By Moisés Barón, Ph.D.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) is federal law that guarantees a series of basic educational rights to children with disabilities:
- A free and appropriate education to their needs at no cost to their families
- In the Least Restrictive Environment possible
- With the necessary support services to assist them in benefiting educationally
- Based on a comprehensive assessment to determine the child’s unique needs in order to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
We at the San Diego Center for Children play an important role in providing families of children with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, whose ability to learn is being impacted by their conditions, with options to ensure that their children thrive to achieve their highest potential. Each school year, over 200 students from over 20 school districts have their needs met through our Academy and 2 school-based programs.
The SDCC Academy is a nonpublic school, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). We specialize in providing educational services for students with needs so exceptional that they cannot be appropriately met in their public school setting. Our interdisciplinary team meets the individualized educational and behavioral needs of close to 100 students every day by coordinating from a wealth of robust resources including:
- Intensive reading and math improvement programs
- Positive behavior interventions, occupational and speech therapy
- Individual and family counseling
- Music and arts, sports and recreation
- Anti-Bullying, PeaceBuilders and Restorative Practices
Our success is measured when our students graduate with a diploma or also when they are able to return to their home schools with a sense that they belong, can learn and contemplate a bright future. We are proud to report that over the past 8 years we have achieved a 97% success rate of graduates who received a high school diploma.
Every day on our 9-acre main campus in Kearny Mesa, one can personally witness the success of our approach by seeing our students learn, thrive and experience the joy of being a child. To learn more about our Academy and our exceptional team, I encourage you to visit our webpage, watch the story of one of our students or perhaps contact us for a tour of our campus by calling (858) 277-9550.
In an effort to enhance learning opportunities for children in North County and the South Bay, we have also established partnerships with school districts in those areas. They include our school-based therapeutic services provided at North County Academy and LifeSchool.
(Read the San Diego Union-Tribune article about LifeSchool)
Our school-based therapeutic programs involve school staff and Center staff working together, side by side, to create a seamless blend of academic and therapeutic interventions to meet the individual needs of children whose ability to achieve their true learning potential is impacted by mental, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Every day, our educational programs throughout the County allow youth with special needs to experience the joy of belonging, the satisfaction of academic achievement and the wonderment of learning.