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    #189570 - 04/27/14 03:57 PM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    The big question is if we should send an email to all concerned that he was accepted before our meeting.
    Some may say it is wise to allow the district to show their hand first. The district may have criteria which is different than DYS qualifications (for example, showing proficiency on an end-of-unit test, meeting the school's end-of-year criteria, willingness to go through the process of the IAS).

    Have you read the Davidson guidebook, Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People?

    Do you have info on preparing for a meeting? Lots of good advice has been shared on other threads recently as it seems several families have scheduled 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 to share (milestones, reading lists, other accomplishments/achievements)
    - It is good to have them speak first. If asked to speak first, you may simply wish to thank everyone for attending and summarize that you are all here to share information and ideas about how to best meet your child's educational needs... and that you would like to hear from them.
    - Agenda
    - Know who is in the meeting, and their role(s)
    - Stay calm
    - Know what you are asking for
    - Take notes so you can summarize in an e-mail afterward [Some families announce they plan to record the meeting and then do so, rather than taking notes.]
    - Use active listening (rephrase what has been said, and put it in a question form) to clarify understanding
    - Be open to receiving the school's data/observations.
    - 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, the schedule/frequency of service delivery, 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
    - After the meeting, write a summary (points of agreement, etc) and share it, possibly by e-mail

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    #189615 - 04/28/14 07:11 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    Indigo I cannot thank you enough for your response! I am printing out your list so my husband and I can go over it tonight. We are also thinking of taking a couple of screen shots of the problems he is working on in EPGY and printing out his progress page since he has plowed through 1st-2nd grade in about 7 weeks. And maybe bringing a couple of books he has just finished reading. Too much? My husband wants to bring in a sample of the math worksheets he is doing for kindergarten to show a comparison of what he is capable of if given the opportunity. Maybe? It's only a 30 minute meeting. I am still livid about his reading assessment, but I need to let that go.

    It would be lovely if they are offering a grade skip into the gifted program (which begin in 2nd grade), but since we are meeting with both Principals I am not sure if this is even an option. I am concerned they are going to way heavy into keeping him in Spanish for 1st until he can switch to the other school. We have already firmly told them no, but I don't know. They also brought his HP Teacher into the initial meeting because she "knows him the best". She doesn't even really work with him on his twice a week project. They have an in-district Architect he has been working with. She sort of rubbed me the wrong way from our first meeting when she looked at us with a smile and told us he didn't qualify for the special gifted classroom program because his FSIQ wasn't high enough. We pointed her to his GAI and she said that didn't count. It is stated on their website with the numbers for GAI and FSIQ. I emailed the HP District Coordinator in reference to this and received a phone call in the evening stating this was incorrect and that the GAI is a better assessment for our son. How could a seasoned HP teacher not know this? My confidence in her is low for kids at the further end of gifted.

    I would love for them to let him have a morning simulation in the 2nd grade gifted classroom to see how he would do. They do this for all of the end of 1st graders that enter the program. I think he would love it, but I am not sure how to ask for this. Both Principals are friendly, but a bit intimidating and it's a bit hard to navigate during these meetings. I brought notes to the last one and that helped a bit. Seriously, I had no idea how much work this would be just to ensure my kid gets the education he needs.

    We know we are not giving them an immediate answer, unless they want to grade skip him!! Happy thoughts..... They've had us waiting for two extra weeks so we are thinking of telling them we need a week to sort everything out and maybe counter if we need to. Thoughts??

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    #189616 - 04/28/14 07:13 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    Oh, and I was also thinking of printing out a summary of two or three of the projects he has worked on at home this school year to give to them. They really do not know my kid. 1/2 day Spanish has shown nothing of his skills or creative thinking.

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    #189630 - 04/28/14 09:20 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    We know we are not giving them an immediate answer, unless they want to grade skip him!!
    The IAS mentioned previously is the Iowa Acceleration Scale... useful for bringing forth many aspects to consider for a grade skip, helps get everyone on the same page: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/iowa_accel_scale.htm

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    #189780 - 04/30/14 06:33 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    I got a call rom the District Coordinator yesterday informing us of DS6 results from the Fountas and Pinnell. Still the same 2nd grade level. It has been bothering me all night, because my kid totally understands very complex books. This morning I was thinking that sometimes when I ask him a question his immediate response is I don't know. If I take a minute and probe deeper, he knows the answer. Could this be a processing speed problem? There is a huge discrepancy from his WISC IV scores in processing speed. Perhaps I should bring this up? Very nervous about our Principal meeting today!!

