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    #47413 - 05/14/09 11:23 AM Meeting today: which option would you choose?
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    We had a great meeting with the middle school (gifted coordinator, guidance counselor, district superintendent, current 4th grade teacher, middle school prinicpal and mom and dad) to discuss the plan for DD10's acceleration into 6th.

    Background: Currently takes 6th grade gifted reading,gifted math (within grade) and regular other classes. WISC-IV GAI is 156, Explore tested 22 composite with 25 in english and reading, 21 science, 17 in math. Putting plan in place to transition to 6th grade in fall. In the middle school, math and science are tied by level (you cannot do a higher science without a higher level math and they explained why. It made sense.)

    Option A: all standard 6th grade classes. They feel the transition to 6th grade for any child is hard enough, and combined with a grade skip could be doubly hard. Would give her time to settle in, build up math (whichi isn't at a 6th grade advanced or gifted level) and in the first quarter, assuming a happy transition, move her to gifted reading, literature and social studies. Math and Science would be at grade level. End of the year she would move to all gifted classes (except for math which would be advanced but not the gifted-2 yr-ahead class). Disadvantages: she'd have to spend a quarter in easier classes, and even when moved to gifted reading, would essentially be repeating the course work if not the books. Advantage is it make the transition easier. She needs confidence in math, depsite her high test scores. It is also possible that she'd be challenged enough with just plain 6th grade (although we know the reading would be too easy. I mean, she completed 6th grade gifted reading this year with an A).

    Option B: Gifted social studies, reading and literature, standard math and science. She'd continue in this track until the end of the year, and move to all gifted except for math (it would be advanced) in 7th grade. The end result is the exact same for A and B. The only difference is where she starts. Some concerns from the school on diving in too fast, and potentially have to move back down to standard classes if the pace, homework and just the whole change is overwhelming. DD10 can get frustrated and is a perfectionist. She might struggle more than she envisions. The school said they have no doubts she'd do well, but it might be too much too soon.


    The school feels strongly it is better to start in A and move to B after a short transition period. They spent a great deal of time outling the positives and negatives to both (I received a full written sheet for each option). Kudos to the school for being sensitive and wanting her to be well rounded and emtionally ok and not just academically challenged. I appreciated that. I am leaning toward A.

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    #47415 - 05/14/09 11:45 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    Disadvantages: she'd have to spend a quarter in easier classes, and even when moved to gifted reading, would essentially be repeating the course work if not the books.


    I'd lean more to B if she'd be repeating the same books.
    Not that I don't re-read books but there's so much good literature for her still to meet. smile

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    #47416 - 05/14/09 11:47 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: inky]
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    It seems you have a very smart kid and thoughtful and competent school team!

    My kids attended a school that turned on the fire hose in 6th grade regarding homework and projects. Also, the tests were suddenly challenging for science and history in particular. If you happen to know what the rigor of the other courses will be, it could help solidify your decision. Although the material wasnít overly difficult, the challenge became out-put, time management and multi-tasking during 6th grade. A good indicator may be if summer homework is assigned.

    Also, a 17 in math at 10 is not bad. My son had the same score at 10, received math subject acceleration, and then got a 24 at 11. It may seem like a relative weakness, but she might still benefit from acceleration.
    Of course, Iím sure you have more data than Explore only.

    Iím glad you have two good choices!

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    #47417 - 05/14/09 11:56 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: inky]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Originally Posted By: inky
    I'd lean more to B if she'd be repeating the same books.
    Not that I don't re-read books but there's so much good literature for her still to meet. smile


    There was a third option, option C, that allowed her to go to 7th grade reading. because of the scheduling, she'd also have to do all her art, PE, music, etc with 7th graders. It caused all sorts of scheduling problems and I didn't like the massive moving around it required. No one in the room, we parents included, liked that one. The school has offered the reading and library specialists to work with her reading teacher (standard and gifted) to provide different books along the same genre. DD loves to read, read, read, so to me, this will be her "easy A" class.

    I wish I could attach the optins as written by the school. I think you'd be impressed in how thorough they are.

    Based on all the discussions, I think 6th grade is going to be a challenge in all areas.


    Edited by marieg (05/14/09 11:57 AM)

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    #47424 - 05/14/09 01:37 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dottie]
    Ellipses Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/22/09
    Posts: 407
    Loc: Colorado
    Try being around a few seventh graders for awhile and determine what you think. I am around a few at this moment and am thinking about how difficult it would be for a kid who is younger to be around them. The vocabulary they learn may not be what you would like. They are really different.

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    #47425 - 05/14/09 01:39 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dottie]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    The school has offered the reading and library specialists to work with her reading teacher (standard and gifted) to provide different books along the same genre.

    Yay! laugh Sounds like they'll work with you if unanticipated problems come up with either choice.

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    #47428 - 05/14/09 01:54 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: inky]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    One of the options we all rejected involved her going to the 7th grade for reading but that would mean she would also go to 7th grade of PE. I didn't like that at all.


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    #47429 - 05/14/09 02:01 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    That's a hard one. Since both options lead to the same place, I guess it would depend on how adaptable my child was. Does she need the time with the easy work while she's learning how to "do middle school?" If not I'd lean toward option B.

