Monday, October 26, 2009

My Life in the Left Hand Turn Lane

It always seems like I am turning left, whether taking the kids to school or returning home, or running errands.


The girl (6) went back to school today after missing most of last week (she went to school on Wednesday but said she felt horrible and when I picked her up after school she had a temperature of 103.8). She has missed a total of eight days already this year and I suspect today, I will get the computer generated letter telling me she has excessive absences and if she misses seven more days she will not be eligible to pass first grade.


I understand that the school district legally has to notify you that your child is frequently absent and passing school might be jeopardized, but . . . since school started, the nation has had a very early flu season with two flu(s) floating around!

Six ran a fever for eight straight days . . . starting on Thursday and ending the next Friday. A child could easily miss 5 to 7 days of school for each case of flu (seasonal and H1N1)! I think over 15 absent days is the cut-off, so two bouts of flu and your out!


And the school does not want you to send your child to school sick.

The first three days six missed happened the third week of school and I think she might have had a mild case of the H1N1 flu - fever, body aches and diarrhea. Turns out that week, she was NOT the only one home ill. The absence rate was way high compared to last year at that time.

I'm not worried about six not passing first grade because of illness/absences. She is smart. ***We interrupt this old lady rant to insert some proud parental bragging rights*** At the beginning of the school year, the teacher tested all the kids on reading and math skills -Six got a perfect score on word recognition, something the teacher in 17 years of teaching had never seen before. And six already reads the wpm required of first graders to pass to second grade. ***End of bragging.***

What I am worried about is the necessity to change the rules this school season due to the already high absences related to the two flu(s). And the flu season has just begun. Parents should be able to keep their kids home to recover and not feel pressure to get them back in school based on the absence rate. (I understand this is very hard on working parents too, because it's tough to ask off work all week or longer to care for an ill child.)