Back To School In Snoqualmie….

Ooops, I meant to say  in North Bend….  Am I confusing you?  You’re thinking, “but don’t you live on Snoqualmie Ridge?”  The answer is yes I do, but I live in the neighborhood the district picked to attend North Bend Elementary. To top off the change,  my 3rd grader has high class size.  So the district’s reasoning for the boundary change – help overcrowding, class size, etc – well, that didn’t quite happen for 3rd and 5th graders at NBE.

I have actually been dreading making this post because I am fighting every urge I have to climb on a soap box… and that was not the reason I started this blog….

Let’s just say this school year is not the same as past ones.  This year has more transitions and challenges. My son started middle school.  He was scared, but is  liking it so far.  It helps that he attends school with his older sister.  She and her friends are really nice to him.   My oldest daughter is happy as can be back at the high school.  She is all about the social stuff so enjoying high school is a no-brainer for her.  My biggest challenge is helping the 8 year old start over at a new school with no friends….

She is starting school with no friends because her two year  transfer to her former school was denied this year.  Because she was a transfer student she didn’t attend our neighborhood school – so she didn’t switch schools with school friends.  Our street has hardly any kids  so she is not transferring with neighbor friends.  I ate lunch with her the first day of school.  She sat lonely at the “no peanut” table and teary-eyed asked me, “how long do I have to stay here?”  Ironically as our district superintendent and school board members stood observing the lunchroom….

My daughter has numerous food allergies (some life-threatening) and asthma.  She is touch sensitive to her food allergens.   Our transition to a new school also entails a new school nurse, new emergency health care plan for new surroundings and establishing a whole new community who knows, recognizes and is familiar with her and her medical condition.  This is what we are doing because even with a doctor’s note stating it was safest for my daughter to continue at her school, her medical transfer was denied due to “class size being at or near capacity.”  Ironically she is required to attend a school with higher class size.

I’ve done lots of thinking about community this week.  I recognize there is community in North Bend.  For people who’ve attended NBE for years it is there.  For those who  transferred with 200 other children from Snoqualmie Elementary School, it is there.  For us?  It’s not.  It’s something we have to re-establish at a school in a city where we don’t live.  I realized this week how much our community has helped keep my daughter safe all these years.  Community is vital for kids with life-threatening allergies.  It’s what was lost when her lost her two year transfer was taken away…..

If you are looking for me this start of school season you will have to look in my car.  I have two middle schoolers on transfers – so I transport them to school…. then I get back in the car and drive my daughter to/from North Bend.  I do this because it is not safe her on the bus without an emergency  medical plan in place.  The bus will probably never be a safe enough place for her…

I hope you are all enjoying the start of the school year.  This year is opposite for me…. the summer home with 4 kids was actually more relaxing than the school year so far.   Never thought I would say that….

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  • I’ve just found your blog–it came up on a good ol’ Google search, and I’ve enjoyed reading it. I’m a very happy parent at NBE, but I am really sorry to hear about your daughter’s situation. It sure seems like approving the transfer would be a no-brainer based on what you’ve shared. I hope that the days since the first one have become easier and that she’s had the opportunity to make some new friends. I hope the same for you, too! A good friend of mine (at NBE) has a son with the same peanut allergy (touch and ingestion) and she’s been so happy with the support she and her son have received. You and your daughter are not alone within the NBE school community, but it can sure feel lonely at the no peanut table when you’re eight.

    If I can help in any way…please, feel free to contact me.

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