Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week Ninety-six - Edjamacashun......

Tuesday I called Ms. M, the person I am told is the coordinator of special education services to discuss Babygirl's education, or lack thereof.  I described the situation to her as I see it:

Babygirl is entitled to two hours per day of home teaching from the school for each day she is out for medical reasons.  She's been out for over two months and did not get anywhere close to this amount of home teaching.  When she took exams with her class on one of the few days she managed to go to school she came home feeling like a failure, worried I'd be mad at her for not passing any of the tests.  Since she's been feeling a little better and going to school once a week or so, she's gotten almost no teaching because her IEP says she needs to be out for three days in a row to restart home teaching.  So I can either keep her home when she feels well (which is just plain stupid and would make her isolation compete and hopeless), or I can send her and guarantee that she won't get ANY schooling.

Ms. M spent roughly twenty minutes explaining to me in exhaustive detail (and in words of one syllable) why this is not her problem.  This is not a special education issue.  Babygirl's IEP is really not at all about the fact that she is sick, exactly, it's about how she needs extra help because she is not passing the state tests AND she happens to be sick.  The 'sick' part is handled by a different department and if we are having trouble I need to take it up with them.  It seriously took me that entire twenty minutes to get the name and number of Ms. D, the person who IS in charge of the 'sick' thing.

I faxed the latest doctor's note to Ms. D and left a voice mail asking her to call. 

This morning we had a chat.  I explained the who/what/where/when/why as best I could, since apparently educating my child is the most labyrinthine process on the planet.  I explained why the homework hot line is useless to us since we have no textbooks, lesson plans, handouts or organization to help us interpret the instructions.  I told her that we cannot connect online to the few video lectures available for one of her classes and that her tutor cannot figure out why.  I told her that I've been told that the school lacks the 'technology' to download things onto Babygirl's Nook or my computer.  I explained how the school has told me "they don't have enough teachers available."  I explained that we might have a fairly extensive hospital stay in front of us, and that Babygirl would be well enough to learn and do homework during that time if we just could take the right things with us to Philly.

Her response was, "Babygirl has enough struggles with her life.  This should not be one of them."  She had already passed the latest doctor's note to the school doctor who simply said that of course Babygirl should be on home teaching as needed for her medical condition.  And the school already has her listed as being on home teaching.  So then why can't we get a tutor every day that she needs one without the three day lag? 

There should be no lag.  She should take the same tests as her peers and pass them.  She should be free to attend school for socialization purposes when she is able but her main education should be happening at home.

Let's see how this shakes out.



  1. I think you need to go to district level and stop dealing with the non-caring school. btdt. maybe Ms.D is an educational therapist, or a resource specialist, and can help you. If not, ask to speask with the Dean of Students. Forget the school Principal. When the school calls to ask you why you went to the district yourself, use mono-syballic words and direct them back to the sassy Ms. M. I gave up on 'nice' years ago...screw it, my kid needed an educaton. ---San

  2. I skipped the principal completely - this really does fall into the 'not his job' category because it is a district problem that just happens to be occuring at his school. BTDT too LOL. Ms. D IS district, so hopefully we'll see some progress.