They call the aides in the classroom “paraprofessionals.”
After hearing some gossip, I got the idea that the administration does not know that Pearlsky’s classroom sometimes has a bizarre schedule. When the high school has finals, midterms, or NCLB testing, her classroom gets all screwy. Wanting to find out more, especially after yesterday’s email, I decided to send a note to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services who is retiring in a few weeks.
I want to apologize for my email yesterday in the respect that it may not have been worded in the most appropriate way. It was late in the day, the short notice was very problematic for me, and I was hoping to catch the teacher and anyone else as soon as possible. Usually there is notice of more than 4 (school) days.
I have never understood why Pearlsky is not allowed in the school during much of midterms, finals, and the NCLB testing. Either late starts, early releases or total days off … I have yet to ask if these restrictions reduce her class time to less than mandated hours (or days). I try to pick my battles.
It is funny that this morning I was told by a rather perturbed paraprofessional that the “change in schedule” to full days next week was my fault because I complained. My response that I did not feel I wielded such power was met with an indignant “oh yes you do.” So if she is correct, and I wield this amazing power over school schedules, I hereby declare that Pearlsky is allowed, and expected, to be in the school building during the time that other students may or may not be having exams! I further declare that that time can be used to make up therapies missed during the semester! (YES, this is mostly tongue in cheek …)
I know you will be moving on from the district soon, to much better times, and I do hope to see you before you are gone. You have been amazing in your support of Pearlsky, and tolerant of her voracious advocate of a father. You have a strong supporter here, if that can ever help, let me know.
She basically responded that we should talk. I am sure she will call me today. Note that I know other parents went as ape shit as I did and someone even called the Superintendent. No, it was not me.
So here is the question … do I tell her that last week, when I unexpectedly showed up at school around lunch time, I found my daughter in a small room with just one other person? He was the son of Pearlsky’s aide. Just the two of them. He is a high school boy, on an IEP himself, in typical classes, but he is definitely “off.” Just the two of them. When I finally found Pearlsky’s aide, she mumbled something while looking down and went right to them. This is the same aide that gave me shit yesterday morning.
What needs to be understood is that I cannot ask Pearlsky “How was school?” Have you ever asked your normal kid what happened at school? How their day was? Pearlsky tells me nothing, she can’t. She cannot tell me the day was great, she cannot tell me she was bullied, nothing. A few years back she cried every morning when I mentioned getting ready for school. Really. After about two weeks I demanded a new aide and all was fine after that. I will never know why.
It may be paranoia, but I will only complain about an aide if I know she (they only use women with Pearlsky) will be removed immediately. I don’t trust a disgruntled or castigated aide with Pearlsky’s life and well being.
I’ll let you know how the phone call goes.