Charlotte Mecklenburg School parents and students are writing letters to the school board to show their support of keeping special education at Randolph Middle School. Here are excerpts from a few of these letters:
From a current parent of two children in the regular education program at Randolph:
"Middle School is a tough time for kids as they are forming character traits that will carry with them into high school. The peer buddy program is a program of honor at Randolph. IB and Horizons students apply for this program to have the opportunity to support the SAC classrooms and students if accepted. Being a peer buddy at Randolph is a respected position. I work with some of the peer buddies weekly at the Lost & Found and I see these middle school students encouraging their SAC buddies to do a good job on their tasks, talk about their weekend fun, and talk about sports/birthdays/shopping/hairstyles. The peer buddies model good social relationships with the SAC students and it emanates outward in the middle school community. I see random middle schoolers in the cafetorium coming in for breakfast. These students stop by and say hi to their peer buddy friends and then show good interaction with great social acceptance to the SAC kids."
This letter is from a parent of a Randolph alum:
"Emma, who was born with Down syndrome, attended RMS in the SAC class during her middle school years. It was there where she gained so much self confidence and made great strides in her academic progress. She also overcame some behavioral challenges and learned positive social skills. All of this was because of the extraordinary special ed teachers there! These teachers really changed the trajectory of Emma’s life and what she can accomplish. They were able to work with Emma with her specific challenges in such a way that really showed results. They also sought out opportunities for her to be a part of the regular population through the Peer Buddy Program which was extremely important. Everyone wins in this endeavor! It builds community, strength in character and reinforces the learning experience for all involved. It dissolves the myth that people with special needs weigh down the academic strides of the population. It proves that the reverse is true!"
One current teacher wrote:
"I get the privilege of interacting with these wonderful children daily and can't imagine my life without their influence. I'm also incredibly proud of one of my students who has a brother in the SAC program. Seeing the way he fights for his brother is equal parts heartwarming and humbling."