About the School Board Races…

    By now, many news outlets have carried stories about extremist school board candidates.  We have many school board candidates on record from their social media and even at actual school board meetings spouting hateful rhetoric at our teachers, students, and administrators.  We have candidates still denying the harm of the Pandemic and science.  However, there is a bigger issue that many aren’t pointing out, and that is that many of the school board candidates have no idea what goes on inside a public school

     Everyday our teachers are faced with enormous challenges and they meet those challenges to make a positive learning space for our children.  Underpaid school personnel stay late when kids miss the bus or buses are late.  They take complicated subjects and break them down to help students learn.  They meet students where they are and help them achieve more than they thought possible.  Our public schools are doing amazing work everyday. When school board candidates fail to celebrate our public schools as well as talk about the challenges, I know they’re unqualified for the job.                                                                                                                

    Our schools do indeed face challenges.  In North Carolina, our courts ruled that our children are not getting a sound basic education and they’ve placed funding benchmarks that our state needs to provide to get us back on track.  The underfunding of our schools is no longer a debate, it is an adjudicated fact.  Instead of talking about the systemic underfunding of our schools or the inequities in funding,  I hear candidates accuse our local schools of mismanagement and fraud with no evidence.  They pledge to cut administrative staff that have nowhere left to cut.  Too many candidates don’t even have a basic understanding of how schools are funded and how those funds are used.

   Finally, when candidates offer solutions to problems that either don’t exist or don’t exist in a way that they understand.  Take Special Education for instance, I heard a school board candidate Michele Morrow offer suggestions that we should be teaching life skills and job skills as if we don’t already do those things.  The same board candidate even suggested removing special education students from general classrooms because they’re contributing to teaching mediocrity.  None of this is legal or true.  We have enormous issues to overcome when it comes to Special Education, and the last thing we need is someone spouting ableist garbage getting in the way.

   I don’t expect every person who runs for school board to be an expert in education, but they should be striving to understand and know as much as they can with accurate information.  I expect candidates to be involved in our public schools in some capacity even if it’s being their biggest cheerleader.  Belief in public schools as a public good as well as investing in our children should be a baseline in which all candidates on both sides agree.  Sadly the fact that not all candidates see our public schools as a positive is one of the biggest dangers facing public schools today.

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Wright School Part III

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

So, our family was doing OK in 2020 despite so many challenges. We were thankful to be healthy and excited about even the possibility of a vaccine. Root Elementary was a godsend. We not only were blessed with a great teacher, but the principal was fantastic as well. He said he was from Vance County, I mentioned working on Leandro, and it was all good from there. Wright School had to completely close for a while and rethink how they were going to operate as a non-residential school.

Going back in person in the late fall of 2020 was a difficult choice. I had to weigh my kiddo’s mental health and physical health risks. I kept trying to find compromises. It was made more difficult by a county flipping how contained classrooms were going to run last minute. We also faced a district that just wasn’t really wanting to be flexible which in many ways is still true. We didn’t actually get back in the classroom to almost Thanksgiving. I also made my own compromise. We would do lunch at home and the rest of the day virtual. Since the teacher was doing hybrid anyway, it was the best solution to a difficult problem. First and foremost most outbreaks at school were happening during times when folks weren’t wearing masks, like at lunch. Second, kiddo wasn’t able to tolerate looking/seeing/smelling other people’s food. IEP to the rescue and we had a plan to get kiddo at least partially back to normal.

In the summer of 2020 into the fall I was working hard to advocate for disability students in person opportunities, while still maintaining a very high level of safety. Around October, Wright School called. There was an opening. It was at this point running as a day school. A long day school with the school day ending around 6PM. I had a tough decision to make. Everyone I knew who loved the Wright School praised what they did in the evening program. The evening program wasn’t operating during Covid. I also wondered how tough going back and forth for a long day of school and essentially an after school program. We had a new plan for the start of in-person school, but we hadn’t yet seen if it was going to work. Going from total virtual into a very long full day seemed like a big change.

Ultimately, our family decided to wait till the school was back to full residential. It was a scary tough decision. I think having such a wonderful team at Root Elementary really helped. In the winter of 2020, I felt like we still needed healing time and growth. He was doing both and I wasn’t sure of anything at the moment. So we waited.

