School has been such a headache this year. Let me recap:
When we arrived, I went to the school in our district and enrolled Thing1. I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, including medical forms. When I turned it all in, the secretary said it would be flagged and the nurse and teacher would be contacting me before school started to go over Thing1’s medical issues.
Meanwhile, I spent a month trying to get Thing2 registered. He was enrolled in a developmental preschool with an IEP in place back home. He has some pretty significant delays and needs the extra help. It was a royal pain in the a** trying to get him enrolled out here. First they were out of the office. Then they tried to talk me into putting him in Head Start. It is off post with no transportation, so I would have had to drop him off and pick him up every day off post. I said no. Finally, they gave me what I wanted and enrolled him in the developmental preschool program at an elementary school on post. I found out about 3 days before school started that he was finally enrolled.
At that time, I still had not heard from the nurse or Thing1’s teacher. His school had an open house the day before school started, so we went and I spoke with the teacher for a minute. She had just been informed that she had a child with a heart condition and knew nothing about it. She also did not seem at all concerned. Needless to say, I was a VERY nervous mom. Add in the fact that his school was older and had no air conditioning, so I worried about how he would handle the heat.
On Sept. 7, he started school. At about 5 that evening, after his first day of school, the nurse finally called me. She informed me that there is no nurse at his school. EVER. There is not one with regular hours, no one who drops in from time to time, nothing. And none of the schools have AED machines in them either. Would I feel more comfortable with him at a school with a nurse? Armydad and I discussed it and decided we would feel better with him at a different school. I called the nurse back and told her. So, she told me to go in and register him at a different school on post (the one where Thing2’s preschool is located.) I went in the following day to register him and was told they did not know what I was talking about. I had explained to Thing1 on the way there what was going on and that we were switching schools so that if he got short of breath there would be a nurse there to check on him.
Because the new school did not know what I was talking about, Thing1 had to go to the original school that day. I had to peel him off of my crying when I dropped him off. He was terrified that he would get out of breath and no one would know what to do. That was the hardest day of school he and I have encountered yet. I finally called the nurse again on the 12th to ask if they were able to get the switch taken care of. She informed me it had been handled a couple days ago. No one called to let me know? So, I rushed in to the new school and got him registered so he could start the following day.
Here is a quick recap of Thing1’s start of the school year: He attended the original school on Sept. 7. Tried to switch on the 8th with no luck, so went back to original on 8th and 9th. Did not go to school on the 12th and started the new school on the 13th then had to miss on the 14th because he had a cardiology appointment. Can you imagine how stressful this was for a kindergartener? And his mama?
In the end all of the hassle was worth it. Both boys are at the same school and go at the same time which makes it easy for the mama. (And convenient for scheduling appointments for myself!) And Thing1 ended up with a phenomenal teacher! I also love the nurses that are full time on staff at this school. They understand the gravity of his condition. It was a pain, but it worked out.