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    #189781 - 04/30/14 06:42 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    KTPie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/13/14
    Posts: 253
    DrummerLiz, I do not have an answer for you but I am in a similar boat. My DS6 was assessed when he entered K with the DRA and was at that time on an "early-mid 2nd grade level" and he was reassessed recently at the same level, according to his teacher. He is a voracious reader at home and will gush about a book that he's passionate about, but otherwise doesn't respond to questions about comprehension. I get "I don't know" all the time.
    _________________________
    http://www.my-little-poppies.com

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    #189786 - 04/30/14 07:56 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    ...Fountas and Pinnell. Still the same 2nd grade level.
    You've received great responses already.

    You want the flow information coming to you, at this point. You may wish to drill down and ask gently probing questions, "Oh, that's interesting, please tell me more...". (Do not get defensive. Do not counter.) Take notes.

    In some cases, such as F&P, a teacher may be able to share a comprehension rubric, the results of which are separate from the reading level letter score. Further conversation may lead to the Continuum of Literacy Learning, a book which the teacher may have received included in the professional framework, part of the benchmark assessment system. Learn how your child is assessed. Ask for examples. Become familiar with their evaluation process(es).

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    #189809 - 04/30/14 11:27 AM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    Thank you all for your responses and support! What an interesting morning. We met with both Principals and it felt a bit like a Madmen episode. They both want our kid. Yeah! They each gave us their pitches and we are so happy to have the opportunity to move him to the school where he is already "pre-approved" for the separate gifted classroom that begins in 2nd grade. Apparently this has never happened before. The Principal at the new school had the best offers of differentiation and clustering with 3 other kids for the fall with a seasoned teacher who enjoys gifted kids! The new Principal doesn't seem to care about he Fountas and Pinnell and is very respectful about challenging our kid. We are only thinking positive thoughts now because you never know how next year will go, but I am remaining optimistic! This forum is invaluable. Truly! Oh, and we ended with letting them know about DYS. Sort of shocked that they had no idea about the program. They looked it up while we were at the meeting. smile

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    #189817 - 04/30/14 01:32 PM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    It's wierd. The District Coordinator was a big part of their initial private meeting to discuss my son and she was not very positive on the phone yesterday which made us nervous about the meeting today. But the new Principal seems very excited and respectful of what my kid could be capable of which put a whole new spin on it and he doesn't seem to care. The full time gifted program doesn't start until 2nd, but he is willing to provide differentiation and testing out if needed in math and reading for 1st grade. He also advocated for my son to take the NWEA in Reading next week, even though the Spanish kids don't take it. Our current Principal was not certain if he could do it and the new one basically told him to set it up. Very interesting dynamic. The new school is higher rated in the district so maybe he has more power, but who knows!? We do feel good about the new school and more opportunities. Can we finally relax a little now?? wink

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    #189825 - 04/30/14 04:09 PM Re: Placement Meeting Help! [Re: DrummerLiz]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    Can we finally relax a little now?? wink
    Lovely to hear good news and wonderful to sense some relief.

    Some may say it is time to document the meeting, thanking people for their time/interest and recounting your understanding of positives and agreements reached. Parents may wish to keep rather complete documentation at home, and decide what parts of it to share with the meeting attendees, keeping in mind that e-mails to schools may become open records, and information shared on public forums may be widely read.

    At some point parents may wish to ensure they have a solid understanding of what a school means by "differentiation" and "testing out if needed in math and reading for 1st grade". For example, is differentiation a higher set of expectations for the child's performance and volume of output/productivity? A choice a child must make between working with the class or doing worksheets in isolation? Does differentiation include instruction in higher level material or is the child required to be entirely autodidactic? What level of mastery allows a child to test out, 90%, 95%, 100%? Knowing that each year most children are routinely promoted to the next grade with less than 100% mastery (as 76%-79% is often considering a "passing" grade) some families have successfully advocated for their gifted or high-achieving children to take the school's end-of-year tests early to be subject accelerated.

    Here's an old post with a roundup of wry descriptions of gifted program/service buzzwords.

    While things are going well, you may wish to study advocacy skills as they may come in handy in the future.


    Edited by indigo (08/16/16 01:23 PM)

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