Becki Uccello has been a public school teacher for 23 years. Her daughter Izzi attended the early intervention program at their local public elementary school for three years. They moved into that particular neighborhood because they knew that the elementary school was highly rated as far as attendance rates and standardized test scores.
At their first parent/teacher conference, Izzi’s kindergarten teacher immediately told them that Izzi was an “academic failure.” Izzi was separated from her peers, could not sit with her classmates at lunch and the playground was not wheelchair accessible. Izzi is a highly social child and continually being separated from her peers was taking its toll.
So the Uccellos enrolled Izzie in a private school even though it meant taking on three part time jobs to afford tuition.
“It was the best decision we made,” said Becki.
Izzi is now in third grade. She continues to thrive in her class. She is with her classmates 100% of the day. The tables in the dining room are round, so she can sit wherever she wants. The playground area is accessible. She plays with her peers.
“I am not anti public school,” said Becki. “I have been teaching in a public school for 23 years. Our son attends public high school and is a member of its JROTC’s nationally ranked rifle team. But until public schools intentionally practice inclusion, we continue to support school choice.”
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