I feel like there are moments when I can hardly breathe if I make the mistake of thinking about planning for all 3 boys. I am working hard to remember to breathe and that all decisions can be changed should things not go as planned.
For Jacob, the plan is for him to continue on in a cotaught classroom. He will again have a special education teacher in the classroom for 2.5 hours per day and there will be an aide in the classroom full time along with the general education teacher. Jacob will also have speech and occupational therapy a few times per week. For Jacob, I have 2 main fears. My biggest fear is that the cotaught class will not be held next year at his current school. He has been at the same school for kindergarten and 1st grade and has made friends and I have made friends with many of the moms. I just want Jacob to have the stability of remaining in the same school because I truly believe the consistency is incredibly important for him.
My second fear is that he won't get a special education teacher who understands Jacob the way that the teacher he has had for the past 2 years has. Jacob lives a stressful life. It is so important that he has a strong relationship with someone at school who can read and understand him and just give him that extra touch of support when things at home are tricky. His current special education teacher has been a huge gift to him and has been easy for me to work with. I would just love one more year with her as we continue to figure out what Jacob's learning issues are and as we get him through the introductory learning phases of math and literacy.
With David I truly don't know what is best for next year. There is a huge part of me that wants to trust his teachers and just continue with an in district placement for him for 5th grade. That said, what if there is a better placement for him out of district? A smaller class size? A more similar group of students where his learning style can be better understood and he could begin to understand simple basic math concepts.
My "mom gut" is screaming to advocate for an out of district placement, but the teachers are saying he is doing well and that the current placement is good for him. I can't completely express in words why I think he needs a change, I am mostly worried that I am missing an opportunity for him. He hasn't made improvements in math in years. I would love to see him in a 6 child classroom. I really think that an opportunity like that, even short term, would allow us to see if David is in the best placement currently.
Matthew is the child that I am most worried about. His is still up and down. Some days he struggles at home, other days he struggles at school. His teaching team is recommending that he go from a 4 student class with 3-4 adults to a 6 student class with 3 adults next this summer and next year. if I had a crystal ball, I would know what was right for him.
My biggest concern is not only will he be changing class sizes, but he will also be changing schools. I am trying to convince myself that I need to have faith and everything will work out fine, and if it doesnt work, that we can always change programs. Unfortunately, my worry is that if we change class sizes and he changes schools, I will have to get to know a whole new school full of people and then they will have to get to know Matthew, and we will go through all of the reasons he is struggling, and hypothesizing blah, blah, blah and THEN I will have to talk to them about getting him back into a classroom with 4 students....that is a potential for A LOT of time to pass and time to be wasted while Matthew struggles.
However, if he can succeed in a classroom with 6 students, than that would be great because Matthew would have more opportunities for friends in a larger class size and that would be the biggest gift for Matthew.