Going ahead with first grade nervously

The drama of this school year has not ended. Originally, my plan was to put Mike in first grade and have the remedial program as a safety net if he needs to fall back.

But now it turns out the school district cannot convince enough parents to put their kids in the remedial program. The district had plans for two classrooms but it doesn’t appear as if it has enough students to run one remedial classroom.

This situation is a real shame for Mike and the other students. The students enrolled in the remedial program are not guaranteed they can attend the program. Then, the parents will have to decide whether their child should repeat kindergarten or move onto first grade.

But I am happy to learn Mike has been assigned to a first grade teacher with a Ph.D, Dr. Henderson. That is giving me hope that she could have the knowledge in dealing with a variety of student issues.

Today, I volunteered for an activity day at Mike’s school and met a mom whose son is in Dr. Henderson’s class this year. The mom said the Dr. Henderson gives lots of work to students so they are constantly busy and learning. I also heard positive words about her from the principal, who would pick Dr. Henderson for his own kids. I had another first grade teacher in mind.

I have e-mailed Dr. Henderson this afternoon to ask for suggestions in preparing Mike in spelling, writing and math over the summer. I am anxious to see whether she will find time to write back before her school year ends next week.

Mike will be joined by seven classmates from his current kindergarten class in Dr. Henderson’s class. I hope being among more mature students, instead of the least mature students of his age group, will help develop his social skills.

Meanwhile, I hope to get an appointment in August to have Mike evaluated for possible learning disabilities. I had the district evaluate him to see whether his issues in the classroom are connected to learning disabilities.

However, the district doesn’t evaluate students to determine whether learning disabilities are causing issues in students. I made it clear to the district that is why I wanted the evaluation.

So the wait for answers continue. My insurance company won’t approve a learning disability-related evaluation unless a child is at least 6 years old. So hopefully, Mike will get an appointment close to the start of school when he turns 6.

I will keep working with Mike to give him the advantage he needs for first grade. He’ll be interacting with kids as much as possible over the summer. So I hope Dr. Henderson will work closely with me to give Mike every chance to succeed as a young student in first grade.

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