I am having mixed feelings about school starting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pepsichic9115, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. pepsichic9115

    pepsichic9115 New Member

    School starts here on Monday. I am excited for my easy child's to go back. I am also excited to have a break from difficult child--but I fear it wont really be a break at all. I have really been dreading her returning to this school. I tried to move her to another school in the district but they are over full in their 5th grade classes already (70+ kids enrolled with 2 classrooms). The school I wanted her to go to is the best school in our district for difficult children--her psychiatrist wants me to continue to try to get her in there.

    The school who's area we live in is horrible. This is the same school she has been in since Kindergarten, except for 1/2 of her 3rd grade year when we lived with my sister in law in another town. Kindergarten was ok--or at least thats what they told me. At the end of 1st grade the teacher called and told me they had had alot of problems with her that year. 2nd grade they told me she had no problems. 3rd grade at the other school there were issues brought to my attention and I had a couple meetings with the teacher but when we moved back to this school, I was told there were no problems. Then last year--4th grade--was bad. I got calls from the teacher all the time (several per week), notes home, difficult child never brought homework home--always told me they didnt do homework in 4th grade, alot of problems with other kids (fighting, name calling, bullying). When I went in to meet with the principal a couple months into the school year, he tells me that they have had problems with difficult child's behavior all along. When I asked why I was never informed of all this---why was I told all along that things were fine---even when @ parent teacher conferences, I would lay out specifically what problems we had at home and the teachers would tell me they didnt see any of that. So the teachers lied to me all along. UGH!!

    So now she will be starting 5th grade next week. We went to look at the classroom assignments that were printed and posted on the windows---and she got a good teacher. But....the main little girl that we had all the problems with last year is in the class too. Not a good combo. So I ask if they can change one of the girls, and the principal says No!!! Apparently because they posted it on the window it is written in stone. He told me that had I requested they not be together in the spring, that he could have done that---but in the spring I was planning on having her either in another school or homeschooling her (which psychiatrist advised against because of her ODD and my frustration level when it comes to that.)

    I just want her to have a successful school year. We are currently working with psychiatrist on a medication that will work. She is on Abilify but I dont feel that its working so well. She is still very up and down and irritable. Although the rages have decreased, she is now crying whenever something doesnt go her way.

    I am waiting for a call from the school psychologist to see if we can get together and get something going, and perhaps see if he can help get a class change for one of the girls.

    I just feel so lost right now. I dont know what the next step is to take for her. My anxiety over this is through the roof and I just want to sit and cry!!

    So I guess I just needed to vent, and would love any advice all you warrior moms have to offer.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It's not that big a deal to change your daughter to another class. We did it once in the middle of the year. What on earth is the big fuss?

    I would call the Dept. of Public Education in your state if they refuse. That's where we got our best results. There is no reason your child should be in class with a bully, and the state should know that this bullying goes on and nothing is done about it. Trust me, your SD WILL care about the Dept. of Public Education. The funding for them comes from there and they can launch investigations too. Doesn't sound as if your SD will cooperate by just sitting down with them.
  3. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Pepsi, a couple of thoughts:

    You might check back with the "good" school after the first week. Actual enrollments don't always match what they anticipate, because people move during the summer etc., so they may have room for you after all. Worth a try anyway.

    Second, if you know the assigned teacher is good one, I'd say try to stick with her. Tell the teacher privately that there had been an issue with difficult child and the other girl, and ask her to keep an eye on the situation and let you know if there are any problems. If the problems resurface, then by all means pursue a change. But as you've probably discovered, a good teacher can make a big difference in how well a difficult child performs.

    Third, touch base with the principal periodically and ask how difficult child is doing. Let him know that you want to be a partner in difficult child's education, and say that since he was aware of problems that weren't brought to your attention last year, you want to make sure you have a handle on what the school is seeing.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps.

    Good luck next week!
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That would be my suggestion as well. Have the experience of a bully setting off my difficult child in third grade, I can tell you that the teacher can be a real ally.

    I would think the issue with moving kids is that the classrooms are packed. If they've split the 70 kids in half, moving your child means switching another, means someone goes to another class when they thought they would be in another. Then you have a parent wondering why their child was moved from a class that they liked, yadda, yadda.

    Good luck to you. Most of us begin to get a little anxious when the school year opening approaches. Summer seems to be a time of less stress for our difficult children, which translates into less stress for us! None of us relish the idea the phone is going to start ringing again!

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does difficult child have an IEP set up?
  6. pepsichic9115

    pepsichic9115 New Member

    Thank you all for your responses. I do plan on keeping in touch with the other school.

    I think I am going to hop over to the school website right now and send an email to her new teacher. Just give him a heads up. I don't know so much that he is a "good" teacher---just that difficult child was happy that she got him and not the other 5th teacher. Her criteria for a good teacher is surely different from mine--so we will see.

    There is not an IEP set up yet. I have been trying to get ahold of the school psychologist, which is who the principal told me I have to talk to when I told him I want to set up an IEP. I have now left 2 messages for him and have not gotten a return call. If I did not have to work Monday (I work at Head Start and we are having our back to work meeting that day) I would spend the day in the office until I could get some where with them. So looks like I will be doing that Tuesday.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is wisest to send a letter requesting a meeting of the IEP team at your school to begin the testing process for your daughter. There are criteria that must be met, accordingly to the law, in order for your daughter to qualify for an IEP. The only way that can be done is for her to be tested.

    Send the letter certifed mail and the school has 10 days to respond, by law.

    I suggest you go the the Special Education archives on the site here as there is a wealth of information that will help you navigate the "system".

  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    A good teacher will make all the difference. State your concerns to the teacher right away, and if anything happens- it may not- the teacher may have good standards, and set the bar high, who knows what will happen......but if something does happen... go to the principal right away, often, and let him know you are documenting everything, take notes on each meeting- what was said and dates. You be on everything.. the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if he knows you are documenting and ready to go further with this, trust me, he'll want to help you if just to get you off his back, and protect himself. But, the girls may surprise you, wait and see.