30 fingers&toes

"Are they triplets?" "No, I found the other one in the parking lot and thought, 'why not?'"


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So far so good this week

Well I’m not sure what’s happened, but we have been able to safely cross the road for the last two days. I am likely screwing us for the rest of the week as I type this. Last week myself and a few other concerned parents received the following email:

To everyone concerned

 

There has been a number of concerns brought forward to administration recently by several individuals regarding the situation during school arrival and dismissal times at the above-noted intersection. (The email was titled IC Roy & Oakwood Intersection) The Town of Lakeshore remains committed to ensuring the safety of all pedestrians throughout the municipality, especially for children walking to school.(Do they really? Because the previous email basically said “We can’t do anything and it’s not our problem, have a nice day.) There are a few points of clarification to be made:

 

  1. The OPP have been contacted by the Town regarding these concerns and will be increasing their patrols in this area to monitor any HTA infractions So far this hasn’t happened. When there was a police car present last week, his back is to where the problem is. Yes, the police car presence slows down vehicles speeding on Oakwood. However, the problem is at the intersection where cars and busses are turning during the walk signal.

 

  1. The Community Policing Officer for the OPP has been, or will be, visiting the schools to educate staff and students on the proper steps when crossing at a controlled intersection (either traffic signals or Crossing Guard) While it’s good that they will remind children how to safely cross, this to me seems pointless. It’s not the children who are the problem. It’s THE DRIVERS!!! I watched children having to wait during a walk signal for cars to finish going through the intersection, thus not giving the children enough time to safely cross the street before the signal changed.

 

  1. A School Patrol Program is being investigated with the School Boards is implement a program whereby senior students will assist with the crossing of the younger students at the signalized intersection. Investigated, hmmm….this feels like something that’s going to be forgotten about and pushed off agenda’s at meetings. You literally have parents writing you daily, weekly telling you that there is an urgent need for a crossing guard. This does NOT need investigating!! Not to mention all ages of children need protecting from the drivers who are failing to pay any attention to the signals at the intersection of Oakwood and I.C. Roy.

 

  1. A report is going to our Council next week proposing some changes at the Mancini/IC Roy intersection to provide a safer crossing location for the children. Details can be found online under the Consent Agenda for the September 27th Council Meeting. This intersection is less ideal for children to safely cross at due to the kiss n’ ride traffic exiting the school.

 

  1. Crossing Guard requests must be vetted through a Crossing Guard Warrant Analysis. This is the process we have had in place for some time now. A recommendation would then go to our Council and funds would need to be set aside for the addition of a new crossing guard. What’s the time frame on this process? Again, you have many parents telling you that a crossing guard is needed. What are you waiting for?

 

Thank you, This to me translates into, *#^& you have a nice day

 


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You went and angered the Mama Bear

 

I’m calling out all the people in Lakeshore, ON who drive their kids to school or are driving to work or simply just out for a drive between 7:55am and 8:15am every Monday through Friday. I am just a Mom, trying to drop my kids off at school and return home from doing so safely. What the hell is wrong with all of you that you think it’s perfectly okay to ignore the fucking traffic rules and make your left or right turn when the WALK signal is CLEARLY visible!!!!

School started September 6th, and I have been walking our kids to and from school most days. Of those 13 days of school, we have been nearly hit either on our way to school or when I’m on my way home! This is unacceptable. How am I supposed to let my children walk to school without an adult?!!! Ever since the transportation group decided they needed to have our bell times changed there is now a huge influx of traffic in the morning.

There is a high school just down the street from our Elementary school. An online petition was made to try to encourage the bell times being changed back.  They received this as their response:

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I personally don’t have a problem with the bell times, my problem is with all the traffic. It was pointed out in this petition the influx of traffic. I have copied and pasted below.

