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    #44803 - 04/16/09 10:04 AM Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    This is my first post. Glad to have found this forum. I hope this is posted in the right place.

    My district is pro acceleration. Today we had a meeting regarding DD10 who is currently in 4th grade. The outcome of the meeting (long story short) is recommendation to promote her to the 6th grade in the fall.

    I would love to hear from parents who have experience the elementary school to middle school leap.

    A few factors for background:
    --DD10 has been taking 6th grade gifted reading at the middle school for the past year. Just one class and she is doing fine (A+ no problems otherwise).

    --The middle school is physically attached to the elementary school so staff access on both ends is possible.

    --The school provide a gifted counselor, school psychologist and social worker. All are part of her "team" of coordinators.

    --DD10 is profoundly gifted. Her WISC-IV scores were:
    Verbal Comprehension Index 151 >99.9%
    Perceptual Reasoning Index 141 99.7%
    Working Memory Index 110 75%
    Processing Speed 126 96%
    Full Scale IQ 144 99.8%

    Global Ability Index 156 >99.9

    --ACT Explore taken this year: 99th percentile all subjects except math (75th) (percentile compared to 8th graders.

    --MAP scores have her off the charts for even 8th graders in math, reading and language arts with a lexile of 1300+

    Her teachers all say she will be fine but I am her mom and while I am honored to have such a bright daughter, I don't want her to be the smartest loneliest kid in school.

    Ugh.

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    #44806 - 04/16/09 10:13 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    Have you asked your daughter what she thinks? If she is all for it, it will make a big difference. The fact that the two buildings are attached will make the transition much easier. If something becomes an issue, would she be given the opportunity to "fall back" for one subject? How do the receiving teachers feel about having her? That is the most important thing.

    I would recommend that you look into the Iowa Acceleration Scales Manual. It takes all of the emotion and opinion out of the possibility of accelerating and gives you concrete points to consider.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #44810 - 04/16/09 10:21 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: BWBShari]
    IronMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/07/09
    Posts: 155
    Welcome - and congratulations and wow .....!

    I think it's great that for once a school is acting positively - but I feel for you trying to take a decision regarding the social side of things. However, there's no guarantee your child will be any less lonely or happy staying where she is now - is there?

    SENG would be a great place to take her in the summer - if not this year, next year?

    I look back at my non-gifted school days - I don't think I would have been happier socially at a public school, I don't think I would necessarily have made more friends at a gifted school. I didn't make many friends in college where the general emphasis seemed to be "drink beer". I don't have many close friends now. I do regret not being given more recognition to grow my talents!

    I think addressing social needs is really important - and I think the UP side here - yes there is an UP SIDE - YAY! - is that we have resources like DYS and SENG and internet to help us. We are aware of teenagers and middle school being a diffciult time - so that might be a strange balance to strike - but you have a really supportive school - and it sounds like a supportive staff!

    Given as I can't get DS6 accelerated in school at all (!) ..I would say never hold a child back - you can only live for today. Don't worry about her in 3 yrs time ..worry only about today and just go by "What's the worst case scenario - and how easy would that be to fix"? v. "What's the BEST CASE scenario?"

    I was about to add what BWB just posted - which is - can the situation be reversed with the school and can you homeschool if necessary later?

    I agree that your daughter's opinion is very important - and BWB has far better advice to offer in regard to taking the non-emotional approach!!


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    #44812 - 04/16/09 10:27 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: IronMom]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    "I would recommend that you look into the Iowa Acceleration Scales Manual. It takes all of the emotion and opinion out of the possibility of accelerating and gives you concrete points to consider."


    Yes, that is EXACTLY what we did today (for two hours!). We had the district superintendent, the middle principal, the assistant middle school principal, the school pyschologist, the school social worker, her current 4th grade teacher, her current 6th grade teacher, and two gifted somebody or others from the middle school and we all walked though that puppy one question at a time.

    She scored a 60 (so excellent and recommended for acceleration).

