Thursday, August 30, 2012

Her Number One Advocate: Pre-K Open House

After much thought, prayer, consideration, etc, Colt and I decided that we would put Chyenne in pre-K at our local public school. WHY when she is doing SO great homeschooling and she is OBVIOUSLY way too advanced for pre-K?!
Well I don't have a good answer except that I agreed with Colt that IF she got a slot at the desired school with the lottery that I would agree to let her go and continue to supplement her education at home.
WELL, back in May we got a phone call stating that Chyenne's name was the number one name drawn at the lottery for the school. Hooray, right?! Ugh, I was already having second thoughts. My princess has never been away from mommy. Hmmm...but it would allow for more one-on-one time with Cohen. Also Chyenne was beyond excited to get to go to "BIG SCHOOL" like her big cousin Malaki. Great.
A week or so before school was scheduled to start, I started emailing the teacher (the one pre-k teacher at the school) about curriculum and Chyenne. Everything seemed like it would pan out quite well. The teacher IS willing to work up with Chyenne.
Well, we emailed a few times and then the teacher sent me a crazy email saying "I just received my final roster and Chyenne's name is not on it!"
UM WHAT?!?! We have been planning for MONTHS for Chyenne to go to school. We bought a new backpack with matching lunch box (and got them personalized), we bought school clothes and school shoes, we arranged a schedule with a friend for me to take her son/pick him up from the same class. We planned a "new to school" party in honor of our little princess who was preparing to head to school for the first time. I even made a "school supplies cake" with supplies that a friend and I bought for the class. We were well prepared (not really emotionally, but we'll get to that).
So I called the school. The "records clerk" was less than helpful. SHE is the one who called me IN MAY saying Chyenne was the first on the list! REALLY?! She said that "sorry we couldn't get in touch with you to finish registration". HMMM. I did finish registration and YOU confirmed that MY girl would be attending THIS SCHOOL! Furious. So I asked to speak to the principal. She was even more discourteous. Colt (wonderful Army man that he is) got on the phone and into a heated conversation with the principal who proceeded to tell him that she was "unaware of the policies and principles of the pre-k enrollement at the school"... HER SCHOOL! Isn't that HER JOB to KNOW everything about her school?! Yeah, I thought so.
We then took it to the Board of Education. They gave us the runaround, at first. STRESSFUL! Here is was FOUR days before my princess was to start school and they had apparently UNRIGHTFULLY given away HER SLOT! We were quite angry. The local board of education was surprised (to say the least) to see Colt and myself SHOW UP at the county board meeting. It's open to the public but WE were the only public. We made it known that we were very unhappy about how things went about. We were displeased with Chyenne's slot being given away without any word to us. Especially when she was the first name drawn at the lottery AND this school (title I) was in OUR home district. We HAD to get her in. Simply because we could not disappoint our sweet girl who had said nothing short of amazing things about her new elementary school. They all seemed concerned. A few board memebers even guarenteed that they would do their absolute best to ensure Chyenne got into HER class. Great.
Colt had to go out of town early the next morning for an Army school (that he is still gone to). This was Friday before school started on Tuesday, the 21st of August. I called a thousand numbers the next day, did research of the policies and principles, and emailed tons of people. I even spoke with the State Superintendent of Georgia. I was determined to be Chyenne's NUMBER ONE ADVOCATE. I would fight for her, even if nobody else seemed to care. Finally around 5pm on Friday, I was told that they would FINALLY send up a waiver to override the numbers in basically add her a slot since the SCHOOL officials specifically went AGAINST policy to remove her name from the list (which could have been a simple mistake but the school didn't own up to it). I would know by 5PM on Monday **open house was at 6pm that same day**.
The weekend was stressful waiting. Especially with Chyenne asking tons of questions like "who took my spot? Did they take my desk?" Poor baby.
Monday morning rolled around and I called and called and called. I have never used my phone so much. I kept getting "we're still waiting". Around 3PM on Monday, I got a call saying that Chyenne had been given a NEW SLOT! The waiver was approved. My baby was going to Pre-K! YAY! WE did it! We were persistent enough to stand up for our girl. Awesome.
I got the little Miss ready for Open House. I made her scrap tutu skirt and her headband. She was excited and boy did she look cute! She was thrilled to be going to big school.
Of course she posed for pictures. Adorable.
 Mommy and Chy. :)
At Open House, we filled out paper work, met the teachers, met the school officials (even those who weren't so helpful). We toured the school. Saw the classroom.
Chyenne is in the PINK PIGS class. How fitting for our little Piggy Princess. It was meant to be for her to be in that class.
It was meant to be from the time I went to register her in April (we got her piggy lunch box in the mail the very same day). She was the first name called on lottery day (coincidence, I think not). She was meant to be in the PINK PIGS class with many of her friends.
I promise you little piggy princess, mommy will ALWAYS be your number one advocate. Mommy and Daddy will ALWAYS do what is in YOUR best interest. We will ALWAYS fight for you. You deserve that and so much more. We love you!

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