Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When School Districts Attack!

Not "attack" exactly but completely shut you down...

I've been trying for more than six months to work within the system to get the boys into an appropriate educational situation. I've researched, stated our case, asked questions, researched some more, and decided virtual charter school with some classes at the local high school would be best for Klaus. We asked questions and filed all the paperwork last April, waited patiently for 4.5 months to hear if our application had been approved and thought everything was on the right track. Then yesterday the registrar calls me to say that Klaus is only eligible to take classes at the local public if he's homeschooled, but not if he's a virtual public school student. Not no way, not no how.

The new school year starts one week from today.

Of course, I start calling people immediately--the Assistant Superintendent who made the decision, the virtual charter school who told me it was kosher, the Department of Public Instruction's Head of Open Enrollment--and not one person has bothered to return my calls. Not only that but the charter is now backing off the "Yeah, yeah, it's fine" line and would not give me the name or phone number of the woman who told me specifically that her son--an IQ student--takes choir at this same local high school without any problems. Can I talk to her to find out how she's managed that? Nooooooooooooooooo.

If these classes didn't make that much difference to Klaus, I'd just chalk it up to bureaucratic intransigence and move on, but it turns out this may be a deal-breaker for him.

We chose IQ to save tuition money. If he's taking these same online courses and the state will pay for them, why not? But if he needs to take these classes at the local high school to be happy, I'm just as happy to pull him out to homeschool and pay the tuition myself. Theoretically, that can be done, even though we have less than a week. (I say theoretically because I'm so tired of having the rug yanked out from under me.)

Theoretically, he could enroll in the local high school full-time, too, just like if we'd moved from one district to the other the week before school starts. This is not my favorite choice, but if his time isn't all that valuable to him, there are some positives: more of the structure he needs, more direct supervision of what he's learning and not learning (which we'd also get at IQ), he'd be eligible for extracurricular activities, they have girls there, he can hang out with his friends at lunch (hopefully). The school offers lot of APs that he doesn't have to be a junior or senior to take. We were planning for him to be there at an unGodly hour of the morning anyway, back when we thought he could take these two classes.

Most of my objections to this plan are personal, as in mine, not his, and therefore not as valid, I don't think. He, of course, can't make up his mind. And school starts one week from today. Sigh.


MC said...

I'm so sorry. There is just nothing worse than suddenly having to scramble to fix what was supposed to be taken care of.

Best of luck.

Zany Mom said...

I'm exhausted just reading about this...beaurocracy at its finest! Come over to the dark side...and jump on in! The water's just peachy!