Simone Newman-Sturdivant

Parent at Daniel Webster Middle School

“As a parent, your child’s well-being is everything. Not only is my son safe at his school, he’s also happy. Myles has had great teachers, especially his Special Education teachers. I keep in touch with them and ask questions to support his IEP (Individual Education Plan),” says Simone Newman-Sturdivant, the parent of a student at Daniel Webster Middle School in Mar Vista.

Simone speaks happily about her son’s current situation at his school, however she has worked hard since he was in kindergarten to find the right fit for him. Myles is a special needs student, and unfortunately Simone has experienced firsthand the difficulties of lack of resources for special needs students in LAUSD.

“It shouldn’t be this way — parents shouldn’t have to send their children to three or four schools to get their children in a school that meets their special needs,” says Simone.

This is why Simone is so personally invested in being part of the Reclaim Our Schools LA coalition and our work to support community schools in Los Angeles.

Simone emphasizes the importance of proper resources, highlighting that a child in special education will always need additional support from teachers and school staff — especially an aide to help one on one.

“This is so crucial for our students — the more support they have now, the better they will be in the long run, and I want my son to have a good life.”

As for Myles, Simone is happy that he finally has access to the right resources to meet his special needs.

“I hope for unlimited possibilities for Myles — I hope that whatever it is he wants to do, he can achieve it. He has the confidence and the skills, and now the proper education and mental health support will get him there.”