I have heard you are interested in the demostration schools and how much they have helped students over the years. I am proud to say I am one of their many success stories.
I attended Sagonaska in Belleville for grades 6-7.For years at my hometown school in Hampton Ontario I was given an IEP and received my laptop in grade 3. This new technology was supposed to help me with my school work, but it only frustrated me more.
The program I was to use was "dragon naturally speaking" level 8, but level 13 was already available to purchase.Our school board was so far behind the times. They even had an assessment of my educational skills but still they never told me why I learned differently.It wasn't until my parents started looking into Sagonaska that we finally learned what my disability was.I have phonological processing disorder~dyslexia. I never would have learned to read in my home school.The teachers didn't know how to teach me to read, but Sagonaska taught me.I started at Sagonaska in September of 2013 and my reading level was assessed. I was classed as a non-reader.Yes I was in grade 6 and I was unable to read enough words to even chart my ability.Can you imagine the feeling I had for all those years? I was unable to read and yet every year I moved up a grade with my peers.Now can you imagine this same boy sitting in a classroom of his peers and he is reading with them?That boy is me and I am now reading with my Sagonaska peers. By the end of the first school year I am reading full sentences.My second year of Sagonaska brought more Empower programming and I moved further up the reading charts.But it is so much more than just learning to read. I now have stronger social skills and I am able to advocate for myself.Every student with a learning disability needs to be able to advocate, now I am able to tell my teachers how I learn.I have the tools I need and it's not a laptop, I use the ipad mini thanks to Sagonaska and their forward thinking technology.This school pretty much saved me from a lifetime of getting pushed through the school system. I feel my future is much brighter now.I sure hope you are looking into ways to get more students like me the help they need. I think you should open more schools not close the ones we have.I'm sure lucky to have been a student at Sagonaska and I sure hope many more students will have to opportunity to attend.It is a great program that works. I have been given the tools to succeed and I've been Empowered to read.I am a Master Dragon Warrior, one of many successful students at Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville.