Friday, March 5, 2010

Informal School Meetings

My Facebook friends all know about this and wanted an update. So rather than post a big long status message on there I figured I'd blog about it. But to catch my other readers up who aren't my Facebook friends or who might have missed it I'm going to start off by discussing what happened yesterday.

I received a phone call from someone at the school telling me there was going to be an informal meeting about Kaitlyn tomorrow (meaning today) at 2:15 and wanting to know if I would attend. This is the first I'm hearing of this meeting and the woman seemed to think I knew all about it. I assumed that it was about Kaitlyn's Literacy Action Plan or something else similar to that. I had informed the principal that I am to be at all meetings about Kaitlyn so I know what their thinking is and so I can put my 2 cents in about her as well. Because after all I am her mom and I've known her since before she was born so I would say I know her slightly better than the people at school.

So when I found out they were having a meeting about her I about lost it that I wasn't notified. I said oh I will definitely be there and I better be notified of these things from now on. The lady was going to look into why I didn't get a letter about it. She called me back and said since it was an informal meeting I was not invited to it. I said ummm, I will most definitely be there. I told the principal that I am to attend all meetings about Kaitlyn and blah blah blah.

So then when I went to pick Kaitlyn up yesterday afternoon I figured I'd better touch bases with her teacher. I told her I didn't know there was a meeting, but I'd be there. She said I didn't need to come this was all informal and she was just asking what more can be done for Kaitlyn and if she'd qualify for certain things. I explained that I should be at this meeting because I can have some input as well to what is going on with Kaitlyn and that I'd also like to know where you're planning on going so I can research and prepare for a future PPT. It did not seem like her teacher really wanted me there though. I told her in no uncertain terms though that I will be attending. And we left it at that.

Last night I gave the principal a heads up that I'd be joining them at the meeting and he said he wanted me to come to his office to talk to him after popcorn Friday. He wanted to explain to me what happened.

So we talked for a good half an hour today after popcorn. Well, he talked and said the same thing over and over again. He wasn't trying to keep me out of the loop. He'd never do that. He talks to Kaitlyn's teacher all the time about her. He talks about other kids to find out their progress. This meeting today is simply them meeting with the special ed team to find out if some new law that was created would apply to Kaitlyn and we could use it to try to get her some special ed services. He didn't want me thinking they were excluding me. They were just going to find out what they needed to do to use this new law and what markers they could use to show that there is a significant delay. And they would come to me after this meeting to tell me where they are headed and find out if I agreed to them doing this. To which I replied so my coming to this meeting would just eliminate the need to have a 2nd meeting to get my approval on this. I also explained that I had thought they were doing the LAP (Literacy Action Plan) without me which why I had insisted originally that I'd be at the meeting. But still, I felt that I could only be an asset to the meeting to answer any questions the team might have of what I've observed with Kaitlyn.

So I did go to the meeting. And the law does appear to be something we can use. They will basically now be looking at a much broader picture of Kaitlyn and the progress or lack of progress she has made. They are trying to identify the specific problem she is having in reading. So the speech therapist wants to do some phonemic awareness stuff with her. They also want to test her on commonly used phrases in text to see how much and on what she's making the mistakes on. They are looking at her writing as well. Her teacher also brought up that she's beginning to see more of what I've seen with her with being very easily distracted and kind of zoning out with things. So I brought up ADD again with them. We discussed the lead concerns. They knew about this because I had brought it up to the principal when we were moving as one of the reasons we were moving. They can't say for sure obviously that Kaitlyn's possible long term exposure to some lead could have caused this, but as she's away from it longer it will be interesting to see if things improve. So I was able to give the school psychologist a little more information about that aspect of things as well.

What I did not tell them is that I'm looking into doing a Neuropsychological evaluation of Kaitlyn on my own. See what that comes up with. Then I can present that to the school as hopefully a piece of the puzzle. Things do seem to be moving forward finally with the school in getting some sort of special ed services. It's not that I want her labeled as special ed, but what I do want is if she needs this to have special things in place for her to help her especially with testing coming up next year. She's a whole grade level behind in reading now. So assuming that stays the same and does not get worse when she takes CMT's (Connecticut Mastery Tests) next year she is going to be expected to read things at her grade level when she's reading a grade level behind. That does not seem fair. And I know it's going to totally freak her out and I don't need her stressing out about these stupid standardized tests. So if with testing she can be given extra time or prompts or something with the reading then I think she would do much better with that.

We meet again April 9th at 2:30 to discuss what has been found. It sure would be nice if I could get a nueropysch evaluation done by then. Not sure if that will happen. But I'm thinking the pieces of the puzzle might finally be falling into place and they aren't so tied in what they can do for her.