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First day for my kids at public school


Terabith
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My oldest started high school, and my younger one started 7th grade at the middle school.  I'm nervous and can't wait till it's time to pick them up.  Neither one had their correct schedule before the first day.  (We went to orientation, but both had schedule errors.)  My older one is nervous but excited and has a lot of friends who already attend the school.  My younger one knows nobody and is borderline petrified.  She has a pretty severe anxiety disorder, learning disabilities, and is sorta on the spectrum (experts go back and forth on that).  We homeschooled and then they were at a small Catholic school for the last four years (younger dd) or five years (older).  I told my younger one that if it's a disaster, we'll figure something else out.  But I'm so nervous!  They both rode the school bus for the first time this morning, which I'm also kinda nervous about.  

Also, neither have ever used a combination lock, and I'm worried how the lockers will work out.  ARG!  

Edited by Terabith
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My son's schedule was exactly as expected at orientation.

The middle school asked us to practice using a combination lock before the first day of using them to avoid that problem.

There was a problem with the bus on the first day but it got sorted out by the next morning. I'm still nervous. But I was very glad he had a phone and could contact us and I learned he could deal with minor problems at least.

 

He didn't get his exact schedule until yesterday. Today is the first day of going to all his classes so we'll see how it goes.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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The older one had a locker at Catholic school last year, so I didn't think anything about her, until she informed me that the lockers at Catholic school didn't have locks on them.  I did not know this pertinent piece of information before yesterday.  But they have a block schedule. so she only has four classes a day, and apparently most of the high school kids don't use lockers.  My question to her was what about coats and lunches and stuff?  I guess we'll see how it goes.  

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11 minutes ago, Terabith said:

The older one had a locker at Catholic school last year, so I didn't think anything about her, until she informed me that the lockers at Catholic school didn't have locks on them.  I did not know this pertinent piece of information before yesterday.  But they have a block schedule. so she only has four classes a day, and apparently most of the high school kids don't use lockers.  My question to her was what about coats and lunches and stuff?  I guess we'll see how it goes.  

 

Neither the school my son was zoned for nor the one he goes to uses lockers -- not enough lockers for the entire student population.  They just carry everything with them class to class. (including instruments. He tells me there is a place for instruments in every class)

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My boys started public school last week, after three years in a private Christian school.  Their first time riding the bus as well, at age 13 and 14! I was most concerned about them finding the bus for the ride home, but they both made it. Things have gone well so far. One son had a schedule adjustment after a couple of days but took it in stride after some discussion about it at home.

They had lockers at their old school, but DS14 never used his lock. He has definite troubles with combination locks, so that was a concern we brought up with the public school. They have some lockers with keys instead of combinations, but we had a few concerns about those, one of which is that he was sure to lose the key. Roaming the halls before school started, we found a locker without a lock at all, and DS was able to be assigned to that one. So there may be some options to bring up with the school, if the combination lockers prove to be a hurdle.

DS also gets lost easily and has anxiety about finding his way around. So I wrote out his schedule -- class, room number, and teacher's name -- on an index card that he keeps in his pocket. He has a printed schedule in his binder, too, but that is harder for him to access when walking the halls. I rewrite the schedule when the index card gets ratty, and sooner or later, he will be comfortable without it.

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I really hate that they're not at the same school.  I can't imagine these folks with 4-5 kids in 4-5 different schools!  The school has not been communicative about stuff like buses and walking...and the high school seems SUPER unorganized.  Ugh.  

My younger one is complex.  She's gifted, so she's in honors classes, but she has these issues, so she has an IEP.  One of her issues is a complete inability to spell.  At back to school night, I mentioned to her English teacher that she has an IEP, and her teacher went on and on about how crucial proper spelling is.  I'm rather concerned that things aren't going to go well on that front.  Just keeping my fingers crossed, I guess!

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16 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

DS also gets lost easily and has anxiety about finding his way around. So I wrote out his schedule -- class, room number, and teacher's name -- on an index card that he keeps in his pocket. He has a printed schedule in his binder, too, but that is harder for him to access when walking the halls. I rewrite the schedule when the index card gets ratty, and sooner or later, he will be comfortable without it.

