Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of 4yr Pre-K

Well...I have to admit, I was pretty apprehensive about E moving to a new school this year. Last year she was in the Bright Stars program at another school--it was AMAZING--I cannot say enough fantastic things about the program and the teachers there!

Not all elementary schools offer a pre-K program, which was true for our home district until this fall. This is the first time Stony Point is offering a pre-K program. I was nervous, b/c that means this year the school will be "working out the kinks"--and E was coming from a school that already seems to know what really works. Still, I wanted to look at the positives--E will be going to this school for several years to come, and it would be to her advantage to know her way around and to meet some friends that she'll see from year to year.

Prior to leaving for our beach vacation, we met privately with the principal, her teacher, and the special ed teacher next door (Elena is not in the SpEd class, but she will most likely be using their bathroom most of the time). They were all very nice. I shared some concerns regarding mobility around the school, naptime (she does not do well in a cot), toileting, and seating. They were very receptive. She uses a posterior walker for long distances (from the bus to the classroom, from the classroom to the playground), her crutches for shorter distances (to the bathroom, as needed), and encouraged to walk independently (in the classroom, as desired).

Between myself, the school administration, and the Special Education Bus Driver, we worked out a transportation schedule. Elena has to ride the SpEd bus--regardless of disability--due to her weight, as she must be in a carseat. I imagine she will ride the SpEd bus until she can 1) get on/off the bus independently (those steps are huge!) and 2) can carry her backpack. Jason and I had been talking up the bus ride for a couple of days, and E seemed very excited about school.

Waiting for the bus

NOBODY CRIED! We have received great reports from E this week, including rest time (last year she screamed so horribly at rest time she had to change to half-days). So far, I only have a few concerns, and they are minor, and mostly related to outside play (they are waiting for equipment to arrive, so there isn't much for her to do outside independently) (our in-school PT took care of my concerns in the classroom). I'm trying to be patient and let everyone learn how to best include E in all activities before I become an overbearing parent. :)

Overall we are happy--E likes school, she tells us (at least a little) about her day, and we get good reports.

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