The Monster’s first day of first grade starts a week from Monday.
This will be another large change from him, on the scale of the change that he went through when he was pulled out of the private nursery school program he was in at the JCC and sent to Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle School for pre-K. The first day of school will find him at a new building – our zone school, Mount Washington – and in a far larger class than he’s been in previously in any prior environment, with fewer adults around him.
Now, I know I’ve harped on that a lot of times. I also have this rising dread that things will not be okay with the new environment, because I think that – despite all of our arguments regarding the issue – there are not sufficient supports in place. I think that it is far easier to over-support in the beginning and try to back it off, rather than to have to race to re-implement if preparations are insufficient… but that’s me.
So next Friday is the sneak-a-peek in the school. In theory, they’re posting the class lists next week on the doors, and we can find out about the class assignments on Monday, but Friday is the afternoon where students are invited to the building to get a look at the lay of the land before the year starts. That will be, as you can imagine, an exercise in chaos… and we’re not going to put the Monster through that as his first introduction to the school.
No, the wife’s arranged to get access to the school and classroom on Thursday morning, when it’s quiet, so the Monster will at least get to see his classroom and start to become familiar with the school. I’m hoping that it helps to buffer things so that he’s able to handle Friday evening, and then we’ll see how Monday itself goes.
We’ve also not yet received the transportation letter for this year. His bussing is not mandated on his IEP this year, since we don’t know that he needs any kind of real accommodation on the bus anymore, but we’re far enough from the school that he’s going to get bussing as a matter of course. He’s been riding a standard school bus all summer anyway. The real question is where the bus will pick him up, and when, since Mt. Washington’s bell schedule is earlier than GHEMS. We have friends who have a child (right around the Monster’s age) at the same school… and they found it was just easier to drive him every day given the stop’s location.
At the heart of it all, I’m really hoping that I’m overworrying about the difficulties at the start of this year, and that we’ve been right about how our zone school will be so much better for him…