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    #2272 - 03/13/07 03:47 PM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: Christi]
    stbmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/26/06
    Posts: 57
    ACS - I only deal in facts and numbers. The most resent numbers available are from 2005 which state that nationally, new immigrant children are ranking proficient in grades 3 - 6 at just 10%
    The numbers are not great for African American children (of which I am) either - with just 23% being proficient in their grade area. No one said these children aren't bright, but adjusting to a new environment with a new education system is not easy, not even for a bright child.
    Ignoring issues by saying "everyone is the same" simply makes those that need additional help sink further and further behind. That is why I am so troubled by the numbers for African American children. Instead of people saying, what can we do to make the education system work for these wonderful children people are instead saying "no, everyone is the same". But guess what, in my state over 50% of AFrican American children drop out of high school. How does ignoring the problem help them? It doesn't. They are lost and they have no hope for a bright future because no one chose to look at the situation and say, "what can we do to help these children be the best that God created them to be". No one is saying "these children deserve a shot and we are failing them, lets change something".
    So sorry, I am okay with offense as long as it gets people looking at the real issue. Children are not succeeding in our schools. I would rather someone be offended by my comments and something change than my kid have just a 1 in 2 shot of graduating high school - let alone even attending college.
    Yes, that is right. For every 2 African Americans that start school here, 1 isn't going to make it out. The number is WORSE for new immigrant children with over 60% not making it out the other side. I will not put my head in the sand and let political correctness continue to destroy these kids.

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    #2275 - 03/14/07 08:36 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: Christi]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Christi -
    I want to point out that your son's school already seems to take providing above level instruction to your child as a matter of course. (sends home 2nd grade LA)

    this is a very positive sign, as the past provided the surest projection of the future - perhaps the immersion class WITH individualized study -EPGY math and LA from upper level classes, or even EPGY's language arts classes on the "English Language Days."

    Or perhaps they will allow you to send your son on the Spanish Days and homeschool on the English Days? This might be the best of both worlds, as the immersion Spanish seems too good to at least try.

    I do like to say yes to gradeskips as early as possible, but I think Spanish immersion is worth staying for, at least for a year or two. Here's an idea: Spanish Immersion on the Spanish days, and 2nd or third grade on the English days. That way your child get the considerable advantage of a 2nd language plus the social benifits of making friends with a group that may be more likely to be intellectual peers. This would be very taxing from an organizational point of view, but, depending on the personality of your child, a teacher who is comfortable with individualizing the curricula through compacting may be able to make it work.

    Sad news is that Elementary school isn't a good fit for many of our kids, but there are skills that need to be gained, sooner or later.

    My main advice is to forget about the grand plan - try to find something that works for the next 6 to 12 months. Look for flexabilty from school personel. Take as good care of your family finances as possible - you are right about these kids being expensive! Remember that it's not your fault that your child has different needs AND it's not your fault that there isn't any clearly marked path for you to follow. You are a pioneer here.

    Best Wishes,
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #2282 - 03/14/07 06:54 PM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: stbmom]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    Stbmom, I will happily believe that you meant no harm by your comments. In addition, I see that we agree on a lot of issues. I worry a lot about the new immigrant children in my son's school. I see how bright they are and yet they get discouraged because they are not able to show what they know because of the language and cultural barriers. (The standardized tests have so much cultural bias, it is truly appalling, which I think accounts for some of the discouraging data you quote.) And when they get discouraged and frustrated they drop out.

    That is why I love the idea of the dual-immersion programs; it allows the immigrant children to ease into American school, while allowing them to learn academic content, instead of waiting until they get fluent in English before they can really learn and show what they know. It also allows English speaking children to learn a new language and culture (and I hope appreciate differences, as you said). Although, I have not seen the data, I would hope that this approach would allow the immigrant children to "track" higher. I think that by putting our children in such a program, whenever we can, we are not only supporting our children, but also other children in our community who need us.

    Frankly, I have my son in a mixed level, ethnically diverse, public school primarily because we do value differences. I feel that he has much to learn and much to contribute in that envirnoment, even if it does mean that he has less academic challenge. We just try to make up for the difference at home.

    Cheers!

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    #2283 - 03/14/07 08:30 PM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: acs]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Originally Posted By: acs
    That is why I love the idea of the dual-immersion programs; it allows the immigrant children to ease into American school, while allowing them to learn academic content, instead of waiting until they get fluent in English before they can really learn and show what they know. It also allows English speaking children to learn a new language and culture (and I hope appreciate differences, as you said). Although, I have not seen the data, I would hope that this approach would allow the immigrant children to "track" higher. I think that by putting our children in such a program, whenever we can, we are not only supporting our children, but also other children in our community who need us.


    We don't have any standardized test scores for our district yet because children do not take them until 3rd grade. Although we have noticed that the Spanish speaking children in the dual-immersion program learn English much faster than the children in the bilingual classes. It will be interesting to see results next year when they take the standardized test. We have a good school to evaluate the differences because each grade has (on average) 2 dual-immersion classes, 2 English-speaking classes, and 2 bilingual classes.

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    #2287 - 03/15/07 06:51 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: Texas Summer]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    ACS -
    I think it's important to keep in mind that each child is different and has a unique personality and that the different flavors of giftedness play a role as well.

