Band Parents

Band Parents

Sunday, February 07, 2010

School, behavior, and services, oh my!

Isn't it amazing how something works well for one kids doesn't work for another?

I am referring to schools here. In Aug of 2007, both boys started at a new Catholic school. My older by was entering 7th grade. The younger (A) was entering 2nd. I worried more about the 7th grader. Guess what,. He did great. The kids embraced him even more than his old school where he had started as a kindergartner. It turns out the the 2nd grader struggled more.

Actually, I have to say that A had some trouble in First grade. He struggled to maintain friendships with his classmates. We kept telling him "You have to be a good friend to have a good friend."

At the new school, in second grade, A decided to try to impress everyone by telling them how smart he is. He'd try to monopolize the attention of any adult that came into the classroom. His teacher brought in the school psychologist who spent some of her time with him during her one day a week in the school role-playing.

The next year, Third grade, there were more of the same issues. We took him to a Counselor on our dime since the school no longer had the services of a school psychologist. We asked the counselor about some sort of social skills class for A. We asked about this because the older boy attended one when he was about First grade and it really helped him. Of course the counselor said a lot of the happen in the school system. (See where I am going here?)

But at the beginning of this year, fourth grade, he made a 180 degree turn. The school noticed a big difference, the counselor noticed a big difference and you could see that A was happier.

Until about 2 weeks ago. The note came home from school asking for a meeting.

We went and met with both of the fourth grade teachers. They said that his behavior had reverted again. He was struggling in group projects and on the playground. One example cited was that in a group exercise, they kept rotating jobs. On the third rotation, A boy was very happy with his job, but there was a girl who did not want to be the scribe so she traded with someone else. A did not this that was right or fair. The teacher did not have a problem with it. However, A just got very angry about it and was seen to be visibly shaking. They keep saying they are afraid that he might hurt himself or another kid. This meeting took place on Monday. We got him an appointment with the counselor on Friday.

Monday afternoon I get a call from the principal. He got into an argument on the playground and was heard to day "If I could, I'd get a gun and shoot you." She asked us to keep him home Tuesday for a cooling off period, and nothing put in him permanent record. Ok. I tried to make it as unfun as I could. Of course he lost the privileges of using any electronics. He cleaned 2 bathrooms, scrubbed a wall, worked with me cleaning the basement, went to the thrift store, etc. In between, he read a book and sang to him self. I guess there was pressure off of him.

So Dad picks him up from aftercare and finds out that before A said what he did, another boy said "I'm going to have my dad throw you off the top of the building." Ok, 10 Year old boys one upping each other. (We have water guns, but no other type in our house).

Friday we get another call. The day before he got into 2 fights. One was in the lunch line where he was arguing with one kids and he turned and picked up the kid behind him and shook him. That mother, understandably, called the principal. Turns out he thought the other kid was poking him in the back. We never did hear if that was true or not. Of course this is unacceptable. A is the biggest kid in the 4th grade. The other boy is one of he smallest.

The struggle I have is that the principal sent him home again saying she does not know what to do. She asked if we had any ideas and asked us to call the counselor for ideas. She says the other kids in the grade are getting afraid of A.

Then Friday afternoon Hubby get a call from the Dad who is his basketball coach. His son upset that A lest school at 9:30 and did not come back without showing any signs of being sick, and was very upset and telling his Dad that is is unfair to A. Coach talked to the Asst Coach who was at school and the intervening adult when the shaking action happened. They are saying that this past week there are three boys who are making it their mission to tease and harass A to get him to blow up. They happen to think it is ridiculous, but I am not going to second guess the school on that.

But why can't the school's intervention specialist help? I sent her an email.

However, this school is a Parochial, Catholic school. It is great for the mainstream, but they don't seem to be willing to work with A. I am ready to change him over to the Public school. That have staff that can help A. It has taken me all weekend to convince Hubby that this is the right thing to do. He's now with me.

Logistics are worrying me. The local school does not start until 8:40. Right now A gets on the bus at & Am and then i drive into work. If I could, I'd start work at 7 AM and leave at 4 PM. I can't see on the website if they have extended day care. I sure hope so.

Now it is a matter of timing. Maybe we can get some assistance from the intervention specialist. Maybe A will once again change his behavior. (Did the fact that he played football this fall make a big difference in his behavior? Ok, so we are trying to rev up his activity level).

Right now, if I get another call this week asking me to take him home before the end of the school day, I am asking for his records so I can enroll him in the public school. Sending him home is not addressing any kind of problem.

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