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    #45427 - 04/23/09 06:09 PM How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan.
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    I realized lately that I have become very distracted by constantly trying to frame what I will say to my DDs' teachers.

    Let me explain and maybe I can get some guidance: cool

    DD9, scores in the 140's WISC IV, and 152 Verbal, needs a plan for next year. She is currently just doing a one day a week GT pull out in 3rd grade, the program is not very challenging, we won't do it next year. She goes to a Jewish school, it is a dual language curriculum (Hebrew), so the administration has said that it is already enriched. Well, she is bored, very bored. We are currently also doing an online class through the Northwestern U Gifted online links. She likes it.

    DD5 scores at 146 FSIQ, WWPSI. She reads, does 1st grade math, etc. Plays Clue, Battleship, writes emails, instead of what other kids her age do, feels kind of lonely in school. You get the picture, as I am not alone here. She is going into K, same school, dual language, etc. No, the school isn't into skipping a grade. She might do the one day a week pull out program that our county provides.

    They are both taking the achievement tests in Mid May, to see if they will qualify for DYS. That would really help us.

    I am meeting with next years' teachers soon. It is a very small school, no doubt who they will be.

    OK, so my questions are:
    1) How do I talk to their next year's teachers? I think I want some subject acceleration for both of them, DD9 for language arts, DD5 for language arts and math? Do I talk about their scores, or do I mention just what they have achieved in terms of school work?

    2) Do I give the teachers any articles about HG kids, or is that obnoxious? Do any of you have a handy file of good articles, or do I just refer to Davidson and Hoagies?

    smirk
    Thanks, I have tried in the past to describe what my kids need, but it hasn't gone well and teachers haven't "gotten" them. The dual language curriculum is nice and the mitzvah projects (charity projects) add a nice part to their day, but I am going to lose faith in the school if I can't find a way to accomodate these kids.
    smirk

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    #45434 - 04/23/09 08:25 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: gratified3]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    You bring up several good points. Why have the conferences now? I guess I can re-think that. I was thinking that arranging for subject acceleration is tricky, and they would want to plan, or something of that sort.

    No, not everyone has a conference, I was trying to be communicative and pro-active. I will definitely not tell them what to do, that is good advice. I was thinking of sharing our experiences and asking what they think (with some guidance in mind). I honestly don't know if I will have a receptive audience, but if I wait until school starts I worry that I will be made crazy watching a "boring" start to the school year. Maybe this is folly on my part.

    I like how you phrased what I could open with, I will keep that in mind. Thanks!

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    #45449 - 04/24/09 06:08 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    I'm about to call the school my son will start in August and was going to ask the same question that you just asked smile

    This year I did give his teacher some articles (after she asked for them) that I know that she didn't read so I don't know if I'll go that route again. I tried to talk to her about his abilities (that as a teacher she should have been able to see) but once again it took her months to actually realize some of the things he was capable of.

    I hope that you're able to get them to help you and your daughters out!

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    #45450 - 04/24/09 06:10 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    I know that for me I want to call before next school year because this school year it took probably 6 months before DS was even allowed to bring in workbooks from home while he was waiting for the other kids to finish their work (not exactly what I had in mind when I asked for extra work for him). I'd like to start now so that hopefully before mid-year next year he'll have some work that is challenging to him.

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    #45452 - 04/24/09 06:23 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Jamie B]
    Artana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/10/08
    Posts: 227
    Jamie,
    Perhaps if you bring in some articles, phrase them as your starting point for your requests for your kids. You wanted the teacher to have them and look them over so that you are both talking the same language next year. You might tell her you will gladly work with her and try to help out with what is necessary. You might also tell her that you thought with the entire summer ahead of you, perhaps you and her could get something in place before the year, because you do want to cause minimum disruption to the plans she has for the rest of the class. I would definitely talk scores, but just to give the teacher a concrete starting place to work from. Lots of parents think their kids are bright. The numbers will make the teacher understand that yours are above the norm and that your concerns are based on evidence.

    These are just my two cents. I like teachers to feel like even though I am going to stand my ground about getting my children what they need academically, that there are lots of different routes to get that, and that I am a partner in this. I also think that approaching the teachers early is a great approach because if your child is disruptive when bored, the teacher will shift focus to behavior once class has startedand you will have to constantly redirect the teacher to speak with you about the academics.

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    #45456 - 04/24/09 06:54 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Artana]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Thanks, Artana. I was thinking of bringing in a list of ideas for next year, so that they have concrete options in front of them.

    I agree, it makes me seem like less of a "nut" if I show scores, but I also cringe at the thought of bringing in their IQ scores, at the same time. I guess I have to get over that.