  • St. Anne Catholic High School is located less than 1km away and on the same road (Oakwood Drive) as Lakeshore Discovery School. St. Anne’s has similar bell times as the newly slated bell times for Lakeshore Discovery School. Current enrolment for St. Anne’s is 1300 students, together with Lakeshore Discovery’s enrolment of over 800 students that means over 2100 students will be coming and going at the same time. Being that there is no kiss & ride on Oakwood Dr., coupled with the Oakwood parking lot always being full causes parents to park on the side of the road. Does Lakeshore Discovery School have a plan to address these safety concerns with the influx of teenage drivers at 8am and 2:30pm? Will there be a crossing guard hired for Oakwood Dr?

I’m least looking forward to winter as our morning bell rings at 8:00 am so the children can be on the playground. They go in for 8:15am. The sun is just barely up now so in winter the streets slippery, sidewalk goes unplowed and now it will be dark. This is going to be a complete shit show. Just think of all the extra traffic because even more parents will be driving their kids.

I wrote to the town today…Here’s what they had to say about my concerns:

Good morning Leanne,

 

That is a shame cars are not waiting for the light when you are in the intersection.  You are welcome to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 (non-emergency number) to report this and they can have a car stationed there to watch and ticket.   Unfortunately it is out of the Town’s control.

 

Have a good day.

Have a good day. HAVE A GOOD DAY!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!! How is it NOT in the best interest of the town to pay for an adult crossing guard to keep kids safe? Sure, I can call the OPP and let them know we’ve been having trouble. They will come out one day and things will be perfect. The next day, they won’t be there and some asshat will nearly hit us or maybe worse! I mean really does the town expect that the OPP will station an officer there every day for the rest of the school year? Nope. Hire a crossing guard!! It’s that simple. The school wants kids who live close by to walk. I am TRYING to do this. However, it’s become clear that I have to start driving them because they aren’t safe on foot. The whole point of buying our home where we did was because of it’s distance to the school. We were happy that our kids would have a short distance to walk. So much for that.

Perhaps the next step is to contact oh let’s say The Windsor Star or CBC? Maybe they will care that students aren’t safe walking to school in the morning??

 

Have a good day she says…………..


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Proud Mama

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On June my Grandma came to my house. We had lots of fun. We even got grabbed my Grandma? I love her and she loves me.

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My March Break was awesome because my Grandma came to my house and we went to the mall. And we have fun together. Then we went out for lunch and it was yummy.

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On Mother’s Day. My Mom loves me and I love her too. My family loves her too. We went out for supper and my Mom and the rest of us too had lots of fun.

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On Father’s Day we had supper with my Nana and Papa. We had tacos for supper. And it was my Papa’s birthday. We had vanilla cake and is was delicious. Dad had two pieces of cake. I had one piece of cake. It was delicious.

 

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One day I went out with my Aunt. We went to a park with my cousin Cooper. We had lots of fun. He loved to chase me. We also had Timbits. We loved the Timbits.

This was a bit of a tough year for Isabelle at school. We knew that she wasn’t doing well in the French Immersion and I had wanted to switch her to English before the start of Grade 2, yet we didn’t. We were told by many that it would simply just “click” when she was in the 2nd grade.

There was no “click”.

There was a lot of tears. There was a lot of self doubt. There was a lot of emotions that I personally feel no 7/8 year old should feel. No one should hate school in the second grade. After 3 days of pleading with the principal to let us change her to English half way through the year, I am so happy to say that Isabelle loves school!

We have seen such a wonderful change in the work she brings home. Yes, she is a little behind in some areas but her teacher has been wonderful and working very hard with her. Isabelle should be caught up to speed a few months into the third grade. I am going to do my best to work with her over the summer. Her teacher has given us some great, simple, idea of ways to work with her in ways that doesn’t feel like “work” over the summer break.

I was going through Isabelle’s back pack tonight. It’s the end of year so there is lots of paper work coming home. I found a few things I thought I would share with you.

Isabelle is a bit behind in her spelling. This is largely because they are told in French to sound out the word and just write what they hear. They are taught a little differently in English. She’s catching up but it’s going to take the work this summer to get her where she needs to be.

