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    #238611 - 05/31/17 11:05 AM Early K Meeting.
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    We have a meeting scheduled tomorrow to discuss the results of testing and possibilities for my DS4. We are meeting with the Lead Psychologist for a fairly large district, school psychologist, and I am guessing school admin.

    He has had an IQ test, don't know the results, just know it was enough (+1 standard deviation) to move to step 2.

    Step 2 was reading writing and math testing, unknown results.

    DS4 just finished his year in a public school 3-6 Montessori class as a Pre-K student. As a Pre-K student he is with 3-6 year students for AM sessions and only Pre-K students for PM sessions.

    This past year, all cognitive work was at a K level or higher.

    If he remains as Pre-K we will also have to pay tuition.

    In K he will have his current teacher for the full day. She has offered to have him in her class unofficially for the full day if this testing process didn't work out, he just would not be participating in K specific activities like gym, music, K only field trips. We would end up doing this scenario if we get push back on early K, but I don't know why that would be preferrable, rather than just push for K officially.

    My goal is to get him into K for the school year next year. I am fine with PK, K, K if he isn't ready for 1st grade. What I want to avoid is PK, PK, K which is the default for him right now.

    I think admins are hesitant on whole grade skipping unless they are 100% sure. So what points would they make to keep him in his current situation. I just want to be prepared with information, so this goes as smoothly as possible.






    Edited by Johnny (06/01/17 10:44 AM)

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    #238613 - 05/31/17 12:14 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    Hi! Welcome! In my opinion, to be prepared you need to get a copy of the test results and get interpretations of them. You also need to know what the district's acceleration policy is so that you know what they are prepared to offer.

    I would also suggest that you take time to clarify exactly why you want the skip. From a been-there-done-that perspective, there is a limit to how much grade skipping can be done (and THEN WHAT?! 😳 ). My nieces and nephews are "gifted", but they've been able to get differentiation / continuous progress acceleration without a grade skip. They're doing fabulously and are well-rounded social kids. My son has had social problems and is has been obsessed with acceleration. He's in 4th grade now and it's turned into near-disaster. Do I put my elementary student into high school? or college? or ???

    In my opinion, if a child is thriving in the current situation, don't accelerate. Save the "big guns" for when things are going badly and your child really needs to go up a level.

    What behaviors are you seeing that make you concerned about another year of Pre-K? Why do you feel better about repeating K than pre-K?

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    #238616 - 05/31/17 01:06 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Since they haven't given you the test results regard this as a fact finding meeting not a decision making one (on your part). At the end explain they have had x time to consider the results and you will respond by y time. It is easy to get steamrolled into an unwise decision. Plus 1 standard deviation isn't that much but he could be plus 3 for all they have told you and it makes a big difference. If you can pay $7000 without extreme hardship try and leave that out of the decision making process but be aware you paying them that $7000 might be a big part of their dwcision making process.

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    #238617 - 05/31/17 02:40 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: sanne]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: sanne


    In my opinion, if a child is thriving in the current situation, don't accelerate. Save the "big guns" for when things are going badly and your child really needs to go up a level.

    What behaviors are you seeing that make you concerned about another year of Pre-K? Why do you feel better about repeating K than pre-K?


    DS4 is did fine in his current Pre-K class.

    Why do I prefer PK K K over PK PK K?
    In Pre-K he has his AM montessori teacher and in the afternoon he has a different teacher. The AM is all montessori, just what you would expect. The PM situation is more non-traditional he may come home with crafts or worksheets, but nothing like a plan that his AM teacher sets up for DS4. Also in Pre-K the student must go down for 90 minutes nap time, which he rarely does now.

    I will also add that paying tuition plays a non-zero part in this decision as well. But I do think he would benefit for a K environment. He was already doing all K work in PK, so I think the transition is much smoother in this situation PK to K because he has already been in class with many of the kids, and the teacher would be the same for him this year.


    If DS4 was just about 60 days older, he would make the age cutoff for K with no testing needed. smile


    Edited by Johnny (06/01/17 10:45 AM)

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    #238618 - 05/31/17 02:41 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: puffin]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    Since they haven't given you the test results regard this as a fact finding meeting not a decision making one (on your part). At the end explain they have had x time to consider the results and you will respond by y time. It is easy to get steamrolled into an unwise decision.


    Thank you, that is a really good thought to help us define the situation, and gives us the opportunity to think this out with more of the facts.

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    #238619 - 05/31/17 06:10 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    I would suggest to emphasize the only 60 day age difference and that he doesn't nap. He's closer to K developmentally as well as intellectually. But at the $k and K level, schools tend to not be so interested in the intellectual part. They're looking at developmental. How are his fine motor skills? Is he able to cut with scissors? Does he need a nap? Can he put winter clothes on by himself? Can he put on his shoes by himself? Etc. Do your best to prove that he's developmentally ready and won't require special assistance or attention from the teacher due to lagging skills.

