Friday, September 2, 2011

Assume Nothing

The transition from grade school to junior high was smooth.  I knew which school Haley was going to.  I received letters and phone calls from the school and her teacher.  The bus driver contacted me a week ahead of time to let me know when to expect her.  We got to go to the school and meet her teacher and get a feel for the classroom.

The transition to high school?

Not so much.

We received a newsletter.  Actually we received two; one addressed to Haley's parents and one to her big sister's parents.  We received a couple of recorded telephone messages telling us that freshman were to pick up their schedules on Wednesday evening. I have not heard from the bus driver.

I called the school and asked if the Life Skills teacher would be at the freshman orientation.  No.  I asked if the Life Skills classroom would be open.  No.  I decided that it didn't make much sense for us to take Haley to this event if there was nothing there for her. 

We didn't go.

Thursday morning I got a call from the school.  Haley hadn't picked up her schedule the night before, was she going to be attending school this fall?  I told them that I had called the day before and found out that the Life Skills classroom and teacher would not be available to us so we decided not to attend.

"Life Skills?" she said.

Yes, I told her, my child is in the Life Skills program. 

"Well, her schedule shows that she is signed up for Introduction to Visual Arts, Math, Physical Education, Multimedia Exploration, Integrated Earth Science and English." the secretary said.

"Well," I said.  "That is amazing!  As fun as that all sounds I don't think it will work.  My daughter is in Life Skills and she needs a full time one-on-one para-educator."

She told me that I needed to bring my daughter to the school and pick up her schedule and get this straightened out.  So I got Haley dressed and we went to her new school.

I picked up her schedule. 

It did indeed list all of the classes that the secretary had read to me over the phone.  She directed me to the counselor's office, where there was quite a commotion going on.  It seemed that they were up to their eyeballs in problems, but finally Haley's assigned counselor came out. 

She assured me that everything would be fine on the first day of school.

I asked her to call me as soon as she had something official to show me.  I told her that I wanted to meet with the teacher and to walk through the classroom.  She told me that I might be able to do that on Tuesday, but she couldn't be sure about that because the teachers would all be very busy. 

I left with the assurance that I could expect a phone call soon verifying that they indeed had my daughter's IEP and were prepared to have her in their Life Skills program.

That was Wednesday.  This is Friday night.  I didn't get a phone call.

So Tuesday morning they will get a phone call and if I am not confident that this has been fixed I will be going to school with Haley on Wednesday morning because there is NO WAY I am letting her go to that school by herself.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my....that's not a great way to start the school year. It always amazes me that schools can actually function despite all of the ways they mess things up.

    It sounds like you and I are in the same boat right now, with a big transition at school and lots of new fears about the school year. Know that you are not alone and feel free to email me anytime you need to!

    It's been nice to "meet" you!



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