Guest Post by Parent Jennifer Arnold
Nearly three years ago, I stood in the Madonna School parking lot trying to coax my daughter out of the car. It was her first visit to Madonna. While she had agreed to visit the school earlier that morning, she suddenly was overcome with anxiety and fear. She was (still is) a very determined young lady with rigidity ruling her world. And this was not her school, she said.
Finally, after several minutes of negotiation, she walked with me to the front door where we were greeted by the welcoming smile of former Madonna Principal Dr. Bill. Elise hesitated but stepped in the building. She wouldn’t look at Dr. Bill or anyone we met as we walked to Ms. Jablonski’s classroom. As we turned the corner into the room, several bright, happy faces looked up and immediately welcomed Elise to their school. The students surrounded her with hellos and “would you like to sit by me.” This was something she had never experienced before. Typically it was just the opposite. Her face lit up, and I remember her turning to me and saying, “Bye mom, see you later.” She was off — and we’ve not looked back.
Today, Elise is getting ready to start her third school year at Madonna.