I’m so proud of her and all the hard work she’s done this year. Most of all, I’m just happy that Isabelle is happy. I should have listened to my gut and had her switch over to English sooner, but thankfully she doesn’t hold that against me!

 

 


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My kids are weird…

My kids think it’s absolutely awesome that there is the slightest possibility that they will be latch-key. To bring you up to speed if you don’t know what Latch-Key is, here it’s before and after school care run by the day care that is associated with the kids school. I believe I have touched on this topic before in a previous rambling…errh….blog post.

The kids are pumped for me to get a job. If I have an interview during the day while they are at school, the first thing they ask when they seem me after school is “Do I start Latch-Key tomorrow?” I’m such an asshole when I say “Nope!” and then they act as if I have crushed their soul and they are about to give up their will to live. It’s rather comical for me, hence the asshole part since I really want to tell them yes only to then say “hahaha just kidding!!!”

Yesterday, tearfully, Madeline told me about a conversation she had with one of her friends at school. She told this friend that I was having some interviews and would be getting a job, thus she would no longer be able to exit the school with her and walk her towards the busses. This friend got a bit upset. This made Madeline upset. So Madeline, with her big loving heart, drew her friend a picture which seemed to help resolve the situation. I suggested to Madeline that she not talk about her being Latch-Key until she is actually going to be Latch-Key. She agreed as she didn’t want to upset any more of her friends.


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What the $&^* Lakeshore Disc.

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Yesterday the buses were cancelled for the county. We are close enough that my kids go to school regardless. I debated letting them stay home to enjoy the bit of snow we had but I knew Isabelle wanted to be at school on her birthday. So the above meme is for the kids.

Now, to direct my attention and anger to the school.

I went to pick up the spawn after school. I arrived a little early because I knew the parking lot would fill up quickly and it wasn’t plowed, slushy and had a bunch of drifting snow in it. Found my spot and settled in to wait. Of course most of the parents were opting to use the bus parking lane today as the buses would not be coming.

At 3:17 I exited the van and walked to the gate to wait for the 3:20 bell. The school is having solar panels installed and the crew doing that was working away in the school yard with their fork lift. When the bell rang at 3:20 and the flood of children did not come from the back doors onto the playground I had assumed it was because the forklift was in motion. Made sense that they wouldn’t let all the kids run out if it was moving around.

I waited a few more minutes. Some of the parents who just wait in their vehicles also wandered over to the gate. I then started second guessing if I had actually heard the bell as the fork lift made a similar sound when backing up. The parents around me were now all getting a little anxious as the kids still weren’t coming out of the school.

We all started in to the school grounds. A pack of concerend parents wondering where the hell our children were. We passed a parent who said she thought maybe we had to go to the kids doors to collect them. Another parent passing by said that they were keeping all the kids in the gym.

The gym? Why the heck are they in the gym?

As I’m walking through the back playground and towards the gym I decide to call the office. The secretary tells me we are to be using the Kiss n’ Ride in the front. Uh, no thanks. I use the parking lot at the rear of the school that you guys make us use. Where are my kids. Well they are in the gym and you have to use Kiss n’ Ride, when there tell the teacher outside who your kids are, they will radio into the gym and send your kids out.

What the #(@&$*(@ is this? When did they start this? I hung up with her and was at the front door of the school at this point. As I enter the front hall way it seems as though the teachers decided to move all the kids into this area. Right away I see my three. Isabelle is about to break down into tears. She immediately demands to know where I was and why I wasn’t coming to get them. I hug her and tell her I would never just leave them at school and that I had NO IDEA they were not coming out their ususal way.

So Lakeshore Discovery….apparently you need to be reminded that you have a Facebook account, Twitter account and the Principal has a personal Twitter account, as well as this Remind App you made us all download at the start of the school year!

USE THEM!! I highly doubt that in this area there isn’t a parent who doesn’t have access to social media!! You want a fast, easy way to let us all know that you are going to change how you dismiss kids on a snow day then this is the way to do it!!!!!

Because you failed to let us know that our children would not be exiting the school in their usual fashion, you not only pissed off a bunch of parents, myself included, you managed to scare the shit out of my kid!!