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    #45458 - 04/24/09 07:08 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Artana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/10/08
    Posts: 227
    Gah. Sorry elizabethmom. I should have addressed my reply to you.:(

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    #45460 - 04/24/09 07:13 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Artana]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    No problem. I was just looking at articles to print out to possibly give to the teachers. Davidson has one called "Frequently asked questions about giftedness" that looks helpful.

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    #45843 - 04/28/09 09:21 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    I am back from one of those meetings. The 4th grade teacher for next year met with me.

    I did bring scores with me. I brought IQ, as we have an appt to do Weschler Achievement in 3 weeks and the standardized aren't back yet for this year's regular school testing.

    She refused to work on plans for next year in terms of subject acceleration or a specific plan for our DD or anything. She listened to me, she talked about how much harder the curriculum was than the 3rd grade, talked about her teaching philosophy, and then basically said "we'll see" after the first few weeks. She asked to see achievement scores when we have them. I was glad that I had articles to give her, maybe she will read them.

    This gets quite personal, doesn't it, with these teachers. They don't want to accept that what they offer isn't enough for a kid like mine, so they talk about how great their curriculum is. I could see that she just can't imagine a child not being challenged by her and her curriculum.

    Now what? I am feeling frustrated.

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    #45850 - 04/28/09 09:41 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Artana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/10/08
    Posts: 227
    Does your state have GIEPs?

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    #45852 - 04/28/09 09:43 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    The frustration is just part of the game, I'm afraid. You have a couple of options.

    Wait and see how the first few weeks of next year go.

    Follow the line and speak to her superior.

    Find a different school.

    Homeschool.

    Unfortunately none of them are great choices. It's sooo hard to try and define your child to people that just don't get it. And you're right about the teacher being defensive. Somehow they see it as a personal attack if their class isn't good enough. I don't have any great advice but ultimately you'll find something that works, have faith.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45854 - 04/28/09 09:47 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    Now what? I am feeling frustrated.


    Look at it as a good start. This is an ongoing process and the door is open for another meeting when you have the achievement scores. Give her a little time to process what you've already given her and be ready to make more progress at the next meeting.

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    #45855 - 04/28/09 10:04 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Thanks all, that helps. I will wait and see and offer some achievement scores when they come in.

    We do have GIEPs, but 1) for us that only means the one day a week pull out program or magnet school (no HG just GT and far away and waiting list and 2) this is a private school so they do what they want.

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    #45857 - 04/28/09 10:12 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    BTW, what did she say about her teaching philosophy? Anything to connect with there for the next meeting?

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    #45861 - 04/28/09 10:22 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    Artana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/10/08
    Posts: 227
    elizabethmom,
    Depending on your state, having GIEPs gives you a lot of legal backing. You can have your son tested, force them to have a meeting to discuss the results, and then use the GIEP excuse to push the teacher into discussing the accomodations she legally has to make for your son. In some states, it makes no difference if it is a public or private school. In other states, it makes a difference.
    Another option is to have another meeting with this teacher, and the teacher from this past year. That way, you have someone who dealt with him, who is also a professional teacher, to back up your concerns and help respond to hers. It is tiring and frustrating...I wish there was a way to make it simpler.:/

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    #45863 - 04/28/09 10:29 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: elizabethmom
    She listened to me, she talked about how much harder the curriculum was than the 3rd grade, talked about her teaching philosophy, and then basically said "we'll see" after the first few weeks.


    Remember what they taught the kids in preschool?
    "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

    When the teacher talks about how much harder the curriculum is in 4th grade than it was in 3rd grade, she may just as well be singing:
    "You get what you get and too bad for you if you get upset."

    Just thought that I would translate.

    Basically - you did just fine, and now it's time to go to the head of school and tell them that you aren't going to sign your contract for next year without a grade skip for both kids. Why? Because anyone who looks at those IQ scores and talks about how much harder the curricula is going to be next year has NO IDEA what it means to be PG, and is unlikely to want to learn.

    Basically - you can't tell a school that they aren't 'hard enough' for your child. You can tell the school that you child kicks and screams and rolls around the floor begging you not to send her back. You can tell the school about the psychosomatic stomache aches. You can get a doctor's note about all the stress poor DD is suffering. Then you tell them that the person who did your testing says that keeping a child so many years below her academic readiness level 4 days out of the week is causig her great stress, and that a full grade skip is a good first step. (BTW - weirdly the 'Achievement Test' scores doen't help with acutual schools determine actual placement, they just don't translate locally. If you want to do something now, request firmly that their own 'end of year' tests for 4th grade be given to DD NOW to determine next years placement.

