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    #246636 - 01/19/20 01:26 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    I recall skipping a transition year being a big con on the IAS, same as skipping into the grade of a older sibling. If I am recalling this incorrectly, please say so, so I am not inadvertently misleading people who might not let their child skip a transition year because some random poster on the internet said she thinks the IAS says it’s not a good idea.

    I think (source: my thoughts) that the inadvisability of skipping a transition year, introduced into the conversation by an objective tool like the IAS, might prevent grade skips that are largely motivated by the family being unhappy with the school to be transitioned out of, and, and maybe more importantly, appeared to have been supported by the schools because that way they got rid of the problem of keeping a gifted kid engaged and happy in the transition year without having to deal with the fallout if the skip didn’t work (which was the distinct impression I got in both cases).

    As long as it’s a within school skip, the school is invested in the skip being a success. And might think twice about it if it’s not a clear cut case. Of course, if the parents happen to be set on the skip and the middle school has admitted the child, they couldn’t stop them.

    I just now recall that the kid that is currently crashing and burning in DS13s gifted program was admitted at the last minute, and was the 16th child - and they needed a minimum of 16 in order to be able to offer the program, otherwise they would have had to cancel the program for the year and would have had to turn all the other admitted kids away.

    Oh dear. I should be grateful now that his admission made the program possible in the first place, but what a set of questionable motives all around.


    Edited by Tigerle (01/19/20 01:53 PM)

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    #246640 - 01/19/20 02:57 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4202
    Originally Posted By: Tigerle
    I recall skipping a transition year being a big con on the IAS, same as skipping into the grade of a older sibling.
    I do not recall this, therefore asked your source... other posts linked upthread discuss the specific document(s) and page(s) of the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS), which consists of three documents:
    1- Manual,
    2- Forms,
    3- Summary and Planning Records.
    While Hoagies Gifted Education Page describes several factors as being a no-go according to the IAS, transition year is not listed among those factors.
    Possibly your source was not the IAS, or articles summarizing the IAS, but questions/discussion on these forums or elsewhere on the internet (essentially repeating a random poster on the internet who said they think the IAS says it’s not a good idea).
    I think it is important to clarify/verify the source of information so that we are are not inadvertently creating myths about acceleration.

    In the IAS entry on the Davidson Database, discussion of the "current education environment" is listed as one of several aspects considered. This may include discussion of items such as the sending grade being the final year in elementary or middle school, the receiving grade being the first year in middle or high school, cessation of gifted program without additional headcount, and many other aspects of the learning environment. Such discussion does not indicate questionable motives for a student's acceleration; although parent(s) of other student(s) in the receiving classroom may not agree with the acceleration, their agreement is not a factor weighed in making the acceleration decision.

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    #246642 - 01/19/20 05:55 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3557
    From the Acceleration Institute (Belin-Blank) website:

    http://accelerationinstitute.org/Resources/QA/

    "The years just before a move to another building, especially between elementary school and junior high or middle school, are difficult times for acceleration. These are considered “transition years.” For example, if the school district’s elementary schools end at 4th grade, and middle school is for 5th-8th graders, the common sense approach would suggest having the potential accelerant skip 4th grade and go straight into 5th grade. This seems sensible because then the accelerated student is one of many new students in a new school, and it is less likely that he or she will “stand out” in the class. While common sense dictates that it is best for a student to skip grades before moving into a new building, clinical data from the Belin-Blank Center indicate otherwise. A move to the next level generally involves a change in the way the school day schedule and extracurricular activities are organized. School personnel often use trips to the new building and other processes to prepare students for the upcoming move. Today, schools don’t just have one spring “move-up day” in which students can go to visit their new buildings. Instead, homework expectations and student responsibilities are introduced and taught throughout the transition year so that, by the end of the transition year, the students know what to expect during the next grade level. It may be better to accelerate during the year previous to the transition year so that the student can participate fully in these transition year activities.

    Sometimes, though, circumstances require that acceleration take place during a transition year. The involvement of current and receiving teachers and the administration at both schools is critical in cases where grade skipping involves a building change. In such instances, it is important to provide students with experiences that allow a preview of classes in the new setting."

    ---
    It's a bit more nuanced than "yes" or "no" on skipping a transition year. Consider that early admission, even to first grade, is generally viewed positively, and that's a transition-year skip. Personally, both I and my children have skipped entering and departing transition years, as well as accelerating within the same building. There are going to be pros and cons no matter what. That's why the IAS (and acceleration/retention decisions in general) use information from multiple sources and types.