A year later, in November I got a phone call that my child had a spot. They were up and running the residential program now. The tour was amazing. Safety was so key and a school run by DHHS didn’t disappoint. Vaccinated kids shared rooms with vaccinated kids. Masks were serious business there. Lots of air movement and school wide protocols. My kiddo had a slot in January and my husband and I were excited for the opportunity. Now to convince the kid.

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Wright School Part II

Handle Me with Care

Our family’s journey to the Wright School was a long one and one impacted by the Global Pandemic known as Covid. Yet, even before and as Covid hit us, I was scrambling to get services and resources with a kid on Home Hospital. How to fill my child’s day with things he might enjoy when it felt like his interests were so limited? Meanwhile boredom always lead to tears and frustration from everyone. So, I looked for supplemental schools and therapy. On the advice of my kid’s therapist, I even looked seriously at ABA therapy for the first time.

There were several reasons I didn’t look into or consider ABA earlier. My kiddo didn’t get the official Autism stamp of approval until he was ending preschool, and headed to full day Kindergarten. Not that he was too old, but he wasn’t in the sweet spot when so many kids get ABA at home. When he was younger he was just classified as unspecified developmental delay, and Autism specifically wasn’t on any paperwork. I think I asked our developmental therapist about ABA once and she just shrugged, and said it wouldn’t be a good fit for my kid.

Applied Behavior Analysis has been the gold standard for Autism therapy for years, and its also highly controversial. I was in the dark about the controversy until I started to follow and read the experiences of adults who were diagnosed with Autism and received ABA as children. As with most things, I read and learned as much as I can. What I learned was that ABA was developed by Ole Ivar Lovaas. He also created Gay Conversion Therapy. The idea in the beginning was to make someone appear less autistic. Rewards and punishments all with the goal of eye contact, no stimming, and speaking when spoken to. Its all under the umbrella of looking neurotypical.

Now if you talk to many folks they will swear that ABA has changed. I’m not so convinced. Mainly because they’re still using behaviorism. This idea that rewards will change behavior. Think B.F. Skinner and his rats. I’ve used so many reward methods with and without some sort of discipline associated. I took away so many things from my kiddo, that at one point there was just a bed and crash pad in his room. I’ve used reward charts, jars and things where everything was positive. Yet none of this worked. I used in conjunction with what I thought was accommodating his needs. All I got was a kid so anxious that he’d not get a reward and at the end of the day he sabotaged himself.

Still, I was going to give anything a chance at this stage. Maybe I was mistaken and they unlocked some new strategy I’d never tried. So, my kiddo went in for a very pricey evaluation. My family were most interested at the time to getting kiddo back to being able to tolerate everyone eating together at a dinner table. He seemed to be really rigid around even seeing other people eat food he didn’t like. There were also a myriad of other issues I had in my head.

When I got the evaluation back it was like seeing a plan from the underpants gnomes from South Park.

Autistic / Sensory Issue —> ?—> Goal Met

When I asked how they were going to meet their goals with an emphasis that rewards and withholding things wouldn’t work, no one had an answer. They didn’t even talk about relationships. It was just that they’d be able to make rewards and ‘other things’ work this time. When kiddo said he didn’t like it there at their office I took it as the last sign. Nope.

So what did I do instead? At the same time our therapist gave us ABA recommendations, she also gave me an article on Polyvagal Theory. I began to read everything I could on the Polyvagal Theory. I read Beyond Behaviors by Mona Delahooke PhD. It’s still a work in progress but I began throwing all the discipline/punishment way of parenting that I had been taught my entire life. I went on a journey of creating a home life that calm and truly accommodating. I really stopped pushing that we needed to be normal and embraced kiddo for himself. I began to completely reframe Autism as our new normal.

So in the midst of a global Pandemic, some things in our house got significantly better. By changing my mindset, I began to see where I was pushing for things that weren’t necessary. If my kiddo ate a meal on his own and it made him happier and he felt he could trust me, then great. I needed to realize that no amount of rewards were going to change his sensory profile. My kid needed to feel safe and secure. Home was the first place to start.

In the archives , you can read my other struggles during that time. So, many things were going on at once and I was trying to reframe my state of mind as a parent. The best thing is that it worked. We’re not perfect, but the change has been dramatic. So, if you’ve rejected ABA and wondering if there is anything else out there, there is, and it works.

