Well, Damaris & I went to a meeting yesterday at the school she'll be attending. Russ wasn't able to join us because he was teaching for the professor he is grad assistant for.
First we were shown the two tests she took in the last couple of weeks. On her reading test, she got every single question right. This wasn't a surprise at all to me. Her reading level was tested a couple of weeks ago at her after school program and she reads and listens at an eighth to ninth grade level. On her math test, she missed several problems, but those that she missed were more because of not being used to the testing format versus not knowing how to do the problems. They were able to see her ability to reason and process in the other problems and they think she can overcome the stuff she missed once she gets used to the testing formats they use.
So, with all that said, Damaris will be in 4th grade. That is what we were praying and hoping for and Damaris is thrilled about it.
Now, for the shock. We had all along planned for Damaris to start public school at the beginning of the New Year. However, during the meeting, we were asked to consider starting her at the beginning of the next 6 weeks which is November 10th. The reason we were asked to consider this is because in 4th grade, they have the writing TAKS test shortly after the new year and they want Damaris to be given the opportunity to have time to practice the format of that test. If she starts in January, she'll have very little time to learn that.
So, I talked with Russ when I got home and we agreed that starting in November was the best decision with all the information we now know. During the meeting, the principal, assistant principal, & Damaris' main teacher were present. Her main teacher will be Mrs. Cheek. She is a sweet woman who took a large amount of time yesterday to talk with Damaris & I about lots of stuff. In 4th grade, they rotate for two classes. So Damaris will start the day with Mrs. Cheek, rotate to two other teachers for Math and Language Arts, and then be back with Mrs. Cheek in the afternoon. We went and saw Mrs. Cheek's room as well as the other two teachers' rooms. We did meet the Language Arts teacher as well, but the Math teacher was at another appointment. We also met the Art teacher who sent us home with arts supplies so Damaris could complete a project that the kids in her class are currently working on.
So, start day for Damaris will be in a week and a half on Monday, November 10th. We got permission to come up to the school on the Friday before during the school day so Damaris can meet some of the kids in her class. Please continue to pray:
*for the transition Damaris will be making in attending public school for the first time
*for the transition Russ & I will be making in putting her in school
*for God to place some special kids in Damaris' life that will be great friends to her
*for the teachers who will be teaching our precious daughter
*for God to protect her and all the teachers, staff, and students at her school
Thanks so much to everyone who has walked through this journey with us. We have definitely felt your prayers and support!