    You notice that I'm acting like a grade skip is a 'no-brainer' and going to solve all your problems. Well, it is a no-brainer in your case, and no, it won't solve any of your problems. But, once the schools sees with it's own eyes that 'your kids are different' then suitable subject accelerations will follow. And yes, there are drawbacks, but if your kids are really lonely and miserable,AND not learning how to work at learning, then the drawbacks are worth it, and you'll solve tommorow's problems tommorrow.

    Sadly, in a few years, your older daughter will be at an age where it's very likely that she will be unwilling to put in more of a 'reasonable effort' and be glad that she can get away with 'just the minimum' and can focus on the social side of life.


    In my experience, the hardest groups to convince of the 'PG difference' are the groups that are well suited and comfortable with moderatly gifted kids. After seeing so many bright ones, they tend to think that they have seen it all. They have not.

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

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    #45865 - 04/28/09 10:38 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    DrH Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/15/09
    Posts: 40
    In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips. Schools determine what the teachers do or don't do. By and large teachers just do the song and dance routine that the school wants them to. SO if you find you have a school that isn't giving you the education you want for your child, just move them to another school. Yes it is a pain in the backside, and yes it cost you money to do it. BUT the only thing you can be sure of is if you talk to a teacher and in any way raise concerns about how your child is being taught, the teacher WILL remember that and it will impact how your child is treated by that teacher.

    There is a common fear that if you upset a teacher that the teacher will take it out on your child. It is a common fear because it tends to be quite true.

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    #45873 - 04/28/09 11:09 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: DrH]
    twomoose Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 127
    [quote=DrH]In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips. Schools determine what the teachers do or don't do. SO if you find you have a school that isn't giving you the education you want for your child, just move them to another school.

    Wow, that's cynical! I beg to disagree. I think talking to the teacher is a great start if you anticipate issues arising next year (and it sounds like that's a possibility). Communication is important, even if it doesn't necessarily lead anywhere right away. Then, as next year progresses, you can reference your previous conversation and show that you were being proactive and a good advocate for your child. Start slowly. They may or may not be able to accomodate your requests, but if you are respectful rather than confrontational (not that you would be - that was a personal reminder!) you may be able to work with the school. Say, "there is no perfect school" - repeat as necessary.

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    #45891 - 04/28/09 12:44 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    So sorry. It's a lousy situation.

    Can you go to the principal to ask about a full-grade skip? Would that be a reasonable course of action? A private school should be much more responsive.

    ==> Have you already signed the forms saying you'll return next year? If not, you could try to (very gently) use her return as a bargaining position.


    Val


    Edited by Val (04/28/09 12:46 PM)

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    #45901 - 04/28/09 01:18 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: DrH]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: DrH
    In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips.


    Ouch! That's quite a generalization. And I do cringe when I see comparisons of 'people' to 'inanimate objects.'

    But I do think that listening to teachers is a lot more useful than talking to them. Also one has to start with talking to a teacher before on goes up the chain to the next higher level. I think that my son got a lot from a wonderful 3rd grade teacher even in without the support of the school administration.

    Of course, what each child needs varies quite a bit. If a child only needs a bit of enrichment, then talking to a teacher might help. A little bit of talking with lots of showing evidence of what the child loves to do and lots and lots of listening. Other children are going to need solutions that require coordination between rooms or even buildings, and then of course, after getting the teacher's opinion, and hopefully support, one has to go higher.

    The main thing is to remember that for gifted kids, meeting their need for academic challenge IS a social and emotional issue, and not to let the schoolies make it an 'either/or' kind of situation. If one speaks in terms of the emotional needs of the child, then one might get a lot further rather than appealing to some outside standard or 'because it's decent.'

    I also think that it's important to keep in mind that the schools are under no obligation to provide the kinds of modifications that you might want for your child. I've been in the situation where I was resptectful, polite, kind and unsuccessful at getting my son the accomidations he needed at a school. They thought I was great, and often said they wish that every child had a parent like me. They still didn't provide more than 20% of the change my son needed. This isn't really a negotiation - it's begging. And begging has a highly variable yield. Was I depressed and self-blaming? I was for a month or two. But in the end, we found ways to reverse my son's underachievement, at least for the most part. No, there will never be a perfect school situation, but there are school situations that are bad and should be changed.

    Remember this one:
    "...Grant me the the wisdom to know the difference."

    The question of 'when is a school a good enough fit' is a great example of how much wisdom is required to 'know the difference.' Especially with many girls who often want to conform and please everyone around them.

