Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘education’

My son finishes work early.  He has a para that takes him out to the library when he’s done, so as to not disturb the class.  He spends a lot of time there.

He has a Kindle, so he has plenty to read at all times. The school itself (Washington Middle School in Dubuque) has kindles to loan out to students, too.  

His para, for whatever reason, thinks that Kindles are a disgrace.  She first banned him from reading whatever he wanted on it, even though he reads adult science books, and Greek classics.  He could only read what was assigned in school.

Then she decided that was unacceptable.  On Friday, she ripped it out of his hands, went to the shelves, found the book he was reading, and threw it down in front of him.  For whatever reason, she would not allow him to read it on the Kindle.

It is bad enough they wouldn’t put him in gifted classes because he has a learning disability (dysgraphia, cannot write legibly), but now to discourage reading advanced books, and only read school books on paper? What is wrong with this place?

We’re taking him out of school after this year, and using the virtual public school until we move out of Dubuque. When you have staff acting against the child’s best interests, you need to pull your child out.  This is just the latest in a string of incidents with this woman, and it’s the last straw.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

We finally got Ted an iPad, primarily for use as an AAC device, but we knew there were other apps out there that might be useful.  We’ve found autism related apps, educational apps, some really fun apps for rewards, and lots of communication apps.  We also found a fantastic case for it, too!

It’s a shame that insurance does not cover these. An AAC device starts at around 3k.  An iPad with a good case, good AAC software, and some other apps? About 1k.  But the insurance would rather pay 3k and up, because those devices are for communication only.  Heaven forbid someone has something that can be used for things other than the intended purpose. They’d rather throw money away. No wonder premiums are so high.  Insurance companies will not use common sense when it comes to deciding what to pay, and what not to pay.

I hope to be reviewing some of the apps we’re using.  The whole experience is a real game changer. It’s made an impressive difference in my son’s life.

Read Full Post »

I think I posted a while back about the nonsense they presented as sex ed to my daughter.  False information about condoms, and made the girls responsible for everything, like they were dirty whores, and if they should get pregnant, they should give it up.  Sounded like a plan to get more cute white babies for adoption, to be honest.  (Another pro-life organization in Dubuque is very good at getting help for women who want to continue their pregnancy, and I respect them for that.)

Well now, on 105.3, they ran a radio ad where they said RU-486 was the Morning After Pill, and that you should come to THEM for the truth.

I’m checking with the FCC about filing a complaint (filled one out on the website), and anywhere else that handles lying during advertising.  And to think the Dubuque Community Schools financially supports them in their endeavors.

They lied to our children and now they are lying to us.  This HAS to stop.

Read Full Post »

They changed the pick up point for my youngest; he now gets picked up in front of the house, not across the street.  So today I got to see him as the bus pulled away.  He looked at me briefly as they buckled him in, and then looked straight ahead. The thing about a non verbal kid is it is harder to know what they are thinking — as if people weren’t vague enough about their thoughts.  I wondered what he thinks about school. I know he seems to enjoy going.  Does he have any idea at all what the purpose is?  I’m really not sure, and leaning towards “no”. Every year the local newspaper, the Telegraph Herald asks the incoming kindergarten students what they want to be when they grow up.  There are all sorts of answers. Ballerinas and cowboys and doctors and singers and dancers and mechanics and truck drivers and babysitters andteachers and astronauts and anything a little kid can imagine. I wonder what my son would answer, if he could.  I know what I would want him to answer.  Independent. And that is what life is like with a kid like mine. Your dreams change. Your expectations are in a sense lowered. (But raised because you are aware of how hard each task is.)  When nothing but the finest schools and a doctorate in their chosen profession is just about shot down in flames when the prognosis is “I don’t know” for so many issues.  It’s not so bad, really.  Still, days like today, independence seems like such a great dream, but the thought that even independence may not be possible? That’s what can really hurt. By the way, his bus isn’t short, but it is chock full of kids who may face the same future as my son. Some more independent than others.  Think about that the next time you make a ‘short bus’ joke. About the parents that put their kids on that bus, and take them off the bus, if you don’t have the decency to think about the children because you think of them as less than human.  Think about me.

