Thursday, August 22, 2013

1st Day of School: Worth the Anguish

Last Thursday my sons picked up their school schedule and I found out just how wrong Gabe's was for him.  It was just about the worst schedule I could imagine for him.  The special education supervisor said nothing could be done until after school started.  I was not willing to let him start school with the wrong classes and have to face the upheaval of missing the first day lectures in the appropriate classes.

Start as you want to continue.

That was the advice my dad gave me one year when we were debating if Gabe needed less time in the regular classroom and more time in the special education class. Our ultimate goal was to have him in the regular class almost all the time.  So, he spent as much time in the regular classroom as possible and he knew that eventually he would spent more time there with his peers.  It worked.  Now Gabe is in regular classes all the time.  His study hall is the only exception.  He has it with his special ed teacher with fewer kids.

Now he was getting ready for his second year of high school and had a schedule that would not work.  Last year had been a disaster.  I knew some of the teachers were not the best choice for him but tried to give them and the school a chance.  It was a mistake and Gabe suffered for my silence.

I was not silent this year.  The superintendent heard my concerns in person.  The guidance counselor took care of all my concerns and fixed Gabe's schedule.  Life was good.  Gabe started his first day knowing that this was what the year would be.  He was happy and had a very good day.

Gabe does not know the anguish.  The anguish is all mine to bear.  Even though I was harassed, repeatedly, by a school personnel for confronting the issue head on, I had no choice.  Waiting and following the school's timeline was not an appropriate option.  Last year was an unmitigated disaster that could not be repeated.  If the school refused to have spring planning meetings or summer planning meetings, then the should not be surprised when I voice an objection.

This year will be better.  Gabe will succeed and be happy.