The hardest part about Wright School is leaving Wright School. For six months your kid has been nourished by school, possibly for the first time. They have been taught and you’ve seen academic progress. You’ve seen mind and attitude changes too. What happens when my kiddo graduates? The hope is that new strategies and structures will be there as well as support from the school informed by the time spent at Wright School.
The goodbye at Wright School is perhaps the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It is deliberate. Each child and teacher offers their reflections of the graduate. They write it down too so that Emerson has a copy. Then Emerson gives his reflections to each classmate and teacher too. Just in case you were wondering, teachers who leave the program also go through this graduation ceremony too. It felt like a warm blanket being wrapped around my family.
We came home with not just the projects and work completed, but posters and things to remind Emerson of the strategies learned. Sending him back to Wake County Schools seemed so frightening in comparison to a school that was all kind words, affirmations, movement, and positivity.
Wright School was right there in the meeting to transition Emerson back to our regular public school. We also had such a wonderful educator in Emerson’s 6th grade teacher Ms. Laurie Bauchman. She was leaving WCPSS, but she made sure that Emerson got the one-on-one aid that we so desperately needed. I saw a partnership in that meeting unlike I’ve ever witnessed.
We’ve done OK since Emerson left. He has struggled in school a bit, but shows us everyday sparks of progress. I don’t worry about his morning routine or his evening routine. He takes a daily shower basically at the same time every night. That is Wright School. I need to remind him about mindfulness, but he knows how to reset his system.
So, there is a part of me that never wanted my kiddo to leave the sanctuary that Wright School created especially for our neuro-diverse students. Yet, that is the purpose. The purpose of the Wright School is to for students to leave and restart their lives with better strategies for the entire family. Now we need to work on our community. Center our schools, our towns, our greater world to put kids and their entire selves first.
I hope everyone who reads this gets to know about a little gem of program here in North Carolina. I hope everyone gets to understand that when we fund these programs we all get to benefit. That indeed a public school can do great things. I also hope we build on that model, expand that model. Finally, our kids aren’t broken, don’t need a cure, but with a little love, mindfulness, resources and support they can get the restart they need to thrive.