So much happened this summer. Most of it good. As a couple we grew stronger. Elder Daughter is feeling better. Sassy Girl continues to make us laugh and bring a fresh perspective to all topics. Hotspur is growing and shining and has begun new extracurricular activities. Back to school started off on a negative note due to quite a bit of key staff turn over. This setback was aggravated by what I have come to view as “the veil of secrecy philosophy” that the special education school strives to operate under. I will spare you the frustration encountered when they would not give us the first names of Hotspur’s classmates to help his transition…a best practice industry-wide, but one that Faith Institute felt was unnecessary, it would seem.
The thing that has created the most stir for us thus far (on what is promising to be a challenging school year already) was the arrival this past week of the state’s mastery test results for our son. It is not an exaggeration to say we’re already concerned about what high school will bring for our young man, how and who will meet his needs and help him make meaningful progress and prepare him for further education, employment, and independent living — rights Hotspur has under IDEA. Just like that summer is over with a LOUD BANG and we are requesting a PPT.
“Dear District Special Education Director: We have reviewed the results of Hotspur’s Mastery Test for 7th grade and are extremely concerned to see that despite his intelligence as measured by you via both internal and independent evaluations and 9 years of schooling by the District, Hotspur has “below basic” skill levels in both math and writing. He has mastered zero (0) math content strands of the 23 measured on the state mastery test and zero (0) writing content strands. These are core skills that a free and appropriate public education is required to provide. We are extremely concerned and troubled as Hotspur is in 8th grade, and approaching his high school years without the basic skills necessary to be successful. Given the significant skills gaps and continued evidence that Hotspur is greater than two grade levels behind in core subjects, we request a PPT be scheduled to discuss.”
So, Back to School. Please excuse me if I feel stressed out.
Your Unsolicited Life Coach