If you remember from my last post I shared how disappointed I was with the lack of communication mr. L and I were receiving from his school during this coronavirus shut down. I am here with the update.
I had reached out to my state representative and he responded a day later letting me know that he had forwarded my email to his education policy makers with hope that they would be able to respond within a reasonable time frame. I was impressed that he responded himself and didn’t have someone else email me. My state representative was authentic, realistic, sincere, and didn’t come off like a distant politician. Honestly it was refreshing even if it wasn’t direct answers. He acknowledged the huge flaws in our education system and was excited when I updated him with the changes I was able to achieve personally with my student in the meantime.
After reaching out to my son’s school district’s board president, she forwarded my email that same day to a superintendent, who then forwarded my email the following day to a superintendent that oversees the special education categorical programs and ironically the next day my son and I started getting daily videos via ClassDojo from the teacher missing in action and I received a message from mr. L’s teacher asking how she could support us during this crisis and wanted to do everything she could to help us during this crazy time. I don’t think the timing was coincidence.
In general I always liked his teacher, she was sweet, willing to listen, and it was obvious that she always worked really hard to help my son succeed. And that is why this whole situation seemed so out of character for both her and the school. I’d like to chalk it up to a rookie mistake, maybe she wasn’t aware of the need her students still had for her? Or maybe she didn’t know what was expected of her and she was afraid to overstep a school policy. I don’t know. Maybe the school needed a kick in the pants and the chain of order gave them that heads up?
What I do know is that my son’s face lights up every time he sees his teacher on these (now daily) videos, and another mom has been commenting how much her daughter is enjoying the communication with our shared teacher. Which just signifies to me that we weren’t the only ones with a special needs student wondering where their teacher went.
I’m happy with the pleasant update on this situation, but this experience is blatantly showing another gap in our state’s education and this needs to be addressed eventually. I understand that lives are at risk and that easily trumps the need for education, but my son’s school’s contract needs to be addressed and updated for long term shut downs and times when students may be forced away from their school’s classrooms and staff. I hope overall that IEP’s and 504’s will be updated when the dust settles on this crisis.