June 7, 2011: Jayden’s last day at EPIC

It is bitter sweet saying good-bye to EPIC. It has been two years since Jayden started pre-K and I remember balling out a director because I didn’t want my little 3 year old going to the south of Waukegan on a bus! I have to say, I have grown a lot since then and learned in my stupidity that it is not really the school district you are in, it is the staff that makes or breaks your experience with a school. I remember Jayden’s first days of pre-school, putting him on the bus, and following right behind in my car to make sure he got there ok. I remember being frustrated that he had a horrible teacher his first year. I remember carrying Brooklyn in her infant seat, taking her to Jayden’s IEP meeting to discuss his new diagnosis of Sanfilippo in October 2009. I remember meeting Nancy-who would become my eyes and ears into the school and be the biggest advocate for Jayden during our short stay. I will never forget Jayden meeting Ms. Rodriguez, for his 3 days of summer school. Kim was affectionately deemed the “boot camp” teacher who would become his 2nd year teacher and second biggest advocate. She put Jayden on the potty every day for an entire year. During circle time, she would put him in his cube chair, place her one leg over him, and read to the class while Jayden chewed her shoelaces. She won my heart when she and Nancy made the trip to the hospital twice when Jayden had a cyst that ruptured summer 2010. The last semester, we met Ms. Newbury and Ms. Torres, who stole Jayden’s heart. The support staff would greet Jayden, and call him “pape”, a Spanish endearment that makes his entire face light up. Jut and I joke that Jayden may not have a speech delay, he just speaks Spanish to us and we don’t understand because his entire class was bi-lingual. Overall, I am sad that he has to start over meeting new people, but I am excited that they helped us with the transition, securing a fabulous teacher for Kindergarten in the fall (who was also his summer school teacher). Thank you-EPIC staff, you have been so wonderful to us and we will miss you! Whittier, watch out-here we come!