Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thank You, Hazel Dell Elementary
I cannot say enough good things about Noblesville Schools. Seriously. Our family has had three kids in the school system in the five years since we moved here from Houston, Texas, and I absolutely, positively, supremely love this district.
We've had experience in a Hamilton Southeastern elementary school (in the late 90's), in elementary and middle schools in our former home in Texas, and now elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools here in Noblesville.
My belief is that they cannot be beat.
Specifically, what has sparked this particular happy outburst is my youngest son's life as an autistic student at Hazel Dell Elementary. He is only in first grade, yet he's starting his fourth year in the school, having been there since he turned three and began the early childhood program.
Seth is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, yet he didn't start there. Through years of early intervention as well as private therapies, he has progressed to the point that the average person probably would not know he has an Autism Spectrum Disorder at all. Much of this is due to the outstanding people of Hazel Dell.
From the speech, occupational, and physical therapists on staff to his teachers and right up to the principal - they have done an excellent job balancing what the school system has in place to offer and what Seth needs to not only fit, but thrive. I've not once had to fight for a service or argue that they are not doing enough. They not only have made sure Seth has had the services and intervention that he needs, but have continued some services "just to make sure he is covered" in areas where he is already doing extremely well. I have witnessed the principal himself, in a case conference, read over Seth's paperwork and question why he wasn't receiving a certain service, and then state that he be re-evaluated in order to receive additional therapy.
As a principal, John Land is top-notch. Perhaps the fact that he is a special-needs parent himself makes him uniquely qualified and determined to push his school to the head of the class, so to speak. Whatever combination of circumstances and standards, Mr. Land's Hazel Dell Elementary certainly earned last year's designation of Blue Ribbon School honestly and appropriately.
It's just one of the many reasons that Noblesville is one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live.
Rock on, Noblesville Schools!
photo by Cavell L. Blood