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    #211781 - 03/03/15 12:43 PM test scores and GIEP meeting
    AHEJA44 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/21/15
    Posts: 5
    Hello everyone - we recently had our 6-yo (1st grade) tested for the gifted program in our school district. She qualified, so were are going in for a GIEP meeting soon. I have never gone through this before, she is our first child, so I was hoping to get some advice on what to expect and what I should be advocating for during the meeting.

    Also, I was wondering whether I should be concerned about the PSI score. Why is it so much lower than the rest of the scores (@42percentile)?

    Here were her test results:

    VCI - 146
    similarities - 19
    vocabulary - 18
    comprehension - 16

    PRI - 145
    block design - 17
    picture concepts - 19
    matrix reasoning - 16

    WMI - 138
    digit span - 17
    letter number sequencing - 16

    PSI - 97
    coding - 9
    symbol search 10

    GAI - 156

    reading - 147
    math - 151

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    #211855 - 03/04/15 11:51 AM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 4039

    The PSI is still well within the average range, so I wouldn't be too concerned about it, in the absence of any functional impairments. There are numerous possible explanations for a relative weakness in the PSI, including a careful, conscientious task approach, perfectionism, age-appropriate fine-motor skills in the context of well above average cognition, true fine-motor deficits, unfamiliarity with timed tasks, inattention, fatigue, medication side effects, mental fog from allergies or illness...

    Unless you see inconsistencies or problems in real life, I wouldn't worry too much that the average PSI is concerning. Is she actually slow in completing tasks, or responding?
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #212139 - 03/08/15 07:24 PM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    Wesupportgifted Offline

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    For the GIEP, you will hopefully be adding steps to be taken to reach agreed upon goals for your student. In general, you are looking for ways to make the curriculum match your child's level. It might be harder than it sounds, so go in with your ideas, listen, communicate and try to give yourself time to process what the school is saying they can provide. Often, it means that the reading level of the books will be higher. The math will likely be more challenging. Usually, it is a matter of making sure your child is not bored and unchallenged. We would love to save you any frustration or upset. It helps to remember that when you are talking about being in a small percentage of the population, it can be a little bit awkward / uncomfortable to discuss. The people involved in the meeting might not come from that background / perspective and that is just fine. It might just take some time to communicate exactly the specific needs of your child. Go with your instincts. Share your ideas. Try not to take it personal if the first meeting does not go as you planned. You will get it right. You are already on the right track. Good Luck and think longer-term. You will have more meetings.

    #212151 - 03/08/15 10:22 PM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5227

    You've received great advice already. This meeting sounds very positive as it was triggered by a combination of your child's scores and policy/practice in place at your school. Some meetings are faced with more concern as they may be triggered by child's complaints of boredom, teacher observations of misbehavior, or parental concerns for underachievement.

    You may have seen this elsewhere on the forums, but there are lists of crowd-sourced ideas on preparing for a meeting. Standard tips for meeting prep include:
    - Research state laws and the school or district policies and practices. This information is often found online. You may wish to print and put this in an advocacy ring binder to refer to over the years as the laws and 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 including 5Ws (Who-What-Where-When-Why-How) of differentiation, 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

    General advocacy information/resources shared in this recent thread.

    #212161 - 03/09/15 06:21 AM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    Platypus101 Offline

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 675
    Loc: Canada
    Emphasize Indigo's comment above: know what you are asking for. Pick a couple of things that would really make a difference to your kid, and try to choose things that don't require a huge amount of the teacher's time to implement. If you keep it simple and positive - and it sounds like you are starting off that way already - you can build on and expand specific interventions over time.

    Wherever possible, take their suggestions, or build yours into theirs as expansions/ clarifications, so they "own" the to-do list and feel respected as experts.

    And never use the word "bored"!

    Good luck - hope it goes well.

    #212164 - 03/09/15 06:34 AM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: Platypus101]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5227
    Emphasize the previous poster's comment: And never use the word "bored"!