    But - the topic of this thread is 'how do I talk to the teachers' which to me means that the parents knows that something has to change, but still imagines that the depth of change is something that can be handled in a single classroom. I've been there and done that, and for a kid with scores like that WHO IS ACTIVELY COMPLAINING, is unlikely to have their problems fixed inside a single classroom. For 2/3 of gifted kids - talking to the teacher is a great idea, and listening even better. Asking a few respectful probing questions - better yet. Plus, there is much more a teacher can do with a few moderatly gifted kids clustered together doing a special project. Sometimes a PG kid gets lucky with her agemates and finds a kindred spirit right in her own classroom, but it's more rare. Less rare in certian neighborhoods, but still quite unusual.

    Getting off soapbox now,
    Grinity

    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #45927 - 04/28/09 02:56 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Grinity]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Originally Posted By: Grinity
    But - the topic of this thread is 'how do I talk to the teachers' which to me means that the parents knows that something has to change, but still imagines that the depth of change is something that can be handled in a single classroom.


    Good point.
    Elizabethmom, does the principal have the information about DDs scores? If not, it may help to bring the principal in the loop when you get the achievement scores. I've had better luck with DD's teachers than her principal, so it's not the first thing that pops into my head. wink

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    #45956 - 04/28/09 06:32 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    The principal has asked me to start with teachers before coming to her, I think that she is encouraging all parents to start with them, not just me.
    But, on a hopeful note, I found out that Florida Virtual School, which is free for us, has middle school online classes that might supplement the regular curriculum nicely (and not $$$ like the Northwestern gifted ones we have done) but I needed special permission to put a soon to be 4th grader in a 6th grade virtual classroom. The principal was the one to ask, she said that she'd sign anything like that. So, she "gets" some of it.

    Taking into account the wise opinions here, and blending them, it seems that jumping to the principal in only April, after a one hour preliminary conversation with the teacher for next year, might only get me in trouble, and DD, too. Perhaps I will push gently over the summer, by waiting until those achievement scores come in, perhaps if we get into DYS, etc., then having a general meeting with the principal to "catch up" (we did this last summer, it was pleasant but nothing concrete came of it) and start pushing harder.

    The principal has been different with DD5, perhaps because she knows us. She asked if we can put her in K next year, because it is such a "sweet year" and maybe skip 1st. I thought that was interesting, but confusing and not really bound by research or knowledge of PG kids.

    We moved to this suburb to be near this school because of the dual language curriculum and it totally stresses out my DH when he thinks that he commutes a long distance to work so that we could be here, yet it isn't working for us. Also, the girls are super sensitive and attached to their friends, even though they both admit in quiet moments that they don't really feel kinship except with their parents. So, those are some added details.

    I do think, as someone said above, that this is a private school with an expectation of having smart kids, and many of them are probably mildly or GT, but none at all like mine. Yet, the teachers have a hard time even imagining that mine would be so different than these other bright kids. This year's 3rd grade teacher drew a bell curve (and she drew it wrong, it was weird) and showed me that my DD is alone at the top, yet, when I ask for a more challenging curriculum she just doesn't do it. I don't think that they are equipped.

    My DH's response is sometimes that we should just move to a real city (we used to live in NYC, so we are snobs here in suburban Florida) - but I read these boards and know that that would not necessarily be a perfect solution, either.



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    #45959 - 04/28/09 06:42 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    But I ignored what Grinity said in my post, above.
    I guess I am not as self confident as I thought, because as I read your plain-speak, "it is time to grade skip" talk, it made me immediately think of all of the potential problems with it.
    I know, everyone here has been through it, and yes, underachievement is a real problem with DD9, but I really have to sit on that one.
    Thanks, Grinity.

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    #45966 - 04/28/09 07:05 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: elizabethmom
    The principal has been different with DD5, perhaps because she knows us. She asked if we can put her in K next year, because it is such a "sweet year" and maybe skip 1st. I thought that was interesting, but confusing and not really bound by research or knowledge of PG kids.


    Actually this is not necessarily a terrible idea, especially if the K situation is not highly academic, is more child-led then 1st grade, and is half-day, and if the 1st grade year is the "learn to read year" when the teachers are very focused on leaving no child behind...

    This is how it is in our school system, and if we had stuck it out in the school system, DS7 would have had his good K year and would have skipped his dismal 1st grade year. (At least, he would have if I had had my way...)

    Of course, that doesn't mean this solution is right for your child with your school and your teachers. But if the principal is suggesting it--and the skip is really offered there for 1st grade and not just an empty promise--then I'd recommend that you at least consider it.

    If memory serves, I think this is a solution recommended by Dr. Ruf for HG+ kids, and I know a number of "regulars" around here did this and liked it.

