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    #45328 - 04/23/09 06:39 AM Worst school meeting
    crisc Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/12/07
    Posts: 485
    Loc: New England
    I just got back from meeting with the school regarding DS6 and the plans for next year. I am so upset.

    A little background--currently DS6 attends the local public school. He is in K in the morning and 1st grade in the afternoons. Since I am almost positive the Private School for the Gifted that we have signed him up for will not open in the fall due to lack of enrollment and lack of funds I had planned a meeting with the school to firm up plans for next year.

    According to the school despite working above grade level in all assessed areas they do not feel that he has fully completed the complete 1st grade curriculum and socially/emotionally it is in his best interest to attend 1st grade next year!!!!!!!!!!!

    Currently DS6 is severely underchallenged and has completely given up on school. He is no longer making any real effort to complete his work. Socially/emotionally he is constantly getting into trouble--mostly by being rude to adults. We are still in the process of waiting for a complete Neuropsych eval and I have a feeling that we may be dealing with a NLD/Aspergers type issue as well.

    During the meeting the Assistant Prinical actually asked me why I didn't choose to homeschool and that he was sorry that the district is not really able to help my son. His daughter actually teaches in the autism/aspergers program at the middle school level but he said that nothing exists at the elementary school level. He also told me that he hoped I got an Asperger's diagnosis (but not NLD) since we could then have a 504 plan to adress both academic and emotional/social needs.

    They are also planning to do their own WISC-IV testing prior to the end of the school but I told them that I didn't want him tested unless I knew about it beforehand and it had to be done first thing in the morning so he wasn't randomly pulled from recess or snack time. I also think that it would be helpful for him to know he was getting tested.

    It was so hard to hear the K and 1st grade teacher tell me that although DS6 is VERY smart--he was not a good student and they both agreed that he should not be accelerated. They think that I should focus more on his emotional/social needs and less on his academic needs.

    _________________________
    Crisc

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    #45330 - 04/23/09 06:52 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: crisc]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    I'm sorry. Would the teachers and principal be willing to talk to your family consultant or a gt psychologist, who could explain them that boredom can cause lots of behavioral issues and that not allowing him to accelerate to the 2nd will make things much worse? Have they considered how would that make him feel? If they are worried about his emotional needs then they need to think really hard what kind of message he will get from staying in the 1st grade.

    I'm sorry the gt school will not open. DS was in Montessori before, right? Do they also have 1st-3rd classroom? I know the situation wasn't optimal and we weren't happy with our Montessori but it may still work better than the PS would.

    Is homeschooling an option? I know that you really like your work but would it be possible to work p/t? Do you have any local private schools which carter to homeschoolers?

    _________________________
    LMom

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    #45339 - 04/23/09 07:43 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: Dottie]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I'm so sorry, Crisc! I focused on that last paragraph, too, the one that makes it clear that they don't understand AT ALL that your son's academic and social/emotional situation are all bound up together for him.

    *sigh*

    I'm sorry about the GT school not opening.

    Can DYS help you at all in the negotiations?

    I wish I could do something to help. frown
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #45342 - 04/23/09 07:55 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: Kriston]
    squirt Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/31/08
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Back in Texas, alas!
    I'm sorry, Crisc. I can't offer you any help but I am banging my head on the keyboard on your behalf.

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    #45343 - 04/23/09 07:58 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: squirt]
    kimck Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/20/07
    Posts: 1134
    I'm so sorry Crisc. I don't have any great advice, but you have my sympathy!

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    #45350 - 04/23/09 08:18 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: kimck]
    shellymos Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/20/08
    Posts: 847
    Loc: New York
    Quick question, would they allow him to be in first in the mornings and 2nd in the afternoons for next year. Not sure if that would even help....but at least it would be better than going to 1st all day. Or at least allow him to accelerate in certain subjects if he is in first.

    So sorry you are going through this, lots of hugs being sent your way.

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    #45353 - 04/23/09 08:22 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: crisc]
    Lori H. Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 982
    Originally Posted By: crisc

    They think that I should focus more on his emotional/social needs and less on his academic needs.