Well done Lakeshore Discovery. You are not making it easy for me to tell people why your school is the school they should want their children to attend.


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School drama resolved

Last week the principal phoned and I gave them our FINAL decision for the third time. Isabelle is to be moved to an English class. He wanted to wait until after March Break, however Isabelle is ready and we all agreed that she needs to move now. So that bring us to today. They had all last week to figure out where she was to go. They were supposed to call and she was supposed to start in her new class today.

Maybe you can guess. They never called. I dropped the kids off and was planning on calling to speak to the principal and see what was up. If he jerked me around yet again my next call was going to be to the Superintendent of our school. Through some convincing by friends and husband I decided to go to the school instead. This way he could look me in the eye and try yet again to convince me that Isabelle is just a dollar sign to him and not care that she’s a person. Ugh that was so maddening!!!

Drive to school. Get buzzed in. Walking the 8 steps to the office door I am mentally preparing myself(I hate, HATE any kind of confrontation) on what I am going to say should be a dick about placing Isabelle.

Step into the office. Nicely ask Secretary 1 of 2 if the Principal is in. She says no. He’s out until Thursday.

Me: Is the VP available then?

Secretary 1 of 2: No, she is out until Wednesday. Can I help you with something?

Me: My daughter was supposed to be switched to an Eng….

Secretary 2 of 2: Are you Mrs Diplock?

Me: (I don’t like being called Mrs Diplock. That is not me, that is my Mother in Law!!) Yes, that’s me!

Secretary 2 of 2: I was just about to call you! Please let’s talk in here(gestures to private room).

In the room it’s quite visible she’s nervous. I don’t know what is up with people at this school being so nervous all the time. I think she was more nervous than I was!! She explains to me why the Principal is away and also why the VP is away. The sub for these two is currently in the JK/SK pod subbing. So the VP has asked her to speak with me. Isabelle is going to be moved. She just finished sending the Principal an email with the three possible classes she could go to. Once he replies then will make the necessary changes. She apologized many times for the wait and lack of communication because of the absent school administrators. I told her it was fine, I was just relieved to know that Isabelle will be moving.

Isabelle was in tears this morning wanting to know when she’d be changing classes. She just wants to be in a class and feel comfortable. I don’t blame her. I felt so bad and angry for her.

Secretary 2 of 2 assured me that she could move as soon as the Principal replied to the email. She said they could move her today if we wanted. While Isabelle is ready, I decided best to let her start tomorrow fresh. I’m not sure how she’d feel having the secretary show up and take her out of class. So tomorrow is the day. I’m happy. Isabelle is going to be happy when I tell her after school today.

I never expected to have my child treated this way. It’s sad that the school is so upset about the idea of losing one French Immersion child to the English track. I don’t see the big deal since they just had JK/SK registration and I over heard secretary 2 of 2 the other day saying that 2/3 of the registrants were for French Immersion and only 1/3 were for English.

In the end, I am glad that Isabelle will be in an environment that she feels comfortable in. She wants to learn and is extremely smart and I know she’s going to do amazing in her new class!


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Disappointed and frustrated

WordPress seems to be acting up so be patient with this post.

I am not a happy Momma. I decided it would be best to take some time before sitting down and writing this post. The time seems to have helped my temper a little however it is likely to flare up while writing.

My kids happiness is my #1 job. I am not here to be their best friend and give them whatever they want. I am here to ensure they are happy and well cared for and make good decisions and many other things.

Isabelle is happy for the most part. She loves just about everything, except for school. She doesn’t hate school, yet. I do worry that hating school isn’t far off in her future. We decided it was time to make a change.

The husband and I have been talking for some time about changing Isabelle to the English track of the school. Thankfully our school is a dual track so if we needed to change anyone they would at least be at the same school. The time has finally come. Isabelle brought home her report card and there were quite a few good parts to it. However there was a lot of parts that weren’t so good.

