I posted a few weeks ago about the possible closure of our elementary school. While closing this school would be a tragedy, I’ve been more than impressed with the group of parents who are working tirelessly to make sure kids in our neighborhood have a quality school within walking distance. The coming together of this community in a common fight is amazing to watch. Add the fact that the fight has been kept clean, and well… these folks should be in our state government instead of the politicos who are there now.
Case in point: our school board had a meeting early this week, and the superintendent addressed the hundreds of community members who showed up to protest closing 9 neighborhood schools. Closing schools would go to the bottom of the list, and in order to do that the district would lay off almost 500 teachers. And no one complained. What?!? We were so happy to hear that closings may not happen, that we just swallowed class size increases, meaning fewer teacher positions. And schools may indeed still close.
The second leg of my disillusionment comes from the fact that Jett will most likely not receive any services from the school district. When we had him diagnosed last year, we went through a private educational psychologist, not through the school district. The bulk of this school year has involved getting him an Asperger’s label at the school. We do have one more meeting, but it looks as if he doesn’t have “educational need” for services at school.
The fact that he can work at grade level means he doesn’t qualify for any help. Our district doesn’t offer sensory support, and they only offer social-emotional support if the child can’t complete their work. The fact that he is losing his light for learning doesn’t matter. The fact that he feels so excluded from any social happenings (including the playground and lunchroom) doesn’t matter. As long as he can read, write, and do math.
To be clear, I’m not criticizing his teachers. They are committed, smart, thoughtful, involved. Even the administrators I’ve met are kid-centered people. But the system is broken.
That being said, homeschool is back on the table. My thoughts now are to take both boys out of the education system for a year and teach them at home. That gives me a year to work with each of them (which is a total gift), and while they are home, it gives us a year to figure out the best school for them: public or private.
I’m both excited and terrified of having them home for a year. The pros are easy to see, as are the cons. But for the sake of my kids, I will do the best I can. And like anyone who becomes President of the United States, I expect to have lots more gray hair and wrinkles at the end of my term.