When an alternative school might be a good option

When an alternative school might be a good option

Natasha is a typical teenager in so many ways, with a smile that can light up a room. But school was always very hard for her because she has special needs and some cognitive disabilities.

“She was bullied really bad at her prior school and just wasn’t learning anything,” shared Natasha’s mom, Debra. “It was really hard.”

So, when Debra got the call that her daughter had received a full-paid scholarship to Kradwell School on the Aurora Behavioral Health Campus in Wauwatosa, Wis., she cried tears of joy.

Kradwell School is a private alternative school that helps students dealing with a variety of challenges to succeed in a personalized learning environment. Its six-to-one student-to-teacher ratio allows for positive relationship building and individualized academic attention for students.

“Kradwell is a great option for students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional school setting,” explained Mary Schulte, Kradwell School director and principal. “Our students benefit from our small nurturing environment, our individualized attention and curriculum, along with our focus on creating strong relationships, building self-advocacy skills and self-esteem.”

Schulte says an alternative school like Kradwell could be ideal for children whose academic, social or emotional needs are not being sufficiently met by their current school. If your child has a hard time making it to school on a regular basis, an alternative school might be a good option.

“Does your child consistently struggle with getting homework done on time, or at all? Does your child perform below expectations on tests, even when they seem to have a good understanding of the material?” Schulte said if the answers to those questions are “yes,” an alternative school may be a better fit.

It has certainly been a great fit for Natasha.

“I’m grateful to be around the other students who were bullied and can relate to what I went through,” Natasha said. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn new things like art, science and math.”

“She comes home excited to tell me things she has learned. Unlike most kids, Natasha doesn’t like days off school. She would rather be there learning something new,” Debra said.

Natasha’s scholarship was paid for by a generous anonymous donor. You can support a Kradwell student for the 2019-2020 school year. To learn more, contact Judi Strout at Judi.Strout@aurora.org.

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Tami Hughes

Tami Hughes is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health. She attended college at the University of Miami and loves watching her Hurricanes play just about anything. She enjoys cooking and going to concerts with her husband. Her heart is made happy by her children, Neenah and Jack, and her dog child, Rizzo.