Isabelle is struggling. We feel and Isabelle agrees, that French Immersion is just not for her. I was never set on sending the kids to French Immersion. Depending on where we bought our house and the schools in the area was a huge deciding factor on whether or not we put them in French Immersion. Also the husband felt that they should be in it and I couldn’t really come up with a good argument against it. Really, there is no harm in having a second language. I am TERRIBLE in French. I have most of the basics down but that’s about it. Isabelle has started bringing homework home. I have to use Google Translate to help us both figure out what is being asked. The screwy part is that even Google Translate can’t seem to translate some of the french being used!!

To make our part of the story short, we feel it’s best for Isabelle to move to the English track and if she feels the need to get back into French when she’s older we will help her as best we can to make that happen. Here’s where I get frustrated and disappointed.

Last year we dropped a hint that we were thinking of moving kids from FI to ENG. That afternoon I had all the kids teachers raving about how well they were doing in class. All of a sudden Aidan went from refusing to speak any french to apparently speaking full sentences in french. I feel sad that the teachers are being told to keep parents sold on the idea that their child is doing well in something when they are clearly having a hard time.

After being told to just give it one more year, that kids really start to “click” with french in Grade 2, or that we will see such a difference in Grade 1, we kept them in Immersion. Here we are nearly half way through Grade 2 and Isabelle is angry, frustrated, embarrassed, hard on her self because she doesn’t understand what the teacher is expecting of her. She brings homework home and can’t tell me how she managed to do the work in class. She can’t read, her spelling is terrible among other things. I feel like trying to have a second language is holding her back from even learning English. It’s hard as a parent too because you feel like you are failing them. We try to work with her after school and we read together often and at bedtime. I still feel like despite all this she’s suffering because we wanted her to learn french at the same time. It’s just not working.

Time for a change. I knew it was not going to be as simple as calling up, meeting with the principal and boom she’s in an English class the next day. However, I did NOT expect it would take nearly 3 days, phone calls from both myself and my husband. A parent teacher interview with a very nervous teacher who was pressuring us to keep her in the class. The principal also applied a heavy dose of pressure and kept stalling us to try to get us to change our minds.

I fully understand that they get funding for every FI student. However at some point my children need to stop being dollar signs!! She is a person. She is frustrated. Keeping her in French is not the solution. I felt so bad for the teacher. She was clearly nervous to talk to us. She was basically fed all the same shit the principal said to us and it was clear that they told her to try her damn best to keep us from switching Isabelle. The poor teacher seemed so defeated when we just stood up and said our decision was final. Isabelle will be changing. We tried our best to explain to her that she is a great teacher, Isabelle always talks about her and says wonderful things about her. It is very likely the twins could have her next year and we are okay with that.

We were told that Isabelle is going to feel like she isn’t smart enough to be in French Immersion if we move her to English.

Also that the French Immersion kids score much higher on the provincial testing.

She will never see the friends she has made in FI if we move her to English.

She will have a hard time being welcome by the English students because she was in FI.

They did however offer her an high school tutor for after school, what they fail to mention is that there is a waiting list for this.

They wanted us to wait until after March Break to move her and they would make sure that she had one on one time with a teacher to help her.

The teacher told  us that Isabelle is able to read in French with no problems. She is able to understand the directions the teacher gives the class and is able to respond. This is not what we see and hear from her at home. She tells us that she constantly feels embarrassed when the teacher calls on her to answer because she does not know what the teacher said and is afraid to answer for fear of saying something wrong.

Having my child come home from school upset and unable to sit down and calmly work on homework is a sign there is something wrong. This is not the sign of a child who is understanding what is expected of her.

If it weren’t for the fact that it is a dual track and that the twins are both doing quite well in French, after this experience we would likely be removing all three from the school and sending them to another school in the area.

This is a really good school. I will still tell friends and others to send their children to this school. However, I will strongly caution them about which track they choose. French Immersion is a great idea if you child can succeed in it. Just be warned should you decided to move them. Your child goes from being a person to a monetary figure. This is not what education is supposed to be. Money should not come before a students ability to succeed at learning.