I don’t know about you guys, but starting a school isn’t something I do idly.
So, if we were going to do it, we wanted to do it in a way that would do the most good and have the most impact in the community we are serving. At the risk of sounding repetitious, the impetus behind starting a new school was, after all, the fact that we didn’t feel there was a school out there providing quite what our kids needed for their age population, despite the fact that there are fantastic special needs schools out there!
Our education and curriculum experts strongly felt that the modalities at the forefront of special needs education can address a wide range of diagnoses, and that it was more a matter of tailoring the delivery to where each individual child was experiencing needs. Consequently, we concluded early on we wouldn’t be a diagnosis-specific or modality-specific school, deciding to focus more on what could move each particular child forward and adapting techniques to that end.
Perhaps a more basic, yet still fundamental, consideration, was how to use the remarkable and varied skills of our team of staff, administrators, and board members. Any organization has to decide its structure, even while developing a culture and set of mores of its own. It was immediately clear to us all that the education specialists were the ones who had to be in charge of the curriculum and the overarching program of the school. Those of us who are oriented toward business development led the charge in that direction, just as the legally-minded among us worked on the contracts and regulatory matters. Lucky us, we even had an academic to guide us through the accreditation process and an IT guru to craft our social media presence!
We are proud of the fact that The Cloverleaf School was that started by group. Within that group, we all respect what we are each good at, but also understand no one of us is good at everything. As founding parents, we understand our children, having met with experts for, quite literally, hundreds of hours with them over the course of years of therapies and meetings. As teachers, we understand how to teach children who have complex challenges. Together, we work to put together a complete picture of each child, and then respect that this picture changes with every passing day.