An Educational Choice Thanksgiving, 2015

Now is the time of year when we remind ourselves why we’re thankful. In 2013, we highlighted some families who are grateful for their choice schools. Last year, we highlighted two schools who are grateful to serve children using school choice programs.

This year, we’re sharing the personal stories of three families who are thankful for educational choice programs that allow them to customize their children’s education.

From Arizona, Holland and E.J. Hines

After years of fighting for a great education for her son E.J., who has autism, Holland Hines moved her family to Arizona to take advantage of the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program. Hear Holland’s story in her own words here:


From Nevada, The Robbins Family

Robbins Family Thankful for School Choice

Liz Robbins, mother of seven children in Nevada, is looking forward to the new educational reality that the state’s new education savings accounts (ESAs) will offer her family. Liz’s 19-year-old daughter, Amber, has Ehler-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the skin and connective tissues. Due to extreme pain, Amber is often absent from school.

Right now, Amber’s local school district educates her through a special in-home program. Unfortunately, the program treats Amber as if she has a learning disability, which isn’t the case. She doesn’t have access to the advanced coursework she needs to obtain her dream of graduating from college some day.

With the ESA program, Liz hopes to access better at-home educational options for Amber, furthering her daughter’s dreams while accommodating her unique physical needs.

From Indiana, The Ito Family*

Ito Family is Thankful for Educational Choice

We are very thankful for the last 14 years of the public and private schooling of all four of our children. Without reservation, we can state that all four of our children are thriving today due, in part, to our partnering with the many schools we have had the privilege of being a part of. With the opportunity of school choice and a plethora of options, we have had the liberty to choose contextual learning communities for each of our different children to meet their educational needs at the appropriate time.

If truly ‘it is about the child/student’ in education, then parents having the choice to partner with their children’s schools is of primary importance. One size cannot fit all. And now with the movement toward school choice manifested, many more parents may take the opportunity to find a school that is ‘the fit’ for each of their children’s educational needs (and wants).

Our four children have matriculated at Carmel-Clay, Oaks Academy, Park Tudor, International School of Indiana and Highland Latin Schools. Each of these learning communities have met specific challenges for each of our children’s diverse needs. We have also experienced the guaranteed quality teaching of a faculty that has worked with us as parents to further the learning our children.

*lightly edited for clarity