Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our long week w/Bianca's new school...

Oh what a week it has been! It began on Monday – August 11 - when we had to go and meet the vice principal from Bianca’s new school! She will go to Madie Ives Elementary School. The vice-principal’s name is Ms. Good. She was very nice and very understanding with the concerns we have in regards to Bianca starting school and the modifications we will need for her in the classroom.

As some of you might know Robert wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of Bianca going to public school. But with a little bit of pushing, and lots of positive stories from those that have gone to school in the EB community, he has decided to back down just a small bit. Needless to say it’s been a trying time between us since we have such different views on Bianca going to school. He doesn’t and I do…but we both ultimately have the same views on providing Bianca w/some normalcy in her life. That’s what we always strive for and school shouldn’t be any different.

Back to our week long adventure. After we met w/the vice-principal and another gentleman from the school, whose name escapes me at the moment, we decided to take a tour of where Bee’s class will take place. Strutting along the halls we walked quite a long way to get to the other side of the school. Bianca did manage to walk the whole way through but got tired ¾ of the way there, thankfully the school is equipped w/little benches along the hallway so she can stop and rest.

The school is set up so that the K-1st graders are in a separate building (which is still connected to the school through a hallway) called the PLC – Primary Learning Center. Everything is pint size for the kiddies to be able to maneuver around. Once inside the classroom Bianca’s eyes lid up! She was super happy and cannot wait for school to start. We got a tour of the classroom plus the bathroom which she “baptized” while there because she had to go! She a character! So at least I know she can handle the bathroom just fine!

Originally she was placed in a class with regular students, but after much consideration we are placing her in an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) class since they tend to be smaller and more “personal” than a regular classroom. The curriculum stays exactly the same but they just incorporate English into the day. And boy is it a full day ever!

Now fast-forward to Friday – August 15 – it was orientation. This is the day we got to meet her teacher, counselor, principal and everyone else that would be involved in their daily lives at school. It was a lot of talk in regards to staff reduction, political issues w/our county and then about what we need to do to make sure our child is always safe and in a learning environment. From there we headed to speak one-on-one w/Bee’s soon-to-be Kindergarten Teacher. Everything felt so informal since I didn’t feel ready even though I was…but I just got all nervous! Thankfully Robert spoke up! I felt a bit rushed but I figured that her teacher wasn’t aware that we were meeting with her right there and then. She was thoroughly honest and we respected the fact that she said accidents will happen BUT that she’ll make sure that Bianca is always in a “Safety Zone” while in class. All in all Robert and I felt comfortable w/the team in the school. We are still pretty much worried about the one-on-one (Paraprofessional) she will – NOT MIGHT – but will need. Simply because the teachers are very limited in how much handling of a student they can do. They cannot take the child to the bathroom, help w/unbuttoning their pants; tend to any booboos, etc…all this because of all the nonsense that has happened in school with our kids. For us right now it’s a double edged sword. So we need someone set up ASAP – I know cliché – so Bianca can have a comfortable learning environment!

I pray that all goes well and that she will be able to integrate herself as comfortably as possible into school. For now she’ll be attending full-days and I only hope she’ll be able to keep that up as much as possible. Thankfully her booboos are very limited, her skin is still fragile, but we have minimal wound-care to do at this point in time. So that’s a plus on our side. I will be providing her lunch since I’m super scared of what she might encounter in the lunch room. So many dangers but I’m sure she’ll manage just fine!

The only I really want already in place is someone to help her! It’s the one thing I see as a major obstacle at the moment…everything else is just “growing pains”. We’ll see what Monday brings!

In closing Bianca was so funny at the orientation. she is so used to her “blankie” or “paño” that she brought it along with her to the orientation without even knowing. She took one look around and noticed that NO ONE ELSE had one and she handed it back to me. After a while I handed it back and she turns around to me and says “No mom…put it away, I don’t need my blankie, and I’m fine!” I bursted out laughing like there was no tomorrow!

Aiy my baby is growing up so fast!

Well that’s about it for now…good night!

Bianca's new gear for school thanks to her Mima!
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