Tuesday, October 26, 2010

School glorious school

Leah had her first day of preschool yesterday! And she loved it!

I took her to school in a taxi and figured I would see after that whether we want to try the school bus or the public bus or what. We arrived a few minutes early so that I could meet her teachers - Miss Ruby and Miss Alifya. They were all ready for Leah. Her name was on a hook in the hallway for her to hang her backpack and on a laminated leaf cutout in the classroom for her to stick on the back of the door when she arrives in the morning.

She pretty much walked in like she owned the place. And the school director told me there was no need for me to stay because Leah seemed comfortable. I watched through the window of the classroom for a few minutes and saw that she was fine. And I came back and picked her up at the end…she was happy to see me but had nothing but positive things to say about school.

So this morning I took her on the school bus. Parents / caregivers are allowed to ride along. We got on the bus about 8:20. It picked up several more kids on the way and pulled up to school about 5 minutes to 9:00. I tried to hang back a bit to let Leah follow along and make sure she’d be able to handle it on her own. She was fine. The “bus mother” Miss Polly helps the kids get on and off the bus, puts their seatbelts on and their backpacks hanging on the seat in front of them. When the bus gets to school it pulls into the parking garage underneath. The kids all get out and walk to the elevator and go up together and Miss Polly helps them to their classrooms where the teachers take over getting them settled.

At the end of the day the bus mother comes around and puts the kids backpacks in the rooms – they hang in the hallway during school. Then she comes back around to collect them and they walk down the hallway holding a rope so that they stay together – with another assistant from the school at the rear to make sure they all hold the rope. The bus driver helps them all up onto the bus and Miss Polly helps them all into seats and seatbelts.

When the bus comes for pick up they call if you’re not there – rather than just driving off without you – although I’m sure they won’t wait too long. And when it comes for drop off, the kids can’t get off the bus unless there’s an appropriate person there to collect them.

Leah loves riding the bus. She sat with Lily, who she knows from the building. And she told me that tomorrow she doesn’t need me there – she will do it by herself. So I am free from about 8:20 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.! When we move to Stanley she will get picked up around 8:35 and dropped off around 12:05 – and there is another kid on the bus in our building, so it’s already a scheduled stop for the bus.

We’re all so happy that this is working out so well. Leah loves school and is thrilled that she gets to go every day. Hopefully she won’t be too disappointed when the weekend arrives!

Pictures to come soon…we’ve only got 1 home computer at the moment – and my time is up.

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