Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interim Reports

When I was in high school, I used to dread the receipt of report cards. Sometimes it was because I was embarrassed or ashamed of my grades. Other times I just didn't want anyone else to know what was happening at school. Perhaps I was nervous about meeting expectations. It was long long ago. But now I'm the parent who watches and listens to see how HER kids are doing in school. But they still make me nervous.

Yesterday, I had previously arranged for a phone conference with Rachel's teacher to discuss her progress during Extended School Year (ESY). The last few notes from her teacher have been worrisome so I was a bit concerned going into the meeting. What was going on with her? We haven't be able to do anything about her new ADHD diagnosis as we are still waiting on meeting with the doctor again. She's been "sad". Huh?

And then there's Simon. I received a note last week that his teacher would be calling me to discuss his progress during the summer. There has been minimal communication during ESY between me and his teacher -- when I pick them both up at camp, I ask how his day went and I get a 1-or-2-word answer.

Well, the phone rings yesterday morning at 8:45. I'm not expecting Rachel's teacher to call until 10:15. When I look at the phone, it's MPAC (Simon's school). No time to prepare.....what has he been up to? Has it been a good summer? Or is he just getting by? Deep breath, and pick up the phone....."Hello?" And then we get started.

His teacher is telling me about his ESY goals and how he has progressed positively on all of them. He's not only maintained, but has continued to make significant improvements, including being able to sit and perform tasks for upwards of 10 minutes with minimal prompting. So, time for me to ask my 2 big questions.

Easy one you think he's getting close to ready for "potty training"? I've been seeing some signs lately, but because of the many changes that were pending (school ending, ESY, travel in August), I haven't wanted to touch on this yet. She felt that he is definitely ready to begin potty training. So, once he gets settled into the next school year, we'll start working on that. We suspect he will be much more difficult to train than his sister. But time will tell.

Now, the big question.....this is a teacher who first met Simon on July 5, but she is an MPAC teacher and is familiar with MCPS (Montgomery County Public School) programs.....with the added year of pre-K that he is about to start, will he be ready for "The Learning Center" for kindergarten, or will he need a more intense program (with work in the appropriate areas)? Her feeling is that he's not quite ready for it yet, but we should definitely consider this as his track and work on making sure his IEP goals for the school year prepare him for this learning environment. SUCCESS!!!!!!!!

So, one down, one to go....

At 10:15, the phone rings again. This time it's Rachel's teacher for our previously planned conference. Her teacher begins to explain to me what she means by her feeling that "Rachel is simply 'sad'". She seems to have a connection with another student in the class (and bus), similar to her connection with Simon. She really cares about his feelings and wants him to be happy. Unfortunately, this other student is often sad and cries often. On the days that this boy has been absent, she's been very happy. But when he is present, she is often subdued. I love that she shows the empathy, but hate that it expresses itself in this way. This is something we need to seriously work on. But, on the plus side, when she is subdued like this, her ability to focus increases. She seems to lose the wiggling and the jumping tendencies. I have to be sure to bring this up with the doctor when we do meet next week to be sure that we don't medicate her to that extreme -- I want her to be a happy little girl, not on the verge of tears all the time, even if it does mean she's a bit more hyper.

On another note, she has been able to work in small groups this summer, something that she really hasn't been able to do up to this point. This is a crucial skill for kindergarten. And, considering we have another year, if we can get her focus under control, who knows what we're going to see when she enters kindergarten in the 2012-13 school year.

So, two parent/teacher conferences done by 10:45am yesterday. Two positive reports. And we know what we need to do for both of them as we prepare to begin another year of preschool. If we can work out some of these issues, I will realize my wish of having all 3 of my children attending the same school in a year. That thought makes so much of this worth while.

1 comment:

  1. That's very cool that they are showing that kind of progress. My son(4 and 3 months) is finally potty training, and it makes me extremely happy. Hope it happens soon for you guys, too!