This article was written by Bamba Diop,and an ALG member and father of two school-aged children.
As a parent, this year has been very different than last year. I feel great about this school year because my two kids were able to go back to school in person instead of remote learning.
I had anxiety in the 2020-2021 school year during the Covid-19 outbreak. It was hard to balance both working from home and at the same time helping my kids with remote learning and homework. And it’s not the case this school year. So, my stress level has decreased. Even so, I still have a little bit of concern about coronavirus infection.
However I do have a concern. I have some issues this year because my daughter, Anta Diop, is three years old and has been placed in special education by the Cherry Creek School District because she has a speech delay.
One of the issues was that I had to send numerous emails to the Child Find Center to get my child evaluated. After she was evaluated around last May it took them some time to place my daughter in the right preschool that could meet her special education needs until her first day of school on August 17th, 2021. I am still wondering, why did it take them so long?
Along with that, I am also disappointed that her preschool placement is far away from where we live. It’s around 20 minutes’ drive. This is too much for a three-year-old child. However, I am thankful for Diana Gassen at the Red Hawk Ridge Child Find Center. She was the only one who took this matter with a sense of urgency.
Among the good things I am seeing in this school year is that Anta had been in speech and occupational therapy with early intervention since April 2020 and her speech was not improving until she started going to preschool. Now, her vocabulary is growing. She can now say more than 20 words and take direction. However, she still needs a lot of improvement, but the trends are headed in the right direction.