Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Days of School

Robbie, Katie , Ted



It is official...all the kids are back to school. It has been very overwhelming for me. I remember feeling this same way last year. I tried to psych myself up this year, but it didn't work. There has been an abundance of paper work that has come home that I have to keep track of which piece goes back with which kid. There have been fees for this, and fees for that. My hand has been in my wallet non-stop, I'm already broke for the month. There have been issues at the schools already. One of Ted's good friends didn't come back this year because of a bully problem. He was bullied all last year, and from what I have been told, nothing was done about it. The bully is still there! This kid picked on Ted in second grade, I didn't hear about it until the end of the year. At the beginning of third and also fourth grade, I spoke with Ted's teachers and informed them of the problem. I asked that Ted not be paired up with this kid if at all possible, and told Ted to keep his distance. Ted has been happy these past two years with very minimal teasing. I am afraid now that the friend is gone, which, by the way, I had no idea how bad it was or I would have tried to help, Ted will be on the receiving end of the bully. I have spoken with the teacher on several occasions (it helps to be a hot lunch mom!) and also the principal. I have told them I will pull my kids out of that school if Ted gets bullied and nothing is done about it. I will not wait until the end of the year, I will not tolerate it. I have discussed this with the kids and have told them to look out for each other. The problem with that is, Ted has a different recess now that he is in fifth grade. Recess time is when it mostly happens. I have been told by the principal they are going to initiate a new bully program this year. He pulls me aside whenever he sees me and asks how things are going. In mass yesterday with the school kids Father mentioned he doesn't want to have any bully problems this year. It is good to see they finally realize there is an issue. It took losing a lot of good families to finally wake up and smell the coffee. Our enrollment is way down, the worst it's been in years. We are the cheapest Catholic school in town, our classrooms should be filled, and their should be a waiting list to get in. Sadly, that's not the case. I am praying since Ted has really grown over the summer and is bigger than the bully, he will be left alone. Problem is...he'll find someone else to pick on. I am so far, the loudest advocate for this issue, everyone else has quietly walked away. It helps to have Helen, I have learned to be loud when it comes to my children's needs.
That's another story...Helen...the district decided over the summer they want the special needs kids to be included 100% of the day. It sounds good and looks good on paper, but what about the child that can't handle that, then what? Helen happens to be one of those kids, there is no way she can sit in a regular classroom all day. It will be too quiet for her, she will have to make noise, and she did. On Friday a note was sent home telling me she had a good day except for making noises in class, can I work with her over the week-end with "no sounds". Okay, fine, I'll do that, but that doesn't mean come Monday she'll be cured of "no sounds"! I have been on the phone with her teacher from last year, and her teacher this year. They know I don't agree with this arrangement. Well, they must have gotten together and talked about it because they are pulling Helen out of the regular classroom for certain subjects and putting her in a special ed. class. That is what she needs. I'm not saying they need to do this for all special needs kids, this may work out fantastically for someone else, it's not the best thing for Helen. Remember last year they were talking about changing her program because she needed more one on one time. Why on earth would they think she wouldn't need it this year? Because I have been so vocal, changes have taken place, and the year is looking better. Helen no longer rides the bus home, I pick her up in order to talk with her teacher everyday. I have been somewhat in a fog these last three years, just going through the motions. I am now ready to be loud once more when it comes to my kids, and believe me, I can be LOUD!
Until next time-
Take Care,

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