New year. New school. New problems.
In case you can’t tell, the theme for today is “NEW”! You may recall that last year we moved out of my mom’s house and into an apartment. By doing so, we moved out of the old school’s boundary lines and into a new school’s boundary lines. These schools are literally less than 5 minutes apart distance wise. We looked hard for a house to rent in boundary lines. Nearly had two, but they fell through at the last moment. We were given a last hope that perhaps the boys could transfer into the old school, but found out only days before classes started that that would not be happening. So we prepared the boys to go to a new school.
Despite being 5 minutes apart, the schools are no more alike than an apple vs. an orange. Sure, they are both still public schools in the same district, but that’s where the similarities end. The first days left Daniel without an aide, left Stephen over-medicated and left me confused about what was going on due to lack of communication.
Daniel: Without an aide, because we were not explicit enough in his IEP. It says “Close Adult Supervision” at all times. It also says 1:1, 1:3 and 1:6 for most instruction time. But this did not translate together as “1:1 aide at all times”. This is where the lack of communication left me unable to know it was happening until his team lead said “We’re going to try to put an aide with him at the end of the day.”
Stephen: Over-medicated, because it’s a patch, it releases medication the same throughout the day, except when it’s hot. The new school doesn’t have the lovely new air conditioning system that the old school has (probably because the old one was only built ~13 yrs ago). So with 100+ temperatures each day since school started, it was warm inside the building. This means that his patch was releasing too much medication. It was what we call at home “Zombephen”. The teacher thought he was acting very well in class because he was staying in his seat and being quiet. Luckily I went in for lunch the first day and saw my Zombephen and now we know.
Me: Lack of communication is a huge problem. I’m not getting reports home for either boy. I’m barely able to tell whether or not they’ve eaten lunch. And I still don’t know if Daniel has a 1:1, though, I suspect he does as the same aide picks him up at the door in the morning and brings him out to me in the afternoon.
My solution: Parent-teacher conferences! I have one today at noon. I have one on Monday at 1. And Thursday I will be meeting with the teams as the boys have triennials this year. Hopefully all will be resolved through all of these. But until they are done, I really can’t say for certain. All I know is I rather hope that I don’t find out any majorly disappointing surprises.