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Bulletin letter to the editor: Armstrong was nurturing environment for son

The 2012-13 school year ended for District 833 students on June 5, which brought about the end of our son's elementary school experience and the transition to middle school. While we look forward to the new challenge, we also feel sadness at leaving Armstrong Elementary behind.

Our son, Corbin, was diagnosed with autism just before his 3rd birthday. We were immediately contacted by the school district for an early childhood assessment and eventual placement in a special education preschool group. After two very productive years in preschool, Corbin transitioned to kindergarten. Our home boundary school is Cottage Grove Elementary, but Corbin was placed at Armstrong due to the type of program available to meet his needs being housed there. We could not be more pleased with the way that placement turned out.

Armstrong has been a wonderful educational and nurturing environment for our son and for us as parents, for which we will be forever grateful. The teachers and staff we have worked with over the years have been nothing short of amazing. Corbin has been very successful in working through his educational and behavioral goals due in very large part to the hard work, patience and genuine caring of the entire Armstrong family. That includes his fellow students in the classroom and their parents, who have served as his friends and advocates with no judgments and zero tolerance for bullying or teasing of any kind. They have been a great group of kids for Corbin to grow up with.

It will be very hard to leave the safety and comfort of such a terrific school behind as Corbin moves to Cottage Grove Middle School for sixth grade, especially since so many of his friends will be attending Oltman Middle School due to the current school boundaries. However, Corbin will always be an Armstrong kid with fantastic memories of his elementary school years, memories we will also cherish as his parents. We greatly appreciate every one of his teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals, and the staff support people like Martha, Mary, Shirley, Mr. Berg, and so many others who left an indelible imprint on not only his life - but on ours. Thank you, Armstrong. You will be forever in our hearts.