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Monday, November 07, 2005

California public schools - at least this one

People are confused but at least I have some moral support. thanks L., Jessie, Mollie, and all.

Andrea, as briefly as I can make it (remember this is the gov't we're discussing:)
Until this past year, only unexcused absences were cause for concern. They've changed it to total annual number of days (not occurrences) excused or unexcused missed. They start at five with a stern letter, at seven you're required to attend a meeting (that's where I am now - refusing to attend the meeting or sign their contract) and at ten any family receiving state or county public assistance gets docked. It doesn't apply to families who don't receive aid.

Elcie receives SSI (Social Security) because of her cerebral palsy so it's an empty threat; however, they can make my life miserable and I suppose they could even involve Child Protective Services.

I'm required to sign a form each year for the other two girls. Since they are technically wards of the court (I'm legal guardian), we receive a small stipend from the County to help with their support. Theoretically, I'm not liable for the cost of caring for them; in reality, of course we are unless I'm willing to feed them Purina. If one of the other girls missed that much school, the threat could become real. Rochelle has perfect attendance and Rebecca missed two days with the flu (the school sent her home sick which never counts as an absence). So far, no problem there. Plus, their school knows all of us too well to ever question my word (at least so far). Elcie was there for 6 years.

Elcie sees an orthopedic surgeon 60 miles south at least twice and sometimes 4 times a year. In addition, she has local clinic appointments which, if they're in the morning, will count as an absence even if she makes part of the day. That takes her absences up to 5 or 6 without any leeway for illness. She had surgery last year and may need more. That would send her missed time through the roof. Her eye exams are in Fresno (60 miles south) as well. The state agency which funds her special medical expenses is very picky about which physicians she sees.

Until this year, her schools and teachers have understood this. She's always kept up her work and all was well. Suddenly, one power happy person has decided to interpret the rules in the most rigid way possible. We've never needed a written absence exemption for Elcie. Now it seems we do even if the result is making enemies at the school.

It isn't the teachers; it may not even be the fault of the local school. They're frightened of the state and the feds who can't figure out how to fix our flawed system so they keep applying bandaids. The schools in turn are chronically short on funds so they make sure every kid is there for roll call even if the kid leaves ten minutes later.

It means we have sick kids spreading germs and getting sicker. The cold or tummy bug that might have been cured in one or two days turns into a week's absence and epidemics cause absenteeism to rise thus prompting even more draconian rules.

The rest I covered in the earlier post and I may be repeating somewhat here. I hope it's clearer this time around. I've lived with it so long I figured everyone else had as well.

In other news, Rebecca and I spent 3-1/2 hours on homework (or unfinished classwork) tonight. We solved 5 pages of equations plus her other subjects. At least we're past the triangle for now. I'm going to dream about 5 + n = 27 instead of A = 1/2 B x H. I think she gets it. She was solving them on her own. Now, if she can only retain the information. The child wakes up in a brand new world every morning.

Mollie sent the brownie recipe for a 9 X 13 pan. It's in the comments of the last post.

I dreamed the other night that I was taking Elcie to a doctor's appointment in San Francisco on the California St. cable car. The hospital in my dream was a mile beyond where the Cal cable ends but there we were nonetheless. (There is no hospital at that particular intersection in real life.) It looked like the old French Hospital which may have been torn down years ago. I don't know how I got her on the cable car but my alarm sounded as I struggling to get her off. I wonder if it symbolizes my hassles with the school or if a dream is just a dream. It's one of the few I remember after waking.

Thanks to all for the good wishes about the baby and for the concern and prayers about the druid. It means a lot.

BTW, this blog is always receptive to recipes or anything else you wish to share. Leave a comment or send an email.

4 comments:

Andrea said...

WOW! That policy does go way beyond the level of ludicrious.
The entire idea is just well, stupid. I am beyond words.
I dont know what to say other than good luck.

ipodmomma said...

I wonder if or how this problem might be rectified... I mean, it just sounds so absurd...

well, you all are in my thoughts, and I send you lots of love and prayers for patience and understanding school officials...... :)))

I'm happy today... no surgery for the hubby... he's pretty happy too!

mollie

Gawdessness said...

Best wishes from me for everything!

Angel said...

UNbelieveable. Talk about No Brain Left Behind @@.

Congrats on the new grandbaby-to-be :)