Monday, August 20, 2012

Ready for School

Last Thursday was a marathon day of school registration.  Chip and Annie will be returning to King Academy, Marquel at Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, and Charlie at our school in Bulverde

King Academy is an elementary and middle school combined.  It has been good for the girls because they can be with the same students and teachers through 8th grade.  For kids who have had so much trauma and uncertainty in their lives, the safety and stability of this type of setting has been good for their security.

At the high school, Marquel and I had the opportunity to sit down with the director of the magnet school which is located in the same building.  "New Tech" is a new concept in magnet schools, and we were able to have a lengthy conversation with the director.  He explained to Marquel that even though their fields of emphasis may not be what she continues with in college, it is a college prep program and she will have the opportunity gain some college credits.   They will also spend a considerable amount of time working on character development, studying book such as "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens". 

I was thrilled when Marquel said she would sign up for the program.  The magnet school classes will be in a different wing of the school, where she will be surrounded by kids who are serious about learning, with teachers who are extra dedicated to their students and helping them succeed.  The curriculum is more hands on, which will be good for Marquel.  It felt good to be able to visit with the director of the program, explain Marquel's background and needs, and know I had a contact person who was genuinely interested in each student.

I was also glad that Marquel had balked a little at purchasing the typical khaki pants, which is the uniform for San Antonio ISD.  In the magnet program she will be required to wear black pants, white polo shirts, and they will have "wear your favorite college t-shirt" and "wear your favorite sport t-shirt" days.  I will take her shopping one day this week for her new uniform clothes.

At King Academy I was able to sit down with the Communities in Schools counselor and begin to formulate a plan for Annie to help her succeed.  This is an awesome organization and we have relied on them heavily for help with school supplies for the kids.  If you see one of donations sites for "Stuff the Bus", please consider donating school supplies or money.  They have provided an invaluable source of counseling and support for the kids.

Because Annie will be involved in after-school sports, I signed Chip up for the after-school program run by the Boys and Girls Club.  The director is very dedicated to helping kids with their homework, which is great because Mr. Thornton has too many other things on his mind in the evenings.  It also gives Chip a little extra social time with kids his age.

Charlie is not ready for school to start.  He even told me he would prefer to stay home and do home school!  (Unfortunately, I do not feel "smarter than a 5th grader" and not sure I could accomplish this!)  I was surprised because he loves to be with his friends, but it made sense in that he is feeling more comfortable with us and wants to catch up on the "mom and me" time that he missed out on.  We have met his new behavior teacher and are encouraged by his dedication and willingness to listen to our ideas and concerns.

Over the past 7 years we have truly learned the meaning of "it takes a village to raise a child". We thank all of you who have helped the kids get the clothes, shoes and supplies they need to have a good start to school this fall - we couldn't do it without you!

Until next time. . .

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