Summer School

When the kids went back to school after Thanksgiving break last year, Tad’s teacher noted something that I had been saying for years.

Tad regresses.  A lot.  And it happens primarily over Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations.  It’s as if he completely forgets what social behaviors are for, and school routines, and goes through a strange “reboot” process that really screws up how he rates on the social scale.  I have noted this regression each year right after Christmas break, but there wasn’t anything that could be done for it.  But both of his preschool years, January was undoubtedly the toughest month of the school year, just because he was having to relearn all those school rules and social skills that two weeks off had wiped from his mind.

Mrs. W’s solution?  Decree that Tad qualifies for the Extended School Year (ESY) program.  In other words, summer school.

I was thrilled that this option was finally open to him, and said YES.

The ESY session started last week.

The first day was Wednesday, but that was an open house for parents and students to meet the teachers, paraeducators, and bus drivers (yes, there’s bus service!!), and find their classrooms.  Tad’s teacher, Mrs. W, usually teaches during the summer session, but decided not to this year.  I was curious to see who Tad would have for a teacher, and who would be in his class.

The teacher, Ms. Q, is a mid-level CLC teacher at a different school… but if Tad qualifies to move up to the mid-level in another year or so, he could potentially have Ms. Q as a teacher again.  She impressed me as being very enthusiastic and engaged with the kids, and I really liked her.  There are four paraeducators in the class, and one of them, Donna, was a para in Tad’s kindergarten class!  Another one was a speech therapist from Sorenson (his old preschool) who remembered Tad fondly (he had a cute nickname for her, because he couldn’t pronounce her real name at the time), and there are two men paras in the class.

Can I just cut and paste this set-up for next year?  Please?

And out of the seven kids in the class… six of them were Tad’s classmates.  Only one little girl is new to him, but she was in the morning kindergarten class (Tad was in the afternoon), and she knows the few kids who were all-day students.  I wouldn’t say that Tad was excited to see his classmates, but it was definitely reassuring to him.

Thursday was his first “official” day of the ESY session, so I took his picture and sent him off on the bus.  The school day runs from 9 am to 12 pm, but Tad gets on the bus around 8:10 am, and doesn’t get home until around 12:40 pm.  The school week is Monday through Thursday, so he still has his Fridays open for therapy.

It made for a very quiet day at home.  Ane got bored quickly.  My suggestion – doing some extra math work on the iPad – didn’t go over very well.

But Tad came home all smiles, and clearly thriving on the routine.

And if he’s thriving, and this keeps his social skills fresh through the month – the summer session ends on the 28th – it will have been the best thing that we could do for him.  Plus he still has his speech and ABA sessions, and swimming lessons on Mondays.

This feels just like the school year!

But just a little warmer.

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