    I am sorry you are going through this. It brings back a lot of bad memories. It seemed like our school was more interested in trying to make my twice exceptional son fit in with their idea of what all little boys are supposed to be. My son was supposed to conform to their idea that all little boys must color in the lines without complaining that it is boring or his hands were tired. All little boys must like and participate in sports and if they can't do that, at least act like they like sports which is their idea being social in an age appropriate way, and not talk about things like science or books they enjoy reading. They must learn to tolerate verbal bullying from other kids while the teachers look the other way. They must learn to tolerate verbal bullying from teachers without attempting to defend themselves and explaining that a disability and not laziness was the reason he couldn't do certain things as well as other kids because that would be rude.

    It was so bad that my son refused to read the rest of A Wrinkle in Time. I remember when he first learned the word hegemony he applied it to our small town and our school.

    Yesterday, we saw several boys standing outside our town's "alternative school." My son wondered out loud how many of them were just class clowns or kids who didn't fit in.

    We were told to homeschool. A first grade teacher made it sound almost like child abuse to let him continue at that school. I remember that summer before first grade was supposed to start was really hard for me because I had to let go of all hope of him enjoying school with lots of other kids. The school was the center of our small town and I was really sad about taking him out, but I got a lot of support from people on message boards like this one and I know my son is better off than he would be in our public school.


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    #45387 - 04/23/09 12:32 PM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: Lori H.]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    Can you print out some articles on asynchronous learning? Articles on the emotional/social development of GT's? Hand deliver them to the principal and ask that before they make a decision they educate themselves? Can you move up the chain of command?

    I'm really sorry that you're going through all of this! Why is it that the people responsible for education are ignorant so much of the time?
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45438 - 04/24/09 03:55 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: BWBShari]
    BKD Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/15/08
    Posts: 137
    Loc: Australia
    Hi Crisc,

    I'm so sorry - we had a similar response earlier in the year from our DS6's teacher. We'd been having just awful behaviour problems for several months, and her advice was that he obviously would therefore need to stay in his allocated grade to practise social skills. And of course team sports would be wonderfully beneficial.

    We didn't argue too much - just left our paperwork and kept a low profile. I appreciate now how lucky we are that we have departmental policy behind us, no matter how unwilling teachers might be. We didn't actually mention it, but they and we know that we've got it behind us. So a little while on, we haven't heard much from the school, but DS6 seems to be working a grade up. And the behaviour problems have stopped, really quite suddenly. We'll raise our heads again soon and talk to them about formalising the arrangement.

    I can't offer any advice either, just sympathy and the hope that you find a quick path through this.

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    #45443 - 04/24/09 05:08 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: BKD]
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    I’m very sorry Crisc.

    Maybe you could come from the angle of what would be the “least worst situation” for the school personnel rather than what is best for your son since they don’t understand the present situation and needed, but counterintuitive solution. They might realize that their work environment will be easier and they would be happier if they just “push him along anyway” so he can move on to the next school.

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    #45448 - 04/24/09 06:05 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: crisc]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    I'm so sorry that the meeting didn't go well. What I don't get is isn't is possible that some of his social and emotional issues due to his being bored in class? How is holding him back going to fix that?

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    #45470 - 04/24/09 10:41 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: crisc]
    ebeth Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/08
    Posts: 412
    Quote:
    According to the school despite working above grade level in all assessed areas they do not feel that he has fully completed the complete 1st grade curriculum and socially/emotionally it is in his best interest to attend 1st grade next year!!!!!!!!!!!


    Oh Crisc!! My stomach knotted up when I read your post. It sounds altogether too familiar! Our school is mostly accepting of grade skips and acceleration. But they have an unusual preoccupation (in my opinion) with wanting highly gifted kids to be perfectly well behaved. There is some research that says that educators expect highly gifted kids to be more advanced socially and emotionally than average kids. They hold them up to a different standard. Behaviors that are acceptable in average kids are not acceptable in bright kids. There is a stereotype that highly gifted kids are anti-social, and they worry that the gifted kids are more likely to go off in that direction (think Ted Kaczynski hiding out in a Montana cabin). Therefore I think they are willing to put more emphasis on the "emotional needs", as defined by good behavior, than the "academic needs" in order to raise "good citizens" for the future. That is what we are experiencing at our school at least.

