I got a call last week asking me to come in and discuss the plan for Sara's education next year. The social worker said, that because she will be 5 in August, they wanted her to go to the early childhood class in the morning; to Kindergarten for creative moment (gym), lunch, and recess; and to return to her current early childhood class in the afternoon. I said that sounded like a good plan. She's got some catching up to do and can use all the help she can get. Having her spend some time with the Kindergarteners would help us now if she's ready for K next year. My only concern at that point was her ability to handle a full day. She's so tired now with a half day. I'm worried that she will be so tired in the afternoon that it will be counterproductive for her to be there and they will start to see some negative behaviors. Of course, as soon as I hung up the phone, I had a long list of questions.
When I dropped her off on Tuesday, the other moms were asking me if Sara was going to summer school. Huh. The school never mentioned summer school..... (I've never dropped Sara off at school. Guess I picked the right day to do it.) I now had two issues to bring up at the meeting.
The meeting was just the social worker and I. Not a full team. I knew that going in but that was before I had so many questions. I'm wishing now there had been someone there with the authority to actually make decisions.
The social worker seemed surprised I was interested in summer school. I don't know that Sara will be there every single day but she can use all the help she can get. She's only been in this country for 2 months. She's still learning the language. How would they not think she would benefit from summer school? She said she would have to ask the sped director.
I asked about next year. I still have a hope that Sara will be ready for inclusion Kindergarten the year she is six. I know that she isn't anywhere near ready right now. She's only been in school for a month. Who's to say she won't be ready next year? How can you tell that in a month? I would like her in the full day preschool program next year and inclusion Kindergarten when she's 6. I was afraid, though, that by putting her in full day next year, they would count that as her K year and move her to 1st grade the next year--which she won't be ready for. I feel like they are trying to track her into separate classes for the rest of her life. Let's give the poor girl a fighting chance!!!
I was told that district policy is to not hold kids back. Kids must stay with their same-age peers. I understand the need for policy and the need for rules. I also understand the need for exceptions. They will probably not ever run into a case like Sara's again. They won't be setting some future precedent by making this "exception."
I'm waiting to hear back from the sped director. She was great to work with when I was enrolling Sara. I hope it continues to be that way. If not, I think I still have the option to keep her in half day preschool next year. I think. I do know that I have a few people waiting in the wings to help me out if it comes to that. I really hope it doesn't. I'd hate to have an adversarial relationship so quickly!