Ian starts his first day of middle school today. After my diagnosis, we had a change of plans about our educational priorities. Prior to diagnosis, high academics were the only criteria we had in selecting a school for him. After diagnosis, academics seemed a lot less important. We were very fortunate to have him at Stopher Elementary K-5, an amazing community based public school. Stopher and the entire school community knew our family before ALS and really wrapped their arms around our family after we shared our devastating diagnosis. It was exactly where Ian needed to be. The problem is, Stopher ended in fifth grade and we had to find a new school for him to transition to sixth grade. Knowing what we knew was likely to happen to me and our entire family, where did we want Ian planted? Unfortunately, community schools are rare in our public school district so we had to do some soul searching and prioritizing for where Ian would go next.
Having our children in a public school I knew it was my obligation to keep them involved in church, be active members of their school community, engage them in service work, and be contributing members in the community. This was my job and I felt devastated I could not continue as planned.
After much discussion and prayer, my heartache was lifted when we chose St Patrick’s Catholic School for Ian. It feels so strange to not be involved in his new community yet. I feel like I’m handing him over to a community I don’t know, but I’m confident St Pat’s will serve his needs spiritually, emotionally and academically. I literally cried when we made the decision because the burden felt lifted.
Other than the the *extreme* haircut he needed to meet dress code, Ian is anxious but excited about his new school.