    YMMV...
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #45968 - 04/28/09 07:07 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Kriston]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Oh! Thank you kindly. I will keep that in mind. Yes, the K is half day.

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    #45970 - 04/28/09 07:16 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    The half day helps a lot because at age 5, it can be a long day for a kid to sit *all day* in 1st grade. That extra year of half-day school can help a lot

    And with the half day, the child still has lots of time to pursue academic and other interests at home. So even if K is just circle time and coloring (I'm talking worst-case scenario--our K expereince was MUCH better than this!), it's better to have no academics than the wrong academics. Then you can give her what she needs at home.

    No pushing here. Just more details... wink Feel free to ignore completely!
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #45971 - 04/28/09 07:19 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    We put DS in K so that he'd have a chance to learn "how to do school". He's accelerated for all subjects but I still think it was a good option for him. Next year he'll be in 4th and the "sweet year" will be behind him. He learned alot about routine and paying attention and following direction just getting in line for lunch etc. And he looks really cute in his class picture! LOL
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45975 - 04/28/09 07:56 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: BWBShari]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    OK, you have all made a difference.
    This is what I just did:
    1) I wrote a note to the principal formally requesting a certain teacher (she had asked me to put it in writing for her files) and on the bottom I added that we will want a meeting towards the end of K to discuss skipping to 2nd grade.

    2) Then, here is the letter that I just drafted about DD9:
    (Feel free to criticize, but remember it is a small community and has to be a little warm and fuzzy)

    4/29/2009

    Mrs. G,

    I just wanted to let you know about my meeting with Mrs. R today and what "hubby" and I are thinking about next year.

    It was a nice meeting, Mrs. R took a lot of time to talk with me. She has great passion for her students! Understandably, her request regarding creating a separate plan for DD9, or subject acceleration, or anything else "out of the box" was that we wait and see after a few weeks of school, instead of planning now. I understand this because everything that I explained to her was new to her. I made sure that she understood that I was not telling her what to do, just explaining our situation. I was also just interested in meeting her and seeing what the classroom was like.

    I have gotten some help recently from people who know the profoundly gifted well, and a grade skip might be the easiest option for everyone. The exception is that DD9 is "on the fence" about how she feels about it. I am concerned about underachievement, but will know more when those standardized tests come back. Her IQ is in the profoundly gifted range, in the 99.9th percentile (so is her sister's) so if she is not being pushed at all then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement. I had no idea until recently, as you know, how unusual our kids are.

    I have never advocated grade skipping because my father did, my husband did, and my mother did, and only my father was really happy with it. My mother's was an extreme situation, she went to college at 16 and had trouble socially. My parents never allowed me to skip, I wish they had, actually.

    I think that maybe this summer, once we have had time to talk and think, we might want to meet you with just to discuss options, like subject acceleration, at the least. I am also feeling positive about that Florida Virtual School idea as a "mom and me" activity or something.

    Thanks,

    "Elizabethmom"

    So, is it too weak?


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    #45976 - 04/28/09 08:08 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    Have you used the Iowa Acceleration scales? It would add more weight to the argument of grade skipping if your DD was identified as a good or excellent candidate. I wouldn't put in the part about DD being on the fence as that clearly gives them an out.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45986 - 04/28/09 08:47 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: BWBShari]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    So, is it too weak?

    In my opinion, yes. I think it can be reworked to be strong, warm and fuzzy. wink

    Quote:
    so if she is not being pushed at all then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement

    I'd change this part from "pushed at all" to challenged.

    I'll sleep on it and hopefully inspiration will hit.

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    #46006 - 04/29/09 03:49 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: BWBShari]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Wow Elizabethmom!

    You've come a long way in a short time! Here's a try at a possible re-write:

    Quote:
    Mrs. G,

    I just wanted to let you know about my meeting with Mrs. R today and what "hubby" and I are thinking about next year.

    It was a nice meeting; Mrs. R took a lot of time to talk with me. She has great passion for her students! Her request regarding creating a separate plan for DD9, or subject acceleration, or anything else "out of the box" was that we wait and see after a few weeks of school, instead of planning now. I understand this, but have grave reservations. You see, if she is not being pushed at all then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement. (Add 2 for examples, if you can in a sentence or two. – You can also add an example of ‘perfectionist behavior’ where she won’t try things she isn’t instantly good at, or tears up her work and cries if it doesn’t met some outlandishly high standard)

    I have gotten some help recently from people who know the profoundly gifted well, and a grade skip might be the easiest option for everyone. Her IQ is in the profoundly gifted range, in the 99.9th percentile (so is her sister's) so I had no idea until recently, as you know, how unusual our kids are.

