Friday, April 17, 2015

Today SS reached a very special milestone.

When I registered SS for kindergarten I unknowingly made a serious mistake. I identified myself as bilingual, not knowing the label would be indiscriminately passed on to SS.  That made her an "English learner," and SS has been pulled from her classroom to get extra help learning a language she is doing very well mastering. Also kind of dumb, aren't all school age kids English learners? It is something that bothered us, and no matter how hard we tried she could not shake off that damn label.  And you better believe that if there is another child for us, I will shamelessly claim to be monolingual. 

Last year we let it go after SS's amazing teacher explained to us that it would help us when we asked for a speech evaluation (lots of monolingual kids need speech services too).  We dropped it then, until we got speech help for Sula.  This year we approached SS's teacher, who although nice, is very doom and gloom. Whenever we ask for tips on helping SS go beyond what she is learning, Mrs. R always points out how three quarters of the kids in the classroom have yet to master the skill we want to improve upon.  It's been rather frustrating, because while we do feel bad for those kids, our job is to focus on our child.  We do not want SS to just get by, we want her to perform to the best of her abilities.

It was no surprise when the teacher poo pooed on our desire to have SS rid of that ridiculous, unwarranted label.  She explained that children are tested quarterly and must achieve a score of 5 to be considered English proficient. Mrs. R added that she had yet to see a kid test out, it is a difficult test, and when kids complete fifth grade the label no longer applies; the kids simply age out. WTF? We have been very frustrated with the bureaucratic idiocy.

Today is my so called flex day off (I have been running around since I woke up at five), and I had the privilege to take SS to school, and pick her up in the afternoon.  SS is usually one of the last kids out, because girlfriend takes her time walking.  Mrs. H, the resource teacher, recognized me and asked me to go to the office after Sula came out because I needed to sign some documents. OK, color me clueless on that one.  Mrs. H excitedly told me that SS tested out of ELD. HUH? We thought it was a six year sentence? She picked up on my confusion and informed me that she has never had a kid test out, let alone a second grader.  Mrs. H has been an SS fan since kinder, and she was very excited for our little girl. Documents signed I drove off to get SS a much deserved treat.

I tested out, OH YEAH!

I had planned to take SS for a frozen lemonade but this development made the treat much more important.  Funny because I was thinking about posting on SS's language development.  The funny thing is that reading super hero stories vs. Disney crap has been to her advantage.  The language in comic books is just at a higher level than that found in one day my prince will come stories. In first grade SS was able to read the word commissioner. That word is not usually found in first grade reading, but is a staple of Batman stories. Another reason to be thankful for SS's super hero obsession.

Last week we were in the van in the morning , listening to music while waiting for the school gate to open. SS excitedly told me something rather funny.  There is a van just like ours, same year, model and color. The difference is that the other van has an advertisement for the owner's day care business on the back window.  SS told me, "Mama, I saw a van just like ours. Then I thought, IMPOSTOR!" And the girl meant it, her delivery was hilarious. 

We dropped by Baba's work to bring him a frozen lemonade and for SS to collect her kiss. Right now I'm really curious about that freaking test. I'd love to get my hands on a copy to see why it is such a juggernaut. 

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