Wednesday, February 2, 2011

School Anxiety

Before C was ever born, I knew I would be one of those moms that cried when their child went to kindergarten. I used to get stressed out when Adam had his first day of a new semester (though he was completely laid back and not nervous at all). When C started preschool I expected myself to boo-hoo a bit, but I came away doing pretty well.
And now, we are eight months away from kindergarten and the crying has already started. But not for the reason I would have thought. I am ready for C to go to kindergarten. I know he is craving more socialization than I can give, and academically he's ready. He counts, draws, cuts, knows his letters and sounds and is just starting to sound out words. But what is killing me is Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).
Don't get me wrong--I do believe he can get a good education at JCPS and be prepared to enter college. But their whole process boggles my mind. JCPS has what they call a "student assignment plan" where a school can only accept up to 85% of the kids that live around them...the other 15% have to be bussed from somewhere else in the county to make sure the school is "diverse" enough. So when you register for kindergarten you choose from your cluster of schools--a first and second choice from Group A, and a first and second choice from Group B. And then you pray that you get one of them for the three months it takes them to decide.
Sound confusing? Yup. It is. And then just give the top of that problem a nice coating of "special needs child" and you get where my tears are coming from.
We've also been working on getting C's IEP written, so I have been touring preschools, elementary schools, and special needs schools, talking to PTs, OTs, resource teachers, principals and making appointments all across the county. And when it comes right down to it the thing I've learned is this: all I want is for C to go to the school right next to our subdivision. Curse you, JCPS!!!
And here's the best stressed out as I am now, I know that in eight months it will all be decided and C will start school and be gone from me from 8:45 - 3:45 every day...and instead of being stressed out I will be twiddling my thumbs looking for something to do. It will be the perfect time for a new baby to make its way into our family...but as we know adoption follows no one's timeline. We'll just keep our fingers crossed and keep praying and know that someday when that new child comes and gets old enough for kindergarten, we will know EXACTLY where the best place is to send them!