Thank you to all our lovely friends and family who have been thinking of us and praying for us over the last couple of weeks. It has been a very stressful time but we have felt so loved and supported both here in France and also from back home.
The School board met last week so James and I decided that we would write to them informing them of our concerns about the way Hannah had been dismissed and the lack of consultation. The year 5 parents were also in full support of Hannah and so the parent delegate raised their concerns at the meeting also. We are still unsure whether or not the board were aware beforehand of Hannah's dismissal but it does appear that there has been a bit of back tracking as Hannah has been offered her place back at IST until the end of the school year. It is still just the same hours as before so not ideal but at least she can stay with her peers until the summer break.
We had been considering alternative education options for Hannah anyway as have felt that IST had not embraced inclusion and were struggling to know how to meet Hannah's needs. I still think that they could have done it but they feel limited by time and resources so on the positive side at least they have let us know that they can't cope rather then letting us keep paying our money but it all being very stressful for everyone. I have lots of ideas as to how they could make it work but not sure if they would listen to me!!
Unfortunately her the teacher aide has decided to finish anyway so today is her last day. She has found it quite stressful and has found Hannah challenging at times. We are interviewing another lady this afternoon and hopefully she will be nice and be keen to work with Hannah. It is only for 7 weeks and maybe a change in helper will be good for everyone.
On Monday we met with the local special needs coordinator who suggested that Hannah could go straight into French school but it would be in a class of about 30 with no helper - we decided that that wasn't such a good idea!! So instead we are looking at putting her into the local college into the special needs class. It is a bit of a process to get her into this class as is anything with government funding and special needs! We are meeting the ministry of education on May the 6th and will start putting together her application. We are very hopeful that this will be a really good option but are still open to other options as well. Certainly having Hannah at IST next term takes the pressure off.
The school term finishes today - just like in New Zealand and we are all in need of a holiday. James is very busy with work but luckily at the moment has a very competent colleague over here from New Zealand that can take over the reins a bit while we are in Portugal. The forecast for Portugal is good so we are looking forward to some sun by the beach!