What does this have to do with Wright School? Well it put my family on a track that while we waited we survived as a functioning family. It put our minds and some of the philosophy of the Wright School in sync. It got us through a significant waiting period when there was nothing I could do when the world shut down. It was simply part of my family’s journey.

Links to Polyvagal Theory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec3AUMDjtKQ&ab_channel=PsychAlive

Mona Delahooke PhD (She also has a new wonderful book out) https://monadelahooke.com/beyond-behaviors/

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Wright School: Part 1

This is the Beginning not the End.

 Today my child will graduate from this amazing place, The Wright School.  The Wright School was established in 1963 and is a public school run by the Department of Health and Human Services here in North Carolina.  It is a partial residential school with children staying Monday through noon on Friday and then going home on weekends. The school typically takes kids for about 6 months. It’s been a long journey, but it brought us hope.

    It was late February of 2020, and our family therapist called while I was in a meeting for the Every Child Coalition.  I scuttled out of the meeting trying not to be conspicuous and as usual managed to make too much noise.  I got myself outside of the building to the crisp air and to one of the most profoundly scary conversations I’ve ever had to have with a therapist.  My son was in trouble again and it looked like things were moving even further downhill.  There on the steps of a converted Chevrolet dealership I broke down and began what would end up being a  journey of hope.   At that very moment however, on a cold February day, I listened to a plan from the therapist almost numb as cars zipped along the busy boulevard in front of me.

     None of the options on the table were good options.  As I hung up the phone I tried my best to slink back into the meeting that was breaking up.  I would have just gone home, but I had left things in the building.  I hoped no one noticed.  How do you explain to friends who have typical kids that your world is falling apart?  

      My child was being reduced to a set of behaviors.  I don’t even think the school he attended saw him as human anymore.  For the first time in a long time, I questioned public school, my decision to not allow ABA therapy, most of all I questioned my parenting skills.  Where had I failed that we were now facing going on home hospital?  Home hospital is a private tutoring program through the school system with very limited hours. 

     That was just a short term solution to a very big issue.  How to get my kid to be safe and learn at school.  My therapist had an idea.  We could apply for the Wright School.  It was a public school. It was a residential school, well at least Monday through Friday.  It felt radical.  The whole situation our family faced felt radical. 

      At a very long, very stressful IEP meeting, my child was officially put on home hospital.  My child got to the point he wouldn’t get out of the car to go to school.  Everything was a struggle, a fight, a flight.  We needed to heal.  Home hospital wasn’t the best option, but it was the only option we had at the time. 

We also decided to take a chance on Wright School.  Like all things in the disability world, there is an application process and of course a waitlist.  First the application.  I had help navigating that process. About a year earlier, lost in the bureaucratic process and on the advice of others, I hired what’s known as a parent advocate to help with the IEP process.  This expert also was a wiz at applications and we sat down one day at the closest McDonalds to complete the process. Since I didn’t have childcare, I suggested one of my kid’s favorite places. Not being at school full time, my kid and I were going to spend a lot of time together.  

      So after a bad cup of coffee and a lot of paperwork to start the referral process, we completed the parent portion.  I even made a phone call to the school from outside the McDonald’s to ask a question about the process and confirm we were applying.  As is with most things, all we could do was wait.  Even if our application would go through, the lowest estimate for the wait list was 6 months and the school was quoting a year.

     In the meantime, we started on the home hospital program which was a tutoring program and for us was about an hour a week.  Our tutor was a special education teacher at Root Elementary.  My son went in after the elementary school dismissed for the day at 4pm.  The plan was to get my kid learning again and then enroll him in that same school with the same teacher.  What we didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic.

    On the day that we were being informed that all schools in North Carolina would be temporarily shutting down, I got the call from the Wright School that our referral had been approved and we were officially on the waitlist.    It would be a very long wait. 

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World Autism Day

You’re going to hear a lot about Autism this month. Some call it Autism Awareness Month, others may say Autism Acceptance, while here in my house its more Autism Appreciation Month. Regardless, you’re going to see articles that get it right, but unfortunately too many who get it wrong. I’m just going to share a few of my favorite resources.

Like anything, check the source. The best source on Autism is Autistics. If you’re looking for resources check out Autism Self Advocacy Network. There are great resources on YouTube as well. I really like a series done a few years ago called Ask an Autistic. I also like Hunter Hansen -The Life Autistic and Robin Roscigno Tedx Talk.

