Dear Ethan's Mom,
Too many people want to go to our great school, including your son...
BUT, you've been wait listed.
Your child could be selected between now and January 2012 if a spot opens up.
If you don't like this, take yourself off the list.
School Assignment Boss
Here, where we live, there our neighborhood schools and what they call "Magnet Schools." Right now, my kids go to our neighborhood school and we honestly love it. I love the teachers my kids have, the specialists that work with Ethan...I mean, I spend half of my free time volunteering there so I must like it, right? Plus, I'm on the PTA board and bring the staff goodies every month.
But, Ethan will be starting 5th grade soon...which will lead to middle school! If you do not have a child with special needs or have ever had a child in middle school, you just don't realize what a transition this will be. Middle School teachers don't send home newsletters, you don't know what your child's homework is, and the most you can hope for is an email address for each teacher. There are no "class mom's" and volunteering is only for fund-raising...usually.
Ethan would be going from a school of 620 kids to 853. Ironically, they have the same number of teachers as we have at our elementary school, which only speaks to the class size. I am not sure about the EC services he would receive, but with so many more kids, I can only imagine that it will be harder to group him with other kids like him as opposed to ESL kids or more severely affected kids.
When I thought about Ethan going to this big school, all I could think of was him standing at the door of a classroom, looking out in a sea of kids in the hallway, wondering how to get from the doorway to the hall. Knowing him the way I do, merging into hall traffic with a bunch of middle school kids will lead to MeltDown City. He has a temper and like other kids on the spectrum, just looking at him can cause him to go off, to meltdown, and then the day might as well be over.
The "Magnet School" we applied to is K-8, so it would be great for both boys. There are only 401 kids in the whole school...2 classes per grade until 6th grade. There they have 4 classes that you rotate through daily. The approximate class size for their middle school grades is 13. You can see why I would want to switch!
But apparently, we're wait listed...it's like college, except he's only 10! I was told that there are more spaces available in 5th grade than 6th, but I guess we will wait until next year and try again.