Thursday, October 22, 2015

Follow up for #SPS is failing my kid

Last spring I tried to set up an email thread about visiting my oldest's new school for this school year. I asked when the best time to visit would be and offered up some days and times that worked for myself and husband. A few days went by and I heard nothing. An entire month passed and I finally heard back from our new teacher. Of course by then school was nearly finished. I was a bit flabbergasted to say the least. Then the new teacher happened to walk into our elementary school two days before the school year ended and invited me to come on the last day of school. With public school getting out an hour early and having three children there was no way I could just show up on the last day of school. So I let it go and figured there would be a welcome email/ letter from our new teacher explaining what to expect in the coming year. As I stated in the last blog that never happened.

Now let's jump to this past week. I have gotten (finally) a very long email from our teacher about my concerns I raised in my email to her from this past weekend. Her responses feel like they were copied and pasted out of an SPS handbook. And I must add that the entire tone of the email was rather terse as I am pretty sure she didn't like that I went over her head. I received a call from the principal of the school inviting me to come and have an in person meeting because it would probably be easier to discuss things with everyone. I agree with that. This morning I received a very long email from the physical therapist from the school program who had my daughter in the stander last week.

I am sitting here wondering why none of this communication happened earlier in the school year or even before school started. Many of the concerns I raised (not including the bruising) all could have been discussed and be non issues at this point had they all willingly introduced themselves and talked with my husband and I about the specific needs of our child. I have reread the little section of email from the teacher around feeding my kid and I am still shaking my head. There really is a simple solution and yet the school staff can't quite grasp it.

Next Wednesday my husband and I (and a very nice parent who also has a SpEd kid) will sit down in a conference room to discuss my email. I am floored that a bruise is what it took to get in the door with all these people to talk in the first place. It should not be this hard to open a dialogue.

 As a parent we take a leap of blind faith every day we take our kids to school. We are hoping that their day is a safe one. We are hoping that our kids won't be maimed, abused or killed while they are out of our house. We hope that they are learning in a supportive and caring environment without being harassed or bullied. And when something happens to our child and it isn't quite handled in the best possible way our faith and trust is shattered. School administrators and teachers who are just going through the motions have lost sight of the trust we are placing on them. Our schools are run on test scores and numbers. Kids aren't seen as individuals anymore. Our schools are failing our kids and we as parents have to speak out even though it is terrifying. If you notice something a little off don't shy away. Go investigate it and ask questions. If you don't then you are silently telling our schools that you agree with what is going on.

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