Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Welcome to our school"

Those friendly yet official-sounding words represent another step in our journey toward kindergarten entrance for Jonathan. A few weeks ago we were told that the Catholic school Allison attends probably cannot accept Jonathan due to unexpectedly high enrollment. So we were left to explore other options.

Last week I went to our local public school, which is within walking distance of home and only 1-1/2 blocks from Allison's school. It is a very large building with 400+ students and several portables (what we used to call "mobiles" when I was in school), and I felt a bit intimidated when I went in. But the secretaries were very friendly, and as I was asking them my questions about kindergarten enrollment, the principal stepped out of her office and introduced herself. I told her briefly about some of Jonathan's special issues, and she said right away, "That would involve setting up a transition meeting with the special ed teacher etc. and we would do all that before the end of this school year ... and we'd look into him having a staggered start, maybe doing only 1/2 days at first ... and we'd look into what kind of help he'd need in the classroom" etc. etc. She seemed so positive and so on-top of the situation; it really gave me a good feeling. There is a part of me (admittedly a steadily shrinking part) that thinks we are imposing and making more work for the school, etc.--but then I remember that every child has the right to the best possible education he or she can have.

After reviewing the kindergarten materials and talking to a couple of people from our church whose kids attend that school and who spoke highly of it, we decided to go ahead and register Jonathan. So today I brought in the completed forms and a package of background information about Jonathan's various tests and assessments. The secretary looked the forms over, then smiled and said, "Welcome to our school!"

So we have taken another step along the path. We can't see too far ahead, but at the moment it feels like we are going the right way.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it incredible what the word "welcome" can mean when one is feeling on the "outside" for one reason or another?! It's hard for us to understand until we have experienced it. I'm so happy for you and for Jonathan, that you have found a place of welcome and belonging as you look towards this exciting new step in his life!

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