Today we went to Jonathan's new school for a transition meeting, to discuss his needs for September. A large group of people were present: the principal, the kindergarten teacher, the special ed representative for the entire school board, the school's part-time special ed person, a representative who knows Jonathan from the child development centre at the hospital, a representative from a local agency that assists people with special needs, and Rich and me.
It was a very enjoyable and positive meeting. The school board rep asked us all kinds of questions about Jonathan's skills, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, all for the purpose of determining what kind of extra help and services he might need when he starts school. For instance, an occupational therapist may come in to the classroom to help him with things like cutting, pasting, and pencil-holding, and a speech-language pathologist may come in to help him with language skills. The kindergarten class may also be assigned an Educational Assistant to provide extra help to any children in the class who need a bit more support. We also discussed the possibility of Jonathan attending school for half-days only, at least to start, something we can decide in September.
We left the meeting feeling very encouraged and supported by the school and the school board. Everyone in the room seemed enthusiastic about having Jonathan attend that school, and the principal emphasized that the main priority was to give him the best possible start in school.
So this fall will be a whole new set of experiences for our family. Allison will enter grade 4 at the Catholic School where she has gone since her kindergarten days, and Jonathan will go to kindergarten at the public school just two blocks from there. And since Allison's current school only goes up to grade 5, it's entirely possible that in two years she will be joining Jonathan at his school. We have also decided to send Jonathan back to his nursery school this fall; he will go there 2 afternoons a week (as he did this year) and attend kindergarten on the other days.
It is good to see how everything is falling into place. We feel well taken care of!