Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Like I Won the Awesome-School Lottery

I would like to tell you two things:

1. I am terrified about how Jack is going to do in first grade. I watched Sam last year in first grade and I cannot imagine Jack doing the work that he did. Not that I care about him doing it on the same level (he's capable of that, but...) but I cannot imagine him agreeing to do it. I cannot imagine the homework struggles we are going to have this year. I cannot imagine the behavioral struggles that are going to happen in school.

2. I am beyond happy to know that he has such a great team to help him.

Our school's Open House is tomorrow, so we will go in and meet the teachers and see the classrooms, but the principal set up meetings today with parents of "kids who need a little extra help" to make sure that the teachers and the support staff all know the parents and so we could discuss anything we wanted to ahead of time. He said we could do it as an IEP meeting or as a casual parenting meeting.

Guess which I chose?

So we had a half hour meeting where I got to meet Jack's aide and the rest of the support staff (most of whom I already know), and the principal went over Jack's schedule, and I passed out my "Who is Jack?" document to everyone at the meeting.

I also have sections on general things about Jack, his struggles,
his strengths, our hopes for this year, and my contact info.


The meeting was wonderful. When the principal came in to fetch me, I went to shake his hand and he insisted on a hug. He also started the meeting by saying that the whole team loves Jack and is happy to have him at the school.

"He has a special place in my heart," he said, putting his hand on his chest.

Everyone introduced themselves. They all said the right things. They asked my opinion on things that worked and things that didn't. Jack's teacher assured me that burping won't bother her. Also, because Jack's summer school teacher is a teacher at our school, they had all discussed what she was successful with over the summer.

Plus, they wanted to know what sort of things I did for him over the summer, so I was able to brag about Camp Stimey (without calling it that) and the structure I gave him over the summer.

Jack's first grade teacher was Sam's first grade teacher last year, so I'm familiar with her and she likes my family. (Hooray for Sam paving the way. He's kind of a rock star at that school.) She gave me her cell phone number (and a hug). She's excited that I'll be volunteering in class. She has plans to get him a container of moon sand to keep nearby in case Jack needs to take some time to satisfy his sensory seeking ways.

Also, Jack's buddy T is in the same class.

This school and this staff have gone out of their way to help Jack and to make things as easy and as positive for him as possible. I am so grateful. And so extremely lucky. I am still terrified about school, but it is lovely to know that there is such a wonderful group of people at the ready to help him.

31 comments:

  1. This makes me so, so happy.

    So.

    Happy.

    Way to go, Jack's school!

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  2. This is AWESOME. Oh wait, you already said that. Pass the thesaurus. I'm so happy for you and for Jack! I'm sure there will be plenty of bumps in the road, but it sounds like you are set up for a great school year.

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  3. Wow! You did win the awesome school lottery. I have never had the chance to talk to Ace's teachers before open house. What a gift to have that chance.

    I completely understand your fears. I am in the grips of them myself, as Ace starts another year - 5th grade this time. I hope we have a better year than 4th grade. It sounds like Jack is in very good hands. Hooray for you and Jack and your wonderful school. :)

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  4. That is awesome. That;s one thing I like about the girls having the same teachers - we know what to expect and we feel like after the first one, we can talk to them easier!

    Sam's only going into second grade? Why did I think he was older then Einey?

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  5. Let me reiterate - that's awesome! And this totally made me cry. Good stuff.

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  6. Yeah!! I'm glad the meeting went so well.

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  7. Wow...What more could you ask for? I am happy for you and for Jack, and more than a little jealous. With all these good folks in Jack's corner, you will be well equipped to deal with whatever issues come up. There are bound to be challenges, but I bet he will surprise you.

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  8. And by the way, that Jack info sheet? Who could resist that adorable face?!?

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  9. Wow, what an amazing team of professionals to be caring for and teaching Jack this year. How wonderful that they all care about him and want him to succeed. You did luck out!!

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  10. That is beyond wonderful. It makes me so happy that there are schools out there that really ARE focused on what's best for the kids, not just on the test scores at the end of the day!

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  11. your who is jack info sheet made me cry. you are awesome. jack is awesome. first grade is going to be hard, but awesome.

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  12. your who is jack info sheet made me cry. you are awesome. jack is awesome. first grade is going to be hard, but awesome.

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  13. Woman you DID win the school lottery! what a great kid you have there in Jack.

    Thanks for sharing your who is Jack sheet. Love it.

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  14. I am so excited for Jack's year as a first grader! He is off to a great start already with so much support from a fabulous teacher, team, and administrator who truly want him at the school. That's so wonderful!

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  15. Oh I seriously want to weep. That is so awesome. And I have never heard a mom of a kid with an IEP say such good things about their school before.

    Shoot, in my neighborhood, all the families of kids with IEPs are moviing to another school district.

    So YAY for Jack!! Were the bus drivers at the meeting... because that's where he might run into some trouble ;-)

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  16. Excellent! So happy for you guys--I hope this school year rocks for Team Stimey.

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  17. I love hearing good things about public schools - I guess it validates my decision to send my kids. Sam, probably GT, also seems to be thriving. When Quinn goes, you can hand out valium at the intro meeting! And Jack, I don't like vegetables or transitions either.

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  18. Wow, I'm blown away by Jack's support. Not only does it seem that they do a great job but they genuinely care about them and that is the most important part. Jack will do great this year, I just know it!

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  19. Wow, that is so wonderful! I bet that's a big weight off of your shoulders. I'm so happy for you!

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  20. Horray! I'm so glad that you feel confident about all the teachers and aides, and that they have Jack's best interests at heart.

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  21. That is so, so good for you. I need to write the same type post about my Riley. The school has done GREAT things for her this year.

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  22. I am thrilled for you - and for Jack! Here's to a successful year for all our kids!

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  23. My Carson is a Severe ADHD Wonder Boy. Seems when I worry the most about how he will do--he does absolutley WONDERFUL. And I feel small looking at the scope of his brilliance. Carry on Jack!

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  24. Wonderful!! I'm so glad you won that lottery. Nail-biting with you...

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  25. Maybe you're a bit less terrified than you would have been if you didn't have such a terrific team for Jack? And I love the "who is Jack?" idea. Geez you're clever!

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  26. Wow! That is just so awesome! Good luck to all of you!!

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  27. aww, this is so great! as a teacher, i think it's wonderful you had your "who is jack" cards. that's brilliant. i wish more of my parents would have that.

    and as a parent who's child is starting pre-k, i SO feel you!

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  28. Yeah for a great team! It makes all the difference. There were people on Bubba's team that rolles their eyes with a 'getting to know' type sheet. When I brought Bubba into the meeting because I felt it was important for us to remember the person behind the plan and let him express the things he thought he was good at and the things he thought he needed help with, I was told he was missing important time from class and must get back. What's more important than him being his own advocate? Anyhow, I am so glad you have such a good school and compassionate proactive team!

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  29. Hooray! I love the "Who is Jack?" thing you made up. That's a fantastic idea! If Joseph's open house wasn't in a few hours (and I wasn't so painfully lazy) I would steal the idea and make one for Joseph. Jack is lucky to have a great team on his side but he's extra lucky to have you leading the team. You rock! (And I would have paid good money to have seen you tell the school staff about Camp Stimey AND call it that.)

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