As your kids are settling in to a lazy relaxing summer routine, Jacob is going back to school. This is the third year Jacob attends ESY (extended school year). Jacob’s principal suggested a few years back that we change Jacob’s school year after recognizing how many school days Jacob misses during the cold winter months due to illness. He is now in school from mid-April thru end of October (or longer if he is not sick). From November thru mid-April, he is receiving school services out of our home to avoid all bugs going around during the winter. This has worked out really well for our boy.
This year we’re trying something new. Jacob is taking the school bus to and from school for the first time in his life! I have had a hard time seeing our boy on a school bus full of kids. What I didn’t know is that Jacob qualifies for his own private school bus from door to door. Jacob is getting picked up right outside our home, and rides the bus with his nurse and bus para. A bus para was added due to our nurse needing an extra set of hands in case any of Jacob’s emergency protocols would have to be implemented in route. An extra fan was installed in the bus to keep the bus cool in addition to the air condition close to the driver. I am just in awe with the support from our school district. The whole bus team came to meet Jacob before his first ride, and we worked out all the little details to get him safely from home to school.
Look how big our boy looks!
I had to advocate for months for Jacob to get his home school teacher and summer teacher of two years this summer again. The school district was set to have Jacob in one specific classroom with another teacher, but after many emails and phone calls from Jacob’s home school teacher and I, Jacob was placed in Mrs. Pries classroom for one more summer! Did I say our whole family loves Mrs. Pries? There is no one person Jacob talks as much to as her. She knows that perfect balance between letting Jacob talk about himself and answer her specific questions. She has a way of negotiation with Jacob that is just beautiful to watch.
Jacob’s nurse has only good things to report from Jacob’s first weeks of school. There are only 3-5 students in Jacob’s classroom. The students are from his school, so they all know each other. One kid made sure to tell Jacob what a great kid he is, and if he knew he had once been in his mom’s womb? There is plenty of support in addition to Mrs. Pries, so plenty of time for individual learning. The classroom has an assisted technology person in the room. She’s making sure Jacob has everything he needs to successfully communicate. She even brought in these three switch activated Minions for Jacob to play with. Jacob can activate them with the help of his foot hitting his switch. In the end, the Minions had to leave the room in order to give room for some learning. For you who know me know that I don’t care a bit what Jacob learns in school. I just want him to live, do what he wants, and be with kids his age. If he wants to play with Minions all day, fine by me!
We are off to a great summer!