Caution - Warning: This post contains a critique.
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Originally Posted By: MamaRachel
Update:

There was a district-level meeting last week, with an educational consultant doing the presentation. Ed consultant stated pretest - show mastery (maybe do last 3-4 problems in unit - move on, as the ideal way to keep these kids challenged.

This is contrary to the current application in-district for how to deal with HiCap kids, as evidenced by the email from the teacher. Teacher wants kids to do regular work first.
- Was there conversation regarding the discrepancy between the two approaches?
- Was there a commitment to try the Ed consultant's approach for a specified length of time? It appears that focusing on this may bring about a positive change for your child's classroom experience, and better meet your child's needs.
- Did either the parents or the Ed consultant write a recap of the meeting?
- Have you been in contact with with Ed consultant since the meeting?

Originally Posted By: MamaRachel

We have our regular parent-teacher conferences on Friday afternoon this week for both kids. Late last week we (DH and I together) authored an email to the district HiCap coordinator which has not been responded to, voicing our frustration with the status quo.
Hmmmmm...
- Was this approach suggested by the Ed consultant?
- This approach was NOT suggested by the multiple resources and discussion threads linked in a post upthread. In fact, the OPPOSITE is recommended:
-- Avoid emotion (such as mention of frustration),
-- Focus on child's needs.

Originally Posted By: MamaRachel
Specifically mentioned and emphasized:

- Implementation method with small group clusters isn't going to work if the teachers can opt out. Our grade opted-out of traveling students to other classrooms daily for small group work. If the district thinks this is the golden ticket, they should mandate it. It would be wise to survey the teachers on their application of the small group clusters, and do in-class observations.
- There may be multiple ways to meet your child's needs.
- Is your district administration compliant with your State Laws, and with the school board policy and practice statements?

Originally Posted By: ManaRachel
- The district is providing teacher training - great. They offered 2 days in summer, 1 2-hr class on an in-service day, 1 2-hr class in the evening after school. The teachers can get "hours" for these classes, but the time is unpaid (except the in-service day). The training is not compulsory. We suggested some of the discomfort parents had with the current program is that we don't know if our teacher has been trained. If they want parents to feel more comfortable with a spread offense (kids in small clusters throughout the grades rather than a focused single-classroom), they need to pay the teachers for training, or make completion compulsory for teachers choosing to be "HiCap" teachers.
When a parent makes a statement such as "they need to pay the teachers for training"...
1- the parent is ignoring other sources of motivation, such as:
-- many teachers seek information on giftedness and connections with the gifted community, through the free Davidson Educator's Guild,
-- there are also teachers who've experienced giftedness themselves, and/or in a spouse, relative, or offspring... and have become motivated to become self-taught in giftedness.
2- the parent is speaking from opinion, not from law or policy,
3- the parent is no longer focused on their child's needs.

Originally Posted By: MamaRachel
- Pace. The pace is all wrong if you want these kids to first complete the regular grade curriculum which they've shown mastery of before moving to the next thing.
Is it possible that the pace is just right if the school wants to ensure that children are kept so busy with the regular grade curriculum that no one can work ahead... teachers and schools are increasingly being evaluated on achieving equal outcomes for all kids. Have you looked into the teacher evaluation process and the school evaluation/rating/ranking process?

Originally Posted By: MamaRachel
At the end of the email, we did request a meeting. This was sent last Wednesday PM, so they would have received Thursday. As we've gotten no reply, my inclination is to email again to ensure they are not going to show up at our parent-teacher conference on Friday. We'd really like those conferences to include DS9 and DS7 (only attending their own session), and not have a high-stakes meeting about HiCap as the sole focus. We want to use that time to talk about the other parts of school - behavior, citizenship, specifics about chosen science curriculum, book clubs, etc. We want the kids there for these conferences so they hear what we hear.
Make a list for your own use, and review it with your spouse and children prior to the meeting on Friday. The idea is for your family members to all be on the same page and use the parent-teacher-student conference time in a focused manner. For example, your list might include:
- behavior
- citizenship
- specifics about chosen science curriculum
- book clubs
... and might allow enough space to take notes on each item during the conference.

Originally Posted By: MamaRachel
Would you write another email this week? Should I wait until Wednesday as that gives them a week to respond?
Based upon your post here, some may say your e-mail would be better described as venting, and not as advocacy.

Rather than sending another e-mail at this time, I would suggest spending the time:
- preparing your family members and managing their expectations for the upcoming conference,
- reading up on advocacy approaches... both from published resources, and from forum discussion threads.