Wednesday, November 4, 2009

School Registration

It is time I registered Z to go to the local Elementary school. I downloaded all of the forms before we left the UK and I took him to the doctor to get the vaccinations he needed and to have a medical assessment. When I asked at the doctors office about getting the vaccinations I was told he would need 3 doses and they would be £11 each and that the medical exam would be £75! The vaccinations he needed to get was Hep B and he would not be able to go to school without it. He needed to have 2 doses a month apart and the final one 5 months later. I checked with Carmel Elementary and they said it would be fine if he only had 2 doses and got the final one once he is in the US. We scheduled the medical assessment and I left the form that needed to be completed at the doctors office so that the doctor would know what was required. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and was all the basic height, weight, BP, eyes, ears, chest etc. The last Hep B vaccine does that Z had was the day before we left the UK and by that point I had not been asked for any money to pay for the vaccinations or medical assessment. I did have to pay £5 for a 3 sentence letter on headed paper that said we had all be covered continuously by the NHS from birth. We had to get that letter as the US medical insurance company requested it before they would insure us all. K's paediatrician also copied her entire file relating to her kidney issues for us to bring over to the US. As she has never had to have any treatment for her condition it is not classed as a pre-existing condition and is therefore not exempt.

So I arranged to go down to the Elementary school today to register Z to go there. I got a ride down from fellow British Expat Sian who had been so great already by helping settle in and getting stuff for the apartment. We get down to the school just after 10am and go to the office. As I have already filled in most of the forms needed there are only a few other ones that need to be completed. I need to show proof of residency and id for myself so I show our lease agreement for the apartment and my passport. I forgot id for Z so I need to bring that back on the day he starts. I hand over all the forms and get told that his first day will be on Friday and that he can start to travel by the school bus from Monday. I need to call the transportation department to find out what number bus he needs to get and where the pick up is from. They also give me a copy of the school supply list and all the stuff I need to get him for being in 1st grade. O.M.G! When you are used to having the school provide everything for you it is a bit of a shock that you have to buy loads of stuff. There is also a book rental fee that needs to be paid each year and it changes depending on what grade you are in. A woman in the school office starts talking to Z and tells him that she just loves his accent and listening to him talk. He looks at her with an expression that clearly says 'You are mad!'

When we leave the school Sian offers to take us all to get the school supplies. We head to Target with the list, which is printed on bright orange paper and is very specific about certain things! We manage to find most of the things and improvise some others. We also get a new home phone and a US cell phone for me. I get the kids a few new toys as they were not able to bring over many and then stop off to get a couple things for the apartment, including a new can opener after the one Ben got literally fell apart yesterday as I opened a can of pineapple chunks! We got to the cashier and she starts scanning the barcodes and puts the things in bags for me. She starts chatting to me when she hears my accent and she starts talking loads! The total comes up and I  swipe my card, just over $200, I sign the digital screen and away I go. When I get home I am looking at the receipt and see that the cell phone I got is not on it. I have managed to save almost $100 all because the woman was so busy chatting to me she forgot to scan the barcode. Is it bad that I haven't been back to make the payment? How would I explain it??

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