Thursday, May 08, 2008

FOUR HUNDRED!!!!

Yup...this is post number 400. Big celebration, yahoo, and all that. What?!? No BLOG CANDY?

I'll have to come up with something later...too busy, too many things in my head right now!

The biggest thing? PRESCHOOL.

This has been a thorn in my side since we got here. You see...Hannah, at 3, was in a Mother's Day Out program in Evans. She went 2 times a week. It was good for her, gave her structure, helped her build friendships and learn to deal with classroom. It was great for me too, since I had a new baby at home. Hannah loved Ms. Cathy, her "teacher" at MDO.

Then we moved to Germany, and I put her in preschool...4 days a week at the CDC (Child Development Center for you non-mil folks). Again, she loved it. My biggest complaint was that they couldn't TEACH at this preschool. The teachers were not CERTIFIED education specialists...so in many ways, this was a glorified daycare environment. The teachers were not allowed to teach, but if a child ASKED, they could show them (such as, "is this a triangle?" "No, it has 4 sides, so it's a square"...but they couldn't say "today, we'll learn all about shapes")

Anywho! We got here to KS and I knew Hannah was going into kindergarten fairly well prepared. And I decided to look into a Mother's Day Out program for Scotty. I heard of only ONE. They had a VERY LONG waiting list and informed me that there was very little possibility of Scotty being accepted that year, and to call in the spring of '07 to get him on the list for the next year. Ha. Of course, did I remember to do that? No. But I DID call in the early fall...to get him onto the waiting list for the MDO program AND the preschool program. I also had him put onto the waiting list at Panda Preschool, which is held at Hannah's elementary school.

I have a friend, Julie, who works at Panda Preschool and she told me that Scotty was close to the top of the list. Yay!!! Yeah...not so much.

I got a call a few days ago from one of the teachers. You see, Panda Preschool is partially funded through the "At-Risk" funds available through the state (something to to with No Child Left Behind, I believe). So...they have to have an equal amount of at-risk, or special needs, children and "peer model" children. I have no problems with that. I firmly believe that if a child is at risk or special needs, the sooner they get into a classroom environment, the better. The problem comes from the "peer model" part.

Panda Preschool this year had an inordinate amount of boys. And they are only losing 6 slots for the 08-09 year. That means that of all the kids on the list, only 6 will get chosen. And they have many special needs girls...and not enough peer models for those girls. So, Scotty was skipped in order to get more girls in the right age slots to peer model. Again, I don't have a problem with this program, but it's MY son that got skipped, after being on the list for an entire year. It really bothered me, in THAT sense. He was actually being discriminated against because he was a boy.

But, the lovely lady from Panda Preschool who called me and took the time to really go over all of this with me had great news. One of the other preschools, College Hill Preschool (which also runs the same type of at-risk/peer model program) had a few openings. The teacher there had called to see if Panda Preschool had any on the waiting list. My name was immediately given.

I got the call today that they will have a space for Scotty in their afternoon program. He'll go for FIVE DAYS a week, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. This will allow me time to get home for Hannah's bus (HOPEFULLY). And he'll go every day, which is also great! But the best of all? Because Scott's in the military, there is a HUGE price savings. I believe it will be almost $200 less a MONTH...

We go in tomorrow for a screening assessment (I want to be sure that if Scotty has any needs such as language or motor skills, that they will work with him on that), and he'll be put on the list then!

6 comments:

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Congratulations on your 400th post...we're celebrating our 300th post (and 10,000th visitor) today at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives so do drop in and we'll raise a glass together!

Roxy

Christy said...

Jacob was a peer model at one of the ele's at Ft. Riley, it was free, otherwise we wouldn't have done it because he learned really nothing...I'd already taught him everything, but he had fun playing. Hope it's something Scotty enjoys.

rennratt said...

Wow.

Here's to a teacher that tries her hardest to make things FAIR!

I hope that Scotty really enjoys it and learns from the school.

I also hope that you enjoy your time!

Barbara said...

You're lucky to be able to put him in a preschool. We're not able to afford one so until Chase is ready for pre-k, he's stuck with me. And let me tell you--I'm NOT a patient teacher!

Debbie said...

Congrats, Linda, on your blog acheivement and on Scotty's preschool admission.

Bob-kat said...

Congratulations on your 400th post! Wow, that's a lot of blogging!

The thing that bothers me most baout these sorts of programs is that 'normal' children get discriminated against and so can end up losing out just because they have decent homes. That doesn't sit well with me at all somehow though I agree that 'at risk' kids need help. Good luck with the screening.