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    #172214 - 10/21/13 01:43 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 453
    There was wrongdoing on the part of LMSD, but if you read up on the family, it is not the first time they have been involved in lawsuits. They were looking for lawsuits because they needed the money - they had the largest delinquent residential electric bill that the electric company ever saw. They owed money to a lot of other folks too. The kid did not have permission to take the laptop home because the family did not pay the insurance fee - that is supposedly why LMSD turned on the tracking/camera (to locate the computer). The FBI found no evidence of criminal intent and cleared the folks at the school district.


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    #172252 - 10/21/13 05:33 PM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: momoftwins]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: momoftwins
    This happened in a suburb of Philadelphia a few years ago, resulting in a lawsuit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District


    Having read that article, I think, as right-thinking person ought to, that the lawyers fees as a proportion of the settlement were the most obscene piece of information revealed in it.
    _________________________
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    #172346 - 10/22/13 09:02 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Can you report on your meeting once you've had a chance to process it all?

    I'm very curious as to the explanation of why you were being kept in the dark. (My own experiences suggest that such things are often inept communication or a complete lack of understanding of parents-as-partners on the part of administrators, but that's just me.)

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #172452 - 10/23/13 08:16 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Yikes! Major thread hijack!

    Anyway, some of you have had good experiences with these "mystery meetings" and I've thought through all the possibilities both good and bad to try to be prepared. I'd also like to know the reason for their lack of communication about the meeting, which has forced us to prepare for a wide range of contingencies, most of which won't happen. (I'm very annoyed that they've done this.)

    So we'll listen to what they have to tell us (and finally find out what page they're on). We'll explain clearly what we think should happen and why.

    If they will not appropriately accommodate/accelerate our DS (and we want things to be set up for younger siblings in the future) then we have to figure out what to do next. We could complain/appeal to the school's board, the education department, the k12.com company etcetera. Also we could leave the school at some point. The question is, do we say so in the meeting (that we could complain and/or leave)? Or do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?

    Thoughts?



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    #172455 - 10/23/13 08:51 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: NotSoGifted]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    There was wrongdoing on the part of LMSD, but if you read up on the family, it is not the first time they have been involved in lawsuits. They were looking for lawsuits because they needed the money - they had the largest delinquent residential electric bill that the electric company ever saw. They owed money to a lot of other folks too. The kid did not have permission to take the laptop home because the family did not pay the insurance fee - that is supposedly why LMSD turned on the tracking/camera (to locate the computer). The FBI found no evidence of criminal intent and cleared the folks at the school district.



    Sorry to belabor this, as I'm interested in the original thread.

    But LMSD LOST the lawsuit, so clearly there was a crime committed. His family's monetary issues have nothing to do with his privacy rights being violated, and I'm curious why you're linking the two.

    I would certainly file a lawsuit if my son's school surreptitiously took pictures in in his bedroom with his school-issued computer, regardless of what they got on camera.

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    #172456 - 10/23/13 08:54 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Originally Posted By: 22B


    If they will not appropriately accommodate/accelerate our DS (and we want things to be set up for younger siblings in the future) then we have to figure out what to do next. We could complain/appeal to the school's board, the education department, the k12.com company etcetera. Also we could leave the school at some point. The question is, do we say so in the meeting (that we could complain and/or leave)? Or do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?

    Thoughts?




    We've had similar meetings and our message was always, "We want to make this work and we don't want to have to leave the school, so what can we do?" Your message might be "We don't want to involve the district, so we can we do?"

    Good luck!

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    #172458 - 10/23/13 09:38 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:
    (snip) do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?

    Thoughts?

    Okay-- if they say something unexpected (distinct possibility, right, since they've left you in the dark)--

    be noncommittal.

    "Hmm. That's interesting. We will need to consider this. Can we follow up in a week?"

    DO NOT commit to anything if they surprise you, and my recommendation is that as far as possible, you should attempt to not even RESPOND to it one way or the other. At the time, I mean.
    I always vote for passive resistance and inertia w/r/t escalation-- because it's SO hard to deescalate later. At this point, you don't even know for sure who is invited to this meeting-- whether it involves corporate/national or just local administrators.