 

Good idea. I'm doing that for my son tonight!

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My kids have had lockers at both middle and high school.  On the first day they learned to place (ok jam) a pencil into the lock mechanism so that the locker closes but it doesn't lock.  Everyone seems to do this.  It makes accessing their locker between classes much easier, and no one has ever had a problem with theft that I know of.

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Both of them are happy.  My youngest’s schedule was fixed.  My high school kid’s schedule was changed but not fixed, and I am really, really annoyed about that.  But I am far more upset at this (and her getting behind in whatever class she winds up being in) than she is.  Both found people to eat lunch with.  Younger one was a bit stressed by the bus but sat in the single seat and preferred that.  Middle school seems organized.  High school does not.  I have a million forms I have to fill out for each, some of which I already filled out when I enrolled them three months ago, but whatever.  They’re happy, so I am trying to be.  

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Hope after the first few days of glitches and stuff that they settle in and have a great year. 

I’m sure you’ll keep your ears open after the spelling comment to be sure the teacher doesn’t forget your kid has an IEP. 

‘My youngest two didn’t encounter combination locks until college- I felt like such a failure for not thinking about that but they survived.  Heck, I had locker issues myself so I know it’s common. In high school I completely forgot my combination over Christmas break. 

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9 hours ago, Terabith said:

Both of them are happy.  My youngest’s schedule was fixed.  My high school kid’s schedule was changed but not fixed, and I am really, really annoyed about that.  But I am far more upset at this (and her getting behind in whatever class she winds up being in) than she is.  Both found people to eat lunch with.  Younger one was a bit stressed by the bus but sat in the single seat and preferred that.  Middle school seems organized.  High school does not.  I have a million forms I have to fill out for each, some of which I already filled out when I enrolled them three months ago, but whatever.  They’re happy, so I am trying to be.  

Sounds like a good day. Ds brought me home a form that I'd already filled out too, UGH! 5 million forms!!!

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My last kid started high school last week. Things that have happened:

He had trouble with his locker, but asked two cute girls to help him "So that was good."

He has already had a geometry quiz- "might have missed one question"

"Freshman boys are really annoying"

He is working on homework during lunch-because he has tennis matches two times a week

He likes the tennis team and he has won both matches so far.

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22 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Today did not go as well.  I am furious and seriously considering pulling my younger one.  Sigh.  My mother in law says I’m overreacting.  Her tutor who has worked with her for years is alarmed and doesn’t think I’m reacting enough.  

 

It has only been a few days. Unless something very serious happened, I would have to agree with your MIL that you’re overrreacting — and I’m about the most pro-homeschool person on the planet.

What happened?

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35 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Today did not go as well.  I am furious and seriously considering pulling my younger one.  Sigh.  My mother in law says I’m overreacting.  Her tutor who has worked with her for years is alarmed and doesn’t think I’m reacting enough.  

 

Oh, no! How is your younger one taking it?

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34 minutes ago, Mabelen said:

My younger child started high school today. Same school my oldest graduated from 4 years ago. It's a good school so I have faith that things will go well for the most part. Picking her up in 20 minutes, so we will see how it went.

 

I hope she had a good first day and that it’s the start of a great year for her, Mabelen!

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3 hours ago, Mabelen said:

 

Oh, no! How is your younger one taking it?

She cried all day and came home and curled up in the fetal position under the table.  Haven’t seen her this upset since we started meds when she was five.  Her tutor was alarmed by how radically she is decompensating.  Although a popsicle and pasta for dinner helped radically.  The main issue is she can’t get into her locker.  So she is late and unprepared to class.  Where she got yelled at.  No adult could get into her locker either.  Her IEP coordinator says nothing can be done.  She can’t take a backpack to class, and there are no other locker possibilities.  

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8 minutes ago, Terabith said:

She cried all day and came home and curled up in the fetal position under the table.  Haven’t seen her this upset since we started meds when she was five.  Her tutor was alarmed by how radically she is decompensating.  Although a popsicle and pasta for dinner helped radically.  The main issue is she can’t get into her locker.  So she is late and unprepared to class.  Where she got yelled at.  No adult could get into her locker either.  Her IEP coordinator says nothing can be done.  She can’t take a backpack to class, and there are no other locker possibilities.  