    Another piece of the puzzle may be some of her school day using the the Florida Virtual School as an independent study. If she were placed with older kids, then perhaps a small group could work on a project together.

    As for this year, as much as she loves her teacher, she is quite fretful at home. She says that it’s from having no new material to learn. (or some polite way of saying bored without using that world) The only real way to know where she is academically is to give her ‘end of year’ tests for 4th grade. Can this be taken care of this year so that she can start next year off with a placement that allows her academic needs to be met? That will give her the additional benefit of making school more rewarding for her right now.

    Thanks,

    "Elizabethmom"


    I took out all of your fears and worries. They are real, and you should talk about them here, but they aren't for sharing with school folks. You have to put on a little bit of acting for them. We, on the other hand want to hear all about your family and their experiences.

    I think on of the main differences between 'back then' and 'now' is that we are thinking of a gradeskip as the begining of a flexable road that includes gap years, decelerations, subject accelerations, distance learning and summer camps. If you daughter does join Davidson, she will have oddles and oddles of 'flexable path' kids to compare herself to, instead of being 'on her own.'

    The drawbacks to skips are real, but we have a lot more ways of dealing with them. I think of my Grandmother's skips as more like 'official fake birth certificates' - here's you new age, make the most of it, we're done thinking about you! Great if it works, too bad if it doesn't.

    I also agree that1/2 K with a gaureenteed skip to 2nd might be a nice fit. I would consider that she is 'partial homeschooling' K in the AM at school, and 1st at home with you. Of course, if she is reading 'War and Peace' already, and really lonely with agemates, and has great fine motor, and can sit all day - then 1st can work well also, particularly for girls who often are more 'sit ready' than boys.

    I like the idea of keeping her around you for an extra year, but socially, early skips are great.

    Woot!

    Grinity

    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #46019 - 04/29/09 06:01 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Grinity]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    OK, DD9 and I talked this morning and she's up for anything. She is totally ready to move on.
    Here is my newest draft, based on everyone's suggestions:

    4/29/2009

    Mrs. G,

    I just wanted to let you know about my meeting with Mrs. R today and what DH and I are thinking about next year.

    It was a nice meeting, Mrs. R took a lot of time to talk with me. She has great passion for her students! Understandably, her request regarding creating a separate plan for DD9, or subject acceleration, or anything else "out of the box" was that we wait and see after a few weeks of school, instead of planning now. I understand this, but have grave reservations. You see, if DD9 is not being challenged then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement. When challenged, for example in the gifted online class, I noticed instant tears of frustration. When asked what was wrong, she replied that she isn’t used to having to work at anything.

    I have gotten some help recently from people who know the profoundly gifted well, and a grade skip might be the easiest option for everyone. Her IQ is in the profoundly gifted range, in the 99.9th percentile (so is her sister's), I had no idea until recently, as you know, how unusual our kids are.

    As for this year, as much as she enjoys her classmates and teachers, she has been asking constantly for more work, for me to ask for meetings to obtain more challenging work, etc. The only real way to know where she is academically is to give her ‘end of year’ tests for 4th grade. Can this be taken care of this year so that she can start next year off with a placement that allows her academic needs to be met? That will give her the additional benefit of making school more rewarding for her right now. I think that, at the very least, she will need subject acceleration for language arts, science, and social studies, I expect that Mrs. M wouldn’t mind having her. Another viable option would be a grade skip, where she would be in 4th grade Hebrew in the morning and 5th grade general studies in the afternoons.

    I expect that a conversation is in order, but I know how busy you are right now. Please let me know when you have absorbed all of this and have time to talk.


    Thanks,
    "Elizabethmom"


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    #46020 - 04/29/09 06:04 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: BWBShari]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    I don't know anything about the Iowa Acceleration scales, I will search this board for past posts about it.

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    #46026 - 04/29/09 06:47 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    i like that letter. great examples. i wouldnt hand then the 'at least' alternative, because you are probably going to need subject accels on top of that skip sooner or later. yes its ok to settle for that but the old negotiation tactic of asking for twice what you want still hold....lol. dont worry about the iowa scale....with her scores she is a good or excellent candidate. interesting reading but not worth getting distracted by. love and more love grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #46032 - 04/29/09 07:28 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Grinity]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Sounds much stronger while still warm and fuzzy. smile

    I'd expand this part a bit more. I understand what you're saying but the principal may not fully get it and think damned if I do challenge her/damned if I don't.

    Quote:
    You see, if DD9 is not being challenged then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement. When challenged, for example in the gifted online class, I noticed instant tears of frustration. When asked what was wrong, she replied that she isn’t used to having to work at anything.