    The word "bored" sounds negative. "Bored" describes a child's disengaged response to a situation, and this may cause the conversation to focus on remediating your child's attitude. Not where parents want a conversation to go. It is more advantageous to describe your child's relative strengths (and, when applicable, relative weaknesses) in factual, observable, unemotional terms. For example, state when the child mastered the currently prescribed curriculum, as this provides a solid base to build on.

    We can talk about boredom and being bored here on the forums, but NOT when advocating, NOT in meetings.

    ETA: Hoagies has a webpage, "Never Say Bored!"

    #212166 - 03/09/15 06:59 AM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    Wesupportgifted Offline

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Thank you for the tip about what not to say in a GIEP meeting-that might be a great thread or perhaps one is archived already. I had no idea 'bored' was a touchy word and now I know that I will never use it in a GIEP meeting.

    One tip I could pass on for a phrase that was 'touchy' in a meeting was asking if the school could prepare the students gifted in science to achieve on the ACT test by the end of middle school rather than high school.

    Not to be too specific or unflattering to the meeting participant, the unexpected response was that it is illegal to teach to a test. I took the cue that the response was a smidge adversarial and not helpful to a calm discussion, remained quiet and thought about it more as a family and we might bring it up again in a future meeting with different participants.

    #212168 - 03/09/15 07:38 AM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5227
    Originally Posted By: Wesupportgifted
    asking if the school could prepare the students gifted in science to achieve on the ACT test by the end of middle school rather than high school.
    This may be seen as counter to a public school's efforts to close the achievement gap, performance gap, excellence gap. This may also be seen as an indicator of tiger parenting, causing the school to seek to "protect" the child from the parent(s), as discussed in several posts on a recent thread about teacher ideology.

    the unexpected response was that it is illegal to teach to a test.
    This individual's statement provided false information.

    You may have read this about test prep elsewhere on the forums... Oversimplifying, there are basically two types of tests: IQ/ability tests and achievement tests. It is widely considered unethical to teach to an IQ/ability test, and this may yield a false (invalid), artificially high and unsustainable score. By contrast, good test prep for an achievement test such as ACT/SAT has traditionally been a summary of a well-rounded, comprehensive education. College Board provides SAT prep: free practice questions, full practice test, online course, study guide. ACT provides test prep: online course, guide, question of the day, sample questions, full sample test, test tips.

    might bring it up again in a future meeting with different participants.
    Different participants, such as staff at a private/independent, or parochial school, not a public school? Understanding that public schools are charged with closing achievement gaps, the type of achievement test prep you are seeking may more readily be provided by the school for low performing students, rather than for gifted students who are achieving. Therefore, in a public school setting, this type of achievement test prep, when desired by a gifted student, is typically overseen by a gifted student's family on an after-schooling basis.

    #212260 - 03/09/15 09:17 PM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    Wesupportgifted Offline

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Yes, the way I show that the interest is from the child and not the parent is by letting our student feel free to speak directly on their own behalf. People do have a hard time believing the 'more' type of child is expressing the interest. I had heard through mass media about a teacher who was being celebrated in California. I thought it was just an interesting fact to bring up. This particular middle school teacher had put together a middle school program such that, as a result (and, again, this was being relayed as a positive success) the students after middle school passed ACT in Science. I just merely tried to relay the story at a GIEP meeting. I am learning as I go. The response was more negative, so now I know to be very careful about what I share. Not everyone sees everything the same way. We just concluded as a family that if our child wants to make that achievement an objective, then, of course, just go for it. The people in the GIEP meetings for us have been in flux (change of principal, different spec. ed. staff assigned to different year, teachers change each year, superintendent change and the movement of the gifted kids for grouping to different buildings in the district depending on year).

    #212335 - 03/10/15 07:04 PM Re: test scores and GIEP meeting [Re: AHEJA44]
    Platypus101 Offline

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 675
    Loc: Canada
    Addendum: it seems a common experience that while parents are simply trying to talk about the child, teachers hear "bored" as a direct accusation of incompetence.

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