It's crazy that you weren't contacted for this. Shouldn't the assistant principal be supporting the students by supporting your work with them?
this question perplexes me all the time. Here in OH we have The Dept of Developmental Disabilities. It is a state agency the serves the Mentally Retarded(the medical definition for my students that society keeps changing the label every few years to try and make it sound like it is a nice thing so they don't have to really address it) from birth to death. My students are clients. They have yet to use us for any of their meetings, seminars, etc. I know these people and ask why and they respond - we will be using you. Still no orders......... Our food is better, cheaper, and made by the people they serve. I was also on the Board of Directors for another big agency here that serves my students. They have a bi monthly after school program for my students. It is right here at our high school. They have only used us once. They come in with boxes of Little Ceasars pizza. I am not meaning to brag, but our pizza and baked goods can stand on their own in the NYCarea market. I know this because I grew up and worked in it. I think it may be- they are programed to buy the stuff they have been buying for years, I am a forgiener(not from OH), we don't deliver, or they are subconciously jealous of my program because we are having more success with just me as the entire staff than an entire agency is having.
I have 3 out of 7 of my students working at real jobs with no support from these agencies. Traditionally my students go on to nothingness with work. If they do get work it is through one of the government agencies that usually pay employers to hire them. It is almost unheard of to have a person with the level of disability I teach work in a competitive job with no support. I have created my program from scratch on my own with no help, knew no one here in OH when I started it, get not a dime of funding for it, have no adult staff, have gotten all our contracts, found jobs for my students without any agency help, and now we are the top money maker in the distrtict surpassing the athletic dept (football, basketball games, fundraisers, etc). .
I have prettty much been a loner all my life because I speak from my heart and not my head and do not jell with the apathy that is the norm for the people that work with disabilities. The state, and public school mindset actually believe these people will never work on their own. IMO it is their inability in finding/creating meaningful programs for the disabled people they serve that perpetuates this. I find my field to be filled with apathy. I work hard on not judging others and get along with pretty much everyone on the chit chat level and I think I am well liked. I have won awards here that required the backing of these agencies. They also asked me to be on the Board of Directors. I get lots of press, radio, tv coverage. So why don't they use us? It hurts to know the people that will take over my students management once they graduate operate this way. I am not about competition. I am about making life meaningful for people with disabilities and IMO the only way to do this to work together. I prefer to keep to myself until good vibe people come along because negative vibe people just bring me down. The Dept of Developmental Disabilities just hired a new top guy. We have hit it off. He thinks positive and speaks from his heart. I hope this grows into better things for the people they serve. I guess if I ever get unconfused with the schools and state folks that run my kids lives I will be like them.