Friday, January 4, 2013

First day of school for all three

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day at their new schools for my three children. They are 7, 7, and 12. The twins C and J are in the second grade. A is in the 7th grade. So yesterday morning we rose bright and early (early being relative because at his last school, A had to leave for the bus 10 minutes before he now has to get out of bed), and headed to the middle school.

The middle school asked for the enrollment package and I had nothing. The secretary called the board of education's office and was told that the Selfridge family's paperwork was there. So over to the school board office - it's a mile away so no big deal.

Big deal - they only had C's paperwork prepared. I think that A and J's schools waited until the last day of school before winter break to fax the paperwork over. The problem with that was while it was Fairfax county's last day of school, Buckingham county had been dismissed for winter break three days earlier; Tuesday was the last day before break.

I called the schools, the paperwork was refaxed and by the time I finished getting C settled in her class, filled out more school-specific paperwork, and got back home, the paperwork was ready. There was an additional stop at the municipal building because I have to get a county sticker in order to take trash to the dump and probably pay a property tax (we had that in FFX county and it sucked - more taxes to pay on a car for which you already paid the taxes when it was purchased. Giant rip off.)

The car is in my husband's name  as he bought it when my mini-van broke down on the way to our beach vacation in August. He hadn't updated his address at the DMV website and so we don't really live here yet according to the county. I guess that''s fair considering our first mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) isn't due til February. Long story longer? No sticker, trash piling up outside in cans and cardboard boxes (empty) lined up by size in piles on the porch.

C had a great first day - she made four friends. She couldn't remember one of her new friends' names, but the girl said her nickname was " I'm just going to call her that." I had to giggle. She had people fight over who sat  next to her at lunch, and I'm pretty sure her math homework was something they covered a little while ago at her old school. She'll be in charge within the month.

This morning, all three kids had breakfast, headed to the truck and we sat at the top of the driveway, and waited for the bus. We were given an approximate time because the bus driver was trying to figure out where we were on the highway - 7:20a.m. Good guess because she got there at 7:32a.m. ALL grade levels get picked up on various routes and go to the primary/elementary school campus, the middle school, and the high school. So C and A took the bus in today and I drove J in so we could finish his paperwork.

J has an IEP (individual education plan) because he has sort of a learning disability. He has sensory integration dysfunction syndrome (SIDS). Because of this, a normal classroom situation of 20-something kids is too much. He needs to move around and he's got a temper with still developing social skills. He's sweet when he wants to be and in reading, read 20/20 on a fourth grade reading level. He's got insane reasoning skills and a wicked sense of humor. He can be sarcastic like his mother, and he thinks outside of the box. He enjoys drawing himself as a comic book hero - something out of Roblox (?). At his new school, he'll be mainstreamed for things like lunch, art, recess, and gym and be in the smaller class size for the academics. Less stress with less people.

When I left J this morning, he did really well. I thought I saw him go a little bright pink at one point when he got a little scared but he worked it out and I reminded him to use his coping skills, take deep breathes, ask for time out breaks, and "keep cool." When I left, children were still arriving, but I only saw seven or eight cubbies. Nice size room. Beautiful new school with lots of spaces for the kids to hang out, little caves for reading, kinetic chairs - it's perfect for a kid like J.

So here I sit and write after working today - both at my job as a technical editor for HP and unpacking and organizing the house. The kids were set to load onto the buses 10 minutes ago so I think I'll head down my 3/10 of a mile driveway and see how their days were.

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