Monday, 24 August 2015

Back To School

Two weeks to go until school is back in session.  We're already seeing the early signs of transition irritability from Alex. 

Aside from the usual school must-do's of new shoes, backpacks, school supplies, etc., I have the list of updated IEPs, pre-school meetings with teachers and walk-throughs.

First step is to go through last year's IEP (Individual Education Plan) for both boys.  This is the document which says where exceptions will be made, such as lower standards on particular subjects or extra help in others.  I need to remind myself of where everyone is.  Nathan's isn't too bad, he only needs accommodation in a few places.  Alex's list of accommodations is over 15 pages long with lots of detailed notes.  New IEPs will be arriving in October, so making myself remember what last year's goals were will let me see where progress has been made and where it's still lacking.

Next is scheduling the pre-school meetings between myself and their teachers.  This is always frustrating with Nathan's school.  Alex's set up the meeting last June.  Since he's in an autism program, they understand the need to get an update after a 10 week absence.  In Nathan's case, the administrative staff are surprised every year when I tell them we need to do this.  I'm not allowed to set things up directly with the teacher (who does understand why it needs to be done) which makes the extra step of explaining everything exhausting.

Finally is the walk-through, where I show each boy his classroom, where their coat hooks are (in general, not specifically), which playground they'll be using.  This makes the first day of school much less intimidating and stressful for them.

These steps all help the school year start smoother for us but it's a lot of extra work to put everything together.

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