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Thank You to the High School That Has Accommodated My Disabilities


Dear Calabasas High School,

Words cannot describe how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to attend CHS. When I was in eighth grade, I decided I wanted to go to a small, private high school. After a year and a half of attending that school, I realized how miserable I was. I did not have many friends and the school was just too small for me. In the middle of my sophomore year, I decided to transfer to Calabasas High. I had so many questions going through my head when I decided to switch schools: “Will I be OK in a public high school?” “Am I going to make friends?” “Is this decision a big mistake?”

My parents were completely supportive of my decision to transfer to Calabasas High. A few days after I told them I wanted to transfer, we informed my private high school of my decision and I left. My parents then called Calabasas High and started filling out all of the paperwork.

On my first day of school at Calabasas, I was welcomed by a Peer Support member, Sarah Staitman. Sarah gave me a tour of the school, answered all of my questions, helped me set my locker up and let me know she was always there if I needed anything. This first impression changed the way I viewed high school and my life. I no longer felt like I did not fit in. From this point on, I looked forward to getting up and going to school every day.

 

Another reason why I am so grateful to Calabasas High is for their help accommodating me with my disabilities. I have fibromyalgia, which is a chronic illness that causes me to be in pain and fatigue constantly. CHS has helped me in every way possible, from offering support periods to meet with teachers to perform make-up assignments to having a staff and administration that has always been by my side to ask me how I am doing. Calabasas High has created an environment in which I feel safe to be myself, even with my disabilities. Over the past few years, my condition has gotten worse. With the help of my teachers and counselors, I have been able to keep up with my work, stay in school, get into college and will be graduating this month.

The students at CHS have also always been accepting and compassionate. Due to my sensory processing disorder, I have trouble staying focused in class and need certain tools in order to be successful. One of the tools is a stuffed animal I always bring to class. My classmates have never judged me or made fun of me because of my disabilities or differences. Instead, they have been understanding and have always included me. This feeling of embrace even with my struggles has helped me, especially during these challenging times when I do not feel well.

To anyone out there whom is experiencing anything similar to my situation as far as disabilities go: I hope you find your Calabasas High School. Find a place that will make sure you succeed, will listen to you and will help you. Do not give up; you will find your place.

Thank you for everything, Calabasas High School. I will always be a Coyote at heart.

Love,

Lisa Friedman, Class of 2017

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Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia Ltd.