The school hunting continues… In my previous post, I talked about the factors that I am considering when looking for the right school for Zach. Just to review, they are the following:
- Teaching Method
- Zach’s feedback/ reaction when we enter the school or after we talk with the teachers/admin
- Location (1km – 7km) away from our house as much as possible so Zach will not be bored to death going to and from the school
- Tuition fee – should be within our budget
- The school environment – if it’s child-friendly, safe and secured. For me, it is very important that I visit the schools with Zach so I can see his reaction with the environment, with the teachers and the kids.
Last month, I saw a school along Katipunan Avenue that is a progressive school (teaching method – check), has a child-friendly environment (school environment- check) and location is around 7.8km from our house (location – so, so). Although the tuition fee is higher than what we were expecting, I agreed to let Zach join their trial class to let Zach feel the environment and for me to see how they handle their students. So, I set up a trial session and we went there last March 15, 2018. The class that Zach joined is a 3-hour class that follows a routine – they have circle time, one-on-one with the teacher. snack time, story time, etc. While Zach is inside the classroom with his new friends, I stood outside peeking through a small glass window observing what he’s doing and talking to the assistant of the school. All my questions were answered and I saw that Zach had a great time. The school was also clean and childproof so overall, we liked the school a lot. After the trial class, I began re-computing finances and checking timelines. We decided to enroll Zach in this school because of all the positive feedback we received from friends (whose children also attended this school) and from the experience we had. Then on March 22nd, I received a text message from the assistant of the school inviting me for a meeting with their owner regarding Zach’s enrollment. I said to myself, this school is hands-on with their students and likes to get to know their students and the parents well to set up an appointment with each parent. And so, I set up a meeting with the owner and felt mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness as to what we will be talking about on the day of the meeting.
March 28, 2018 10:00AM – I arrived at the school 5 minutes before the scheduled meeting. The owner arrived 2-3 mins after I sat down at the lobby to wait. She invited me to seat inside one of the two (2) classrooms and closed the door gently. Small introductions then the meeting began. I provided her Zach’s medical reports, the developmental pediatrician’s recommendations and gave her a brief background of our bad experience last school year with one of the day cares near our house. To make the long meeting short, she said that Zach “needs” a shadow teacher who will focus on him and who will prompt him when the main teacher in the class gives instructions. I have the option if I want to look for the shadow teacher myself or they will find one. Take note, this shadow teacher should have SPED (Special Education) experience that costs Php15,000-18,000 monthly! If we do not agree to get a shadow teacher for Zach, the school will not allow him to enroll. After hearing this, my world crumbled. Here I am, excited to enroll Zach, planning the adjustments that we will make and the school will not allow Zach to enroll, not without a shadow teacher. I felt very disappointed (and I told the owner that I am) and hurt at the same time because I’ve been looking for a school since December last year and when I finally thought this school is the one for Zach, another problem/ issue rises.
My son has Global Developmental Delay (GDD) and we learned about this when he was 2 years and 10 months. At that time, we thought that it’s too early for him to attend therapy sessions and that he will outgrow it. “A developmental delay is often diagnosed when a child does not reach their developmental milestone when expected. Most developmental delays are not serious and usually correct themselves. And for some, there is no known cause. They can range from minor to something more significant. However, if your child does have some form of developmental delay, there are things that you can do to address it.” (https://www.adam-mila.com/developmental-delay/). Last year, we went to a developmental pediatrician again to check Zach’s progress and he still has GDD. We started with his therapy session last August 2017.
That’s the reason I carried his medical reports while school hunting so I can explain to the school his situation and the reason why I would like to enroll Zach in a progressive school. We are now under the K-12 curriculum and I am running out of time looking for a school that will accept him and help us improve his skills. Moreover, it’s already April and I wanted to enroll Zach in a Summer class so he can learn new things and focus on reading and writing. It took me a while to recover from that not-so-good meeting but I know I have to move on as time is, as I said, running out. There’s still a lot of schools that I can check and there’s a school out there for Zach, that I truly believe. We just need to continue to pray and continue the school hunting.