Long time readers of my blog know of the struggle we have every year with Zach and the ADHD that makes it so hard for him when dealing with school work. You also know of the struggles I've had with the school in trying to get additional help for him.
I waited patiently through June and most of July to allow the superintendent, Mr. "Hitler", to complete the retirement process before I sent my request for Zach to be given a Section 504 (under the Americans with disabilities act) evaluation. I didn't want to take this official action because I knew I would be stepping on more than a few Administrative toes by doing so, and I was also almost certain that they would politely refuse the evaluation because Zach's overall grades are not bad, he only struggles the most in two of his subjects, Math and Reading/literacy, the very two subjects that most kids with ADHD have the most problems with. But I was already prepared to file grievances with the relevant government departments in order to push them if I had to.
So, when the elementary school counselor called last Wednesday to tell me the pre-evaluation meeting was set for Friday morning at 7:45, I had prepared a list of accommodations which I felt were needed in order to help him, and I was ready to face them to get the ball rolling.
So I thought.
While James and I were over shopping near Memphis on Thursday, the elementary counselor called Jami to tell her that the High School counselor, (who was formerly the elementary councelor and can't seem to let go of her reign of power over the lower grades, and who apparently is also on the Section 504 committee), said that I could attend the meeting but I could have no input because I was not Zach's guardian.
This was Thursday afternoon, there was no problem in doing the paperwork to make me his guardian, but it would be impossible to complete this the afternoon before the early scheduled a.m. meeting. Also, I was aggravated and frustrated since this had never presented a problem before when I was the one who registered him for school, paid all of his fees, and requested and attended conferences with his teachers concerning his progress each year. In fact I had asked them on more than one occasion if I needed to be his guardian in order to do any of these things and the answer was always, "no, no, we know he lives with you".
When I got home Thursday afternoon, I called the elementary counselor, who has always been a great help, to tell her to cancel the meeting because we were going to have to start over and make a new evaluation request as soon as we'd fixed up the guardianship papers. Then I asked her, "Why is Mrs. C. doing this to us? Why is that school so adamantly against my requests for help for Zach? We're starting his 7th year of attendance in that school and their response each time I ask for help is, We don't have anything. Why? What am I asking for that is going to be so difficult for them to provide?"
This led to her asking me about the accommodations I felt he might need and I told her there was not even one, NOT ONE thing, that would not benefit the whole, entire class if they were implemented. There were a few that the entire class wouldn't require, like having him be seated as near to the teacher's desk as possible and not near a window or door, where he'd be even more easily distracted, but none, Not one, would cost them a single thing except a little time and effort if they'd just work with us.
Some of my suggestions, complaints, requests, letters, pleadings, or something, must have made some impact from last year because his homeroom teacher sent a set of all of his books home and they're doing that for all of the kids this year. This had been the first request on the accommodations list so I was thankful that I could scratch that off.
Anyway, after I told her many of the requests, she agreed that they were all perfectly reasonable and asked me to send them to her. She feels that they should be able to do all of these things, and that we can work around it without even involving Mrs. C. This would also help in that we wouldn't have to go through the process of a 504 evaluation which is a win-win situation in my opinion because I have never felt that simply requesting one would guarantee that they'd do one. I've found over the years that most of them are just that mean and petty about such things.
So now I await word from her to see what she's been able to do about our situation. I don't mind the hard work even though I don't feel I'm qualified to help him as well or as easily as someone who IS qualified, I'm certain that I'm not as patient as someone who is qualified would be. If they'll just keep me informed, keep their web pages updated, their online grades posted weekly, answer my questions, just HELP me to help him, I think we'll do just fine.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, I don't want to have go to jail for going up there and punching Mrs. C.'s lights out. I really think I can outrun the old battleax. :-)