    Remember, virtual school means that you can just flat out ignore it for a week or two if they seriously tick you off, or radically alter placement against your wishes. Your child's environment ONLY changes in a pragmatic sense IF you agree to it. So you don't have to TELL them anything at all-- you can be enrolling somewhere else effective immediately-- or homeschool-- and not tell them for a few weeks.

    So you don't have a lot at stake, realistically. You can afford to be patient and play the long-range game, because you have control of your child's educational setting from day to day.

    smile Remember that.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #172461 - 10/23/13 10:14 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: 22B

    The question is, do we say so in the meeting (that we could complain and/or leave)? Or do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?


    I have not been in this specific situation 22B, but I have been to more than a few school meetings where something was said or a direction was taken that caught me by suprise and I wasn't prepared for. My choice has always been to do my best to not react, leave any potential emotion out of it, and simply say "This is new information" (or "unexpected information"). I will take some time to think it over (you can say a week or ten days or two days or whatever if you want to, or just say "some time") and then I'll be in touch."

    I wouldn't give any answers at the actual meeting or put anything else out there for the school - it may just be my personality, but I find it helpful to give myself the time to really think it over - and more importantly, think over how I will respond and what words/approach I'l use. 99% of the time I already know *what* I want to *do*, but my first impulses re *how* I want to say it to the school isn't the same approach I'd choose after I'd had time to think it through - so it's my way of giving myself the opportunity to put thought into my response and hopefully avoid ruffling feathers etc when I might not want to or need to.

    Taking this extra time before replying has also occasionally led the school to back down a bit or give in a bit when they were making a decision that was way different than what we were hoping for - because just the act of putting off any more input/decisions for a small amount of time alerted them to worry that we were upset (even though I did my best to always keep the response "we will think about it and get back to you" very calm and devoid of emotion).

    polarbear


    Edited by polarbear (10/23/13 10:16 AM)

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    #172465 - 10/23/13 10:32 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    momoftwins Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/27/13
    Posts: 156
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    We could complain/appeal to the school's board, the education department, the k12.com company etcetera. Also we could leave the school at some point. The question is, do we say so in the meeting (that we could complain and/or leave)? Or do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?

    Thoughts?


    It is really hard to believe that they are being so unprofessional and are still refusing to provide you with the reason for the meeting. Given their unprofessional behavior in setting up the meeting, it seems reasonable to expect them to continue to act the same way in the meeting. Personally, in that situation, I would listen to what they have to say, and then, if necessary ask for another meeting at a later date in order to properly prepare my response. I would not let them push me into a decision at that meeting, without time to think about it.

    I would insist on setting the next meeting date while we were still at the meeting. If you feel the need to escalate, even now before the meeting, you should do it, but I don't think you have to warn them that you are thinking about doing so. I would tell them as little as possible about your plans while you are at the meeting.

    Also, make sure to send them a letter in writing that acknowledges for the record that you requested information as to the purpose of the meeting several times, and your requests were ignored.

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    #172471 - 10/23/13 11:35 AM Re: How do we prepare for meeting? [Re: 22B]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    If they will not appropriately accommodate/accelerate our DS (and we want things to be set up for younger siblings in the future) then we have to figure out what to do next. We could complain/appeal to the school's board, the education department, the k12.com company etcetera. Also we could leave the school at some point. The question is, do we say so in the meeting (that we could complain and/or leave)? Or do we avoid potential escalation during the meeting itself, and instead just firmly express our dissatisfaction at the time, and then later, maybe after thinking it over, then go ahead and make our complaints/appeals, and/or make plans to leave the school?

    Thoughts?


    I would keep all those options in my back pocket, for now. The main thing is, you don't want to be reacting out of emotion, because then things get said in the wrong way, feelings get hurt, and it gets even harder to deal with these people than it otherwise would be. If there's any way of making things work, then it becomes a long-term relationship with the school, and any unnecessary damage done to the relationship will only make things harder in the future.

    A day or two after the meeting, when you've had the chance to cool off, might be the time to send out a follow-up email to the tune of, "We really need a solution to X. If the school is not interested in being a part of the solution, we're prepared to investigate other options."

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