 

Oh no!!! Your poor dd!!!

No wonder you’re so upset. ?

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Also, they weighed the kids in pe and announced the weights publicly.  And the lunch lady accused her of lying and said she had already gotten lunch.  And nobody will give us her ID number, which is needed for everything, including lunch.  She is so upset, I can’t figure out if she even got lunch.  And kids made fun of her for crying.  And she was constantly late and unprepared because of the locker issue.  And she got so upset she got lost.  

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3 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Also, they weighed the kids in pe and announced the weights publicly.  And the lunch lady accused her of lying and said she had already gotten lunch.  And nobody will give us her ID number, which is needed for everything, including lunch.  She is so upset, I can’t figure out if she even got lunch.  And kids made fun of her for crying.  And she was constantly late and unprepared because of the locker issue.  And she got so upset she got lost.  

 

OK, I had probably ten extremely bad days in all of junior high, because of stuff like this. Your dd experienced half of all of my bad days in one day. Can you get her out of there?

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I’m trying to solve the problem.  Not having any success with email so will go in person tomorrow.  Honestly, yes, I can pull her.  We have options.  I’d like to give it six weeks.  But if it doesn’t get WAY better, I don’t know that she can last that long without damage.  Pondering whether my husband would be more effective at getting the locker issue resolved.  

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3 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

I hope she had a good first day and that it’s the start of a great year for her, Mabelen!

She had a good day.

They had orientation first thing and the ASB member who lead her group, a senior, said he had never taken an AP class and that he had gotten a 2.8 gpa his first freshman trimester. She was shocked! 

She was also surprised by the amount of brand name clothing and makeup some girls were wearing, as well as by the amount of swearing, phone use, and pda.

She liked all of her teachers. Her English teacher recognized the family name from when she taught my oldest. She has a science and a math class where there are sophomores, so that's a new experience for her. 

 

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45 minutes ago, Terabith said:

She cried all day and came home and curled up in the fetal position under the table.  Haven’t seen her this upset since we started meds when she was five.  Her tutor was alarmed by how radically she is decompensating.  Although a popsicle and pasta for dinner helped radically.  The main issue is she can’t get into her locker.  So she is late and unprepared to class.  Where she got yelled at.  No adult could get into her locker either.  Her IEP coordinator says nothing can be done.  She can’t take a backpack to class, and there are no other locker possibilities.  

Oh, my goodness! What a ridiculous situation. You would think that an exception would be made. And to add everything else on top of that, poor thing. No wonder she felt so bad. ? I am so sorry. I truly hope things improve massively and your dd can feel safe and happy at school.

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23 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I’m trying to solve the problem.  Not having any success with email so will go in person tomorrow.  Honestly, yes, I can pull her.  We have options.  I’d like to give it six weeks.  But if it doesn’t get WAY better, I don’t know that she can last that long without damage.  Pondering whether my husband would be more effective at getting the locker issue resolved.  

Having the husband try is a good idea. It seems to impress the fact that you are serious about this and are willing to do what it takes.

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Wow, that's pretty egregious. Could she keep her stuff in her homeroom? With the secretary? I hope they apologized for yelling. 

I would go in and refuse to leave the school until I had her ID number and locker figured out. And then I would probably stay until lunch to give her the ID number, and then make sure she gets lunch.

Sorry to you and DD ?

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

They can fix the locker issue.  They can get yer a locker key or make her combination a very simple one.  They do at the schools I teach at with kids with special needs.

 

The issue really doesn’t seem to be that she can’t open the locker, since nobody else can either.  I think the problem is defective lockers.  I’m willing to use the IEP because it’s a tool, but her inability to spell really isn’t impeding her locker opening ability.  She has used combination locks successfully in the past.   

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I'm so sorry!!!

I hate it that she feels so traumatized. If it were me, I think I would go to the school in the morning to figure this out. Either keep her with you in the office until it is sorted (she can sit in a waiting area and not be in the room with you, if you don't want her to hear everything you say) or leave her at home.

This is an issue that should be addressed in her IEP. And if it is in her IEP, then they must solve it.

