Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Failure to Communicate

School ended last Friday. I sent her to school with an extra bag, anticipating that she'd have a pile of year-end stuff that accumulates in lockers, as well as her gym shoes and lock. She came home with nothing other than the usual things.

I emailed her teacher that afternoon, asking about the shoes and lock in particular. No reply, and she's typically very good about that. I'm guessing she was either not present that day, or left immediately on vacation.

I emailed the school secretary on Monday (yesterday) and received this reply:
The PE lockers are now being cleaned out...those items will end up in our office by week's end.  Why don't you give me a call on Friday, and I can let you know if we have those items yet.  The lock will be destroyed, however, since it will be cut off.
Frankly, now I'm a little pissed off. The lock, the gym shoes (hard to find with elastic instead of laces), those cost money to replace, and there was no need to replace them. As far as I'm concerned, someone on their end screwed up, not making sure my child (who has communication issues) didn't clear her locker out -- no one verified that she had her shoes and lock? No one made sure she cleared her locker? Obviously not.

I understand that they want their special needs kids to become more and more self-sufficient, but in this case, what they've done is cost a family money. And while replacing those things isn't an enormous hardship for us, what about other families who aren't in the same position? This is negligence and laziness, and I'm not terribly happy about it.

Obviously, at the next meeting I have with the team, I'm going to need to bring this up. Her backpack isn't consistently checked, so we need to work with Diana on both ends about making sure the adults get what they need. I don't want her to have a full-time aide, following behind her to make sure she's gotten everything, but there needs to be some double-checking on that end, because I can't do it from here. I do not want an adversarial relationship with the school, but this kind of thing needs to stop.

UPDATE: The secretary called to say they'd finished clearing the gym lockers and if we wanted we could come dig through seven bags of stuff. (She also advised rubber gloves... ew.) So we went to the school, looked through four bags of shoes and came up empty-handed. We started to get in the car, and I thought maybe they'd let us check her school locker. They did, and a nice man led us to her locker (I didn't know where it was, but I'm sure she did), and lo! there was her lock and the shoes inside.

I still think there's a lack of communication happening, but now at least I don't have to buy a new lock and new shoes.