    Catherine's thoughts on this (other than her comment that she'd been asked her thoughts 5 times recently) is that she is interested but nervous. She has finally made a few friends (who all live nearby) and she'd miss the big 5th grade overnight trip. I'm more concerned I guess with a very petite little bookworm in the big halls, full time, with older and more "worldly" kids.

    Homeschool is not an option, and yes, can all be reversed. They plan regualr "mental health" kind of check ups to make sure she isn't miserable. My son skipped 1st to 2nd and this is what they do for him at school.


    Edited by marieg (04/16/09 10:29 AM)

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    #44817 - 04/16/09 10:45 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: marieg
    ...she'd miss the big 5th grade overnight trip. I'm more concerned I guess with a very petite little bookworm in the big halls, full time, with older and more "worldly" kids.



    My first thought about this problem is to ask if she can go on the trip with her former classmates. Maybe you can make some kind of deal so that she gets her assignments done.

    It's looking like my DS9 will go to middle school in September, so I'm asking some of the same questions you are. I don't think the academics will be an issue and am hoping that he'll fit in socially. There are 2-3 boys who are ten at the school and it goes through grade 12, so he'll grow into the age groups in a year or two.

    I've been thinking about "least-worst" options lately and how difficult it is to find a challenging environment that also provides friends. It's not easy. Well, it's almost impossible.

    If your DD is in a public school district, all her friends will move to the middle school in a year anyway, and she'll be able to eat lunch with them and hang around with them during free time.

    It's not easy! I don't know if I've been of any help...but you're not alone.

    Val

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    #44824 - 04/16/09 11:04 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: IronMom]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    What is SENG? There is a SENG parent group that meets (but way far and during the work day) but I was not aware there was anything for children specifically.

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    #44825 - 04/16/09 11:08 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Marieg - I'm DOK (drooling on keyboard) at your school!!!! Have you really had to fight hard or are they just this knowledgeable about gifted kids?

    PS: I sent you a PM. (blinking icon at the top)

    Dazey

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    #44827 - 04/16/09 11:23 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    My school (as I am learning!) apparently needs a big gold star out front!

    My principal had gifted children and confided in me recently that he wanted children to have opportunities never offered to his children (he is also the elementary principal for the state of IL for the year)

    The school psychologist is a SENG leader

    Everything they have done for us has been proactive. I have never had to pay for a test, nor ask for one. I have only guided the conversations. I will say that when my DD was in fist grade, and first identified as being gifted (we thought all 6 yr olds were like her!) the option of acceleration was never discussed (in hindsight we wish it was). They just assembled a rag tag team and pulled her out for classes. When the district changed officers, they proposed more formal, structured methods of both identification and progress monitoring. Kudos for them. It was hard being the coordinator for all of this.

    I've recently started a gifted parents group in my district and am learning even within this district, other parents have had very different experiences (most of them not as positive) and I hope we can make some changes that bring more equality to the district, at a minimum by bringing these differences to light.

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    #44830 - 04/16/09 12:03 PM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: Dottie]
    IronMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/07/09
    Posts: 155
    SENG http://www.sengifted.org/smpg_parent_facilitatordirectory.shtml

    Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted - they have a summer conference coming up - you have to apply by May 31st I think - and they get gifted kids of the same age together - which helps them find friends/peers.

    They have a bunch of ther resources too.

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    #44904 - 04/17/09 03:48 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: IronMom]
    Ellipses Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/22/09
    Posts: 407
    Loc: Colorado
    That is wonderful to have the elementary and middle schools attached. I was asked to skip my daughter when we moved here, but kept her in elementary. The middle school and up is so tough (drugs and pregnancy) that I might skip her through these a little more.

    I loved her younger grades, but it gets really tough to be smart when they get older. She is really isolated in her school and the other kids ridicule her. It breaks my heart.

    She will not homeschool. She loves going to school and loves her teachers and spends most of her time with them.

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