    And please don't take on responsibility or guilt for the challenges faced by the young person in your DC's class who may or may not have been an appropriate candidate for the placement! We don't know the full story (nor do we need to); there may be other factors outside of the placement itself that are affecting their current struggles. These decisions are complex, and without guarantees.


    Edited by aeh (01/19/20 06:04 PM)

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    #246643 - 01/19/20 06:59 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4202
    aeh - thank you for providing the source for this information. Yes, I agree it is nuanced and not necessarily pronounced a no-go according to the Acceleration Institute's website.

    Each experience is different and may be best evaluated by the student, family, and school... without second-guessing from the sidelines.

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    #246645 - 01/19/20 11:23 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Agree that the objections in the IAS are very carefully worded. It stuck in my mind so strongly because, as it also says, it is so counterintuitive - you’d think skipping directly into a new school would be a no brainer, but it’s actually a bigger risk.

    Please remember that I am venting here and being argumentative so I can keep my mouth shut in real life. I know I am not responsible for either of these children, and wildly speculating from the sidelines here. But I am not as removed from both situations as I want to be.

    In DS7s case, his aide has been explicitly assigned responsibility for little A’s support. I could put a stop to it tomorrow if I wanted to. I don’t want to, because I think she needs it and DS7 is fine, so if it were to work out well for everyone, that’d be wonderful, but I worry. I have to trust in the aide to look out for both herself and her primary responsibility DS7 and have to hope she will speak up if she does see a problem (she’s very experienced, but was off work for weeks due to both her parents dying within days, so is just getting back into the groove after a series of subs. I don’t want to ask her, because she is of course not supposed to speak to me about other kids in the classroom and never has, just has mentioned in general that the classroom teacher relies on her a lot whenever she’s not busy with DS7.

    In DS13s case, the struggling kid (little S) used to be his best friend, until he suddenly turned on him in 6th grade and started bullying him viciously, making his life hell for months (including stealing and destroying his stuff, and spreading lies).

    When I tried to speak to his mom, who I had been friendly with before, she explained that I had to understand her kid’s reaction because he was under so much pressure and struggling so hard to make Ds and couldn’t stand that DS13 was making A’s without lifting a finger. Basically a giftie bullying another giftie in the gifted class for being too gifted. I sent a very carefully worded email to the teacher asking her to monitor the situation and after she interfered a few times, it stopped and there is a sort of uneasy truce now. I continued to be pleasant to the mom, and DS13 refuses to take part in the bullying of little S that the rest of the class has now started to engage in, but he thinks he is still being blamed because it is a very similar kind of bullying that little S experienced in elementary school and told him in confidence about - a confidence he never broke, but of course little S and his mom don’t know that. Last time I saw the mom, I tried to say hello but she wouldn’t even look at me.

    They are not islands. I wish they were.


    Edited by Tigerle (01/19/20 11:26 PM)

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    #246650 - 01/20/20 09:04 AM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3557
    You are right. None of us are islands...but I must say I am quite impressed with both your DCs's compassionate and thoughtful behavior in their respective situations.

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    #246912 - 03/04/20 02:59 AM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    @aeh, to round off the story: when DS13 went back to school after a lengthy illness, little S had left the gifted program. Apparently he hadn’t been in school for a while. DS13 has been wondering how unhappy he must have been! Apparently his mom had sent an email to that effect to the home room teacher, who discussed this and the classroom atmosphere in general at the PT meeting, saying things like “I really thought he was coming into his own” and “I felt the community in the class was great”. Uh, no. She has struck me as very insensitive before - mental note, great sensitivity should really be required for a teacher of the gifted...

    Apparently little S is not dropping down to regular college prep level, neither at his old school nor at the music performance school his mom thought might possibly be a good alternative for him (back when she was still speaking to me) but has dropped down to clerical track school (that’s the one designed for average IQs). Possibly his grades were so bad college prep tracks wouldn’t take him any more. Maybe he’ll get another chance if he finishes out the year with better grades in clerical track, and drops down a year, but he will have to work so hard now, and there will be more transitions. What an avoidable mess!

    DS7, on the other hand has announced that he is getting second grade worksheets in maths now to keep him happy and busy, and the school has announced that they are thinking of discontinuing the aide for next year if everyone is on board because he is doing so well!

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    #246913 - 03/04/20 01:22 PM Re: Worried about accelerated classmate not doing well [Re: Tigerle]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3557
    Sorry to hear little S's story has taken a difficult turn. I hope his educational and peer experience improves over the next few years.

    But glad your little DS is "happy and busy"! Hope his little friend's path has eased a bit, too.

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