January 24, 2010

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Change is inevitable. I just wish it wasn't such a regular visitor here at the Cleaver compound.

The Boy has been doing really well lately (yeah, Boy!). He's been pretty cooperative at school, no major outbursts since the end of September. Even at home, he's been with the program for the most part (except that he STILL eats everything that we don't hide and/or lock up). 

I seem to remember my younger brother being a human food disposal system during adolescence, so maybe that's just par for the course, and I shouldn't blame The Boy's bottomless pit on a side effect of his medication. 

The Mister and I are both doing taxes until April; The Boy gets the run of the place for a couple of hours until I get home. No disasters have struck.

Life is pretty darned good.

Now for the monkey wrench thrown into our finely-tuned and oiled life machine. Like I said, The Boy is doing well at school this year. And I've said before that we moved to BFE this neck o' the woods because of the self-contained Special Ed program that is offered in our district. Five local school districts participate in this day treatment-type program. Very small classes, lots of individual attention. Therapist on staff. The whole short bus nine yards.

At a school board meeting last week, it was decided that the district is CLOSING the program at the end of this school year.

It's not economically feasible to continue the program when there is such low enrollment. Or maybe the district spent too much money renovating the middle school cafeteria and basketball court and revamping the entire football field/running track. Who knows. (I was unable to copy the renovation photos from the district Web site - they're pretty impressive for a district that consists of one elementary school, one middle school and a single high school).

Some text from the actual letter follows. But first, let me say that the Director of Special Education phoned me to let me know what was happening BEFORE the letter was sent home - I appreciated that. Thanks, Mr. G. Mr. G also said that they would try to move as much of the staff as they could into the existing Special Ed program within the schools.

Back to the letter:

You are probably asking yourself what this means for your child's educational needs. First, let me assure you that absolutely nothing will change for the rest of the current school year, unless a change is decided in an IEP meeting for your child. Your child's educational progress will continue to be the priority of the XYZ Program staff. Secondly, programming decisions will be made for all students on an individual basis, based on the best interests of each child. Your child's teacher or I will be contacting you sometime in the current semester to talk about this programming or to schedule a meeting to review the IEP.

I anticipate that many of you will have questions and concerns regarding this decision. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 ext. 5.

I told The Boy about the closing last week. His first response at home? He feels sorry that all of the staff could lose their jobs. OMG, he didn't immediately think about himself! There IS hope!

He, of course, blabbed the to his classmates, and had a bit of a meltdown. There were tears, even from the teacher. I'm sure they'll continue to talk about what this news means to them, and we'll be discussing next year's plan with Mr. G and the great folks at the XYZ Program. 

We'll have to see what they come with for The Boy's FIRST YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL (shudder). He lasted a week in middle school in NY before his first arrest. He couldn't handle all the noise and the crowds.

If the high school doesn't work out, the district is required to find him a suitable program elsewhere - and they'll pay for it, thanks to IDEA, the Federal law on special education.

I sure hope the staff gets to stay in the district, and that The Boy can be successful. These folks have had a positive impact on The Boy - and we're tired of things changing around here.


  1. Hmm, maybe you should move closer to your gorgeous stepdaughter?

  2. That really sucks about the Boys program! Stupid budget cut backs! I hope he will get to stay with familiar staff and things will work out the way you are hoping!

  3. Oh man ... I hope that things work out because it sounds like things are getting on a good track and all this change would just upset the apple cart.


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