Rolf and I sat behind the kids in church this morning and at one point I was overwhelmed by this fabulously normal image…the kids sitting together, messing around at times and having to be told to be quiet and focus (Rudy especially!). I admit I had a hard time focusing on the pulpit myself as I soaked in this moment. Rudy is becoming such a big boy…
I shared with you on June 1st that Rudy graduated from the Bear Club (his preschool class) on May 31st but he still had 4 weeks of summer school with teacher Dianne and friends to look forward to. Sadly, Friday was Rudy’s last day of summer school so we had to say our final goodbyes. When we think about where Rudy was at when he started school in October of 2011, it’s nothing short of a miracle to see how far he has come. Rudy’s teacher communicated with us earlier this spring that she felt Rudy had exhausted all they could offer him at the Bear Club and so we began a dialogue with the Goleta Unified School District about bringing him back to our district in the fall. You may recall that Rudy was sent to the Bear Club (a SB County special ed program) initially because our district wasn’t certified for non-ambulatory students at the preschool level. GUSD can, however, accommodate a child with Rudy’s needs at the primary level and so a switch to Goleta is the natural next step. The special ed classrooms scattered throughout our district will be seeing some changes next fall and so Rudy’s permanent placement won’t be determined this coming year…he’ll have a transitional year to give the new special ed classrooms and site changes a chance to establish themselves. Since Rudy will likely need two years of Kindergarten anyway, I’m okay with it and I’m hoping this transitional year will allow for a special request.
For many reasons, I’ve asked the district to allow Rudy the opportunity to go to our neighborhood school, La Patera, for his first year of Kindergarten. Olivia will be in 6th grade at La Patera this year and so she and Rudy have this one opportunity to overlap and have a shared school experience. Although La Patera doesn’t have a special ed program per se, it is a very familiar place for Rudy and he is well known there. I don’t expect La Patera would be a permanent placement for Rudy but I do think a year at La Patera would be GREAT for Rudy, for the typical kids that would be in his classroom and for his big sister who would be “over the moon” and so very proud to go to school with her little brother. As it stands now, the district has suggested (but not made any promises) a blended schedule where Rudy would be placed in a special ed classroom located at the district office campus and then possibly spend a couple of days each week at La Patera. I appreciate the district’s willingness to compromise but nothing is set in stone yet and decisions won’t be finalized until his annual IEP meeting in late September. Will you join me in praying that the details would work out for Rudy’s placement at La Patera? When you look at the big picture, no matter how you slice it, our family will need to be committed to supplementing Rudy’s education by creating an appropriate balance of mainstream experiences and special services to help him achieve his goals. Because the circumstances within our district this coming school year seem to put Rudy in a bit of educational limbo anyway, it just feels right to allow him and our family this opportunity to fully engage with the La Patera community of families and staff who we love so much. What a special chapter that would be for us all!!!
Rudy’s last week of summer school was also a full week for our family which included time with old friends Dave and Zane visiting from China…
And, the SBRM graduation dinners and celebration…always a special highlight for our family!
A not-so-fun summer detail is Rolf’s knee injury that occurred two weeks ago…the ER doc and ortho first diagnosed Rolf’s injury as a torn ACL but it was determined this past week through a MRI that it’s not the ACL…it’s potentially a torn tendon…not a good thing. The ortho ordered a second MRI on Friday and we’ll hopefully know for sure tomorrow. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for THIS Wednesday. Rolf has been a trooper but he’s in quite a bit of pain and is moving pretty slow. We sure would appreciate your prayers…for a successful repair, a full recovery (from what we’ve been told, it’s a 9-month recovery) and for GRACE as we adjust to having another “differently abled” member of the family…:)…once again, we’re needing to adjust!
We’ll keep you posted!! Thank you dear friends!!