Wright School Part IV

As I begin January 2023, I think back on our Wright School journey that began in earnest in 2022 with a spot at this amazing school. Its hard, actually, because as we’re back out in a regular public school setting and I need to keep reminding myself and my child of all the positive things we learned to do at Wright School.

I admit in 2022 I was petrified to tell Emerson we were sending him to yet another school. He’d been in a constant state of change since 3rd grade and here we were in the middle 6th grade about to change schools again. 6th grade was going OK in general, but we were watching things decline as the first semester went forward and Emerson’s willingness to learn declined. I was looking forward to the change, but wasn’t sure how Emerson felt.

We waited till after the holidays to begin the discussion. We just sat Emerson down and began to discuss the school. It wasn’t until we got to the part that it was partially residential that Emerson erupted with shouting and went into his room to calm down. As parents, we just waited. After about 30 minutes, Emerson came out somewhat calm and said quite simply, he’d try it.

The visit with Emerson was impressive. We toured the school. We saw the room Emerson would be using and discussed details down to the fan he’d use at night. The best part was that the visit was mainly student led. Emerson got to choose if he wanted to sit in the classroom with the students or if he’d prefer them to come talk to him one on one. He chose one on one. So each student came and talked about their experience at Wright School. They gave advice and things that they loved and struggled with about the school. One kid drew Emerson a picture. I think we all came away with anticipation.

One thing to keep in mind was that Covid was being taken seriously. Not just with pairing vaccinated kids up but also masking. While masking for a school day wasn’t a favorite thing of Emerson, it was limited. Once we were home at 3pm the mask came off. Well Wright School was masked even as the academic day ended. Of course there were breaks and Emerson could sleep and be in his room without a mask, still was a lot to ask of kid who didn’t like masks. Yet I think the beauty of Wright School was that it was expected school wide of both kids and teachers. I think the fact that it was adopted policy for the school including for me if I visited, helped normalize things.

Dropping off Emerson was difficult. I was filled with so much anticipation, fear, anxiety and all the while trying my best to mask all my feelings. We did have liaison throughout this process. The parent support was phenomenal. Encouraging text were so needed and helpful. Emerson called us every night that week. It dawned on me how little Emerson had spoken on the phone to anyone so it took a while to get phone protocols down. Drop off that first week and drop off going forward really went smoothly.

We made it week by week. Every week Emerson complained less and less about school. In fact on the weekends I began to hear how Wright School was better than home in some ways. He loved the fact that every week they went somewhere or did something. He started taking routine showers daily. Emerson began to like his school.

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