We’re back to school and I’d be a liar if I said that I thought it would go 100% smoothly. Why? When we were just battling migraines we’d miss a couple of days of school a week. Now that we’ve added the POTS and spitting up blood thing to the mix, it’s even more difficult. That’s why I pushed for the doctors to find answers over the summer. If we could just eliminate the blood thing, the other health conditions are manageable, right?
The first half-week went well but then the weekend came and Rosie got a migraine which isn’t uncommon. Unfortunately, she had choreography for dance and had to push through. This didn’t help the migraine at all and she wound up in the emergency room last Wednesday when we couldn’t get it under control. She missed four days of school. It sucked.
I’m a proactive parent. It’s the start of the year. None of her teachers had her 504 plan in their hands because school was waiting until all the transfers were over to distribute. So, I emailed all of them last Monday to try and give them the heads up that she was on a 504 and that her plan calls for “accommodated assignments for mastery.” What does that mean? I know what it was supposed to mean when we started the 504 planning process unfortunately what it says now and what we need are two different things.
Originally, we asked for “limit assignment of work to tasks that are necessary for essential learning.” We pulled this directly off the recommendations from our neurologist. Make-up work can be overwhelming especially if there are 150 Geometry problems that need to be tackled after missing four days. Does it take 150 problems to prove that she understands the concepts? Probably not. It may only take 50. Unfortunately, our math teacher doesn’t seem to understand this concept. Because he doesn’t require the homework to be turned in at any specific time, he thinks it’s already “accommodated for mastery.” No, not really. I’ve just asked for Rosie’s 504 plan to be amended.
After watching her frantically attempt to make up all the work from her classes this weekend, I realize that I’m going to have to fight to get the darn thing changed. Mastery means different things to everyone. It’s subjective. We need a more concrete definition of what’s expected of both the educators and my teen. It needs to be as clear as possible. That way Rosie can advocate for herself at school and I can just support her here at home. I don’t want to have to call and email counselors and teachers.
So, how will we survive the first weeks of school? The same as always. We’ll call when she can’t get there, give her the support she needs at home to get the work done and hopefully get school on board to help us as well.
How did your first weeks of school go?