Sunday, June 22, 2003

Crawling out from under my rock

Pfffew! The last week of school is finally over, and it's taken me all weekend to recover. The last week was a whirl -- making 86 photo-frame mattes for the 5th-grade graduation photos, helping out in the school library to get the shelves straightened up for next year, making cupcakes for my son's class' next-to-last-day-of-school party, buying and wrapping teachers' gifts, serving the sodas at the 5th-grade last-day-of-school dance, trying not to notice that my daughter was drifting friendless between the cliques at said dance -- and man, I'm still exhausted. I used to be able to stay up to all hours for nights and nights in a row and still be able to run at top speed on a little coffee and sugar, but now ... somewhere before age 44, that steam runs out.

So now, as we shift into summer mode, here's where we stand on the end-of-year obsessions I've been ranting about of late: Although the very nice guidance counselor I spoke to at the middle school my daughter will be attending is out ill at least until September, the very harried guidance counselor who has had to take on his and another absent counselor's work still managed to get me the textbooks I was promised for the summer, and also look up her class schedule and assure me that she is in fact in the inclusion class as hoped for. A pretty impressive show of effectualness, really, especially compared to the ineffectualness I've been seeing from Child Study Teams over the past few years. On that front, the much promised behavior specialist for my son did indeed eventually show up, but too late to get a plan put together and a meeting scheduled before the end of the year. So the Child Study Team leader proposed that we table the behavior plan until September, and she'd just go ahead and put the IEP in without it. I expressed my extreme disappointment at the way this whole thing had been handled, and asked that the behavior plan I'd written myself months ago be put in the IEP as a "parent's contribution," so at least there'd be something on record for the new teacher. She agreed, although we'll see when I actually get this document sometime in August whether she actually followed through. Maybe I should ask that overworked middle school counselor if he wants to come over to the elementary school for a few hours and fix things for me there, too.

Happily, the teacher my son will have next year is giving me every indication that she will handle him well, behavior plan or no. She's already told me she'd like to meet with me during the first week of school; that I should send in a list on the first day of the things that motivate him; and that we'll be in constant communication through the year. Music to my ears, it is. But I'm glad I'll have a couple of months to rest up first.

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