Wednesday, August 16, 2017

First day of High School

Oh my goodness!  Where did the summer go?  Where has time gone in general?  My baby started High School today!  Princess Bear (PB) started high school today.  I'm so not ready for this although she seems to think she is!  We had to have an IEP meeting last week to change the track that PB is enrolled in.  Previously we had followed the advice we were given and signed PB up for a life skills program.  She wouldn't have received a diploma at the end of her four years but I wasn't hung up on that.  PB will never hold any kind of job where that will make a difference.  Then a few weeks ago PB and I met her 8th grade teacher for coffee.  She then told me that she didn't think PB was in the right program.  She thought PB should be in something called Core.  That is a diploma program but the classes are a bit slower than regular high school classes.  I called PBs new coordinator and asked for her opinion.  She thought that having a meeting with the school psychologist, the life skills teacher and her counselor would be a good idea.  At that meeting I was told that PBs reading and comprehension skills scores are 20 points higher than what you would typically see in a life skills program.  Her math and science skills are lower but it was still decided that it would be easier for her to go down to an easier level if Core didn't work for her than it would be to work into a harder level if life skills was too easy. 

We also had to write an appeal to get PB into the school she's going to.  We'd been promised that she was going to go to Richwoods with her classmates.  This group of kids have been together since they were 3 years old.  Then part way through last year they tried telling us that there was a comparable program at our home school (based on boundaries).  The school they wanted to send her to is a gang infested cesspool.  My child was not going to go there.  Our boundary waiver request was granted which is completely awesome.  There is just one significant downside.  There is no air conditioning in this school that PB is at and they don't have to follow the IEP to put it in since she could go to her home school that is air conditioned.  We bought enough small desk sized fans that PB can keep a fan in each classroom as well as a ton of cooling clothes.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that its enough.

I am the first to admit that I was a nervous wreck at just the prospect of PB starting high school.  PB was overall pretty excited.  She even picked to have her braces bands be her new school colors.  I spend a lot of the summer talking to her about choosing her friends wisely and letting her know that her fellow students can be idiots and to just ignore them.  I'm sure that the entire year won't be this smooth but today went really well!  PB graduated with 5 other kids in her schools special ed program last May.  5 of the 6 kids, PB included are in the Core program.  She has at least 1 class with every one of her classmates.  She also made a new friend.  She can't remember his name.  She thinks its Travis but she's going to find out for sure tomorrow.  Anyway this kid is her new pal.  They have 3 classes together, the same lunch period and their lockers are next to one another!  She came bopping out of school with a hug smile on her face and was excited about the whole experience.  I'm thrilled for her! Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this year is relatively smooth sailing!