Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who knew kindergarten would have such a steep learning curve.

We are halfway through the second week, and still trying to get our bearings with school. SS has exceeded our expectations with her morning and evening routines. She gets annoyed when asked to change out of her school clothes as soon as we arrive home. Can't blame her because it is something new, she remained in whatever she wore to preschool before. What is turning out to be a pain in the neck is the lack of communication.

SS was not supposed to receive homework for the first two weeks of school. At least that is what was said during orientation. When SS arrived with work in her backpack it made us wonder. I sent Mrs. V-P a note asking if SS was not finishing her work in the classroom, since it is something we wanted to address immediately, or was it homework. The first day of school I told the teacher that SS uses three sided pencils due to her tiny hands and lack of dexterity, and that she had three in her backpack. Pencils were unused, so I added a request for her or the assistant to please remind SS. That afternoon the homework/classwork/extra credit/whatever was not in SS's backpack, but there was no note either.

On Monday SS came home with work and a note. It requested that we had SS finish the work, as she did not get to start, because she was pulled out of the classroom for testing. That was the end of the note. What kind of testing? Why weren't we informed? Would it have taken that much time to include why was SS being tested? I waited for P's opinion before venting my annoyance, perhaps I was being too judgmental. Turns out he seemed more annoyed than I.

The next day I talked to K's and E's moms, and E was pulled out for testing and her mom was also wondering why. Mrs. V-P usually has a lot of parents crowding her, and we had tried to respect her need to get the kids into the classroom ASAP. But I just had to ask, and it turns out that SS and E (along with the majority of their classmates) were tested for English proficiency. I thought that is what the assessment prior to enrollment in the program covered. This testing is state mandated when there is more than one language spoken in the home. Now, with a class of at least 95% Spanish speaking children, why not have a flier explaining this, make copies, and keep the parents informed.
Someone pointed out that teachers are accustomed to indifference from parents. That's not us, we do not appreciate being uninformed about our child.

Yesterday evening we received the second automated message (or robocall) reminding us that today was a minimum school day.  For the second week it stated that AM kindergarten would be out at 12:40. SS's class ends at 12:30, but on minimum days it runs 10 minutes longer?  We also received a reminder from Mrs. V-P to return the blue book sent home to collect our signatures. What blue book? Thankfully the other moms were as confused, so I bit the bullet and approached Mrs V-P again. I so do not want to become "that parent," but what the heck. She was surprised at the 12:40 time, said it was maybe a mistake, and we should check with the office.  Then curiosity got the best of her, and she decided to ask herself. She came out of the office with a rather funny expression, as in stunned, and on the verge of teed off. She had just been informed of the release time on minimum days, and it was indeed 12:40. We have worked in some pretty messed up places, but we have always been aware when we are expected to begin and end our workday.  The other immersion teacher was not pleased, and was not shy about letting everyone there now. OK, that part was amusing, but I probably would have been upset as well. Back to school night is August 27 or 28, depending on whether you believe the Power Point presentation during orientation, or what the teachers say now.  Not that it matters to us, because we do no get to attend, since we already attended orientation before school began. Initially P was disappointed because he would have liked to see SS's classroom, and touch base with the teacher.  Now he is upset about not getting to ask what the heck is going on.  We are seriously doubting that SS is in kindergarten, we are convinced SS joined a cult, perhaps she is now a Scientologist, Tom Cruise is the Grand Thetan, pulling the strings, and keeping us in the dark. 

Getting serious with K about her need for space.

SS did a great job helping make dinner, Rolled Pesto Lasagna.  Not a recipe that will ever be featured in any healthy eating or diet book. SS helped mix the spread the filling, ricotta, Monterey Jack, spices and garlic.

This was SS's first time doing this, and she did such an amazing job, given her small hands.  SS rolled more than half of the rolls.

She then carefully placed them in the baking dish.

Next step was adding whipping cream to the pesto we made earlier.


A good chef always tastes her food.

Pour over the rolls, then allow Mama to place in the oven.

Carb loading while waiting.

And thirty-five minutes later we were finally done. It took longer than usual, but SS was very proud of her role in making dinner.

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