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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No Decision Yet

No decision has been made yet as to Kayla's placement for school next year.

First of all I hate, hate, hate that I am so emotional! Just starting the discussion of me having concerns for her going to 1st grade and my eyes well up. I end up a crying fool and I hate that I can't control my tears...and why am I even crying?! For crying out loud it's just talking about sending my daughter to 1st grade, or keeping her in Kindergarten! Ugh...I get my emotions from my mom and I thanked her for that :)

Her regular ed teacher had a meeting with the "retention team" about having Kayla repeat K and it was determined by them that she didn't need to be retained and will go to 1st grade. The special ed and regular ed teachers and her ST/OT don't make that decision, but I don't know how much, if any, input they had. Although they all said she is doing great and they see her making a lot of progress from when she first started, they were also in agreement with my position that she would benefit from another year of K, especially considering her young age.

However there was a big wrench thrown in to this equation.

I was thrown for a loop when I found out that her school will not have the inclusion Kindergarten classroom next year. Not every school in this area has an inclusion K classroom, I guess we were just lucky that her home school just happened to be one of the schools to have this, so that's where she went to school.

For whatever reason it was decided that her current school will not have an inclusion K classroom - so if she repeats K she will be going to a different school.

Right now I don't know which school she would attend if repeating K and that factors into this decision...and right now they haven't finalized which schools will have the inclusion K classrooms. And it matters to me where this school is located.

I'm also concerned that Kayla would be attending her 3rd different school, not to mention a 4th different school when we move next summer.

If she does go to 1st grade it is an inclusion 1st grade, but my initial understanding is there isn't an assistant or special ed teacher in the room full time like there is in K. She will have modifications/accommodations such as having a 'scribe' - she can give verbal answers and someone will write them down for her, frequent breaks due to her short attention span, touch screen for computer programs, time and a half to take tests, auditory presentation since she's not reading on grade level etc.

My next step is making an appt with the principle and I'm going to request the special ed teacher for 1st grade, and possibly even a regular 1st grade teacher, be at the meeting as well. I need to know a breakdown of how Kayla's day would be in 1st grade. If it's an inclusion classroom she will have small group instruction, but I don't know if she would have pull-outs besides ST and OT. So, I have more questions to ask about 1st grade.

Joe and I are in agreement that if we're not happy with the school she would go to if in K next year, and we send her to 1st grade this year (where she is at least familiar with the school building and would probably have some of the same kids in her class) we are ok with having her repeat 1st grade at her new school when we move. I don't want to keep saying "I'm ok with her repeating this grade" and then not have her do it, but K and 1st grade we're ok with. What I don't want to have happen is for her to be at a school for 5 years with the same kids and then all of a sudden have her repeat a grade when she's already established. With all of the changes going on these last couple of years she hasn't had continuity with the same kids and won't be continuing on school with the same kids throughout elementary school anyway.

So for now we wait until I can find out what school she would go to if she repeats K, and to have my meeting and get more questions answered about how her day would go in 1st grade.

Thanks for all of the advice and support!

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Renee said...

Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

chelle said...

egads .. the situation isn't making it any easier for you to decide!

Hang in there ... it will all work out!

Mom24 said...

Ugh! I'm sorry it's so complicated. I hope you get to make a decision you feel good about. (((hugs)))

Angie said...

We're going through some of the same stuff -- only we're just now putting Caroline into Kindergarten. Still waiting on the decision from the school she'll be attending as to which teacher, which class, etc.

It really is frustrating -- especially when we're just trying to do what's best for our girls.

(ooh, and I linked you on my blog)

Chris said...

I am not looking forward to making these very tough decisions. It sounds like you are considering all of your options and really thinking it through. Don't be so hard on yourself for being emotional about it. You are doing a great job!

much more than a mom said...

Yikes Michelle. I have those emotions too, so I totally understand the crying. Sorry you're struggling so much. Whatever you decide will work out just great!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm so sorry! I'm praying that all works out for the best for her.

Michelle said...

It's so hard to know (so far ahead of time) what is the right and the best decision for our kiddos. I am so glad that we were able to get Matthew into the 1/2 day program that we did before he went to all day Kindergarten this last year. He needed it and it was the right decision for him. I'm trying to not stress about next year. They aren't quite sure who will be his teacher yet and things may be a little topsy turvy. But hopefully once school starts, it will all smooth out! :)
(((Hugs))) to you, Michelle!

Shelley said...

Good luck with it all - schooling is a tough one isn;t it?

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

WOW! Sorry you are going through all of this with trying to figure out whether to send Kayla to 1st grade or have her in kindergarten again... it definitely doesn't help with making a decision to have all of the complicating factors. Hopefully they will have an answer for you soon as to what school will have the inclusion kindergarten - just a question, would she be able to just be in kindergarten at her current school again, without it being inclusion (since it would be a repeat and she maybe knows what she is doing already?) It is a while before we go down this road, so I really have no clue what I am talking about, that is just a question that popped into my head as I was reading your post. Thinking about you!!! I know this has to be especially hard with Joe gone!!!!!

datri said...

Wow, that is a big wrench. We don't have a placement for our Kayla for next year either, so I completely understand your frustration.

starrlife said...

Oh Michelle, it's okay to be emotional! No shame in that... On the other hand I want you to know that your post made me angry- angry that your child and you are made to feel that you have no choice! Kayla has the right to be in any class she wishes per the IDEA! It is up to the school to meet her needs and it is unreasonable to make her switch schools and it is baloney to me that if your team recommends staying in K that people who do not know her well and may only have other things than her well being can override that. Perhaps the emotion comes from feeling disempowered? I don't want to go all political on you so sorry if it's not helpful. It's hard to know what's right and then to have unnecessary factors come into play is even harder. She has the absolute right to be mainstreamed and get the support she needs in a typical classroom. Just so you know that.... Love and hugs..

Ellen said...

Gosh, Michelle, this is tough. Give yourself a break. Regardless of what you decide, Kayla will be okay, simply because she has you for a mom.

Sue said...

Oh man. I know how hard those decisions can be. We want to do what's right and BEST, but it's not that easy to KNOW! I would love a crystal ball myself right now. :)

I do think repeating at an earlier stage is better than later. And I do think, although you know, I don't think she will see it as she can't do it. As her Mom, at her age, it's easier to "spin it" rather than it would be as she gets older kwim? It sounds like a good plan now to wait and find out more information before making your final decision.

Good luck with your meeting with the principal.

Beck said...

Sigh. This sounds like one of those situations where there is no really perfect answer... praying that the right way becomes clear for you guys.