Read Full Post »

I knew that it would happen in steps. Today, I heard of the deaths of two residents from where my first clinical experience in school was.  I didn’t witness it, but it was the first time that someone I had some responsibility for, even in a very limited manner, has died.

I’m analying/overanalyizing my reaction.  I was very worried about it, selfishly. After some volunteer work a number of years ago, I saw a rape victim in the ER I was in.  It really rattled me for a while.  So I was concerned that with each step like this, with each stage, (like the first time I did anything with a hospice patient) I’d back down. I’d decide that nursing wasn’t for me.

But I felt sadness, and fond memories.  I found out through the obituary that a name that one resident would say all the time was actually a special relative to her. That made me smile, because it meant even though the fog of dementia, there was still someone from before that touched her so deeply, it stayed.  That spoke to me a lot about the human condition, and the power we all have to touch people.  Who will I remember? Who will remember me?

And it was nice to talk to family members a bit about this. They knew who I was talking about, and could share in my bit of sadness. The thought of that ripple, of people even from the fringes of your life, thinking about your passing and remembering you.

Anyway, my reaction was not what I expected. I found myself thinking, “Did I do enough? Did I make the last days of their life more pleasant? Or was I a burden? Did I rush too much? Was I impatient? Or did I pick up on their non verbal cues and give them what they needed to be as happy as they could be?”

I’d like to think that I was a positive part of their life, or at least neutral. I’d hate to think that I was part of what was sad about the end.  And I have to focus on that, throughout my career. Am I doing enough? Am I making their life better, or worse?

And I hope to constantly check my feelings, like this. I want to be good, and I don’t want to burn out. So, lots of navel gazing for me.

And goodbye to my friends, both in their 90s, who I was just a small blip in their long, long lives.  They touched me.

Read Full Post »

To be green, they’re going to have to change a few things. Despite all the mayor’s crowing about it, policies keep Dubuque from being as eco friendly as they like to make believe they are.

Let’s take, for example, the public school transportation system.  Right now you must live in the zone for the school AND live more than two miles away.  What kind of system expects a child to walk nearly 4 miles a day, in a place where sub zero temperatures are not unheard of?  Furthermore, as Dubuque is not a walker-focused city, a child walking to school is in very real danger of getting hurt. The light on 22nd and Central, for example, is green for a few seconds. Running does not get you across fast enough. A person should be able to walk, not run, across the street.  Who doesn’t drive? Many elderly and children. Short lights are a danger to them.

If you don’t walk, you can take public transportation. It’s free for children, which is fantastic, but the schedule does not match up with the school schedules. Furthermore, the public transportation ends so early that a child cannot go to a job or an activity after school. No wonder all the high school kids drive!  Some schools don’t even have transportation nearby. If you go to Roosevelt MS, if you miss the school bus, or the city bus, it is a $20 cab ride from the end of its zone.  This is insanity.  Zoning kids from at least 4 miles away when there are schools that are closer? Why?  To ensure they can’t participate in activities? To isolate them from their community?

Then there is RTA. RTA is around $35 a week. This is a huge expense for a family who uses it, especially if more than one child uses it.  They aren’t private rides, for a subsidized government transportation option, it sure is expensive!

Lastly is the most common option. The kid arrives in private car. Either a parent drives them, or they drive if they are old enough.  The most common way to arrive to school is by car. This is not green. This is not eco friendly. This is not the way things should be.

Lower the RTA price. Make the range smaller for school busses. The busses are out already. They are a good way to get a number of students to school without clogging the roads with private cars or the air with exhaust.  Consider expanding public transportation in Dubuque. Anything to lower the amount of cars on the road because of some ridiculous cutoff regarding which children can use a yellow school bus.

Read Full Post »

I love that kids get recess here. I love that they go outside and play as long as it is above 20f.  Snowpants and boots are required, but that’s ok.

Back in Brooklyn, once it was a bit below freezing, or if there was snow, kids stayed inside. They’d watch a movie, or huddle in the gym.

Better for the health of the children, and the sanity of the adults, to have kids run off some energy and get some fresh air.  A lot can be said for the simple act of having recess. More schools should do this. And schools like this are one of the reasons I can’t see ever returning to NYC.  My children.

Read Full Post »