Allie's big field trip was today. Not only did we all survive but from her recap, it appears that she had a wonderful time. I should note that she was crying hysterically last night, begging me to stay home today and this morning, when she hugged me, she told me she didn't want to be the first one to let go.
So last week, her teacher told the class that they would be placed into groups of three for the field trip. Each group would have a parent chaperoning them. She also told me that her friend M's mom was going to be chaperoning. Well, I know M's mom and more importantly, Allie knows M's mom. I debated on whether or not to email Allie's teacher and politely ask if there was a way for Allie to be teamed up with M and her mom but I feared coming across as a helicopter parent. Well, Allie ended up with M and her mom anyway so it all worked out. I credit her teacher for knowing the kids for that.
I want to mention how happy we are so far this year with the girls' school and their teachers. The school has resources available so that every student is in a reading group based upon reading ability and needs. We've been told more than once that the goal is for students to test higher than the national standard. I witnessed a big change in the girls' reading at the end of kindergarten and I think that was due in part to age. They are at the younger end of the age spectrum for their class and six to nine months at this age can make a difference in learning.
Last year, when Rich and I met with a bunch of folks at the school to update Anna's IEP for this school year, the discussion came up on whether or not to state that Anna should be placed in a certain reading group at the beginning of the year before placement testing. Her IEP is strictly medical based and focuses on areas such as physical therapy and what can be done to ensure that she is safe from falls. There are no educational needs. After much thought, it was decided to add the reading group.
Well, the reading group started up a few weeks after school began and Anna immediately told us that she didn't need to be in it because she already knew all of her letters and sounds. True. This kid can read an Arthur book to me and maybe need help with a word or two. So while I didn't doubt that she didn't need to be in that particular group, I was hesitant to contact the school after only a week. At the end of the second week, the school called us to say that they were pulling Anna from that reading group. Apparently, during some of the testing, she had the highest score. I'm not sure if that was in her entire class or a just a group of them but does it really matter? She had the highest score.
I share this because I know I have quite a few readers who come here to learn more about spina bifida. Anna has hydrocephalus and a shunt but she's still a super smart kid. Spina bifida doesn't define intelligence.