I don't think you are over-reacting in thinking it is a major problem. But I think I would give the school a chance to solve it before pulling her.

Ugh.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Pondering whether my husband would be more effective at getting the locker issue resolved.  

 

Seeing both parents at school does help get things done faster. My district knows that if the working parent is at the school office for the entire morning then the school is probably the subject of watercooler gossip at the local tech companies. My husband’s boss has his fair share of dealing with back to school issues so they get paid time off (answering work emails while sitting at school general office) to deal with it.

I had a classroom locker in 8th grade that jammed shut. The school janitor had to pry the locker door open, and repair the locker door. I think it was a built in metal locker. 

Edited by Arcadia
Autocorrect funny
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I hope things improve! Dd started 8th last year and had a lot of the same issues at school. I was there or on the phone a lot the first few weeks/ months.

We had to add an as needed anti anxiety that she took in the morning on top of her regular daily anti anxiety and anti depressant. That really helped (should’ve done it sooner). It was just too much to adjust to on her own-school, lockers, iep, classwork, new kids.

She had a great guidance counselor and school psychologist who helped her a lot with navigating everything. I’d try to get her hooked up with one person at school who knows her issues she can go to as needed.

eta- they should be able to put in a work order to get the locker fixed. Call the principal directly to deal with some of these things/ gets done quick instead of her asking the office staff.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Your poor girl, I hope you get it straightened out very, very quickly or bring her home. There is absolutely no reason for any of that. I've already been upset enough, I can imagine if my dd came home crying like that I'd gone crazy, dh would've been restraining me from snapping people's heads off. 

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Case manager called first thing this morning and is trying to resolve things.  Not sure she has authority over the locker issue; she said lots of kids are having locker issues, and it sounds like from posting about this on Facebook that this is true.  My husband took her to school this morning.  He thought this was one time they would be more inclined to listen to a man, and he was afraid I would be too angry.  So, praying for a better day.  This is so stupid.  What a ridiculous thing to cause such despair.  

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11 hours ago, Mainer said:

Wow, that's pretty egregious. Could she keep her stuff in her homeroom? With the secretary? I hope they apologized for yelling. 

I would go in and refuse to leave the school until I had her ID number and locker figured out. And then I would probably stay until lunch to give her the ID number, and then make sure she gets lunch.

Sorry to you and DD ?

 

 

And get an apology from the lunch lady for the false accusation.  

I find it shocking that they know that there are a lot of locker problems, and yet they won't bend on things like backpacks or being late to class.  

I'd be going apeshit at that school until she had an ID# and working locker.  

 

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Talked to case manager again.  We’ve got an ID number.  That was just crummy communication.  

She met with Cat before school and they decided Cat will do homeroom in the special ed room, where the teacher will make sure she gets into the locker.  And they worked with her on how to get in.  It’s sticky but she also was doing the lock backwards...it’s opposite the way most combination locks are. She gave her a chain of command for what teachers to go to for help, one of whom has a key to get into it.  One is the special ed lady and the other coached my other kid in basketball in kindergarten and is wonderful, so I feel good about that.  And she feels more confident having a plan and a chain of command rather than just having to look for whoever might be around.  Talked about how just because they talk about when to go to the lockers, she really only needs to go at the beginning of the day, before sixth period, and after school.  She doesn’t need books for choir, pe, or keyboarding.  She talked to her teachers and asked them to handle her gently and is planning on fussing at the lunch lady.  She also told her who to go to or ask to see if she’s upset or needs a break.  I don’t think she will utilize that, but she has people she can go to for help.  

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Excellent idea to handle things in person. A lot of things do tend to go wrong the first weeks of school. 

I would also try to keep in mind that it's possible your dd might be overreacting to certain things (I say that as a parent to at least one sensitive, overreacting kid). If the lunch lady asks a question, some kids will take that as being accused of stealing lunch. If the teacher makes sighs in exasperation and says, "I can't believe this locker situation!" some kids will take that as the teacher yelling at them. I'm not saying that is the case, just that it's possible. With all the other things legit going wrong, she might be feeling hyper-sensitive. 

Good luck!

Edited to add: you updated while I was posting, sounds like good progress! 

Edited by katilac
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