    For example, although I applaud your perspective that your son is in an environment where he gets to learn about differences, I am guessing that if he stopped being willing to Afterschool with you,
    (as in- Why should I do extra work? I wanna playdate!) or stopped being "able" to stay well behaved in an environment where he is bored out of his gourd, you might suddenly re-evaluate your priorities.

    It isn't that I'm saying your son is "less gifted" than other kids here, although I do get plenty of flack from parents of "more normally gifted" kids who don't get it that we've had to make the choices we have, it may be that your son is "more unusually gifted" than mine, but that his strengths are being ideally stimulated by being in this mixed environment! After all, you like it, and the Apple doesn't fall far from the Tree.

    Or you may come from a whole family of relaxed, enjoy the moment kind of people, including your son - which is wonderful! I just want to point out that there are plenty of kids for whom the diverse classroom that leaves their parents dewy-eyed (like me) leaves them with important needs not met.

    Love and More Love,
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #2289 - 03/15/07 08:01 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: cym]
    Christi Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 24
    Loc: Dallas, TX
    Originally Posted By: cym
    My family has found that the earlier the kid grade-skips, the easier it is for them.


    Cym, thanks for that advice! I have read that earlier skips are easier, so I'm trying to take that into account. If we put DS into this language immersion program, he would miss out on the early skip.

    And then, I'm afraid that even if we do an early skip now, he'll still need at least one skip later on, then we'll need to look at completely different options for middle school. The older he gets, the more apparent this becomes, and the more "different" he seems than most kids his age.

    But as Trinity just advised, I should look at what fits right now. Thanks for that advice, Trinity, because I have been completely stressed about what's coming later on down the road. Yikes! So it's okay to plan for "now" and leave the rest for later?

    Also Trinity, you gave some good ideas for partial acceleration within the language immersion program. That would be essential, I think. I'll just have to ask more questions about it, and the possibilities. Unfortunately, he'd have to change schools for this program and I don't know the principal at the other school. Our principal has been accommodating to DS's needs, and if he passes the test for a grade skip, she's willing.

    While I'm far from happy with the school's progress this year, they really have stepped up the acceleration in the last half of the year. I wish they did more of the acceleration IN CLASS rather than sending it as homework, but at least in kindergarten there is a lot of "work at your own pace" opportunity.

    On another note, we are having out of level testing done on DS this year, so we'll be able to complete the Iowa Scale. We partially did the scale last year but didn't have the out of level tests (however, he was still a good candidate even without those tests). I ~know~ in my heart that a grade skip is needed. I'm still really unsure about the language immersion. I so appreciate all the good comments about it and I will keep those in mind.

    It seems that the success of the language immersion program hinges on how the program is run, and whether it allows for any flexibility.

    Christi

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    #2290 - 03/15/07 08:18 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: Christi]
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    Could someone please explain the difference between the bilingual and dual-immersion classes?

    Also, what month (or season)is your son's B-day? Is he already young for his grade?

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    #2291 - 03/15/07 09:05 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: Grinity]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    Trinity, you are right on all counts, except probably level of giftedness (I am guessing he's a Ruf 4). I will start a new thread on public school so you can see the cirmcumstances that have allowed us to make make things work (so far, fingers crossed) in public school.

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    #2292 - 03/15/07 09:17 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: delbows]
    chenchuan Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/03/06
    Posts: 122
    Loc: Northern California
    christi wrote "I'm afraid that even if we do an early skip now, he'll still need at least one skip later on, then we'll need to look at completely different options for middle school. The older he gets, the more apparent this becomes, and the more "different" he seems than most kids his age."

    It is usually easier to skip the lower grade(s) but it is also possible to skip at middle school level. My two daughters were young in their class to begin with, then they skipped 6th grade. So now they are sometimes 2-3 years younger than their peers. But that did not cause any big issue both in middle and high school. Especially in high school, kids are used to the idea that students of different grade/age are in same class.

    Although they look suspiciously young, they fit in quite nicely. Other kids just shrug off when they eventually find out about their age. Both girls take pride of the fact that they are the youngest in their grade and many kids who are much older ask them for help. Occasionally they do complain that their friends are driving and they have to wait until the senior year.

    It may sound like a bit sexist, but things may be different for boys. A girl who is 2 year younger is no big deal; a boy in similar position may not be that cool. I read some book saying that a boy skipped 3 grades and complained that he can not find a date. All girls who he went to school with were older and he did not know any girl of his own age. But I guess that is more a temporary problem, things will work out once he hits graduate school :-).


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    #2296 - 03/15/07 11:20 AM Re: Grade skip vs. language immersion program? [Re: delbows]
    Christi Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 24
    Loc: Dallas, TX
    Originally Posted By: delbows
    Also, what month (or season)is your son's B-day? Is he already young for his grade?


    Delbows, my son has a summer birthday, so he's young for his grade. Especially since there are a few kids who are already turning seven in kindy. Yikes! He's 90th percentile for height though (and he has a hugh head, LOL), so he doesn't look small by any means.

    My only concerns for him developmentally have been handwriting and creative writing. When I compared his handwriting to my mother's former rural first grade class, it looked great. But compared to his suburban age-mates it didn't look great. Also, his writing wasn't what his teacher expected from him.

    However, we recently started Handwriting Without Tears and !!!!!HIS HANDWRITING IS WONDERFUL!!!!!! So that's no longer a concern. And we also started the "Four Square Writing Method" at home and he is all of a sudden a great writer. Yay!! I recently looked at some of the work on display at his school, and his writing easily compares to work the 2nd graders had on display.

    Christi

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