    They are completely clueless that to the fact that highly gifted little boys need to be academically challenged in order to keep from acting out due to boredom. There have been so many times in the past year that I wanted to shout this at DS8's 4th grade teachers, his gifted instructor, and his principle. I have held up reading assessments (done in class, by his teacher) that clearly show that DS is reading at the 9.7th grade level. I have held up two books in front of them: Lord of the Rings (book 2) and his current AR book and tried to show them what he reads at home verses what he reads at school. And if he gets up and wanders around the classroom when he is suppose to be reading his AR 4.1 level book (which he finished a week before), then perhaps he might be bored out of his noggin???

    All of this is met with glassy-eyed expressions and quoting of school policy: Students need to be able to sit in class and behave, even if they are bored senseless. Okay, the last part of that sentence is not official school policy, since they can not fathom that any child could be bored senseless with their exciting and challenging curriculum!

    Quote:
    Currently DS6 is severely underchallenged and has completely given up on school. He is no longer making any real effort to complete his work.
    We are seeing the same thing with DS8, even with a full grade acceleration and a jump up to 7th grade science. He has realized that he can write down answers from his previous store of knowledge without ever opening a book or studying and he can still get A's and B's. It is so frustrating to watch him stop trying at school. I don't have any suggestions for you, unfortunately! I hope others do.

    The only thing that I can add is that the first half of this year, after the grade and subject skips occurred, DS8 loved school. There were few behavioral problems and he focused on school work. However, ever since January, he has become increasingly bored and increasingly frustrated with school. And correspondingly, the tolerance with non-challenging assignments and teachers that don't understand him or his needs has dwindled. There is, without a doubt, a correlation.

    I would have your school give him the end of the year tests for 1st grade, and the beginning of the year (or even mid-year tests for 2nd grade) and see where he is academically. Then show them research on the emotional needs of highly gifted kids.

    Here are some of the links that I posted earlier that show a connection between boredom and behavior. The book Exceptionally gifted children by Gross, Miraca is particularly good for this. The book follows about 15 highly gifted kids and looks at the correlation between the schools willingness to advance the child and the long term effect on the child in terms of success in jobs, marriage, and happiness. I printed out some of these references and showed them to the powers that be at our school, with no effect. I hope you have better luck!
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B....html#Post33546

    Hang in there! It is really too bad that we are all fighting this battle alone in our own little school districts. Sigh! frown I wish there was a way that we could flood each other's school with a letter writing campaign... a form of testimonial to say that "My child is a highly gifted child whose behavior and progress in school dramatically improved after a grade acceleration!" We could stuff your Assistant Principle's mail box to the brim!
    _________________________
    Mom to DS12 and DD3

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    #45473 - 04/24/09 11:47 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: Dottie]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    I agree with Dottie. I believe that a large part of the reason that my son gets what he needs in school is that the school know that in this particular subject, I have way more knowledge than they do. Debating with me would just show them how off their thinking is when it comes to a PG kid.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45481 - 04/24/09 01:45 PM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: Dottie]
    EastnWest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/12/08
    Posts: 302
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    Originally Posted By: Ebeth
    Hang in there! It is really too bad that we are all fighting this battle alone in our own little school districts. Sigh! I wish there was a way that we could flood each other's school with a letter writing campaign... a form of testimonial to say that "My child is a highly gifted child whose behavior and progress in school dramatically improved after a grade acceleration!" We could stuff your Assistant Principle's mail box to the brim!

    Oh yeah, I could help!!!

    My son has benefited though from the scattered others. I literally have a story or situation to meet with every objection my school throws at me.


    Maybe I spent too much time working for a dotcom in the late 90's, but this smells like an enormous opportunity for someone to create highly useful website.

    Are any of our web/software programming savvy young adult gifties out there up for the challenge? Build it, and they will come ...

    I am envisioning a searchable, quotable, quantifiable database of experiences. more than just a list of anecdotes or eye-rollers (ridculous things I heard today...) (No offense to Hoagies. It is an awesome site and an awesome resource.) But I think you are on to something here eBeth and Dottie... How can we aggregate our experiences into an easily accessible format?

