Private School Turns Inclusion Model Inside Out
A unique school in Ohio is taking inclusion to new heights and the approach is having such positive results that others from across the country are now looking to replicate it.
Unlike traditional approaches to inclusion where a few children with disabilities are sprinkled into mainstream classrooms, 40 percent of students at the Oakstone Academy in Columbus have autism. Others enrolled at the private day school include many of the students’ siblings and other typically developing kids.
The school is modeled much like any other, but puts a heavy emphasis on socialization. The key, school administrators say, is embodying an expectation of personal responsibility in each student.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
A major advantage to the Oakstone program is that the school has one teacher for every six students, so individual needs can be met without pulling kids out of the classroom. Children learn to work together and students with autism benefit from the social cues modeled by their typically developing peers, school staff say.
The school doesn’t come cheap for students with disabilities. Though subsidized, tuition runs $26,500 to $28,500. Students without disabilities, however, pay just $500 annually.
Ten years in, Oakstone always has a waiting list for its 500 slots and now fundraisers in Florida are working to bring the model there, reports the Columbus Dispatch. To read more click here.