First day of REAL kindergarten... and I'm not impressed

Back in July, Eric went through a "jump start" program that was a pilot intended to give kids who tested on the low end of the scale a boost, so they'd be more in line with their peers when they started kindergarten. Sort of a pre-K intensive. I thought of it as a "dry run" for kindergarten, and used it as an opportunity to practice my communication endeavors with the school. It went swimmingly. We had a meeting, I gave them Eric's 504 Plan and DMMP, gave them a clear set of instructions, gave the nurse a mini-seminar on operating Eric's CGM... it left me feeling fairly good about working with my school district and thinking my earlier qualms had been an overreaction.

However.... I think we're back to "earlier qualms" now. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped in at the school and spoke to the school secretary to ask who I needed to discuss Eric's 504 Plan with for the "real" kindergarten experience. [Let me note parenthetically that although one of the teachers in the summer program happened to be the teacher Eric has for "real" kindergarten, the program's admins, bus driver, and even the nurse were only at that school for the duration of the program, and have since returned to their original schools. So I have not actually met formally with the current school nurse or any of the administrative staff in regards to the 504 Plan.] The school secretary took down my info and said she would notify one of the guidance counselors, since they're the ones who handle 504 Plans. Now, I'd heard before that a guidance counselor would call me, and it never materialized. So I asked her if it would help if I faxed over the documents I'd given the school prior to starting the jump start program (on the theory that if most of the people had been temporary staff for the duration of the program, the documents may not have been transmitted to the regular admins.) She said yes, and I went home and faxed over the documents. And waited for someone to contact me.

I would imagine at this point it's obvious what happened next: NOTHING. No calls, no paperwork, zip, zilch, nada. Being up to my eyeballs in work at home/farm (we had hay coming in and pigs going out, at the same time our farm hand was up in Skowhegan helping his mother move into a new apartment), I did not have the ability to rattle school cages. I did go into the Open House in the hope of collaring someone, and having collared someone, received no feedback whatsoever before the start of school. Which was today. Now, I was with the child for the 2 1/2 hours of his first day, but I'm not going back tomorrow... and that's what worries me.

I don't want to be a pest. I don't want to be a nuisance. Is it too much to ask that when I go in saying, "Please help me address this problem," I should at least get SOME sort of response? Do I HAVE to be a nuisance to get what I need, and most of all what Eric needs? I just now emailed the school nurse. She's a nice lady, cares about the kids, I've spoken to her several times and am reassured that she has a pretty good handle on how to care for Eric... but without having an opportunity to meet with her formally, I have no assurance that she knows his routine. If the school admins aren't communicating with ME, can I be sure that they're communicating with HER? Not likely. So I took the back door approach and contacted her directly. I hope that I can end the deafening silence coming from the school's administrators by putting her on the case. Beyond that, I am not sure what else to do. I'm petrified that Eric will be in the school tomorrow and will be... overlooked, at least from the diabetes perspective. Which is silly, because I know his teacher is aware of his needs. But in the information vacuum that's currently sucking up my comfort levels, I really don't know what else to think.

You have every right to be concerned. Make noise. Be a nuisance. Pester everyone. And don't leave until you are 100% comfortable with his care. You are his only advocate at this point. I used to leave my own health care in the hands of the professionals thinking they knew better than me. I have since learned otherwise. Look out for number 1!!!

Funny thing was, the next morning I got a call from the school nurse. Wanna know why I'd heard nothing from the school counselors? Because the school's new principal had taken that responsibility away from them (possibly because they weren't DOING it) and given it to the nurse. Who'd only found out that she now had these administrative duties on the Thursday before school started... 2 days before she got my email. She has EIGHT KIDS who need 504 meetings, three of them diabetic, and the poor woman has been blindsided. But, although I feel her pain, I'm sorta kinda glad it's been given to her, because at least with her, I know she'll do her utmost to GET IT DONE. She more than anyone understands why it's important.

Hate to telk you this, Elizabeth, but from my experience ( and I worked 32 years in oyublic schools): that is just the nature of public school, particularly on the first week :One hand hardly ever knows what the other is doing . It sounds like an administrative snafu, which is common at this time iof the year.. You best bet is to call/email/snail mail the nurse directly and leave the admnistrators/counselors alone. They have a lot on their plate and are short on admnistrative staff: secretaries, etc. are not plentiful and are also overloaded with work. Take it from me, they are not trying to overlook you. It is just that even though they might understand how impoortant it is to you and to any parent of a child with health issue to have direct immediate communication, The pathway of getting the info to the person most likely to follow up is often a zig-zag route. It is most appropriate for the school nurse to take care of 504 plans for chikdren whi ae diabetic and/or have medical needs.I would e-mail her and snail-mail her if you have a big concern about your child's cafe. If you havenot already done so as part of the 504 plan, do set up a daily notebook/ quick checklist form between school and home so that you can see testing results/ ask questions/ make comments. Does not have to be extensive.. This way you do not have to wait to physically talk to her about the day's results. Hopefully that is included in his 504?
God Bless,
Take care,

Elizabeth, I had a ton of typos in that late-night post; most of which are self-explanatory. However, I know your child does not own a cafe lol.. I meant to type "your child's safety."

God bless,

Yeah, we have a form that accomplishes that already -- it's the same form we created at my daycare so it's consistent from daycare to school. I have to get with her to sort out some of the details but so far it's working OK.