Special Education Hoops

Monday afternoon I received a phone call from the principal at “A’s” school. It’s been a year and a half since the principal called- and that phone call was in regards to extreme behavior. Dr. Principal (yes, she has her doctorate) tells me right away that I’m on speaker phone and A’s teacher is also in the room. Double whammy.
The principal tells me about the standardized testing they are doing this week and that the children in A’s fourth grade class take their tests in the morning and he does his in the afternoon, in a separate room. (This set-up is part of his I.E.P. to allow him the best environment for testing, which usually translates to less distractions and more time.) She also says that the aide that usually works with him is assigned to a different child this week. THEN she tells me A will be sent to a “holding room” during the mornings and asks if I would be willing to just keep him home during the mornings and only send him in the afternoons this week.
I say “I suppose I could arrange to bring him later. Before lunchtime or after?”
She seems to be stumbling around her words, hearing the uncertainty in my voice, because she then tells me the room is a first grade classroom with a competent teacher… and two adults will be in the room with him. “How do you think he’d do?” in the other classroom she wants to know. I said if he was allowed to do activities he enjoys he should be fine. And then she remembers that he rides the bus and me having to bring him to school might be a hardship.
I have the idea and agree to keep him home in the mornings IF he becomes a distraction to the first grade classroom.
I sent him to school Tuesday morning with a new box of crayons and notebook, knowing he can happily draw for hours to keep himself occupied. There was no phone call or note so I assume he did fine. So, I sent another new notebook with him today.
But the longer I think about it, the term “holding room” conjures images of animals locked away. As if my child is livestock to be moved around when convenient, or inconvenient as it may turn out to be. That A’s structure/routine is not important to them since they are willing to toss him into an unfamiliar room, with no adults (or children for that matter) who understand his quirks.
Hear mommy growl under her passive facade.
It appears he won’t be getting any schooling this week, just babysitting and standardized testing. Maybe I should just keep him home and do workbooks with him here.

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