Monday, August 5, 2013

Some Drama for this Mama

Today was my first day back to school - all meetings and professional development. However the universe, realizing how much I loathe a day full of meetings, decided to throw me a curve-ball.

During my second meeting of the day, I got a text from Bryan that Penelope's school had called and informed him that they just noticed she didn't make the cut off for transitional kinder and she wouldn't be able to attend next week.

Say wha????

I've blogged about the pre-K saga here, here, and here.

The gist? I know she doesn't make the cutoff by 3 days, Salinas Elementary wouldn't take her but after a conversation with the Spreckles principal, they said they would. The registration packet was turned in, enrollment completed, we received our letter home. The principal, during our initial conversation, mentioned the possibility of needing to get her assessed, but we never received any further information about testing (and believe me, I asked multiple people during multiple occasions).

So it was a bit of a shock to learn that they weren't going to take her after all.

I was, to put it lightly, upset. I made some phone calls, left messages, and sent this:

Dear Ms.XXXX,

I left a message at the school today, but also wanted to follow up with an e-mail. During the Spring semester of the 2012-2013 school year, I contacted you regarding my daughter, Penelope Rodgers. Her birthday misses the Transitional Kinder cut off date by 3 days. I told you that Salinas Elementary was unwilling to make an exception and I listed some of Penelope's academic milestones (sight words, writing, math). You agreed with me that she sounds like she's ready for school and told me that as long as there was room in the program, Penelope would have a spot.

You mentioned the possibility of needing to get her assessed since she does miss the cutoff and I agreed that we would be happy to bring her in for that anytime.

The summer came and went - we filled out district transfer paperwork and were approved, registered her for school without incident, and have received letters home confirming her enrollment. I asked the woman at the front desk this summer (when I turned in her registration packet) if Penelope needed to be assessed, and she said that letters would be sent home if we needed to bring her in for assessment. No such letter made it to our house.

I am more than happy to arrange to bring her in this week - today or tomorrow if necessary. Please let me know what I need to do in order to get her to start school next week. She's really excited about starting school and I know she will do well.

I attempted to relay a polite, but urgent tone. 

Short story? She goes in tomorrow at 9 to be assessed.

With that fire extinguished, I turned my attention toward a second problem - Griffin's enrollment. Turns out that even though I had turned in the paperwork months ago and had been told that he had a spot, he was not enrolled. Here's the e-mail we got:

Hello Mr. Rodgers,

Griffin is on the waiting list for M-F am session. He is not currently enrolled for any sessions. I can place him on the waiting list for the first opening, be it 2,3 or 5 days if that is what you prefer. We have limited openings in our pm classes ( 12:15- 3:15). If we are unable to place him in the program by Sept.1, we will refund your $60.00 family fee.
We appreciate your interest in the XXXXX program at XXXX.

I do not think I can adequately convey how upset I was.

After a frantic search online for alternate schools, I sent this e-mail to the district office:

Dear XXX,

My husband, Bryan, forwarded me your message and I have some concerns.

The first concern is that we filled out enrollment paperworkmonths ago. When I turned in the paperwork, I was assured that - at the very least - Griffin would be placed in the AM Tues/Thurs English only program and would be on a wait-list for the dual immersion program.

I have, since the date of initial enrollment, called the District Office on multiple occasions over the summer, called the school site, and e-mailed regarding Griffin's enrollment. It is only now, after my husband sends an e-mail this morning, that we get a response about our son's placement.

As you can imagine, this is incredibly upsetting and leaves us in the very difficult position of having to find alternate placement in a very short time frame. 

I would appreciate some insight as to why we weren't informed earlier that Griffin was not enrolled. 

Please also place him on a wait-list for ANY morning classes and let us know what spot he is on said wait-list and an estimate as to when he might be able to start at Lincoln.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions or to discuss this further.

I was not very optimistic. However, Fortune smiled upon us and I got a phone call about an hour later that someone dropped a M, W, F spot and she could put Griffin in. Praise Zeus!

Also? Polite e-mails work.

G's also on the waiting list for the Spanish program, so hopefully he makes that - but as long as he's in MWF, I'm fine.

While I am incredibly relieved that things resolved, my day was completely derailed.

Tomorrow I need to leave early from a meeting to take Sis to her evaluation/assessment (which she is SUPER excited about, when I told her she was going to take a test, she smiled, hugged me, and said "oh thank you!"). I also need to attend a parent meeting a Griffin's school... and, you know, prep for school.


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