    Maybe this:
    Quote:
    You see, if DD9 is not being challenged then we start to see sadness, restlessness, and underachievement. Since she quickly learns new things with little effort, her opportunities to persevere when something is not quickly mastered have been limited. When challenged, for example in the gifted online class, I noticed instant tears of frustration. When asked what was wrong, she replied that she isn’t used to having to work at anything. It is important that she have opportunities to learn perseverance at an early age like her classmates.

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    #46034 - 04/29/09 07:32 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    That is an improvement, Inky, thanks.

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    #46975 - 05/08/09 07:19 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Just an update:
    I sent the letter, the principal called me right away. She said in the phone conversation that, of course, we will talk and see what can be done. She sounded very upbeat about making changes. She would like to see the Cogat (which DD did not do that well on last year!) which just came back but I haven't seen it yet and any tests that I have. We happen to be taking the WIAT or WJ a few days before the meeting for a possible DYS try, so if it is good I'll have more to show than the IQ test and grades/AR scores, etc.
    For DD5 we are on the fence again, I think we'll try K and see what happens, although she just started reading at about a second grade level, so K might not last long. But, her friends are there so she wants to try.
    I will give an update on DD9 after our meeting in a few weeks, thanks again, all.

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    #46977 - 05/08/09 07:32 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Sounds promising!
    If it comes down to Cogat vs. WISC, be prepared to address why WISC trumps Cogat.
    Here's a good article, especially the "Types of Tests" section.
    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/tests_tell_us.htm
    Bottomline:
    Quote:
    For all these reasons, group tests tend to underestimate the gifted, more than the average child.

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    #47000 - 05/09/09 12:06 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Oh, wow, that is helpful, I just looked at the article, thanks.

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    #47001 - 05/09/09 01:28 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Ellipses Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/22/09
    Posts: 407
    Loc: Colorado
    I talked to my daughter's future principal at Middle School yesterday. He told me why I could not get what I wanted. I mentioned her NWEA scores (which are important here). He did not believe me since hers are the highest ever made.

    He looked them up and then just gave me everything I wanted. It was very interesting.

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    #47003 - 05/09/09 01:35 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Ellipses]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Yahoo! Gotta love it when an administrator make a data-driven decision. grin

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    #47059 - 05/10/09 06:55 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    Ellipses Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/22/09
    Posts: 407
    Loc: Colorado
    I was thrilled. In this time of "options", public schools should be vying for these students.

    Do most of them not understand "mean"? If a seventh grade student takes accelerated courses, but remains a seventh grade student, it brings up the school's scores.

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    #47855 - 05/19/09 05:02 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Laurie W. Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/14/09
    Posts: 4
    Have you had your soon to be fourth grader do the NUMATS at Northwestern Univ. I just spoke to a woman yesterday who told me that the tests are evaluated to assist your child to be taught at the level that they are at. Registration is in September and the test is given in January and Febuary. I have a son who is finishing up fourth grade in Dist. 102 in Buffalo Grove and I will be having him take that test. His Map scores and ISATS put him at gifted for Math but very very high for Reading. Since there are different levels of giftedness that I am trying to learn about I called Northwestern center for the Gifted and Talented. Hope this helps.

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    #47881 - 05/20/09 05:42 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Laurie W.]
    Smita Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 05/20/09
    Posts: 1
    Hi,

    Chiming in late. This is a bit long. I was able to do a full grade skip(1st - 3rd) for my son (identified PG) in a private school. I found that walking in with
    my test scores, articles and all my arsenal from the beginning helped me a lot. When he went for the admissions test (which I knew
    for sure he would ace) I suggested that they also test him for
    a higher grade. So, he went in once for testing ( at both grade
    levels) and then twice for shadowing - once in his designated
    class and once in a grade ahead. I also said that I would trust the
    school officials decision on this. The results came back - they offered a grade skip option as they found that he related socially and emotionally better with kids who are 2 years older than him than with his peers.

    I think that going in with all pertinent information and data for your case gives you a big advantage.

    Coming to your question regarding planning for next year,
    I actually set up a meeting first with his teacher this year
    voicing my concerns and asking her suggestions on how to deal
    with them (underachievement mainly)She basically gave me the map.
    Told me to meet the Head of Schools and then set up a meeting
    with the next grade teacher and the Special Ed teacher (he
    is in a pull-out program twice a week). She also agreed
    to be present at all the meetings for support. She also asked
    me to show them examples of the kind of work he is doing at home.