    I'd suggest framing your case as "K is more developmentally appropriate for my son" rather than "look at my brilliant child who deserves more", as the latter will set teeth on edge and create resistance for many years to come. I'd also be prepared for the "what about middle school and puberty?" argument because that's likely to be used against a grade skip. A great reason to focus on the only 60 day difference - if the skip is no reversed he won't be dramatically younger.

    I'd suggest to NOT offer your thoughts that it'd be okay to repeat K. Don't tell them that because he might be in a situation next year where repeating K would be awful for him. On the other hand, you're keeping great perspective that even something that appears drastic to most (grade skip) is reversible.


    Edited by sanne (05/31/17 06:13 PM)

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    #238620 - 05/31/17 07:15 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: sanne]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: sanne

    I'd suggest to NOT offer your thoughts that it'd be okay to repeat K. Don't tell them that because he might be in a situation next year where repeating K would be awful for him. On the other hand, you're keeping great perspective that even something that appears drastic to most (grade skip) is reversible.


    So saying we are open to him doing K would be viewed as a negative? Or would it be a bad thing because my son might not take doing K twice well?

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    #238621 - 05/31/17 07:18 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    The concern is that you may be open to that now, but decidedly not open to that in a year.

    Don't forget about the power of doing it for a trial month and reassessing. If he thrives in K as you expect, it will be harder for them to take it away at that point. If he doesn't, you've left a pretty easy out for everyone involved.

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    #238622 - 05/31/17 07:38 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: Johnny
    I think admins are hesitant on whole grade skipping unless they are 100% sure. So what points would they make to keep him in his current situation. I just want to be prepared with information, so this goes as smoothly as possible.
    Some points schools have made to discourage skipping:
    - Focusing on lack of soft skills. Ironically, kids need appropriate challenge in order to develop certain soft skills.
    - Focusing on a child's social and interpersonal skills matching the child's chronological age, rather than the target grade level.
    - Focusing on handwriting.
    - Focusing on potential future concerns, such as driving a year later than classmates.

    More pros and cons of grade skipping in this old post.

    Ultimately, the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) is a helpful tool for discussion of a potential full-grade acceleration.

    I'll add that a financial motivation, as expressed in the thread's subject line and in your OP is NOT a sound reason to accelerate a child.

    Remain focused on your child's needs. Kids need both an appropriate challenge and academic/intellectual peers in order to develop necessary life skills and mental health. Focusing on your child's needs can help keep a family (or a school) from prematurely deciding on one pet solution to the exclusion of all other ideas. Solutions can be discussed, rated, and ranked as to which may be the best fit at a current point in time.

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    #238623 - 05/31/17 07:45 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: ElizabethN]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN

    Don't forget about the power of doing it for a trial month and reassessing. If he thrives in K as you expect, it will be harder for them to take it away at that point. If he doesn't, you've left a pretty easy out for everyone involved.


    Are you saying that if there is push back, suggest to put him in K as a trial month, and then offer to reassess?

    That is something I don't mind either, that is why I also don't mind PK, K, K. So I don't mind offering that up as well.

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    #238624 - 05/31/17 07:45 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    Is it possible for him to do 4K in the morning and K in the afternoon? Even if you know it's not, I'd throw the suggestion out as negotiation. Give them something they can say no to. Also makes you look cooperative and focuses the issue on that nap.

    I suggest preparing a response if they suggest an alternate solution to address only the nap. Some advanced children can read silently during nap time, for example. Are you okay with that or not? If he could do something else during nap would 50% of your 4K concern be resolved?

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    #238625 - 05/31/17 07:47 PM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    You're not trying to prove that he would benefit from K. That's known. But not terribly relevant from the school's point of view - after all there is something "more" they could do for each individual child to provide a more perfect educational experience, right? Schools can't be a perfect fit for every child and they know this. Think more about proving that 4K would hurt him or that he would be a problem for the 4K teacher. That K would be more cost effective for the school - don't necessarily say that, but they'll be doing the math of 4K with XYZ services versus a grade skip into K.

    Expect extreme reservation from the school. Children from enriched home environments are academically advanced in 4K/K but don't stay ahead of peers. By 2nd or 3rd grade they regress to the mean. That's why many (most?) gifted programs don't start until 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grades - to filter out children who would be determined to be gifted by early testing but do not require significant changes to curriculum. The districts save money and conflict by delaying gifted programs a few years. It's an evidence-based decision.

