Tomorrow morning — early! — I have a meeting with Ms. X, to discuss….
Well, I’m not exactly sure what we’ll be discussing. Ms. X was uncharacteristically vague. All she said was that we’d be discussing Sophie’s progress, which has been great, and that I’m not to worry.
Of course I’m petrified.
The school year’s rounded the halfway bend, which means the homestretch is well in sight. Funny how it works that way. It’s mid-February, and I’m already behind in signing the girls up for summer activities. (Don’t get me started on that subject vis a vis Sophie — I have no idea what we’ll do.)
And it’s time to think about the next school year.
There’s an argument to be made for holding Sophie back for another year in kindergarten. The prospect makes me sad. I love the kids in her class, and I remember all too well how it felt the last time she was held back (in pre-school) — the embarrassed looks from the other parents, the way the birthday party invites dried up. She never did really get to know the kids in her new grade.
Of course, this would be different, since Sophie’s school goes all the way through fifth grade. But I’m fairly certain she won’t see fifth grade (perhaps not even third or fourth) there and what if Ms. X suggests tomorrow that Sophie go someplace else entirely next year?
It could happen. Sophie might not be at all ready for first grade, and as much as I fear she’ll be held back, I’m terrified they’ll push her forward.
Here’s a familiar refrain: There’s no money. There wasn’t before the economy collapsed, and there certainly isn’t now. The school district we’re in is talking about a host of options: eliminating full-day kindergarten; forcing parents to pay for full-day (that I wouldn’t mind, if I could find the money); cutting teacher pay; and refusing to let kids stay back.
For Sophie, that part will be a challenge no matter what. You’re not supposed to hold special ed kids back. In any case, I know the principal would rather she move to the school with the MR program.
And that, naturally, raises the other issue constant in my mind: Sophie doesn’t qualify as MR. I’ve about given up on trying to find a psychiatrist who will say her IQ’s below 70, when two others have put it above 80. So not only is she not suited for that school program, when she turns six — POOF! — she’ll lose all her state services. (Which are not, as I’ve discussed previously, insignificant — five hours of therapy a week, plus.)
So maybe you can see why I’m nervous about tomorrow morning. Above all, I want my girls at the same school as long as possible. Not because it’s convenient (some days, it’s most certainly not!) but because they — we — are building a community.
On Friday evening, we went through all the valentines the girls had collected, and stuck in Annabelle’s folder was one for Sophie. It didn’t say much, just “To Annabelle’s Sister Sophie,” signed by a kid I’ve never really spoken to (not the mom, either).
But for me, it said it all.