Saturday, June 18, 2011
LONG and ANGRY
Okay, I know I've always bragged that we've been so incredibly blessed to not have to have gone through what many of you have with school districts with my children because they go to the school where my husband teaches...until now. It's not a HUGE thing, but I'm just afraid it'll be the first of many.
As most of you know, it's hard to just boil it all down into a nutshell, but I'm gonna try. I'm just so frustrated. This is where I don't like having my husband work for the district. At the same time, I am glad, because it helps me to see both sides. But when smoke is undoubtedly being blown....look out! This mama bear gets MAD!
So, let's start with the ARD, which went relatively well (obviously until I signed off on it, which I will NEVER do again without my 5 days to dispute). But from what we were told (incorrectly), we were under the impression that Ian could only do one session of summer school (probably our stupid mistake since he went both sessions last year). But with all the budget cuts, my husband didn't seem too surprised. So, it was decided best for him to go the second session (dates listed as 6/27 - 8/4).
Then, after school was out we received paperwork from the district's Special Ed department listing both boys' summer school dates as 6/13 - 8/4, which is both sessions. Well, we were happy. The bus people came around to introduce themselves and let us know what time they would arrive, blah, blah, blah. They had listed that Ian would start the bus second session (date listed as 7/11 - 8/4). Jim just showed them the paperwork we got from the district and they changed the dates to list that Ian could get on the bus 6/13 with Ben...per the district paperwork.
Then at the end of Ben's first week of summer school, we get a phone call from one of the teachers at summer school because some there were under the impression Ian would be starting first session, some that he would start second session. That started the whole stinkin ball rolling. So, I keep up on calling to check the status of things. I was told by the teacher that they had begun the process and that Ian should be able to start by Wednesday of the following week.
Following week starts, haven't heard anything. So, we call one of the 'higher ups' for the program. She sounded clueless in him starting and told me that based on the ARD, the "data" only supports him going second session. My husband then told me that the word "data" is the buzz word and I'd probably hear it a lot. I did. She must have said that 4-letter word at least 5 times in our conversation. By the way, this woman wasn't even in our ARD meeting. I continue to tell her that the dates on the ARD paperwork are wrong for the start of the second session. She blurbed something and basically made it sound like that was the start of the second session. Yep, I'm supposed to believe her. After a few more minutes, she finally said she would research the "data" more and get back with me. Oh, and let's not forget she mentioned she'd have to contact the ARD committee to do this....Ummmm has she forgotten that I, as parent, am part of the ARD committee????? Now, I want to be sure to add in, that this woman is very nice and I (at this point) do have respect for her, and it's a very amicable conversation.
In the meantime, my sweet husband, having to deal with both ends of it, doesn't want to make too many waves. I can totally understand that. BUT man do I feel totally alone in this. I don't even want him working on it cause I'm afraid he'll be too soft and Ian won't get what he is due to get...especially because it was the district who screwed up. Now, there are some areas I am being careful on because one of the teachers in particular should not catch the fall for this and I want to be sure she doesn't. But I don't feel like he is pushing enough. It's not like we're asking for something the district didn't already say he should be getting!
Okay, on we go. I pull out our ARD paperwork. Long story short, the "data" DOES support he would benefit from summer school. The only thing it DOESN'T support is why he should only get second session.....which has the wrong dates anyway. So, per my request, my husband emails this administrator I had been talking to and informs her of our information and requests an admendment to the ARD be started. I think the only reason he did this was because he gets angry that the district just isn't honest because basically it's all about money, not the best interest of the child, but they throw around words that they hope we have no idea what they're talking about...which is true in most of the cases for me!
I get a message from the administrator telling me after further research, the "data" supports that both sessions would benefit Ian. DUH! She would begin the process for an amendment ARD...which by the way, I do understand might be a pain for those they have to dig up to attend. But seriously, just fill out some paperwork and have us sign it! Curse those parents who have made it soooo difficult for things to be done without the districts all being so afraid of being sued! That's the reason you can't drop a pen without an amendment ARD. Uh-hem. Back to the facts. Administrator says she'll work on getting it done in a timely matter so that Ian would hopefully be able to start Monday. Ok, mama bear happy.
Okay, so another 2 days go by. The summer school teacher calls to let me know that she'll be gone next week, but she has already updated the sub for when Ian starts. Have I heard anything from the admistrator yet? NOPE. So, Jim emails her. Ready for this???????? He gets an automated response back saying she will be out of the office until the 27th!!!! That's the straw that did it for me! Mama bear REALLY angry now. Repect is diminishing. But what this woman doesn't know is that I inadvertantly got information that she WAS wrong on the start date of the second session. And I believe she knows it's wrong. That's the last week of the first session, not the first week of the last session. So anyway they want to slice it, the ARD paperwork IS wrong. And the district DID goof.
I told my husband when all this started, that I would bet him that they planned to sit on their "you know whats" and try to appease long enough until the next thing ya know it's the start of the second session. And then Ian would have missed the entire first session. He was going to agree to that bet....until he got the automated response email.
I could go on and on. But I'm really angry right now and probably shouldn't. So I'll end instead. I'll let ya know what comes next....