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Monday, August 20, 2012

The School Decision

My big 3rd grader ... looking so grown up!

 I just realized I never followed up with what we decided for Kayla's school placement.

We agreed she would be going to the 3rd grade.
We agreed her placement is the GE classroom with resource room support.
We made the decision to transfer her to her neighborhood school.

It wasn't easy making the decision to transfer schools. She's had some continuity being at the other school for 2 years and knowing the layout, administrators, and students. However, I feel strongly that she should be at her neighborhood school because that is the school she would go to if she didn't have a disability.

There are still a few details to work out in her IEP. I thought we finalized it at that last marathon third meeting at the end of the school year, but an IEP is never really finalized, is it? It's reviewed annually but a meeting can always be called at any time to make adjustments to it.

Over the summer I've thought of some things we should add to her IEP and feel that we need to have a meeting shortly after the school year starts with her new team anyway. No one from this new school was at her previous IEP meeting so they don't know quite where we are coming from as her parents. I think it'll be good for us all to sit down and go over things as a new team.

The other big decision that came along with changing schools is transportation. Her bus pick up time is about 1/2 hr earlier than it was last year -which is nice! (6:18 was so early!) This also means that she will now be riding the 'regular' bus. I have mixed feelings about that, but hopefully it goes well! The school is literally only 5 minutes away, of course it's a little longer when on the bus (I don't know if there are any more stops after ours) but she won't be on the bus for very long, so I think it'll be doable. 

Last week was "Meet the Teacher" night and it went well. The teacher was very welcoming and opened to having Kayla in her classroom. She didn't seem unsure or concerned even though she's never had a child with Down syndrome (or with the same types of challenges Kayla will bring to her classroom) before ... this is only her 2nd year of teaching. She reassured me it was all ok and will work out. So excited for this year but also a bit nervous. I don't want Kayla to get lost in the system, because this is not how this district typically does things and I'm worried that they just won't know how to successfully include Kayla, but I'm hoping we can all work together and make it happen.

Today was the first day of school and Kayla was ready and excited to be going back to school. On Sunday I said to her, "Do you know what tomorrow is?" and without missing a beat and with a big smile on her face she said, "My new school!" I'm so glad she seems to handle these transitions with a grain of salt!

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Lisa said...

Can't wait to hear about how it goes. My daughter is a first grader in a typical classroom at our neighborhood school and I love to hear about the kids who have already done it and are succeeding. Thanks for sharing!

Dena said...

Wow - what a big change! I'm sure she'll do great ;) gotta love an IEP!

Runningmama said...

I am excited to hear how things go! I love her hair, she is just adorable!

Anonymous said...

She does look so grown up!! and I just saw her at the end of July!!:) love the pics. hope all goes well. love mom

ckbrylliant said...

Praying for her and you. She looks way too grown up. I have know doubt you will stay on top of things and make sure all of her needs are met. I was pleased to hear she has a 'newer' teacher, sometimes they are much more hip to change and have benefitted from growing up in a more accepting time.

Deborah said...

She's so big! We're still a few years away from school for Ben, but I'm hoping he'll be at our neighborhood school. My oldest is there now. Knowing Ben will be there too eventually is good motivation to get involved and known by the administration now. I'm eager to hear how it goes for Kayla.

ahoy.jenni said...

Good luck - school is such an emotive issue! But who would not want your daughter in their class? They would have to be mad and/or horrible, and in that case you would not want them to teach her!
My daughter goes to a Steiner school (in Australia) and it is going great, she is in grade 2. The whole school knows her and looks out for her, we are very lucky. I am sure it will work out for Kayla.

krlr said...

Happy (belated) first day! She looks supremely confident here - hope it's going great.