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Strong Lion Academy Staten Island

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1 out of every 4 Staten Island students has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) - January 2016, Staten Island Advance - Diane C. Lore. Every year, 1 in every 5 New Yorkers is diagnosed with a mental health disorder -

Thousands of Staten Islanders are diagnosed with a learning disability or emotional disability.. Although there is a great need in Staten Island for school aged children experiencing learning and emotional disabilities, there are limited instructional settings on Staten Island to meet that need. They deserve to have their needs met within obstacles of travel hardship or delay in obtaining a seat in an appropriate setting.We, the undersigned are in support of Staten Island having an Academy fully staffed with highly trained specialties (i.e. LCSW, PhD PT, OT, Speech Pathologists, BCBA, Learning Consultant, O.G. Wilson, etc.) offering a research based, multi-disciplinary approach towards learning that services the whole child. In order to reach their full potential, it is our belief that students known to have learning disabilities (i.e., dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia) or emotional disability need support from trained behavior intervention teams and professional licensed teaching staff that will provide small differentiated instruction. We believe they are entitled to state-of-the-art technology and would benefit from arts therapy, aquatic therapy, and equestrian therapy. We believe each child should be afforded the opportunity to learn in an appropriate, safe, motivating, learning environment individualized to meet their needs. A high percentage of students known to have a learning disability experience socially and emotionally in response to difficulty with academics, time and task management, self-regulation and environmental pressures. Currently, children have no choice but to travel over 90 minutes to attend suitable programs. School that often are not designed to meet both their learning and emotional needs. With the great disparity between mental health needs for our youth and resources available on Staten Island, IT IS TIME to secure the future of our children with high-quality, educational, options. Academy staff will assist parents in understanding what special education services mean to their families and provide a forum for parents to have a voice on behalf of their child. In a supportive and challenging learning setting teachers, related service providers and support staff will hone in on the deficits in achievement by utilizing each student’s relative cognitive strengths and interests, to gain, maintain and apply skills. We are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to ACT NOW. Help us give Staten Island families an option for a safe, encouraging, multi-sensory approach towards developing academics. Help us give our children the education and life skills they need to reach their full potential.

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