Sunday 25 August 2013

Preparing for Battle

Tomorrow the staff come back to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Which means: tomorrow my annual battle with the school board begins anew.

To be fair, it hasn't exactly been a World War II or Napoleonic level of conflict.  The boys' schools have been good about communicating and been open to me and my suggestions.

The challenge has been in follow-through.

For example, in the summer between junior and senior kindergarten, there was a rather simple plan set up in June.  Nathan would share an EA as needed with another child with plans to phase out the EA by October once a routine had been established.  Nathan would have a visual schedule and regular visits to a quiet room to help him maintain equilibrium.  I agreed that Nathan didn't need to meet the teacher or see the classroom in advance.  He'd done very well in JK and I didn't anticipate any trouble with SK.

Of course, when I spoke with the teacher in mid-September, I got a very troubling report.  Nathan was having a lot of trouble and acting out in class a lot.  I was concerned and got right into crisis-management mode, brought out social stories at home and set up regular meetings with the teacher.

It wasn't until the beginning of October that I discovered Nathan had been receiving no support.  No visual schedule, no prompts from the EA.  Nothing.

Well, there's your problem!

I don't want to go through another difficult transition.  The school was quick to remedy the situation but the damage had been done.  So tomorrow, I make sure the plan we all agreed to back in June will in fact be implemented at the beginning of September.

It's tiring.  I should be focused on having the right size shoes, the right school supplies or cool backpacks for the boys.  Instead, I get this one additional concern which has the potential to cascade into an annual fall crisis.  The boys won't be able to tell me if things haven't been set up properly, depriving me of the traditional spies parents use.

I hope things go smoothly.  But I've learned not to count on them.

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