Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nine Years of Preschool

At 10 pm last night, I suddenly realized that Sofia's "Meet & Greet" Orientations at Preschool were THIS week, not next week as I had in my calendar. Which means we missed the Monday/Wednesday/Friday group already. But we went today. (This also means she starts school a week earlier than I'd expected - yeah!)

Yes, my ninth year at a preschool orientation. (Ok, maybe there were one or two I did not attend for the boys). I am SO done!

Miss Sofia was very happy to be back in school. Mind you, she spent 5 weeks this summer in the same classroom anyway, but her primary teacher was only there for the first week of the summer, and one of the aides had been out since February recovering from surgery. So it was nice to have all three teachers (primary plus 2 aides) together again.

Many of the kids in Sofia's class are younger - it's the Integrated classroom, so there are still kids her age, including three of her girlfriends from last year. But it's not officially a Pre-K class, and for some of the families, this was really the FIRST day of preschool.

They let the kids get acclimated, then take the parents down to the music room for an orientation with the principal. When I returned to pick up Sofia (I had to leave, to get home for my meeting with the rabbi to go over High Holiday services), Sofia was NOT pleased to see me.

"No! Mama. Go. Car. Out. Go."

And she made a pushing gesture, to reinforce it.

Ok. Glad she's happy in school.

I finally dragged her out of there (promised her food, of course!).

Ok, back up a sec. I've been worrying about something recently. You see, a few days ago, one of my FaceBook DS-Mommy friends posted a bit about how the difficulties her daughter was having this year, because she was in a class with kids she did not know and her own friends were on a different schedule. And that all got me thinking:

Let's say all works perfectly, and Sofia is able to attend the day school for at least 3 glorious years. From what I've studied, the academic difficulties start to really appear around 3rd grade. So what if, in the best interests of the child, we decide it is necessary to move her back to public school around 3rd or 4th grade? How will she integrate into an essentially new school (although she will probably know a few kids, and maybe some will remember her)?

Anyway, on the way out of the preschool this morning, I managed to find the SpEd coordinator. She's an interesting lady; I like her. I'd been warned about her by some of the Early Intervention people, because she can be tough in a meeting, but so far, she has been terrific about Sofia. Very wry and dry, but I am comfortable talking to her with my questions and concerns, and I feel that she does take us seriously.

So I voiced this little emotional drama in my head to her. She made me laugh: she looked down at Sofia, who was doing her very best to escape my clutches and open the door, all the while greeting the families that were coming in for the next orientation session. And then she said "Ahh, I don't think you or your daughter need ever worry about making friends!"

Here is my warrior-princess on the playground before we went in to school:

And here she is with her classroom aide:

Oh, and apparently there were 17 (out of 59) kids in the nurse's office today at the day school, including Mr. Micah, who seems to have a bad case of "there are 19 kids in my classroom this year, not 9 like last year." (they combined the first and second grades this year) I was called, and already on my way, so he got out 15 minutes early. And was fine for the next 2 hours that we stayed to play.