I had to get up early this morning to handle emergency-backstopping on a software push this morning, so I was up this morning to watch Twitter as the principals from the Baltimore City School System were off to their kick-off for the new school year.
Now, I think that they’re all entitled to a pep-rally of sorts, especially as the year kicks off. We need it, after all – to get into a mindset that will enable children to learn, to support them in all of their endeavors, and to get a running start to the new school year. On the other hand…
Well, let’s be honest. When they’re talking about #whatspossible, this is great, but I don’t know that they’re talking about what is possible for my son.
And this just comes back to a conversation I was having with a friend of mine – one who just recently moved from another county into Baltimore City to have his children attend the same school that the Monster should be zoned for. Talking about things, I have to ask a couple of questions of my local school district:
- Why does it seem that the autism inclusion programs are at the worst-performing public schools? The Monster is attending a school across the city from our house, and had an option to transfer to the same program at another school. Neither of these two schools are “high performing” in anyone’s imagination. On the other hand, our local public school is the best K-8 school in our city… and the only way the Monster will ever go there is when/if he’s mainstreamed.
- What is the school system doing about the poor performance of the busses? I’ve whined, I’ve complained, I’ve threatened. And to the best of my knowledge, the vendor in question – Durham Bus Services – is still one of the bus companies that Baltimore City is using next year. Apparently, my child being late to school 10% of the school year is acceptable, moreso because he’s “special needs”.
- It’s great to talk about #whatspossible but what does that really mean for the Monster? Is this another year without a gym teacher at his school? Is this another year where he has paraprofessionals who don’t seem to understand that the IEP – where it pertains to lunch, the playground and toileting – is a requirement, not a recommendation.
What was funny to me was that the city schools’ twitter account – and a few of their staff – retweeted my tweets about how I really do hope that this school year is better than last. I have to wonder if any of them realize that I am Dad Enough to take all of them in a fight, and so help me Heaven, if things aren’t better, a fight is just what they’re all going to get from me this year…