Friday, October 19, 2012

Plan B

Well the wheels have been turning around here. I have spent a good amount of time this week dealing with the public middle school and their lack of communication and unwillingness to help my son. After numerous conversations with several professionals at the school I am beginning to wonder if it is more about lack of knowledge then unwillingness. Frustrated does not even begin to describe my mood these days.

So in true mama bear fashion I began to look into other options for my children. A plan B that would award them the opportunities to learn in an environment that is more conducive to their needs.

On Wednesday I toured a private school that was AMAZING! Their class size is 10-12 students. They teach all 4 learning styles, the modify and teach to each students level but do not dumb down the content. This all comes with a  90% graduation to secondary education rate.  I could give you the full novel version of my experience but it would be very long. The bottom line: It was wonderful and I know that my kids would thrive there.

Of course there is always a catch 22 to most good things. For starters I mentioned that school is private. It is VERY pricey but they do offer scholarships. The application process is also long and tedious requiring a parent statement, child statement, and statements from two teachers. Te other thing they require from application submission is extensive cognitive and achievement testing to be done. After making several calls to psychologists the price range for this testing which is not covered by insurance is anywhere from $600-$1000 per child. Chump change..... or not!

So I have been plugging away on the testing trying to find a cheaper way to go about it and today I hit the jackpot. I found a clinic that has a good sliding scale and will be able to get two of the boys tested for $500.00. God is good! They are not able to get us in until January but if this school is where God wants my kids to be I trust it will happen.

However, for the remainder of this year I have one son that is very much struggling. The school has agreed to formal testing but they have sixty operation days to complete the testing and then another 30 days to implement any of their findings. If you do the math on that one it will be the first part of April before they would be legally obligated to "help" my child.

I went into the school to speak with the psychologist yesterday and it did not go well. To say I am tired of excuses would be an understatement. I will not narrate the whole conversation but some of my favorite quotes from the 20 minutes I sat with him were:

"Well you do know that private schools get to hand pick their kids and we have to take everyone." (good to know, somehow that does not make me feel any better about your ability to educate my child.)

"What is it that you would like us to do? What do you think would help Mr 13?" (Uh yeah... I have some ideas but last I checked you were the professional and should be the one to have some ideas?.")

" We don't even know he if will qualify for accommodations until the testing is done. He may not qualify" I notified her that  I would be seeking a second private opinion if I disagreed with their finding.. He retorted with:

"Oh you don't want to do that it would be very expensive." I looked him square in the eyes and said "I wont be paying for it you will."  and then reminded him that under IDEA I had the right to a private second opinion at the districts expense.

That tid bit of fact brought on the most profound part of our meeting. His response to my knowledge of the law was:

"It sounds like you just want someone to pay for this." (like as in revenge) (I believe that comment came because I made him aware that they have missed all of the signs and failed to refer my child for intervention for over 2 years and I made it very clear that I was not happy about it.) (and further more Mr psychologist I just want my kid to experience some success and get an education. That is my only motive, Thank you very much.)

Then he stated the obvious. "It sounds like you don't think we are doing a very good job." (Ummmmmmm...... you couldn't be more correct.)

Moving right along to the " It sounds like you are angry." and to that I told him that he was grossly misunderstanding our conversation. I explained to him that I was not angry at all. I was a mom, sitting on his couch advocating for my child and explained that I would continue to do so until I felt like he was getting what he needed.

Our little talk ended with him telling me to let him know when I had specific ideas on how they could assist my son better and he would do this best to make it happen.

I am pretty sure he opened a box of worms he isn't prepared for. I am guessing when I get my list to him he will be wishing he had just thrown out some ideas instead of stonewalling me.

Ready or not....... Here I come!

Believe... Prayer Works!


Sonia said...

I hope you figure out what works well for your kids :). Let me just say that I love private schools. I went to the same one from age 3 all the way until I graduated high school. And now I am in a private university. It may be of no help since I have no personal private school background, but what I can say is that I look at the opportunities and skills I learned in a private school setting and am ever so grateful to have received them. They are often not found in public schools - such as such small classes and individual attention.

Sonia said...

I totally meant "I have no personal PUBLIC school background."

Makenzies Miracle said...

I understood what you were trying to say! I also went to a private school so dealing with the public school system is sometimes even harder because I know how much better private schools are most of the time.

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