Friday, September 24, 2010

High School

So, I told you last week that I pulled Sophie from the school where she was enrolled for various reasons. I'm not going to write anything about the reasons until I have her new IEP (which is next week). And for those of you who know about these things, yes, I have to have ANOTHER IEP at the "old new school" to transfer Sophie into her "new new school" even though she attended the "old new school" for about eight total hours last week. I have to sit down at the table with her "old new teacher" who will rewrite the goals (the exact same goals, mind you) onto another IEP, authorizing the switch to the new new school, our home school. Then I have to take that new document over to the new new school, and go through enrollment there. Hopefully, Sophie  will enter the new new school next week.

That's the way the cookie crumbles, as we used to say.

In the meantime, I thought I'd better go over to the new new school and pick up the new enrollment packet because the forms are numerous and there's a lot of filling out.

Let's kill two birds with one stone, I thought.

So yesterday, I drove over to the new new school and went inside. I picked up my VISITOR badge, asked where the special education office was and then wandered the halls for about twenty minutes, looking for it.

It's a big school. That's just one of the many halls I wandered, halls that have so many classrooms, I lost count. I believe there are close to 3,000 kids in this high school. On the plus side, when I poked my head into doorways, everyone seemed like they were actually learning. Teachers were at white-boards, and kids were taking notes. It was quiet.

I kept wandering the halls.

Yes, that's the same picture. I just wanted you to feel, a bit, the aimlessness of my wandering.

I finally found the special education office, and the very nice man inside told me that I actually needed to go back to the main office where they processed enrollment forms.

Oh, I said.

When I got to the main office, the receptionist told me that I needed to go to Room 38 on the first floor, just around the corner, because all enrollment forms were dispensed there.

Oh, I said, Thank you.

I found Room 38:


Eventually, the Enrollment Package Lady returned to Room 38, and I left the school to go pick up my sons from their schools. (Yes, schools in the plural because we are now a family with three children in three different school locations).

While I was waiting in the carpool line, I started flipping through Sophie's enrollment package and began reading the new school's dress code. You must remember that the old new school was an all-special needs campus, and this new new school is a general education campus with a special day class that Sophie will be in.

Got that?

I almost broke out laughing when I read the dress code because it's certainly emblematic of what we're getting into. Here are a few examples:

Blankety-Blank High School

1. No hats on Blankety Blank High School campus unless part of a school activity.
2. No hair nets, bandannas, wave caps, shower caps or rollers.
3. No belt buckles with initials or extra long belts.
4. No handkerchiefs ("rags"). No red or blue shoe laces.
5. No baggy pants (if belts removed pants fall below hips), cut-off pants with high scoks, pants with spit seams, pants with staples, tacks or safety pins.
6. No see-through or mesh shirts or any clothing that becomes associated with an off campus group or gang.
7. No bathing suit tops, blouses or shirts, which expose the mid-riff or back, no tank tops.
8. No T-shirts or other items of clothing with profanity, with messages that may be inappropriate or offensive or which promote/advertise the use of controlled substances.
9. No white pressed T-shirts are to be worn as outer clothing.
10. No Walkman type radios/headphones/cassette players are allowed.
11. No beepers/cell phones are allowed on campus without the permission of the principal.
12. No unbuttoned shirts with expose the chest.
13. No sunglasses worn in any buildings, classrooms or offices.
14. No plaid or "Pendleton" type shirts buttoned to the neck.
15. No articles of clothing with "Kings" or "Raiders."

My boys and I are relieved that Sophie can't wear curlers to school, but we're wondering whether she can wear her bandannas.

It's a big city, folks, and an even bigger world.


  1. I'm procrastinating this morning so I even read the "dress code". I burst out laughing at the "no pins or staples"! Staples in hems got me through college and, depending on where the missing button was on the garment, safety pins were right after staples.

    At least you got your exercise walking those halls. Hope it brought your blood pressure down!


  2. Wow...I can imagine the red and blue shoe laces have something to do with gangs (???)'cause I can hardly imagine that's the stuff of rebellion. This one baffles me though..."No white pressed T-shirts are to be worn as outer clothing." Hell, I'd love to see a kid in anything that was "pressed"...and actually white.

  3. Isn't it amazing what dress codes have become? Use to be jeans couldn't be worn to school back in the 60's as well as girls wearing pants to school when I was a youngster, then it was how short the dresses were...I think pretty soon it really just be easier to make all schools uniformed.

  4. Oh my Goodness.

    I sputtered out loud when you said, "Yes, that is the same photo." Like you saw me going back and forth. And yes, ohgoddess, that is just what it is like to go from room to room, hallway to hallway and beyond.

    How the kids survive it all is beyond me.

    Blessings. For you a smooth transition to the newnew school, and may it be a goodgood place for Sophie.

    ((You, my dear, are a Miracle.)


  5. Well thank goodness you knew ahead of time, lest you'd followed your plan to send her in a bathing suit top and stapled pants. Wow.

    Wishing you both as smooth a transition as possible.

  6. This makes me tired. I understand that they have their rules and their reasons, but wouldn't one think that they might have a different form for special education students - one that takes their NEEDS into consideration? Or do you have to write all of that in the margins and initial it with the principal? "Yes, she wears a bandanna, but it's necessary BECAUSE..."
    Seriously. As if you don't have enough to do.

  7. Holy Moly. Life in the big city.
    I wonder if they will let Sophie wear her bandanas...if they are not red or blue.
    When you get all of this handled and if you have a little time, let's get together!

  8. You may have to swap out her bandanas for some Hermes scarves....

    Ms Moon, it's so nice that you don't understand #4, because it means you are far from the violence that goes on even in my little Northern California town, where if a student innocently wears something that a gang considers to be colors, severe beatings often ensue. The white pressed t-shirts can be taken as a gang thing, too.
    In all seriousness, I'm sure Sophie will be kept safe no matter her accoutrements.

  9. I had to laugh at the mention of a Walkman!

    And yikes. That is one big school. I hope that everything goes smoothly with the switch. xo

  10. Good luck w/ the transition... I hope the new school has the perfect teachers and setting for Sophie.

    What an ordeal.

  11. But regarding #9 can you wear a white wrinkled t-shirt?

  12. i was stuck in a void walking down those halls with you,

    seriously can older mom's, i am one of them,
    remember all these rules?
    pendleton shirts? seriously?


  13. I'm with Rebecca. I don't understand the ban on plaid/Pendleton?

  14. @ Leslie & Rebecca: pretty much any clothing item on the list that wasn't banned for being too sexy was banned for being associated with gangs.

    Wow, that is a sterile looking school! I guess they all look that way, these days. I hope Sophie's transition to the new new school goes smoothly.

  15. I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this bureaucratic hell. I would be interested in hearing the reasons that caused you to transfer Sophie from the old new school to the new new school when you're ready. The education piece is so difficult--while I feel we've made the right decisions with Robert in my heart, there are times when I second guess myself.

  16. This is quite a different world from where I live. I hope it turns out to be the right place for Sophie, whatever the dress code.

  17. I'm tired just thinking about making the switch, but so proud of you for doing what's best for Sophie, ALWAYS!



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