Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Roller Coaster Ride of a Day

What a roller coaster ride of ups and downs I've had today!

I originally planned to post a few humorous misadventures I had while redecorating the kid's room this past weekend, but none of that seems worthy of sharing at the moment.

In spite of being the household disaster waiting to happen that I am, I managed to complete the job 30 minutes before the kid was due to return home. She was rendered speechless for quite the while after viewing the change. She finally found a few words when I tucked her in last night.
"I can't believe you painted my room purple. You don't like purple. I can't believe everybody knew about it but me."

The important thing is every moment, no matter how bad, was worth it, because I was rewarded with her happiness.

Aside from the personal messages of encouragement I received regarding my last post, Missy & Amy, you've made me glad I stopped in here tonight. Thank you for your much-needed kind words!

Amy. Wow! The Proctors should definitely be proud of their giving spirit...I know I am!

I picked the kid up from school today and was greeted by one of her teachers, who stopped me just to tell me what a good child she was. I drove away feeling as if I had received one of the most prestigious awards possible.

I had to take the kid for what I thought was a routine eye exam. The routine exam developed into 90 minutes of testing and a referral to her pediatrician for further testing due to a swollen optic nerve.

She's scared. I'm scared, and worried, too. I have to admit that this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with... making every effort to dissuade her fears in spite of my own.

Please say a little prayer for us both.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Choice IS an Option, After All

My day at work began with a phone call from the Principal of Manning Elementary School.

When we spoke yesterday, he was adamant that both his and the Superintendent's interpretation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 were correct; that choice of schools was not an option for students of Manning Elementary School and Clarendon School District spite of my reminder that, being the legal field, I was very familiar with "interpretation of the law".

Today, however, he confessed misinterpretation of the law, voiced regret over the release of the letter, and assured me that corrective measures were being taken.

I admit being knocked down by our first conversation. I had spent hours researching the law, and though I was certain of the facts, I was initially defeated by the response to my inquiries. It was, after all, not my fight.

I was tempted to leave the fight for those with a cause, but then I was reminded, if I tell that kid of mine to stand up for what she believes in; to never stop trying, then I would be a poor example should I not do the same. So, I promptly picked myself up, brushed my bottom off, posted to this site, proceeded with even more research, and drafted a letter to the South Carolina Department of Education (which, by the way, has not been mailed yet, due to the phone call).

I'm glad I didn't quit. Maybe, just maybe, I've made a difference to a parent and a child who will benefit from my efforts.

I'll keep an eye on things, just in case!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"Choice is Not an Option"

I'll preface this post by stating that I am pleased with the education offered my child; however, I know that there are many children whose needs are not being met, and I have to question the content of a letter I received yesterday from our Superintendent.

I'll not bother with relating my rejected inquiries into this matter.

The letter read, in part:

"On August 2, 2004, the South Carolina State Department of Education notified us of the preliminary Title I school improvement list. Manning Elementary School has been identified as a school which is required to offer public school choice for this school year. A school is identified as in need of improvement upon a school not meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years.

Due to the grade span and school configuration of Clarendon School District Two, choice is not an option. Manning Elementary School is the only school within the district serving students in grades four through six."

Choice is not an option??? I think not:

"What action can parents take if their school or district does not
offer school choice to their child who is eligible?

Schools and districts receiving Title I funds must provide choice for eligible students as described above. If they do not, parents are encouraged to contact their state department of education."

My concerns are with the parents who are not aware of their choices, and are therefore misled by the content (or lack thereof) of the letter.

There may be times when the battle is not yours to fight, but is indeed yours to defend.

A Soldier's Thank You

The following reminds us all that our support of deployed military members, their friends and their families means so much more we know.

Ways to show your support:

Monday, August 16, 2004

And So It Begins...

...the bend in the branch that impedes the flow of the waters.