You should probably be aware that symbols we normalized in the past to represent Autism were manufactured by neurotypicals. Autistics in your life may not like to be symbolized by a puzzle piece. In fact, many in the Autism community prefer the infinity symbol and/or using rainbow colors for inclusion. You might want to ask before posting a bunch of puzzle pieces if your loved one likes that symbol.

One of the best books out there on the history of Autism as a diagnosis is NeuroTribes-The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. by Steve Silberman. It gives an incredible perspective on Autism throughout history and how our current definition hasn’t really been in practice that long at all. I also like the recent book, We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by UNC Grad Eric M. Garcia.

What I love about Garcia’s perspective is not only is he actually autistic, but that he gives real life policy examples. Public policy that could benefit those with disabilities. He also speaks from a non-white perspective which is so important as disability and policy surrounding disability is impacted by white supremacy.

I also enjoyed reading Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum. by Jennifer O’Toole. A great read especially if you’re from a generation that didn’t have definitions of Autism that included traits found in girls and women. It’s something I’ve begun to explore in my own life. Maybe some of us just aren’t just introverted, but it goes deeper. Don’t be afraid to explore. Self diagnosis or even formal diagnosis can be healing and eye opening. I’m in the process myself.

My very favorite video is this from Robin Roscigno. It reminds how I started and how I’m trying to learn and be a better parent and citizen on this earth.

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Disability is Not a Bad Word

Young Girl with brown hair. Eyes appear crossed.  She is not smiling wearing a yellow and red ring tee

This year I’m celebrating Disability Pride Month. Disability Pride Month takes place in July to commemorate the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. (Only the military rivals the Disability Community’s ability to use acronyms.) ADA was signed on July 26th, 1990. While I generally focus the blog on my son, this month I’m turning the lens on me.

Growing up, my family never used the word disability. It wasn’t part of our vocabulary despite the fact that my eyes were clearly very different and I wore a patch all through elementary school. Despite the fact that I spent time in traction and a body cast, that had a lasting effect on my body. I had 5 surgeries that I know by age 10. I was born with severe strabismus and bilateral hip dysplasia. Nope, we never uttered the word disability.

I never questioned it. I just assumed it was my parents no nonsense view of the world. However, I think in the back of our minds, it was because disability applied to someone else. It applied to someone in a wheel chair or someone with an intellectual or mental issue. Why wouldn’t we embrace the word?

People have gone out of their way to not use the word disability. They’ve used handi-capable, special needs, or differently abled. Its in the name of putting a positive spin? Yet if you view disability with pride and positive feelings, then there is no need for these other words. In fact, the disability community views these as ableist.

Ableism is defined as discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. It can manifest as an attitude, stereotype, or an outright offensive comment or behavior. It can be a Kindergarten teacher pushing down on your right leg as you try to sit crisscross-applesauce while yelling at you to sit right. It wasn’t possible. It hurt.

So, I’m celebrating Disability Pride Month. It was this amazing post NY Times opinion video that gave me a little boost. I was watching it through tears. Every year in elementary school the teacher would put me in front of the class and have me explain why I was wearing an eye patch. Somehow this was to save me from having to explain to kids individually. I never had good explanations to describe my eye disability. Lazy eye was sadly the best I could do, and I absolutely hated that term. This video was amazing and visually showed the world how I see. Maybe it was ok to say I have a disability.

I guarantee your eyes won’t cross if you read too much. Just give me that one phrase today. At some point I will learn to embrace pictures of me. Give me time. I miss contact sports, but the pins holding my left hip together tell me otherwise. Disability Pride for me is embracing a word, I was taught to ignore. It is embracing my own history and also to learn from others.

Disability Rights has a long way to go. We need new policies. We need to move away from a very white centric way of viewing solutions. We need to look at how disability intersects with other civil rights struggles, so we truly embrace inclusivity. We need to keep the conversations going. Keep talking, but more importantly keep listening.

Young 2 year old in crib.  Leg extended in a cast with traction.  Eye patch worn over eye.

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Pandemic Unstandardized Testing

As an advocate for public education some struggles at least make sense. A push and pull about who holds power, state control versus local control. Some are frustrating because the struggle is over an ideological differences like privatization market competition versus providing a public service for the common good. Then there are the struggles that make zero sense to me. Standardized high stakes testing during a Pandemic falls into that category.

