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    #171688 - 10/17/13 05:13 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    HappilyMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 417
    My short experience has been that guidance counselors or social workers are usually included to speak to the "social/emotional" aspects.... Unfortunately they are sometimes uninformed about the true social and emotional impacts of not accelerating a HG child.

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    #171766 - 10/18/13 08:15 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: HappilyMom]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: HappilyMom
    My short experience has been that guidance counselors or social workers are usually included to speak to the "social/emotional" aspects.... Unfortunately they are sometimes uninformed about the true social and emotional impacts of not accelerating a HG child.


    That's what I was fearing, and I don't want that kind of stuff to derail the conversation.


    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Most virtual schools are not terribly rigid about scheduling or synchronous learning/pacing in the EARLY grades, but may become more so in later grades...


    Okay, you may be onto something here. We've been able to do most (but definitely not all) subject acceleration we wanted, but it could be that it's just dawned on them that DS7 will exhaust their available math courses (up to AP calc BC) by some time in middle school, and they're freaking out about "what then?" It really shouldn't be a big deal. DS can do college math while doing high school courses in the things he's not very advanced in. I'm hoping we can just talk them into calming down and letting us do what we as parents (and experienced educators and mathematicians) think is right.

    But it's frustrating. We don't know what the meeting's really about. We don't know if they just want to talk, or if they want to listen to us. We don't know if they're focusing on the short term (the subject accelerations we want now), or the long term (what to do when their subjects run out).

    We do know what is acceptable to us, so at least by the end of the meeting we'll have some idea if this school can be made to work for DS (and younger siblings).

    Originally Posted By: Dude
    ...they could still insist on having the meeting at the scheduled time, and ignore your requests for an agenda. In that case, I'd still go to the meeting, but I'd treat it as a discovery meeting,...


    Exactly.


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    #171872 - 10/18/13 07:29 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    I just remembered a couple of comments from the gifted teacher a while ago that might indicate the school's attitude. She said that we needed to advocate for DS7. Now, she totally supports us and agrees with our plans, and advocates for us in the school, so her comment must mean that she feels she has limited influence, and that her advocacy for gifted students in the school is meeting with resistance (at least in our case). This is not good sign.

    The gifted teacher also asked us if we'd considered homeschooling. (This is a virtual school, so we are essentially homeschooling anyway, except we give up freedom to get free courses and a transcript.) This comment suggests she is not hopeful that the school will cater to DS7 so that we would be better off leaving and doing regular homeschooling. This is also not good sign.

    Actually these comments by the gifted teacher are about the only information we have to go on, going into this meeting.

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    #172068 - 10/20/13 01:12 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Any more thoughts? The comments here are helping me prepare for this "mystery meeting".

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    #172071 - 10/20/13 01:34 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Try not to theorise ahead of your data.

    But... When we were similarly summoned (thread)
    I did essentially two related things - I thought about how to articulate what we wanted to consider for DS, and why, and I thought about how to explain the steps we'd already taken (so that I had an answer if we were accused of messing DS up by "allowing" him to get ahead).

    For us the meeting turned out entirely positive - good luck for yours doing so too!
    _________________________
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

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    #172072 - 10/20/13 01:39 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4956
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    ... helping me prepare for this "mystery meeting".

    Lots of good advice has been shared here and on other threads recently as it seems several families are facing rather unnerving in-person or virtual meetings. Some of the tips were -
    - Research the school or district policies and practices. This information is often found on their website. You may wish to print and put this in an advocacy ring binder to refer to over the years as the policies/practices may change over time.
    - Have any test results and other pertinent facts available
    - Know what you are asking for
    - Agenda
    - Know who is in the meeting, and their role(s)
    - Stay calm
    - Take notes so you can summarize in an e-mail afterward
    - Use active listening (rephrase what has been said, and put it in a question form) to clarify understanding
    - Listen to any proposals they may make, ask appropriate probing questions, such as how a proposal may work, how the proposal may help your child, etc
    - Do not be forced to make a decision if you need time
    - Summarize next steps & time frames, and/or need for a follow-up meeting
    - Thank everyone for their time & interest
    - Write a summary (points of agreement, etc)

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    #172074 - 10/20/13 03:03 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    ^ +1.

    All of that is great. I'd also keep a very open mind, and imagine the BEST possible reasons as well as the nightmare scenarios that are cavorting through your imagination at the moment, too. wink

    It could be that the GT teacher has pushed to have a meeting so that she and you can tag-team the others. True?
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #172141 - 10/21/13 08:14 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Thanks for the advice. We are thinking through all the possibilities to be prepared for anything, but we would have appreciated the basic courtesy of having been told what the meeting is specifically about, what their current thoughts are, and what our input is to be. It's a bad sign that they put us in the lurch like this.

    This is a virtual school, so what they have to offer is free course materials and a transcript (and some structure) that regular homeschoolers may not get. All we want is that they send the next course when the previous one is complete and to let our kid work at his own pace. But they can refuse to do this and have done so in the past in some cases. They have not told us their intentions this time even though they know they easily could have.

    They could be wanting to discuss the longer term, what happens when their courses run out. (They could have let us know whether that is a topic of discussion, but they didn't.)

    Some email communication first about what the topics are and what everyone thinks would have been better before any meeting.

    The meeting was called by the principal who is new and who we have never communicated with.


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    #172163 - 10/21/13 10:18 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Also possible that they plan to feel you out for use as a marketing tool.

    (I know that sounds farfetched-- but if you have a PG child in a virtual school, trust me, it ISN'T.)

    I agree that you need to say something about the fact that they seem to have deliberately blindsided you with this meeting, and that's just plain RUDE.

    I'd use language like; "respect for the partnership" and "team" there. Well, you know what I'm getting at-- and so will they, no matter how nicely you phrase things.

    An innocent "Wow, I sure wish I'd known what all of this was about before our meeting.... I'd have been able to facilitate this process and we'd all have wasted so much less time on it..."
    should make your point very nicely.

    They HAVE to regard parents as partners given how the model operates. Period. They aren't doing that if they are keeping you in the dark about educational planning and meetings.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #172168 - 10/21/13 10:44 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Last year when DS was in 1st we setup a meeting with the GT coordinator to discuss what next with him. We went in intending to suggest a skip to third which would also get him into the full time GT program. Amusingly she came to the meeting intending to suggest a skip to third which she had discussed with the principal. The whole of the agenda was "what next" for him.

    We didn't mention the skip beforehand because we wanted to get a sense of the options and the school's stance. The coordinator was waiting for the meeting also to probe our feelings. So, great outcome, positive intentions all around, sort of comical and DS is in third this year.

    When I find myself in a meeting without an agenda that is a surprise, I usually try to break the ice with stating something like "I was confused about the purpose of this meeting. I was guessing it is that you are concerned that the program isn't meeting our needs and wanted to figure out how to help."

    Or something similar, where I ascribe the best possible intentions to the person calling the meeting. If I've misjudged their intentions, then it is on them to now paint a more negative picture of their intent.

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