    Prepare an argument "he is not likely to regress to the mean because of XYZ data." You'll be looking at performance testing and IQ testing. The performance testing is like looking at what he has learned in the past, while the IQ testing is more like his potential for what he is capable of learning. The IQ test will need to be sufficiently high to demonstrate that he's not ahead only because of home enrichment.

    You may want to ask about the outcomes of other students. If your son is 1 standard deviation ahead, ask how other students with similar scores have fared by 5th grade (or the highest grade in the school building). If you're in a data-heavy district, this argument is very strong! When my son was up for a radical grade skip, they compared his standardized test score to the GT students in district. His scores compared to gifted students in 7th grade so he got skipped to 7th grade. If the district has data to show that other students in the district that are scoring similar on IQ test end up needing a grade skip later, then you have more reason to push for it now when social groupings are more fluid.

    Don't be afraid to ask how many students are identified gifted, what percent are receiving XYZ services (subject acceleration, pullouts, cluster grouping, whatever), and how many students have been grades skipped in the district.


    Edited by sanne (05/31/17 09:14 PM)

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    #238626 - 06/01/17 03:37 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Quote:


    Expect extreme reservation from the school. Children from enriched home environments are academically advanced in 4K/K but don't stay ahead of peers. By 2nd or 3rd grade they regress to the mean...


    And this is why parents in affluent NYC boroughs cry rivers every time someone suggests that their precious snowflakes have to periodically re qualify for GT programming. They have enriched homes so when their kids are 4/5 and tested by the City they look way ahead of the pack. They then enjoy smaller class sizes, enrichment and more academic peers from that point on which helps even average performers tremendously. Were they to be retested post 4th grade I am sure that many of them would be found to no longer make the cut.

    Perish the thought!
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #238627 - 06/01/17 05:18 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: madeinuk]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Here is an old thread discussing Leveling Out (2013), which further illuminates the points brought forward by sanne and also by madeinuk, regarding regression to the mean.

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    #238628 - 06/01/17 05:22 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: Johnny
    I think admins are hesitant on whole grade skipping unless they are 100% sure. So what points would they make to keep him in his current situation. I just want to be prepared with information, so this goes as smoothly as possible.
    A latent thought: Does your state allow early entrance? If not, this could be a valid reason for the school to not accelerate your child from Pre-K. You may wish to check your state education laws on acceleration and early entrance.

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    #238631 - 06/01/17 06:52 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: sanne]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    Is it possible for him to do 4K in the morning and K in the afternoon? Even if you know it's not, I'd throw the suggestion out as negotiation. Give them something they can say no to. Also makes you look cooperative and focuses the issue on that nap.


    That was the unofficial plan if the testing results didn't pass the districts threshold. It's basically would be unofficial K (but no music, gym, K only field trips), followed by official K.

    My thought is if it is close (again don't know testing results, just know that he exceeded initial assessment requirement), why do unofficial K, followed by K, why not just do official K, and if he needs more time do official K again.

    This is in a Montessori classroom with kids 3-6 years of age, so it would be a smooth transition I believe.

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    #238632 - 06/01/17 06:54 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: indigo]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: Johnny
    I think admins are hesitant on whole grade skipping unless they are 100% sure. So what points would they make to keep him in his current situation. I just want to be prepared with information, so this goes as smoothly as possible.
    A latent thought: Does your state allow early entrance? If not, this could be a valid reason for the school to not accelerate your child from Pre-K. You may wish to check your state education laws on acceleration and early entrance.


    The state requires districts to offers early K... and that is the process we are currently in.

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    #238633 - 06/01/17 07:01 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: sanne]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    You're not trying to prove that he would benefit from K. That's known. But not terribly relevant from the school's point of view - after all there is something "more" they could do for each individual child to provide a more perfect educational experience, right? Schools can't be a perfect fit for every child and they know this. Think more about proving that 4K would hurt him or that he would be a problem for the 4K teacher. That K would be more cost effective for the school - don't necessarily say that, but they'll be doing the math of 4K with XYZ services versus a grade skip into K.

    Expect extreme reservation from the school. Children from enriched home environments are academically advanced in 4K/K but don't stay ahead of peers. By 2nd or 3rd grade they regress to the mean. That's why many (most?) gifted programs don't start until 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grades - to filter out children who would be determined to be gifted by early testing but do not require significant changes to curriculum. The districts save money and conflict by delaying gifted programs a few years. It's an evidence-based decision.

    Prepare an argument "he is not likely to regress to the mean because of XYZ data." You'll be looking at performance testing and IQ testing. The performance testing is like looking at what he has learned in the past, while the IQ testing is more like his potential for what he is capable of learning. The IQ test will need to be sufficiently high to demonstrate that he's not ahead only because of home enrichment.

