Next week the SFUSD school year begins, and Monday will also be the day that I have to truly confront the fact that one of my daughters will not be returning to SFUSD this year.
Since last spring, we have been agonizing over the decision about whether to let her continue at her current school for fourth grade. Class sizes increase to 33 students in our school’s 4th and 5th grades, and our team has been warning us that this increase will be just too much for my older daughter. After looking at a number of different options within the school district, we made the sad decision to move her, at our own expense, to a specialized private program where she can receive more individual attention and social support.
We love our public school, and our youngest is thriving with the instruction from our amazing teachers. We’ve spent hours upon hours volunteering here, and our oldest has formed social connections with peers and strong bonds with the staff. Still, everyone agrees, it’s time for her to move on.
I know we are doing the right thing, and yet I wish we had an option for my oldest daughter within the public schools. Unfortunately, right now at least, we don’t.
Some people will see political implications in this decision, and I suppose that’s to be expected since I have chosen to make our lives more public by running for the Board. But as a parent, I have to put my daughter’s needs first, and this move is what is best for her. I am excruciatingly aware that most families of kids in special education do not have the same choice.