“Yes, Jim, please?” Dan says into the phone.
“May I tell him who’s calling?” A polite voice asks through the speaker.
He leans closer says slowly and loudly. “Dan and LeeAndra Chergey.” I don’t know why Dan feels he must speak so loudly on the phone. I put my finger over my mouth to give him a silent shush and shake my head. I can imagine the lady on the phone pulling the phone away from her face, as I have to do often when I speak to him. He gives me a frown. We are sitting in our home office, huddled around the phone. It’s time to give the public school one last chance to give us what we asked and then give them the news of our decision. I feel more nervous than ever. Maybe not nervous, but shaky. We have nothing to lose here; we’ve made up our minds and know what we want, yet this is our check mate move.
“Hold for one moment, I’ll see if he’s available. The voice says.
My heart skips a few beats and I try to calm my breathing. I cover my mouth to soften my sigh. Dan is writing the date and time on his legal pad and looks up at me. He pushes mute on the phone.
“What’s wrong?” he whispers.
I laugh in his face. “You muted the phone, doofus, why are you whispering?”
He cracks a wide smile as a voice comes over the speaker.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Chergey, Jim here.”
Dan jumps to hit the mute button and says quickly. “Hello, Jim. How are you?” I’m glad he spoke because suddenly my mouth feels like sandpaper and I feel lightheaded.
“Great, great. Just tying up some loose ends before the district goes on summer break.” He says and sighs with a high pitch that it almost sounds like an ‘aahh’.
“Ah…uh….” Dan looks at me as to who is taking the lead again. I point to him. “So, Jim, we wanted to speak with you today about the letter we received.”
It has been two months since our last IEP meeting. We didn’t sign at the meeting as we weren’t sure what we wanted to do. And once I convinced Dan we should put him in private school we were waiting to find one. Now that we have found a place to start over, we want to give the district one last chance to agree. They sent us a letter outlining a plan that would allow Dr. Hunter’s aides in for a few weeks then fade them out. It isn’t what we want and now it’s time to lay it out.
“Okay, go ahead.” Jim says.
“Well, we really were hoping for the approval of Dr. Hunter’s aides at school. We don’t think having them shadow the school aides and then fade is going to work. I don’t think I have to re-hash the problems we had last year.” Dan pauses for effect, and it is works on me as the memories flood back and my face flushes with anger.
There is a shuffling of paper over the phone. “Um, yes, well, I believe we have discussed that enough.”
Dan looks intently at me as he speaks. “So, here is where we are at…we aren’t willing to keep him at the school if we don’t have Dr. Hunter’s aides.”