    You may want to ask about the outcomes of other students. If your son is 1 standard deviation ahead, ask how other students with similar scores have fared by 5th grade (or the highest grade in the school building). If you're in a data-heavy district, this argument is very strong! When my son was up for a radical grade skip, they compared his standardized test score to the GT students in district. His scores compared to gifted students in 7th grade so he got skipped to 7th grade. If the district has data to show that other students in the district that are scoring similar on IQ test end up needing a grade skip later, then you have more reason to push for it now when social groupings are more fluid.

    Don't be afraid to ask how many students are identified gifted, what percent are receiving XYZ services (subject acceleration, pullouts, cluster grouping, whatever), and how many students have been grades skipped in the district.


    Thank you for your detailed response. What you said is extremely helpful in making me understand the situation from the school's point of view.

    I really appreciate all the helpful advice provided by everyone. I think understanding that this meeting will be for us to finally hear the test results, and just take time to process them was a helpful point.

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    #238634 - 06/01/17 07:36 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    Originally Posted By: Johnny
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    Is it possible for him to do 4K in the morning and K in the afternoon? Even if you know it's not, I'd throw the suggestion out as negotiation. Give them something they can say no to. Also makes you look cooperative and focuses the issue on that nap.


    That was the unofficial plan if the testing results didn't pass the districts threshold. It's basically would be unofficial K (but no music, gym, K only field trips), followed by official K.

    My thought is if it is close (again don't know testing results, just know that he exceeded initial assessment requirement), why do unofficial K, followed by K, why not just do official K, and if he needs more time do official K again.

    This is in a Montessori classroom with kids 3-6 years of age, so it would be a smooth transition I believe.


    Why not? Because playtime is more important than academics. What is the opportunity cost of going into K? Montessori with mixed age, free choice activities, learning how to be independent seems superior to typical K classroom environment. He might be much better off in Montessori preK. And while you aren't happy about the arts and crafts he brings home, he is gaining skills, problem solving, and expressing himself creatively while doing them.

    PreK learning can be frustrating to people (like me) who want to check items off a list. There's just more to it. It's a precious time that shouldn't be rushed *unless the child has rushed through and is pushing for more*.

    You haven't mentioned your child having behavior problems, having moral conflict over other kids, begging for more, regressing academically, pretending to be incapable in order to fit in socially, being sick or finding ways to stay home....

    It sounds like you've got a good thing going on in PreK. You could do some academics at home perhaps and give him the gift of early childhood if socially and emotionally he's doing well in the current situation.

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    #238638 - 06/01/17 10:43 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: sanne]
    Johnny Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/11/16
    Posts: 14
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    Originally Posted By: Johnny
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    Is it possible for him to do 4K in the morning and K in the afternoon? Even if you know it's not, I'd throw the suggestion out as negotiation. Give them something they can say no to. Also makes you look cooperative and focuses the issue on that nap.


    That was the unofficial plan if the testing results didn't pass the districts threshold. It's basically would be unofficial K (but no music, gym, K only field trips), followed by official K.

    My thought is if it is close (again don't know testing results, just know that he exceeded initial assessment requirement), why do unofficial K, followed by K, why not just do official K, and if he needs more time do official K again.

    This is in a Montessori classroom with kids 3-6 years of age, so it would be a smooth transition I believe.


    Why not? Because playtime is more important than academics. What is the opportunity cost of going into K? Montessori with mixed age, free choice activities, learning how to be independent seems superior to typical K classroom environment. He might be much better off in Montessori preK. And while you aren't happy about the arts and crafts he brings home, he is gaining skills, problem solving, and expressing himself creatively while doing them.

    PreK learning can be frustrating to people (like me) who want to check items off a list. There's just more to it. It's a precious time that shouldn't be rushed *unless the child has rushed through and is pushing for more*.

    You haven't mentioned your child having behavior problems, having moral conflict over other kids, begging for more, regressing academically, pretending to be incapable in order to fit in socially, being sick or finding ways to stay home....

    It sounds like you've got a good thing going on in PreK. You could do some academics at home perhaps and give him the gift of early childhood if socially and emotionally he's doing well in the current situation.


    The K class would be Montessori as well. Actually no matter what happens he would have the same teacher he had this past year. The difference would be that he would have her for the full day as opposed to just in the morning (Prek has Montessori in the AM, and in the afternoon, it's a different setup with required naps). He did great in PreK.

    But Update:
    Testing results were well, and there was no push back from admin, everyone was in agreement that K would be a good fit for DS. Thanks all for helping us prepare for the meeting today!

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    #238639 - 06/01/17 10:48 AM Re: Early K Meeting with $x000 on the line. [Re: Johnny]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    Wow, that's just magical when everyone can agree! Congratulations!

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