Monday, October 21, 2013

Husband says this all the time

"You never realize how good things were, until you no longer have it"
My Husband is a smart man. An extremely hard worker. He loves his family and does what he can to make sure we are all happy and safe. So he knowing the trouble we are having in a very important matter, Hurts.
Having Moved so many times. Having seen friends and family go through different school systems because We have luckily found life long friends in every place we have lived, We can kind of get the feel to what schools work and why. Hawaii Is now our families 2nd school district for our own kids.
In the DOD school system on base in WA. While Emily's school didn't have the best ratings, her teacher was FANTABULOUS! Loved him. She was half day, and I still do not get how he managed to teach everything she knew to 20 kids in just 2 hrs a day. WITH NO AIDES! No help! Just him. You Rock Mr. T. Sophie's School on McChord had better ratings, and She had an awesome willing and amazing Teacher, Hi Mrs. Ellison, we miss you. Even Though she used S.E.E and There was an ASL interp. At the same time (which can cause confusion) and even though it was a mixed special needs class, Mrs.E and her helpers were the best. They were tuned in, on point, did everything they could to make sure Sophie Thrived. They started the love Sophie has for learning.
last year! NOT ONCE, was I called into the school, or got calls about Students pushing, kicking, or other harmful moments caused by a student, to Sophie. Was I called about injuries? OF COURSE! McChord and her Teacher did their due diligence as a School. In Emily's case. Emily being more of the shy one, soft spoken, and knowing what is class room acceptable and not, is now into her 2nd year of school, having NOT ONE incident. NOT ONE! Runs around outside, 2 times a day (two recesses, how lucky)has gym class, and "free play" in class, sits on the concrete floor, pumps into things often (shes my kid lol, plus her class is super tight.) And has never come home with bruises, cuts or what have yous.Her Class Has about 23+ Students and ONE TEACHER! again NO HELP~ Again, Emily's school doesn't have the best ratings on the Island for DOE. BUT, Her teacher, Mrs Rapoza is SO SUPER! I do not remember in the first grade learning about History,sociology, Or the human body. Emily totally knows what white blood cells are used for, what Antibodies are and how to properly take care of skin. ITS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!! She knows so much! Its scary.
HSDB, Sophie's current school. Is definitely trying. Its had some spotted past for some students and is going through a growing period right now. New People in place trying to make the system better and working as it should. I'm too much of a worrier to have my kid in a place thats transitional and not steady on its own rules and ideas. Though, Sophie's teacher has a great Educational background. SHE KNOWS HER STUFF! and Shes a good teacher. When in class. Shes also a very busy lady. I do however think that shes not exactly equiped for this age group maybe. theres 9 students and like 3 aides along with Teacher,so how do all these accidents happen, thats 2 students per one adult... and When I went through Sophie's paperwork, the daily reports that get sent home, there are 9 bad incidents that involve another Student harming Sophie. Now on purpose? Or not? Not sure. Stories don't always add up. And THANKFULLY, in great appreciation, to her current teacher, Sophie is now able to tell me what happened to her and who did it. Not so much the WHY, part yet. But we will get there. Now I said 9 incidents involving Sophie getting hurt by another student...that does not include the few "accidents" that happened the first month of school before the started to send home the accident report. And that does not include the reports about her falling by her own account. (again My kid, We are a clumsy family apparently lol) Mind you, School hasn't even been in session 3 months yet. Doesn't that sound a bit much!??
I get that This is a deaf school, I get that the deaf kids can be more handsy and rough, and pivot their anger in a not so nice manner. BUT COME ON NOW! I can't tell if its poor student inter action or if its aides Not watching. Or The lack of Correction. Feeling like for a short time the daily lessons should not be about "hungry Caterpillars" or "the 3 little pigs" but should be about How to treat friends, and class mates, respect to adults, and listening to parents. They are 4 and 5, and old enough to get those lessons. I do my best at home, with the 3 kids. From the emails from Sophie's teacher, to my understanding, Sophie isn't being aggressive to them. Shes merely "annoying". Shes in their face and curious about What they are doing and why. She Sees a friend reading a book, and goes to see what book, and maybe read too...and that student doesn't want her there, but Phi wont that student then acts aggressively. OR The last one was Because Sophie was in the way, of another student viewing the pie baking in the oven, and shoved her. Shoved aside is one thing. But damn this student must of had some real gumption Behind the push because it caused Sophie to slam her face into the counter and bleed for what the office told me was 20 minutes, WITH an ice pack on her nose.
Now let me step back and explain. Sophie is a brut herself (at home) She and Ryan can't sit still, want to always play fight, and wrestle. And When Mad...they both go at it, LIKE SIBLINGS! With exception to the scratching (yes they scratch each other, tho I try and keep their nails short...Don't worry they get punished for scratching)There is never a mark inflicted on eachother by each other. In fact, An example to use, is over the weekend, they were NOT LISTENING TO ME, and were bouncing toward each other on the sofa, where one then would bend and the other would flip over their back. Laughing having fun, but again NOT LISTENING TO ME, about stopping before someone gets hurt. And Someone did, Phi! Ryan's hard head (like his daddy's)Cracked into her where her cheek bone meets the chin. I heard a CRACK, like when you hear the football helmets slam into each other on a tackle. Ryan bent down to get in position but at last minute decided tojust body check her instead. (OHHHHH BOYS!!!!!!!!) I freaked out by the sound, break them apart and Shes crying and "yelling" at Ryan. Her face, looks a little swollen, but no cut, no bruise (yet) nothing more then a little raised. Not even pink oddly. So I watch it the rest of the evening, and into Sunday...What do I see? NOTHING! no mark. Again I say it was a hard hit and the cracking sound when I think about it, still makes me cringe. So You readers tell me...How can she keep coming home with all these cuts and bruises from school, that Im being told comes from a student? But it not happen when I see it with my own eyes at home? How does that even work?
Is it by the hand of students? Is it by someone else?
I don't think Sophie is at the age where she can even get the magnitude of the situation.
Lately, shes not been wanting to go to school. Lately shes coming home in crap moods.

Im wanting to switch her school and Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) has proven to be battle! The professionals I need to speak with Wont even call me back. The School I want to visit, wont let me meet and speak with teacher and visit his class to see his interaction with the deaf students. I just want to see it, see his ASL with the students and how he runs his class.
I tell Ya, We were so excited to come here to Hawaii.
Excited to have a special school for Phi
Excited to be involved in Deaf community of Hawaii
Excited to be on this island and have another adventure.

And While we have loved seeing what we have, Love the esthetics of the Island, the people of Hawaii, the views, the beach...Its not the paradise We had hoped it to be.

Its making me feel regretful to have come here.
Its also left a bad taste in my mouth about deaf schools. Something Grams did warn me about.

Its put a real damper on my Love for Island life...Which leaves me to say the most disgusting thing Ever...WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN WASHINGTON!

But Like the Husband says
"You don't know how good you had it, until you don't have it anymore" He usually says the same thing, in multiple different ways ;) Love you hunnnnny!