A few weeks ago, Ben started Kindergarten in a big public school. It's the kind of school where there are bells for each period, and students line up on the blacktop before school starts, and everyone has an assigned desk with his or her name on it, and the hallways have shiny linoleum floors.
At Ben's new school, the students call the teachers "Ms." or "Mr." rather than by their first names, and the principal comes to work in a neatly tailored suit every day, even when the temperatures climb into the 80s. Families are encouraged - but not required - to send their children to school in a uniform.
And there's homework.
Toto, I don't think we're in preschool anymore.
I was nervous about the transition into a much more formal, traditional school environment where expectations would be higher and routines would be more rigid.
But Ben is doing great, possibly because of that high degree of structure and predictability.
His teacher and the whole team of professionals that support full inclusion and his IEP goals - with things like a social skills group and extra help with fine motor skills - are excellent.
And like most schools, a parent organization works to raise extra money to pay for things that public funding no longer can: a library and a librarian, a computer lab, and enrichment activities from local arts organizations.
So here's where you come in. You knew this was coming, didn't you?
Ben's first fundraising activity is a walk-a-thon on October 24th. Students will walk laps around the school campus (ten laps for Kindergartners) and donations will go to the school PTA to support a variety of programs and services for the students.
So if you like the blog, if you support public education, and if you're not also shaking down your friends and family to support your kids' school, click on that Donate button over in the right margin and put a couple bucks in our PayPal account that we can pass along to the PTA on behalf of Ben.