This post could have two titles:
On the First Day of School or
The Power of One
Okay, I know that nothing is final until September 30th and not to count your eggs before they’ve hatched BUT today, I felt an ounce of victory. If you read my last post, you will know that our school situation has been anything but easy or straight forward. It would seem that every year we go to battle with the school administration to get Ella enough support. This year was no different. Simply put, they wanted to put Ella in the grade one class with two other kids who should technically be in grade two. The principal was clear that “I have the authority to do this under the Education Act”. The administration gave me the impression that if I did put her in the grade two class there would be no support. So what is a parent to do? I felt backed into a corner. When the principal called to inform me of the plan yesterday, I cowardly said, “okay”. What else could I say? I felt sick. It just did not sit right with me for so many reasons, which I won’t get into here. After choking back tears, I decided that there would be no more nice-diplomatic-Krista. It was time to take a stand and I let my mama-bear instinct was take over.
I went straight to the school, three kids in tow. I told the principal I was not happy with their decision and I did not feel right about it and my suspicion was that the other parents of those other two children didn’t feel right about it either. What I didn’t say was that I felt like I had been manipulated.
I told her that when Ella arrived at school on the first day, she would go into the grade two classroom. If that meant pulling her out for language art to be with children of the same ability, great, but she would be on the grade two roster. Period. I told her that I would continue to fight for more support for that school because Ella is not the only one loosing out when there is no EA support, or not enough.
As much as I talk big in this space, I more than often, am a coward in person, sometimes even a push-over. I was proud that I took a stand but at the same time, was a nervous wreck. I wondered if the principal would underhand me and put Ella in the grade one class anyway. In which case, I was prepared to march Ella into the grade two class and announce in front of the teacher, all the kids and the parents that THIS was Ella’s class.
When we arrived this morning, thankfully, I did not have to do that. There was a desk with Ella’s name on it in the grade two classroom. The teacher was sure to mention that she only heard about the change at 6pm the night before, but I let roll off my back.
Later, as I left school, I noted that I did not see any of the grade two students go into that grade one classroom AND that there was EA in the grade two class ready to greet Ella. I don’t know the details of what administration can or can’t do, or what went through our principal’s head but even if it is just for this day, it warms my heart to think that possibly my actions, benefited not just Ella, but those other two students that were to be segregated and relegated to the grade one class.
As I say, I am sure that this is not the end of the story but for today, I will take the victory.
As for Jakob, he was quite at home when he saw his friends. I am praying for a better year than last for him.