The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mia's strange week at school

Mia started summer school and after-school camp this week, because it's so hard to figure out what to do with her and we didn't want her to lose any of the gains she made in school this year. Like every year, the sessions are three weeks long, and there are two of them. She's going to miss a full week (the 23rd-26th) because of vacation, but she'll still get five weeks of work in. That's fine with us!

I had forgotten to sign her up for the bus until last week, because the previous two years I simply drove her. As the camp is somewhat further away and she'd be getting out right in the middle of Norah's nap time, I wanted to get her on the bus. Also, there's no reason for her not to take the bus - she's fine with it, and it's more convenient for me, after all. So last Friday I called and asked if we could get her on the bus even though it was a bit late to be worrying about that. The woman I spoke to said that was fine, and she got Mia on a route. Then she told me how much it cost. Mia isn't covered by ESY (Extended School Year) or DDD, the state agency that gives financial assistance to special needs kids, so I was paying the whole cost. It's twice as much to bus her to school as it is to teach her once she's there. Yes, twice as much. I almost dropped the phone. I actually asked the woman if she was kidding. I mean, with gas prices the way they are, it's probably cheaper to bus her, but still - why is it double the cost to get her to school than to teach her once she's there? Beats me. Those bus drivers must have a good union.

So that was fun. Then on Monday morning we stood outside waiting for the bus. It was supposed to arrive at ten minutes after eight, but it got to be 8.20 and no bus was to be seen. I figured that the first day of school might be a bit confused, but I also wondered if they didn't get the route to the driver and Mia wasn't getting picked up. I called the transportation office, and as they were checking on it, the bus pulled up at about 8.25. So that was fine, but then the driver couldn't get the lift down. It was broken, and although I briefly considered trying to get Mia's wheelchair on through the front door, I decided against that. She said we'd have to wait for a new bus or a mechanic, but I told her I would just drive her, as the school isn't that far away. As long as they could get her to camp and home after that, it would be fine. So I drove Mia to school.

Monday is swimming day at camp, apparently. We sent her bathing suit to school with her, but when she got home that day, she was wearing her back-up clothing and her separate bag containing her bathing suit wasn't with her. When we went into her backpack, we found her original clothes, and they were soaked. What the heck? It was obvious that she had been in the pool with her clothes on, but why? There was no note accompanying her backpack, so we had no idea. I called the camp on Tuesday and asked what was up, and the woman said she'd call me back once she got to the bottom of it. We weren't angry, because Mia was fine, but we were puzzled. The woman didn't get back to me on Tuesday, but in the afternoon, Mia's bag came home with the bathing suit in it, completely dry. So that clinched how she went in the pool, but not why. On Wednesday the woman called me back and said that after lunch (which she eats at camp) her bag got separated from her, so when it came time to swim, they didn't know that she had a bathing suit with her. They were going to keep her out of the pool, but Mia was so excited about going in (she LOVES swimming) that they sent her in with her clothes on. That's fine, but why no note? Would it have been that difficult?

So that was her week in school/camp. She really likes it, and although we don't expect much from the school, we just hope they can keep up with her writing and identifying letters and numbers. We want her to hit the ground running at school in August, and this should help. And I get to hang out exclusively with Norah, which makes her happy, as she was jealous the past two weeks when Mia was out of school. She wants all the attention!!!!


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