Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Traumatic Tooth Losses

Tonight, I pulled out one of Charley's teeth.  This one has been loose for a month or so - perhaps longer. 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Denise's talk, Oregon School District 509J

Denise spoke in church today. She did a really great job (what I saw of it). We sat on the second row so the kids would be close to Denise when she spoke. This seemed to help when I gave my talk in church a few months ago. Denise and I had enlisted the help of one of the couples (the Glassman's) in the ward that now has only one child left in high school for help with the children, should the need arise. Denise sat with the family until it was time for her to give her talk, at which time, she passed Ben to me, and went up to the podium. Reid Glassman handed Ben as plastic toy alligator that had a light inside that would glow when squeezed. Sam saw it and wanted his turn. I told him no, so he instantly turned to Denise, now a few minutes into her talk to appeal my ruling. He began shouting "Mom, Mom, Mom!", waiting for her to respond. Knowing Sam, I quickly picked him up and moved him out of the room. I was able to return a few minutes later, when one of our neighbors volunteered to take Sam for a walk so I could listen to the remainder of the talk.

The real big news in our house these days is the formal complaint Denise and I have filed because of the kindergarten policy at our local elementary school. When Charly attended, she was in a class of 27 students (large for kindergarten) and attended 5 half-day sessions each week. There was also a 3-day all-day option or a 5-day all-day option, but only the half-day option was free. The other two options had monthly fees attached. For whatever reason the district deemed necessary, they appear to have squeezed out Gail Gerdemann (Charley's teacher), and eliminated the 5-day half-day option.

We have neighbors who have a daughter in kindergarten this year. When she asked about kindergarten she was told the only options were the full-day options, with the monthly fees attached. Those who could not afford the fee could apply for a partial scholarship. Those who could still not afford the fee could enlist their students in the 3-day full-day option, and pull their student out during the lunch break on the third day. When she asked if the students would be allowed extra time to make up the missed instruction, she was told that they could not.

We have filed a complaint on Friday to Corvallis School District to reinstate free kindergarten.

Denise has been in contact with two local newspaper reporters (one happened to be a parent at one of Joseph's play dates), who are going to jump on this pretty quickly. I've been in e-mail contact with the Oregon Department of Education, who led me to a clause in the Oregon Administrative Rules that pretty clearly states that each school district in Oregon must offer free kindergarten to all students in the district. Even if we give the district the benefit of the doubt, they are still walking a really fine line.

We'll see how things play out.