I figured I should wait a couple days before posting the details of Caelan's first day. I thought the time might help mellow some of the emotions I was feeling. Honestly though, I'm still just as frustrated. Unfortunately, if it's not one thing it's another.
Did Caelan have fun? Yes. Without a doubt he had a great time while he was at school last Friday. I'm trying to remember that.
Our day started off with that big meeting of all concerned to raise any concerns or questions and to review Caelan's needs in the Kindergarten class. This alone was enough to frustrate us since we already had this meeting at the end of April. However, it was clear once we arrived why we needed to repeat the meeting. There were only a couple of familiar faces! Almost everyone who was in attendance was in a new role. Out of the twelve people in attendance less than half were there in April - and that's including Damian and I!
The meeting went well.
The Nurse and Education Assistant assigned to him were both in attendance and their roles and responsibilities were clarified for everyone.
We still hadn't heard anything about transportation to and from school but the Kindergarten teacher had pick up and drop off times from the company.
We were introduced to the new Blind Low Vision representative from the Board and signed her paperwork.
We discussed the sound field system that the Teacher of the Deaf from the Board had ordered only later realizing that it wasn't going to work in the new full day kindergarten program. There are approximately 30 students in Caelan's class, with one Teacher and one Early Childhood Educator. The class is often divided into two groups or more working at different learning stations. The sound field system we were hoping to use would have the Teacher wearing a microphone of sorts that would amplify her voice over all the children. With multiple groups working on different things that won't work. We weren't very confident with the idea of Caelan wearing his own personal headphones or ear piece to amplify her voice either. We're hoping they're able to get a smaller amplifier that could be transported to whatever station Caelan was at, but they were discontinued so we're not sure they'll be able to find one.
In the classroom, Caelan did great. Damian stuck around and tried to quietly keep an eye on the adults involved, knowing that Caelan would be just fine.
The nurse had been advised that this first day was only a half day so she left at lunchtime. Not sure how this was communicated to her as it was the first we'd heard of it. Later on though we found out that the EA that was assigned to Caelan is part time and although she's applied for the full time position she won't know for a while whether or not she gets it. Since she came in early for the meeting she left shortly after lunch too. Which meant that Damian could stick around and act as Caelan's EA and Nurse or they could just go home. Caelan was getting tired after such a busy morning and Damian didn't think it was a good idea to give him the impression that this was somewhere Daddy would be hanging out with him regularly (he really had tried to stay unseen up until Caelan's entourage started disappearing) so they both went home.
Did Caelan have fun while he was at school? Yes.
Was it everything I hoped it would be? No.
Am I disappointed in the school for not being more organized? Yes.
We understand now that Caelan will never have an EA assigned for the beginning of school. There will always be a wait period while postings get figured out. I don't like it. I think it's ridiculous that it can't be figured out before September. Outrageous even.
For now, he gets his part time EA and then someone else fills in from somewhere else in the school.
We received a call on Friday afternoon advising us of different pick up and drop off times than what we had just discussed that morning in the meeting.
On Monday the transportation van showed up earlier than advised, with no car seat. Damian installed one of our car seats in their vehicle but it really didn't fit properly and Damian wasn't completely comfortable with the set up. At this time the driver also advised that there would be a ten minute swing on his pick up time in the morning because of the other child he needs to pick up. Also he wouldn't be able to pick up Caelan at school until 4pm... That's over half an hour after school finishes?!?!! Unacceptable. His alternative was to pick Caelan up early from school every day at 3pm. Really?!?!? Unacceptable. Caelan already has enough that makes him different from the rest of his classmates, do we need to add more??
Damian spoke to the Principal and voiced our concerns. Thank goodness she agreed and phoned the transportation company immediately. Apparently, the driver was being sent a car seat tonight and the pick up times have been sorted out. Caelan will be picked up when classes finish at 3:20pm.
I just wish that sometimes things would fall into place without all the drama!