So thanks to the federal government, school districts all across the nation are being forced to administer standardized tests this year. In North Carolina, these tests are mandated by state law to be in person and for high school students they count for 20% of their grade. When the federal government decided not to provide waivers, our state government decided not to change any of the testing requirements.

DeVos has claimed her reasoning is to measure learning lost during a Pandemic, but I believe it was part of a deeper push by the administration to push in school learning over virtual options. Even with her reasoning, how will this data prove anything we don’t already know. We know the Pandemic is disproportionally effecting our already marginalized students.

There will be plenty of time after the danger is past to assess and work with students who are lost in the digital divide or just struggling during this historic event. Did I mention danger? Yes, danger. There is real danger in allowing in person testing during the real threat of a virus. Our first and only responsibility as a society is to keep everyone safe. Having an in person tests risk lives so someone can have a data point.

In North Carolina, the deadline looms large. In December our Early College and modified calendar schools will be tasked with administering in-person final End of Course exams. This includes our CTE (Career and Technical Education) students as well. The grade on these tests will count for 20% of the students’ final grade. Many of our students and parents made the decision for a virtual option. Respect that decision. Time is running out to keep these students and teachers safe.

Yet, it feels like there is little to no movement on the issue. Do leaders not realize how soon testing begins? Do they not realize the danger to students, teachers, and staff? I hope they do.

We can all argue who fault it is until we are blue in the face. I could care less. What I do want to see is action. I would like to see our leaders act as fast as they can. Now is not the time to play political games. Now is the time to keep our students and teachers safe.

So, I don’t care if it is a state wide bill, or an executive order, we need action on this issue now! Our students shouldn’t be left with the choice of a bad grade or risk of infection. That is a terrible choice and not one that should ever be put on the shoulders of our youth. None of this makes any sense as a policy, so fix it.

Add your voice to the issue! Sign the petition.

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Cohort C/Track 3

I just got the email, cohort C in track 3. My son has a date to go back to school in person. I’m worried. My worries aren’t just about Covid though, my son was struggling in school long before the virus started. He had an unmet IEP and ended up on Home Hospital. My son has felt trauma in school for years. Now he will go back in an unprecedented situation.

Deciding to let my child go back was not easy. I had to think about my child’s physical health and his mental health. I had to think about my capacity to be an aid to his online learning. Would I do him more harm than good? Would school in this Covid world be the wrong place? What services would he miss out on if I kept him home?

The decision wasn’t made easy for families either. There was confusion over what the plan would be in the beginning. One plan was cancelled another implemented. For us it came down to what plan would we most likely keep a consistent teacher. My son needs someone he trusts most all. We started that trust process in Home Hospital and followed through the spring and now fall in a virtual setting. If we had to change teachers, I’m not sure how we’d begin to navigate this mess. We decided let the child follow the teacher rather than a plan. The teacher is plan B so that is us too.

I was never a big fan of going back once our county’s numbers began to rise, and I began to hear our teachers felt they didn’t have the PPE to keep them safe. I advocated for all sorts of scenarios that would get in-person help to those in need, but limit exposure time. I really tried everything I knew how to do. I feel in some ways I failed. The plan to go back isn’t the one I would have chosen. Yet it is the best plan I have for my child right now.

I’m putting an incredible amount of trust in a system I know to be broken. I have the data. I know the deficits we face in the amount personnel it takes to run a system as large as Wake County NC. I know the failings from our state government and impact that has on our most vulnerable students. I am trusting that the staff who recommended the opening of our regional classrooms know what they’re doing.

Not only do I know how impossible running a school in North Carolina is at this moment, but I also know on the flip side. My kid can’t change teachers after all the trauma of last year. I can’t homeschool, I’m not a teacher. I’m not the type of person who can homeschool and lesson plan many subjects. If it was a History class, no problem. I’m perfectly qualified, but that is just one subject. My son needs directions broken down and help with executive functioning. He needs to be challenged without triggering his anxiety. Its a tall order for any teacher. I need help and that is what I’m hoping this reopening plan will do, help.

So, my challenge to Wake County Schools is simple, protect my child. If you in any way have doubts. If you in any ways can’t secure enough staff. If the PPE money isn’t what you need, reverse course and go back to the drawing board. We’ll be angry, but we’ll be safe. In the meantime, I live in hope that my child will emerge out of this better than he started.

