I have really been struggling with this blog post. I have been avoiding it and procrastinating horribly. So what I have decided to do is to let you guys in on the basics and then if you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or email me.
Noah is attending a school on the other side of the county from us. He gets his own private bus that comes and picks him up in front of the house and drops him off again in the afternoon. The bus ride is about 45 minutes in the morning and almost an hour or so in the afternoons. It takes 30 minutes by car. I hate that the bus takes forever. I hate that he is all the way across the county and I hate that I can't just drive him myself - right now we cannot afford the gas. Now before you all start protesting about having him served in his home district, please read the whole post.
I called the Walton County BOE DEES office before we even left Mississippi. (DEES is the Department of Exceptional Education Services, for those of you not in Georgia.) They requested some things to be faxed so they might go ahead and make an initial placement decision before we arrived. Hopefully it would be the correct placement and he would not have to change schools. Well when we arrived, it was clear they wanted to place him in the school he is actually in now and we began fighting it because of the distance. He is exhausted in any given regular day we have, even while living in Mississippi and only being 10 minutes from school (with traffic!)
Well, the short of it is, he is going to that school now. We have other concerns such as him being the only non-self-contained kid in a self-contained classroom. The teachers and admin at the school said he was the highest functioning in the program. I hate that too. He does get most of his academics in there, but is in a regular classroom for science and social studies. He also does homeroom, lunch, recess and "specials" with his typical classroom. Specials are what we called activity classes in Mississippi - art, music, computer and library. They even get one day of Spanish per week! All that being said, it is still somewhat against what I feel is best for him. I really don't, however, want to uproot him again in the middle of the school year. Georgia has a few weeks off in March for intercession and then spring break. The school year ends just after Memorial Day and starts up on July 30 (!!!) in Walton County. I really think they are working towards a year-round program although I am not certain that is the case.
Now as to why I haven't fought to keep him in his home school. This school he is in is the only one, according to the BOE, that serves kids in a self-contained resource room similar to what Noah was getting in Mississippi. The one that we are district-ed for does not even have a resource room. They serve the kids in the regular classroom pulling out as needed (I think) if they need extra help. The way I understand though is that they pull out and go to the library and there is not even a resource room to go to. I do not want to fight to have them change everything about what they do in order to meet the needs of my child when they are not used to doing it that way. I don't feel the teacher would like it, benefit from it etc and who's to say she wouldn't take it out on me (Noah) if she wasn't happy about the situation. I know what I mean and it makes sense in my head, but I don't know if I am making sense to anyone but me.
For next year, if we are still here in Walton County, I am considering other options.
So that's that. Wednesday is our official IEP meeting for the state-to-state transfer. I am a little nervous as I always am with IEP meetings. The admin at the school is wonderful though and I do like his teachers.
I may update again after the IEP meeting. If not, email me for the details!