    I am thinking it would have to be anonymous, like this site. But built in a way so that individual incidents of setbacks and successes could be compiled into a nationwide reference tool.

    example: you could go to a site and fill in some brief (hopefully non-identifiable info)
    J.Smith: 10 yrs old. (or childqqR752)
    school: public middle
    tests completed: WISC... received FISQ of XXX on a good test day
    grade level: full grade skip in X grade
    accomodations: meeting student needs for the moment
    teacher: supportive of child's needs.

    etc.

    Then once enough data was compiled other folks could go back and reference it. Like pull a report that says: In the last 6 months there were 578 reported instances of children who walked out of the classroom when the book being read was X years behind their current reading level. Or: In the last X months, 72 parents reported behavior issues improving after their child was accelerated at least one grade level. ETC.

    OK, I am starting to ramble here but does anyone see where I am going with this?

    Anyone interested in building it? After all Hoagies, craiglist, and many other great sites were once a just labor of love of a single person.



    Edited by EastnWest (04/24/09 01:52 PM)
    Edit Reason: changed wording

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    #45535 - 04/25/09 04:27 PM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: EastnWest]
    ebeth Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/08
    Posts: 412
    That is a wonderful idea, EastnWest. smile It would be a tremendous help to all of us. I tend to scour books on gifted education and the emotional needs of gifted kids for just such information. The book that I recommended by Miraca Gross has just that kind of information, except that it is taken from a limited number of kids from Australia. It would be wonderful to have a current database of hundreds of kids in the U.S.

    Unfortunately, I'm not too terribly web savvy. I can only imagine the data being gathered in a quick and dirty fashion by a detailed questionnaire-type survey, in order to compile it easily. I don't know enough about web design to be able to envision data mining from a testimonial format. It sounds fascinating though. Anyone have ideas on how to do this?

    For the quick and dirty approach: If you had very specific questions, then you could glean such information and tabulate it into the necessary statistics. It would be a fun questionnaire to write!! grin

    "How many hours a week is your child bored senseless in school?"
    1-2 hours/3-4 hours/ 5-9 hours/10-20 hours

    "How many times a week do you get a phone call from exasperated teachers?" whistle
    1-2 times/3-4 times/ 5-9 times/10-20 times per week

    "Is there a correlation for your child between boredom and teacher's phone calls?" yes/no

    "Does your child enjoy school?" yes/no

    Maybe you could calculate a compatibility score between your child's experiences and other kid's experiences, and then compile a list of testimonials to read that are similar to yours? Although I'm sure that there is a much better way to do this! What an interesting thought!!
    _________________________
    Mom to DS12 and DD3

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    #45541 - 04/25/09 05:57 PM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: ebeth]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Quote:
    According to the school despite working above grade level in all assessed areas they do not feel that he has fully completed the complete 1st grade curriculum and socially/emotionally it is in his best interest to attend 1st grade next year!!!!!!!!!!!



    If a child has no friends but does age appropriate work, social/emotional issues never factor into acceleration. Present them a gifted child and it is primary factor they consider. Ask your school how his social and emotional wellbeing will benefit from being bored silly all day.


    Edited by marieg (04/25/09 05:59 PM)

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    #45664 - 04/27/09 10:10 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: BWBShari]
    elh0706 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    Crisc,
    I am so sorry that you and your son are going through this. I can empathize and hope that you are able to get some positive resolution. In the meantime hugs to all of you!

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    #45684 - 04/27/09 11:32 AM Re: Worst school meeting [Re: elh0706]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    Crisc - i just read your post, and I'm angry along with you! I'm so sorry about this awful meeting. It makes no sense. And since it is a public school, they have no right to tell you that they cannot help your child; it is their duty, isn't it?

    I would ask them more specifics about what sort of social/emotional behaviors they are talking about. I would ask if he is socially/emotionally in a normal range of all first graders. If there are current 1st graders who exhibit any similar behaviors, ask if they are also being held back or promoted to the next grade. If he is working ahead of his chrono peers in everything, explain to them that keeping him in 1st grade is like making a 3rd grader do 1st grade again, or a 2nd grader do kindergarten again. Would that 3rd grader be likely to happily do the work he already knows how to do?

    Sorry - i don't really have any concrete advice, but I hope that things work out.


    Edited by st pauli girl (04/27/09 12:09 PM)
    Edit Reason: sounded like i was angry with you - meant "along with you" not at you!

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