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Thursday, August 20, 2015

A New School Year Begins

It is the end of the first week back to school and so far everything seems to be going well getting back in to that school routine.

As for that big school decision we had to make regarding where Kayla was going to school - we went with what we felt in our hearts and enrolled her in a private school with an inclusive education program.

At our last IEP meeting someone said to us "...we haven't closed the gap [my thoughts: but more often than not the gap widens for those with an intellectual disability and Kayla met all her IEP goals!] so what we've been doing isn't working and it's time to try something different." That 'something different' met a self-contained classroom for middle school for everything except PE and one other elective. That's what they were offering us.

So we took what was said - time to try something different - and we are trying private school. We are trying a place that has not balked once at having Kayla in the school (since I first observed there almost 3 yrs ago), a place that has let me know Kayla would be welcomed there whenever we were ready to make that move.
6th grade - Jr High - what?!
Kayla has a locker (2, actually) and multiple classes and teachers and is with her peers for the majority of the day. She's only pulled out to resource for 80 minutes and she is included throughout the school because she belongs throughout the school.

The transition has gone well so far in this first week. She has been happy and excited and giggly each day that I pick her up. I think she is quickly learning her way around the school, which is a small campus so that helps! I am excited for this school year and relieved to not be facing it with stress, anxiety and frustration. She's happy because she is at the same school as her best friend!

Lucas has a great teacher and one we were already familiar with so that was nice. He made a friend on "Meet The Teacher Night" that he was very excited about - they hit it off right away. When school started he was happy to find out that he already knew 5 of his classmates. Looking forward to a great year for him as well.

It's still dark enough outside when we catch the bus that the street lights are still on.
Second grade though; already!

His big accomplishment over the summer was to read the Harry Potter series and he met his goal a couple of weeks before school started. Now on to finding new books and series to capture the imagination.
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Anonymous said...

fantastic!!!!! for kayla and lucas.. first, that kayla is so welcomed at her new school and included in all the classrooms that her peers are in. :} and her best friend goes to the same school.:} 2nd Lucas met someone who is a new friend and they "clicked" right off and he knows 5 kids from 1st grade that are in his classroom and he has a great 2nd grade teacher !!! and he reached his goal of reading the series harry potter. way to go !! Michelle, this is what you and Joe have fought for, for Kayla to be included in all classrooms and not contained in 1 room for most of the day. :} yea for a new school year. Middle school, Kayal is growing up to fast. :} love mom

Meg said...

Good luck to all. Glad that you found a great, inclusive school for Kayla. Hope it goes really well.

Bonita said...

Sounds like a wonderful start to the school year for everybody, including Mom! I'm so impressed that Lucas can read well enough at his age to read that whole series. That's pretty incredible!

Kerri Ames said...

Oh I am so freaking happy Kayla is enjoying the new school and you have moment to take a deep relaxing breath. For a minute until the next thing pops up! But this new school sounds fabulous.

Have you tried the Percy Jackson series for Lucas? It might be a bit above him, but if he has read the entire HP series he might like it. Plus learn Greek Mythology at the same time:)

Anna said...

"I'll prove that there's more to me when what you see"--Laura Shigihara, "First Day"

Traci Shimel said...

But how on earth will Kayla learn to do laundry? Just kidding:) it sounds like a great match for her! For Lucas, some of my favorites include the Lloyd Alexander series that starts with Taran Wanderer, Lewis' Nania books, Madeline L'Engle's series (A Wrinkle In Time) and, of course, Tolkien! Best of luck for a great year for the whole family.

Lisa said...

That's great you and Kayla like the new school. Has Lucas read Rick Riordan's series? My kids both loved all of them.

Mary Goodale said...

John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice - My boys and I read and loved the series.

ahoy.jenni said...

Congratulations on making the change! Best of luck at the new school.

Anonymous said...

Yay for Kayla! Great choice. I wish schools in CA were more like the one she is attending.

For your son (Kayla too!) check out the Sisters Grimm books. When I taught 3rd grade the kids just couldn't get enough of them. :)

Elise (Kids Included Together) said...

I am so excited to hear more about Kayla's success at this school! I love how you said that Kayla is included because she belongs. I really wish that all schools could operate like that. We'll all be rooting for her! I'm so impressed that Lucas read the entire Harry Potter series. What an awesome accomplishment! Literacy rocks!