    I think I like the idea in having a plan set for the coming year
    because then the teacher knows what to expect instead of my child coming
    in the beginning of the year (after a very enriching summer) and then just be back at where he started.
    However, our school is a very small school with only 1 class/grade so I obviously knew who his teacher is.

    I used the Templeton National Report on Acceleration as the basis of most of my arguments. Gave the school officials a copy as well. You can get a copy of it here
    http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/

    The other option is schools with mixed grades - like a friend of mine sends her daughter to a Montessori program and she has access to all the material she needs at whatever level she
    is in.
    Hope this helps. All the best.

    Smita

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    #47917 - 05/20/09 09:53 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Laurie W. Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/14/09
    Posts: 4
    I am going to be in this same situation this coming school year with both of my kids.
    I have a son finishing up fourth grade with MAP scores reading 262 and Math 228.
    I have spoken to the gifted teacher for next year because he will be going to a school that is 5th and 6th grade only. She said that they pull out of the classroom two times a week and that is with the mix of other gifted students. I am learning about different levels of giftedness. I will have my son take the NUMATS in Jan. at Northwestern University that tests gifted kids above grade level and I was tol that the scores will help teachers teach students with where they are at. That is what I was told. My daughter is finishing up Montessori kind. and is reading now at a third grade reading level... I was not as forceful with the teachers for my son other then saying can you please give him more challenging work...That never happend. So I know that I need to more proactive in a cooperative way such as "How Can We work together." I am waiting a year to have my daughter take a test because I do not think she is ready to be with strangers...not sure? Maybe I should... Any imput about levels of giftedness and experience with that would be really helpful....Thanks in advance.

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    #47938 - 05/20/09 12:44 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Laurie W.]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Laurie W.
    I am waiting a year to have my daughter take a test because I do not think she is ready to be with strangers...not sure? Maybe I should... Any imput about levels of giftedness and experience with that would be really helpful....Thanks in advance.


    How old is your DD, Laurie W? Some kids do mess up in testing due to shyness or orneriness, but most, most, most do just fine. The tests are set up to be fun for the child, as all children perform higher when they are comfortable and having fun. How did your daughter do when she first met her school teacher, for example?

    You are so right with your 'How can we work together on this?' approach!

    For more on LOG, try Deb Ruf's book 'Losing our mind, gifted children left behind.' Some kids are very gifted and don't do the landmarks she talks about in her book, but many do. This is a cheap and easy way to start to understand how LOG might be affecting your children.

    Love and Welcome,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #47982 - 05/21/09 04:41 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Grinity]
    Laurie W. Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/14/09
    Posts: 4
    Thank you for the suggestion. I will check out that book.

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    #48007 - 05/21/09 09:32 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: Laurie W.]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Quote:
    I also think that it's important to keep in mind that the schools are under no obligation to provide the kinds of modifications that you might want for your child.



    I agree with this, but only to the extent that they make a concerted effort. One of the things I have learned very clearly is that schools simply do not run into gifted children as often as they run into children who are struggling academically. Give them a child who cannot pass a class and they can pull action plan 1,2 or 3 from a drawer. Give them a child who tests out of the 4th grade in Kindergarten and the first thing they may well tell you is the location of the nearest $$$$ gifted private school in the area.

    I think schools are under and obligation to tend to children they receive at all ends of the spectrum to the extent they have the resources. I do know that teachers have guidelines, curriculum plans and policies that they may not like but often have to follow. Schools may not have gifted specialists and they aren't going to hire one just for Johnny. But when they DO have the programs, teachers and classes, I selfishly expect them to WORK to put together a plan that can accomodate the children who need it. We all make compromises, parents and schools, and in the end we keep an eye on the best interest of the child.

    When our children came to the school, the school had no protocol for acceleration, grade wise or subject. We were the guinea pigs. If we had simply said that's ok, she can just sit here and be bored to tears, the school would have never adopted the formal policy and protocols they have now. It only takes on parent and one kid. Never forget that!


    Edited by marieg (05/21/09 09:36 AM)

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    #48107 - 05/22/09 11:19 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: marieg]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Hi everyone! I have great news.
    Today was our big meeting (I started this thread in ...early May?) to discuss both girls.
    The principal was awesome, was more concered about social and emotional well being than looking at test scores. She already knew that academically they could handle it.

    DD5 will skip K and go to first.
    DD9 will skip 4 and go to 5th.

    Thanks everyone, for all of the advice! I did bring in the Iowa Acceleration, just as a point of focusing our conversation, which helped. I also had confidence in what I was asking for, thanks to this board and research.


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    #48110 - 05/22/09 11:36 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Yahoo!! Fabulous news smile smile smile

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    #48122 - 05/22/09 02:08 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    Good news smile

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