some options in where we resettled. Our kids welfare was #1 on the list. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find a ADK school district that had an in-house special needs program through age 21. I'm sure they exist within the blue line, but simple economics forces the smaller districts to consolidate this highly specialized need amongst several districts within the region.

In the end, we relocated to the "worker's paradise" with excellent special needs programs and live vicariously through ADK Forum posts of wilderness adventures. I don't regret it at all.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:40 AM   #11
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Thanks Fish and TM.

I have a feeling that this may force us into suburban Albany. Because of my wife's retirement, we are tethered to NY, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We would just like to be closer to the Adirondacks, if not inside or very near the blue line.

I also know about the differences in special education. My son has been going to school since 2.5 and he is now 4.5. We also had EI before that (at home services). The pandemic has made things difficult, but we changed schools last year and we were actually happier with the first school, although it had no shortage of issues. We were swayed by a better facility but programming seems to be not as good. Also, the pandemic is to blame. Our current school district seems very good, and we hope he will do well there next year, but we'd like to relocate sooner than later. We were too busy with babies before the pandemic, and now things are difficult for a number of other reasons. But I'd like to move before the kids become older and settled in the district (and make friends they'll miss).
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:08 AM   #12
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I've always felt that Albany is a great place to live if you love the outdoors but need to (for whatever reason) live in or near a city. You've got a ton of options for outdoor recreation in just about every direction, all within 1 or 2 hours of driving at most. The ADKs to the north and northwest, the Green Mountains to the northeast, the Taconics and Berkshires to the east and southeast, the Hudson Highlands to the south, and the Catskills to the southwest. And Albany is not so large a city that Friday afternoon traffic is any sort of major impediment to getting out of town.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:57 AM   #13
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I've actually *never* been to Albany (or anywhere south to NYC/Hudson valley). I think I drove through on the expressway once on my way to Boston.

I have, however, been to most of all the towns around Albany, and I like them. Saratoga Springs is probably a little rich for my blood, but it's very beautiful.

I lived in Utica for a few months on a contract job and I didn't like it very much. It has good proximity to the Adirondacks but lacking in other areas.

My bias tends toward the northern Adirondacks. If I could live anywhere with no other constraints it would be Saranac Lake. Of course lacking in some areas, it has most of what I consider essential and is in my ideal location for recreation. I'd love (the idea of) an old farm house on Keese Mill Road, but I think I'm too old for that and don't want to spend my life trying to heat it and keeping it from turning to duff. For this reason, I'm kind of still considering Plattsburgh - never been there either, so really need to do some more research and boots on the ground exploration.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:48 AM   #14
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We lived in Glens Falls for 30 years, now retired in Keene for 8. Albany is a pretty big city with opportunity for all kinds of work. Depending on what your line of work is, you might be able to live somewhere like Glens Falls. It was pretty good being right on the edge of the Adirondacks but still being able to have a workable career and access to "city" resources. Plattsburgh is similar, though not as well-off as Glens Falls.

Your mention of "boots on the ground" reminds me of a friend and former co-worker's approach to learning about a town. When we would travel for work, which was fairly frequent, he would manage to work in some time for simply walking around the town. He got to know a lot more about the places that way.

If you have time (and are careful to stay in safe areas), just going to a city and spending the day walking around several different neighborhoods can tell you a lot. Sure, we'd all rather be hiking on a trail, but "city hiking" is OK too.
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:08 PM   #15
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I would never move anywhere long term without doing some exploring first. Depends on the area - sometime walking is best, sometimes driving is better (and walking in some areas). Depends on density. Sometimes driving is too distracting.

I approach it much like hiking or taking a trip though. Use maps and search for info, temper my expectations and then go and experience. For as much is there is in info on the computer now nothing is a substitute for actual experience. I’ve never had my ideas in research phase match the reality. There’s always something more.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:25 PM   #16
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I've lived in Colonie for 38 years, not intentionally, it just sort of happened.
I'm 5 minutes from nearly anything I need quickly, and I am surrounded by the Pine Bush.
We have fox, coyotes, deer, hawks, owls, even the occasional black bear on our 34 acres. It's quiet here, fairly rural for being so close to everything.
Taxes are fair, traffic is minimal, home prices are still OK, especially compared to Albany or Saratoga, crime is not an issue. Climate is easy to live with, summers never too hot, winters never as cold as an hour north.

As D said upthread, recreational opportunities abound in all directions, and I'm 45 minutes from the blue line.

Right down the road from me is the Wildwood School, specializing in educating individuals with autism. I happen to have two friends that each have sons on the spectrum. They both have their boys attending Wildwood and are very pleased with their boy's progress. It's worth a look.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:28 PM   #17
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Thanks Sg. That’s the exact kind of info I’m looking for. I’ll check out that school and colonie. I’ve never been exactly there but I know where it is.
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:44 PM   #18
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While I don't know the age of your child, be very aware that he will be 21 years old in a flash! You must develop a plan for when that happens.
What kinds of , if necessary, programs exist to provide services when he ages out of school? You will not be there forever, is another sobering thought.. Hopefully your choices today will enable a successful independent life!
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:50 PM   #19
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In the end, we relocated to the "worker's paradise" with excellent special needs programs and live vicariously through ADK Forum posts of wilderness adventures. I don't regret it at all.
Where is the worker's paradise?
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:53 PM   #20
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I've actually *never* been to Albany (or anywhere south to NYC/Hudson valley). I think I drove through on the expressway once on my way to Boston.

I have, however, been to most of all the towns around Albany, and I like them. Saratoga Springs is probably a little rich for my blood, but it's very beautiful.

I lived in Utica for a few months on a contract job and I didn't like it very much. It has good proximity to the Adirondacks but lacking in other areas.

My bias tends toward the northern Adirondacks. If I could live anywhere with no other constraints it would be Saranac Lake. Of course lacking in some areas, it has most of what I consider essential and is in my ideal location for recreation. I'd love (the idea of) an old farm house on Keese Mill Road, but I think I'm too old for that and don't want to spend my life trying to heat it and keeping it from turning to duff. For this reason, I'm kind of still considering Plattsburgh - never been there either, so really need to do some more research and boots on the ground exploration.
When we moved north from LI, we wanted to be in or near the High Peaks and Saranac Lake was first on our list. But I wasn't completely retired yet and had to make weekly trips back south and so we picked Etown, partly because it was an hour closer and we got a deal on some land. I also found out that building is twice as expensive than buying!
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