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    #217134 - 05/28/15 07:20 PM Grade skipped and facing middle school
    greenlotus Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 579
    DD10 made a mid year skip into 5th grade. She and her big sister will be attending middle school this Fall, and the AG teacher at the new school asked me to come in mid June to discuss DD10. I will be emailing her soon for the appointment, but I would like to make sure I have a complete list of items to discuss.
    This is what is set up so far:
    -504 for ADHD inattentive type accommodations (write in test booklet, typing vs. hand writing, preferential seating)
    -Compacted math class (6th/7th/half of 8th done in one year)
    -Advanced clustering for language arts

    What should I be thinking about in terms of the 504 in middle school? DD has 5 teachers now. She will have 8 next year. DD's 3 current core teachers take pretty good care of her, and I see them every day. That won't be possible in middle school though I am signing up to volunteer so I can keep an eye on what goes on in the school. DD is doing so much better with organization and such - fingers crossed that this will continue.

    When I spoke with the AG teacher a few weeks ago I asked her what the "advanced clustering" was all about. She said she wanted to talk to me during our June meeting about making sure DD would be put in the right LA level. Any advice about how to discuss this topic?

    The kids are put in "teams". Those are the kids they will be with all year long. I am hoping that DD can be put with her best pal. I know that we will get some special treatment since DD is a grade skipped child. How else can I smooth her transition into middle school? I know that both DD11 and DD10 are excited about middle school - and anxious. We have rising middle school play dates set up for the summer so the kids can get to know one another ahead of time.
    Am I missing anything?

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    #217141 - 05/28/15 09:07 PM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    RobotMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/09
    Posts: 604
    Loc: in a happier place
    I would say the thing that you will need to look out for is how the teachers will feel about her being grade skipped. I know this may sound strange, but when our DDs have been grade skipped we have run into teachers who are against accelerations and as a result tended to see DD (either one) as just another problem and blame all issues on their younger ages, rather than on the fact that their needs were still not being met. (This is for girls 5 years apart, so we are not even talking about the same schools or the same teachers - just the same reactions to them!)
    One teacher said that she didn't feel comfortable with DD in her middle school social studies class because they discuss things that are too mature. I am still not sure what she was referring to, but that was her position and she treated DD like a baby, which did not go over very well at all.
    It sounds like your school is much more on top of things than our schools ahve been though. Good luck.

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    #217150 - 05/29/15 01:59 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    I think with some teachers you will run into the following problem:
    1. They don't think that ADHD is a real disorder
    2. They will try to blame behaviors from the ADHD on her age rather than ADHD and gripe about how she was grade-skipped, if she displays these behaviors
    3. Some teachers will simply not be good at communicating or following a 504. I had enourmous problems just getting 3 teachers to do this and they were all at a 504 planning meeting. I felt like the 504 was signed and then nothing changed, and wondered if they even read what they signed (although I think part of this was that our district is so horrible, the teachers had probably never even seen a 504 for ADHD before, and didn't understand that they were REQUIRED to actually follow it. Hopefully you're not going to deal with such nonsense).

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    #217153 - 05/29/15 04:55 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: spaghetti]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2612
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    In our 6th grade, it was sort of like boot camp. Zero tolerance for handing in papers late (even 20 seconds late when you find it in your binder and the teacher has passed by-- too late == zero). The good thing is that middle school grades don't count so it's OK for your dd to experience stress and failure.

    Such a rigid homework policy is dumb. And middle school grades do matter, because they affect placement in future years and because they influence a student's self-concept. There are probably bright but disorganized children, especially boys, who are convinced that they are bad at school.

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    #217158 - 05/29/15 05:35 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Even though your dd is doing well with organization, I would make sure the 504 has organizational goals in it because the transition to middle school and multiple teachers is tough for everyone, let alone someone with ADHD. I would try to get your dd to have a planner in which she writes homework, tests and other assignments, (maybe your school does this already) and have it checked by the teacher (and you) each day, at least until you know your dd is keeping up with everything. My grade skipped son doesn't have ADHD, but he hasn't ever had to concentrate on homework before, so that was his biggest issue in middle school.

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    #217160 - 05/29/15 05:46 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4473
    You've received great advice above. I'll just add three things:

    1) Emphasize spaghetti's advice: "I'd not mention the grade skip to anyone-- at least not at the beginning because that's what they will have on their mind. The farther she gets from the grade skip, the more they will forget-- kids and adults alike."
    IOW, beware of thinking "I know that we will get some special treatment since DD is a grade skipped child."

    2) Middle school grades are retained in a longitudinal database along with a host of other information.

    3) For 504 accommodations, "preferential seating" may be vague and have a whiff of elitism; "Seating near teacher" may be more precise and therefore easier to implement.

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    #217162 - 05/29/15 06:02 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    Peter Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/10
    Posts: 249
    My DD skipped K and she was 10 when she started MS. So, she had all her friends going to the same school and everything was smooth. One of her best friends is at least MG and probably PG and I reached out to her parents and both of them got enrolled in Algebra 1 class. She has at least a friend or two in each class.

    But in middle school, the kids starting to group into cool kids crowd, nerd crowd, etc... and it could be bad especially for girls (more so when they get into puberty and teenager years). If they don't aleady have hobbies, make sure to keep them busy in those years.

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    #217169 - 05/29/15 07:05 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: greenlotus]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    Guidance counselor meetings written into plan, if possible.

    A lot is really going to depend on the teacher fit, which might not be predictable
    (aka, if you ask for particular teachers, it may not work out as expected.)

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    #217175 - 05/29/15 08:08 AM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: Peter]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    Originally Posted By: Peter

    But in middle school, the kids starting to group into cool kids crowd, nerd crowd, etc... and it could be bad especially for girls (more so when they get into puberty and teenager years). If they don't aleady have hobbies, make sure to keep them busy in those years.


    So true. With one girl in high school and the other going into 8th, I've seen some truly ridiculous, selfish and sometimes cruel behavior from good kids who we've known for years. Fortunately, most of them have returned to their senses by the time they hit high school.

    I actually think that it might be better for your DD not to be with her best friend so that she will branch out and meet new people. Her best friend may be itching to branch out. She may ditch her. She may find a boyfriend and not want your kid hanging around. You don't want to have your kid's social well being dependent on one other fickle middle school aged girl. In middle school, it is wise to cultivate multiple places to land.

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    #217221 - 05/29/15 06:45 PM Re: Grade skipped and facing middle school [Re: blackcat]
    greenlotus Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 579
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    I think with some teachers you will run into the following problem:
    1. They don't think that ADHD is a real disorder
    2. They will try to blame behaviors from the ADHD on her age rather than ADHD and gripe about how she was grade-skipped, if she displays these behaviors



    Ugh. That's nasty. DD is perfectly behaved (scared sometimes of getting in trouble), but, she loses stuff between class and home and back again. That's what we are up against.

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