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I Need to Call an IEP Meeting

We have teachers at odds with parents, we have school board members at odds with both parties. I only know what my administrators feel based on a survey. What we need now is a district wide IEP meeting. If anyone can solve the problem of getting children back to school its the special needs community.

We have been negotiating school and what it looks like for our kids for years. We often don’t get everything we want or need, but we get something we can work with at each meeting. It tends to get better with time. At the table are teachers, administrators, a parent, and an advocate who knows the system. We need that table right now. An open discussion for solutions and accommodations.

Special needs families have perhaps the most to lose if school doesn’t come back. Its not just about academics. Its about services like occupational therapy. Its about life skills that are taught and its about our kids’ quality of life throughout a painful time. School will in no way solve all our problems, but it might help bring back some essential needs of kids who rely on schools for therapy.

Likewise special education teachers are perhaps the most at risk. Many children, in what some call regional programs and others call confined classrooms, will not be able to wear masks. If masks are the key than we need to make sure our teachers have other reliable personal protection equipment. They indeed need a higher quality mask and maybe even air purifiers. These teachers will need to move and hold their students.

So, admins what can you provide already? What don’t you have, but believe through PTA, community help, and a big ask of our government can you get? Is it possible to make this work? How comfortable are you with the situation and do you see something parents and teachers don’t see?

Finally, our school board members are there to listen. They are there to moderate because everyone is tense. Its safety, its quality of life, and for special needs kids its knowing that failure to act might mean a lawsuit. They are there to make a decision. Ideally we’d invite even more stakeholders from transportation and support services, but hey no IEP meeting is perfect either.

Are we doing this and replicating it all around our districts? I know there are emails and meetings. However, how many meetings are there with teachers and administrators. I know as a parent, I’m invited to very few in which many stakeholders are in attendance. My Board Advisory Council hasn’t met since June. As our county approaches a vote, shouldn’t we try this model before we go any further?

We might fail completely. Maybe we only get the doors open for a few children. I can’t imagine tensions between all parties getting any worse than they already are. I call an IEP meeting for Wake County children to discuss the reopening of schools. Who’s with me?

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My son’s IEP binder is thick. I take it deadly seriously and I expect my son’s school to take it seriously too. We have a lot riding on the document, including my child’s general health and mental welfare.

I gave a lot of grace to our school system in the early days of the Pandemic. I was happy to not worry about grades and testing. It made it somewhat easier to plow through. It wasn’t by any means easy.

So now we are preparing for the fall. Yet, I feel like I have no idea what choices there are to make. I don’t know anything about special education in the Virtual Academy or for Plan C. The problem is while typical families have a FAQ and are having robust Twitter conversations, we have mass confusion and no answers.

So, far the two official communications I’ve received from the Special Education Dept for Wake County Schools was a transportation survey, and a robocall/email detailing how many of us thought we were going to go back was incorrect.

For kids in a contained classroom like my son, families were initially told that our kids would remain in the classroom daily. Extra precautions would be taken, but since our specific population can’t do transitions, we wouldn’t have to worry about a rotation. On Tuesday evening, I learned this was false.

I was mad yes, but I was even madder the next day, because I didn’t know what my other options would look like. At the Open House for the Virtual Academy, the section on disability simply said they would uphold our IEP and deliver services. That’s the equivalent of saying the school won’t do anything illegal. That isn’t information.

I’m increasingly concerned that they don’t have a plan for us. I’m increasingly concerned that we are an afterthought. After we get general education figured out we’ll concentrate on things like special education and ESL (English as a Second Language). Relationships run deep with out students and teachers, but so far I don’t know how that will play out in Virtual Academy.

I can always choose what is now Plan B but will most likely be Plan C by Tuesday. It is more risky. I’m still not sure I know how services will be delivered, who will be delivering them or how my IEP will be managed. I do have a better chance of retaining the teacher. I think. I don’t actually know.

Look I know Wake County is huge in scope and size. I know this is all new. All the more reason Special Education Dept should be communicating with parents and their teachers. All the more reason to put special needs first. If we are more complicated, tackle it first and prioritize it.

Right now my Facebook page is full of promoted ads for private schools and education companies. These people know what they’re doing. I’m staying put in public education. I’m going to keep pounding on doors until I know what my options really look like for the fall semester. I’m a fighter. Not everyone is, nor should they have to be just to get some basic answers.

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