Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Could Just Scream ...

There are few things that bother me more in life than people who don't listen fully or gain complete understanding of an issue before they take action. I've done it before and it rarely ends without someone being offended and upset and another person being embarrassed because they either over-reacted or reacted without knowing the "entire" situation. Usually the case with gossip, right? Not this time. This time it involves the Paleontologist and school!

Being in kindergarten, a half day kindergarten, there is a lot to learn in just 2 1/2 hours a day, for 180 days. Also, being a boy, I'm told makes it harder to learn in that 2 1/2 hours a day and couple that with a "late" birthday - the end of July - and its a recipe for disaster. When we went for our last parent - teacher conference, the Paleontologist's teacher advised us that he is immature. What 5 year old boy isn't? The kid has been in school since infancy so we already know that he has issues sitting still and since he's started to talk, he demand attention. Constantly. Even if it isn't his turn. He is a work in progress and he's awesome! As frustrating as it is for us, as his parents sometimes, I guess its even harder for the people who only deal with him for 2 1/2 hours a day. The teacher asked us if we wanted him to repeat kindergarten or send him to first grade. Is there really a parent on this earth that says "yes, I want my kid to repeat kindergarten"? Ok, so we made the the call to send him to first grade.

We're not dummies. Rutgers offers this reading class during the summer for all age groups. We signed Twinkletoes up for one and the Paleontologist up for the one for students entering first grade. The program runs one day a week from 6/22 through 7/20. It costs an arm and a leg but guess what? Those kids are pretty important and we'll do anything to ensure they get the best education they can get! Anyhow, the Paleontologist will be in class for 2 hours, then will have at least 4 hours of home work to be done throughout the week. The purpose is for us to "learn with him". Sounds good to me. As long as we can do it, lets go!

Then, on Friday, we receive a letter from the Paleontologist's principal that he's been "invited" to a summer school program, through the district, free of charge, from 7/2 through 8/9. But, we need to let them know by 6/13 - you know because school is dismissed for the summer on 6/18. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to let you know they're going to do something about some of their shortcomings in the classroom.

So, we weigh our options. I email the principal to say "yes, we'd like our child involved BUT we have vacations planned for the first week of July and the first week of August AND he's enrolled in this Rutgers reading class". Then, I place a phone call to the basic skills teacher who is running this evidently new program and ask her to call me back. I have questions. I'm not going to be an overbearing mom and put the kid somewhere where he can't excel but I want to know a few things. I get to my desk this morning and I have an email from the basic skills teacher advising me that the Paleontologist will not get the full benefit of the program because "regular" attendance is required as the class is cumulative. Ok, what part of "call me" did she not understand? I'm fuming. I email her back, with a copy to the Principal (since she copied the principal on her email to me - its only fair). I tell her I wanted to speak with her because I have questions about the program. I leave her another voice mail message. Then, she finally calls me back.

She indicates that she responded to my email that I sent to the principal, not checking her voice mail messages before she did. Then she proceeds to tell me that the first and last weeks are for assessments - (so will he really be missing a lot of work??) Then she tells me that the program through school only runs Monday through Thursday so that this Rutgers program will not interfere with his "summer school". Ok, so I'm still not getting what the big deal is. She kept questioning me whether I still wanted him to attend. Isn't any type of regular classroom setting better than none at all? Yes, I still want him to attend. I guess she knows she's defeated. She offers to stay late one day of Jonah's first week or come in early one day (notice she didn't offer to come in before the class actually starts or to see him before school lets out) to do his evaluation with him. And, maybe she can do his final evaluation after he's back in school for the fall session (yeah, you'll get a lot out of him after he's not been in any type of classroom setting for four weeks.)

But, whatever, the kid is going to summer school -and it looks like i am going to have to be one of those interfering moms.

No comments: