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  #1  
February 1st, 2012, 10:41 AM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Jonah started preschool this week. I am so on the fence about whether or not this is the right decision for him. He seems to be having fun. They are learning about groundhog day, and on Monday I asked him if he made a new friend. He said "Yes, Phil!" then I asked him what they read a story about, and he said phil. Then I asked him if he did art, and he said they colored PHIL. I thought he just really liked his new friend, Phil! When he came home yesterday with a groundhog hat, I realized that he had been talking about Punxatawney Phil, the groundhog, not a little friend at school!!!

The class size seems big. There are 7 special ed kids (incuding Jonah) and 18 typical kids. Which, I guess is no bigger than the preschool class that I worked in, but compared to the co-ops and other options we were looking into it feels like a lot of kids.

I have pictures of his first day, but I have no idea how to get them from my phone to my laptop, except via facebook!
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  #2  
February 1st, 2012, 11:38 AM
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I am sure he will do awesome.
how many aides/teachers are there?
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  #3  
February 1st, 2012, 01:12 PM
doremi's Avatar Team Blue Mama of Two
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I was going to ask exactly the same thing Michele did. Whether or not that class is too big depends entirely on how many teachers/aides are in the room. I'm glad he had a good time, and hopefully this will be a really good experience for him!
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  #4  
February 1st, 2012, 02:35 PM
Ninky's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm also wondering about the teachers/aids.

Robin goes to preschool at the YMCA. There are 9 kids total, with 2 teachers and a parent volunteer. She's learned SOOOOOO much since she started going. And she's seriously BFF's with the 1 other girl in her class. There's also another boy she seems to like alot too.

She only goes 2 days a week, but signups for next year start on Monday and I'm going to try to get her in the MWF class. She loves it so much!
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  #5  
February 1st, 2012, 07:13 PM
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So cute about Phil! I'm sure he's going to do great there!
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  #6  
February 1st, 2012, 07:23 PM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There is one teacher who has a masters in special education, and one teacher's aid. But, that being said, there seem to be a lot more adults involved in the classroom. Every time I go to the school, there is a new adult with the class. It drives me crazy that I don't know everyone involved with Jonah's care. I haven't met the speech therapist yet either, and that really makes me anxious.

It also bothers me that I know NOTHING about his day there, other than the short snippits that he feels like telling me. I know they have been doing ground hog day activities, but usually when I ask him what they did he gives this crazy laugh, or he tells me he wants popcorn (I have no clue...) As far as behavior goes, I get a sheet that either has a sticker or no sticker- sticker means he behaved well, no sticker means he did something not-so-good. No explanation....

Maybe it's because I am a huge control freak, but I just want to be more involved with my child's education. I at least want to know what he did that day, what he enjoyed, what he might have had difficulty with.. I don't even get to see his classroom (I did on his first day) because it is like "McPreschool." I drive up to the door, the aid comes and gets him out of his seat... I pull up to the door in the afternoon and the teacher brings him out to me (I put him in the seat because I am weird about other people fastening him into the car seat.) I'm sure these are normal separation feelings for a mom, but it just makes me so sad that there is ten hours of his week that I know nothing about!

There, I got it all off my chest.
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  #7  
February 1st, 2012, 07:56 PM
hollywoodmama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I would ask to go in and see what the day is like. My son's preschool is open door policy for parents. I walk him to class every morning, chat with the teacher and other parents. Then I pick him up at his classroom when it's time to leave. I can stop in any time I want and hang out in the office or look through the window of his class to see what he's doing. I can even go sit in his class if I wanted to. We also get a weekly schedule so we know what they are learning about and playing in class. I spend a lot of time talking with his teacher. I understand how you feel uneasy about not knowing what he is doing and what's going on there. Do they have cameras that maybe you can watch on computer/tv to observe? Maybe you can ask for the teacher to send you a quick note home or an email at the end of the week to explain what they did in class and how your son was. I truly don't think your concerns have anything to do with being a control freak. Who wouldn't want to know what their child is doing and who they are with when not with you? Talk to the teacher and see if you can be more involved in any way....you will feel better!!! Good luck.
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  #8  
February 1st, 2012, 11:01 PM
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Great suggestions! I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing so little about my child's day either. If you DO ask to come into the classroom and they say no, that would be a HUGE red flag for me. It seems strange to me that if they are going to have it structured so that the parents really aren't involved, that there isn't more written communication with the parents about what is being taught, what the typical schedule for the day is, etc. I know at the preschool where Josiah is going to attend, they have the schedule for a typical day broken down on their website, and each teacher sends home regular newsletters to the parents telling them what they are doing in class.
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  #9  
February 2nd, 2012, 06:54 AM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I will ask if I can stay for a bit on Monday.

I did get a calendar yesterday for the month of February, but it only tells me what letter each week focuses on, what days the kids have off, and there are a few activities that I have NO idea what they are! We still have to review his IEP so I can bring up my concerns then, as well. Maybe because most of the other kids communicate better, they haven't HAD to be so specific?I don't know. The preschool I worked at had an open door policy for parents as well. I took the time to talk to each parent at either pick up or drop off, and tried to note at least one positive thing the child did or enjoyed, especially if there was any negative behavior to be discussed. So far all the teacher has told me is that he "wants what he wants" and has a hard time transitioning from one activity to the next. And he had a cupcake yesterday. I know that because he had it all over his face (another pet peeve of mine... um, help him wipe his face after snack, maybe?)

I'll try to up the communication with the teacher though, maybe that is all that needs to be done. She might just not realize that I feel this way, actually!
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  #10  
February 2nd, 2012, 09:15 AM
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The preschool we are putting Lily in has an open door policy as well. Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable if I couldn't see what was going on when I wanted. They also have daily schedules posted outside the rooms, weekly and monthly schedules that go home to the parents, etc. The schedules are quite detailed as well.
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  #11  
February 2nd, 2012, 09:56 AM
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I wonder about the student/teacher ratio. One teacher and one aide doesn't really seem like enough. Are the other adults parent volunteers? I believe the student/teacher ratio is different for special ed and typical kids, and it's also higher when they're younger.

I would definitely ask about observing one day. We can do that in Sean's school. They also have a notebook that they write in every day to tell us about what he's doing, and I write in it and tell about what he's doing at home. Sean's class is learning about Groundhog Day, too! He asked the teacher to make a copy of the story they were reading about the groundhog looking for his shadow, so she sent a copy home! He loves it!
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  #12  
February 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I'm confused on the total class size - so there are 25 total students (special ed + others) and just one teacher and one aide normally? To me, that sounds like a lot. The school Lily is hopefully going to has a 1 to 8 ratio, so her class is 16 kids maximum and 2-3 teachers for that class at all times.
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  #13  
February 2nd, 2012, 10:37 AM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Shelley, that is right. I believe the ratio for three year olds is 12 to one, so maybe the other people in the class are floating aids and the aid that I met was the permanent? Or I might have gotten the numbers wrong because now that I think about it, the maximum group number for Ohio is 24 as well. That would make sense if there were 24 kids, Jonah filling up the last spot, because we had to wait for an opening. I do remember that she said there are SEVEN with an IEP because she said she is allowed to have eight in the same classroom. Maybe she said 17 and not 18. But, as I said above when I worked in the three year olds class, I had about 24 kids, and it was just me and another teacher. So I think that is about what I'll find around here.

I'm definitely going to ask to observe. I don't know what I will do with Evie during that time, maybe my dad can watch her.
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Last edited by Effervescence; February 2nd, 2012 at 10:40 AM.
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  #14  
February 2nd, 2012, 11:57 AM
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I hope they let you observe! Maybe they will let you bring Evie, I know the parent co-op near us is open to that (they allow siblings on days parents are in the classroom).

A few months ago, I enrolled the girls in a preschool which didn't allow parents. They said parents were too distracting for the kids, that there were security issues with letting parents in and out. Which I understand, but still I felt uncomfortable not knowing what was going on, and the kids didn't enjoy that particular preschool, even though it was only once/week for 3 hours. There was no way to know what was going on, other than a handout describing books/activities they were planning that day. It was a large class, maybe 25 kids, and two teachers only.

The new preschool the girls will attend this summer/fall is not like this. If you want to come observe, you are welcome, though they do discourage visiting often because they find it's disruptive for a strange adult to be there, since it's not a co-op and the kids aren't used to it. The class of 15-20 kids is broken into three groups, each led by an adult teaching a different "class" - art, reading/phonics, math/science. They are only all together during recess/play time. I personally feel this structure is better for my kids, because they tend to be insecure in big groups, and are much more outgoing in smaller groups.
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  #15  
February 2nd, 2012, 10:57 PM
doremi's Avatar Team Blue Mama of Two
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Lisa, I'm glad you found a preschool that is going to be a better fit for your girls! Jess, I think you'll have a much better pulse on the preschool Jonah is at once you've observed and had a bit of a heart to heart with the teacher. If she blows you off or acts like your expectations are unrealistic, then I'd be concerned. But, the chances are good that by you taking the initiative to open the communication between you, you guys will be able to find a way to make everybody happy. Good luck!
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