Wednesday, May 18, 2011

prelude to a Samuel school update

(back in Feb. I started this post. As introduction to my latest updates, I am finally going to post it.)

This week (Feb 18th) I called the charter school to get Samuel on the list for the lottery, just in case we decide to transfer him there next year. Elisabeth will be in kindergarten there next year, and Isaac will be in 5th grade there. Abigail will be in middle school. Anyway, I wasn't sure what grade lottery to put him in (they draw names for the available spots) - since we are considering the possibility of holding him back. The school director told me they need several sources of documentation in order to do that: test results, teacher evaluation and recommendation, and parent meetings (something like that). And so we don't have the teacher's recommendation. We'd either have to get his current teacher to recommend that at the end of this year (which I know will be a fight to get) - or have him in 2nd grade to start next year, have the teacher evaluate him and then if she recommended it, to switch him back down to 1st grade. Talk about stupidly disrupting Samuel's life. So, it seems the only logical thing to do is to try to get his current teacher to recommend it, if that's even what we think will be best. So for now, he is in the lottery pool for 2nd grade and then they said they will switch him down to 1st if we get that recommendation, if he even gets a spot. Ugh. The only positive thing is we can now postpone the stress of making any decision for a couple more months until his current school will discuss placement with us. ugh (did I say that already?).

(We found out later that week that he didn't get a spot in second grade at the charter school. He was then put in what is called the "sibling pool" of other second graders who have a sibling who did get in or are current students. So when a spot opens up between now and Oct (such as if someone moves or withdraws), then they do another lottery within the sibling pool to see who gets in.)

(and another somewhat related random thought I had written in the earlier post that I never posted):

Yesterday Samuel brought home a flyer for some free workshops for "parents of children with disabilities" through Utah Family Workshops. I signed up for one tomorrow about "Supporting Siblings of Children with Disabilities." So hopefully that will be helpful in some way. There are 6 other workshops, some of them several sessions long. I may or may not sign up for some others. It's funny, sometimes I still feel like I don't really "belong" at workshops like these - I know many people wouldn't necessarily classify Samuel as being "disabled." But hey, the statement is worded that way several times throughout his IEP: "Samuel has a disability which adversely affects his educational performance in ____ blah blah blah." And they gave me the paper. So I guess that means I belong there. Weird.

(the workshop ended up being cancelled because I was the only person who signed up. bummer)

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