    It's great that you're being offered choices!
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #47434 - 05/14/09 02:39 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: BWBShari]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    Nothing to add except I'm really, really impressed with your school. How can schools be sooooo very different? Our school won't even entertain acceleration.

    Case in point, I got a note from my Aunt whose DS is a Ker in another district. The teacher initiated testing and initiated skipping first and going into 2nd next year. Nothing was initiated by my Aunt. Teacher constantly keeps her informed about what level DS is working at and what the next concepts she will introduce will be. I can only shake my head and turn green with envy.

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    #47438 - 05/14/09 03:01 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    xoxosmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/03/08
    Posts: 60
    Loc: California
    Adding my kudo's for your school. It is nice to read some positive things schools are offering.

    Will she be moving on to the middle school from elementary school? The transition is a big one. If that is the case I would personally take the one the school is strongly behind A than B, so she can get her feet under her so to speak. It might not be the perfect academic fit but it will offer her more of a chance to find a niche in relation to her new peers. The school seems to be very sensitive and accomadating to her academic needs and nothing has to be written in stone and can't be adjusted.

    Good Luck.

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    #47451 - 05/14/09 04:33 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    westcoastmom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/14/09
    Posts: 39
    I'm inclined to agree with Dottie--her giftedness will let her blend in the new grade level gifted classes so option B seems fine. And I'll add (from my own experience of this same skip two and a bit decades ago) that being eased into non-gifted classes after a grade skip was actually detrimental because the new peer group's social and academic norms were distinctly different from those of the gifted group I was used to and they were less than pleased to have a younger hand-waving-in-the-air kid join them. I had to switch to a gifted class within a few months to address bullying, and it meant an extra transition.

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    #47453 - 05/14/09 05:35 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    S-T Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/28/08
    Posts: 207
    Hi,
    It's great to read abt how much your school is willing to do for your child! smile
    Since it is just for a quarter and the end result is the same, plus the school has already outlined the detailed pros and cons and is strongly for A, I would go for A. Reason: It is obvious that the school will be willing to do for the long haul. So I would take their advise on this. What's your dd's preference?

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    #47482 - 05/15/09 07:50 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: S-T]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    You are all sweet to reply. We have to tell the school by Wednesday, when we meet again to assign a schedule for the social worker and guidance counselor to meet with her on a regular basis.

    My DD was the first child in recent memory to skip a grade in the district, or at least as far as anyone can remember. That's why they are concerned.

    I figured out how to share the two options. I think it is worth seeing their thoughts as well. "HAL" = Gifted (high achievement learners).

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/dgmarie/Option1.jpg

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/dgmarie/Option2.jpg


    I just realized something...they are worried about a 1.5 year acceleration...she attended their 6th grade HAL literature class in the 3rd grade for a 6 week trial (she got an A). That's a 3 yr acceleration. And this year she is taking their 6th grade HAL literature for the entire year (4th grade to 6th grade). That's a 2 year acceleration.

    I'm begining to see the light on option 2 now.


    Edited by marieg (05/15/09 09:25 AM)
    Edit Reason: a thought occured.

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    #47490 - 05/15/09 09:21 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Ellipses]
    mom2sofia Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/09/09
    Posts: 28
    With the level of support she is receiving how can your girl not do AWESOME! Really, your school sounds AWESOME and I too am green with envy! Everything about the TAG program at my daughter's school seems to be top secret. Her testing was performed by a psych and an educational diagnostician run by an our distcit "Special Services" and "Special Education Center." The gifted teachers, and I presume all of the special ed teachers are hired and maintained by this center, so the school principal, staff, etc. have little involvement with the gifted program. I SO, SO, SO wish my daughter could go to a school like yours!

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    #47769 - 05/18/09 07:33 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    Arminius Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/01/09
    Posts: 14
    Loc: South Eastern United States
    Good luck. Skipping a grade and going to middle school early sounds like a hard transition in and of its self, all other issues aside.

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    #47831 - 05/19/09 11:43 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Arminius]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    I think we've decided now on Option 2

    Here's why:

    --She's already completed 6th gifted reading. Having her take standard 6th reading again isn't going to help her.

    --All children have transition issues to middle school.

    --The standard math and science, based on the schools posted schedules seem to be a lot of what she knows at a high level already, including repeats of some math. I don't see this as being too challenging to the point she collapses or anything.

    --The gifted social studies covers areas she currently loves and reads about.

    --The gifted language arts classes seem totally doable currently. She has 25 on the Explore for English and reading. I have to believe this won't overwhelm her.

    --And the biggest thing: If we start her in all standard classes, and try to move her after a quarter, she'll have to make yet another transition, and get dropped into the higher level classes mid stream, which I think would be more stressful.

    Well, we're not perfect and we've struggled to decided. But this is what I think we've come up with and we can only hope it is the right thing.

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    #47840 - 05/19/09 01:06 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: marieg
    --And the biggest thing: If we start her in all standard classes, and try to move her after a quarter, she'll have to make yet another transition, and get dropped into the higher level classes mid stream, which I think would be more stressful.



    I agree Marieg!
    Bingo!
    and I read the write ups - LOL, they say that having alternate assigments in her HAL English 6 would be 'isolating' yet they didn't have a similar fear of having her do independent book assignments in the 'Core' English....

    My son skipped 5th, and he did get tripped up on the Math. He also was 'overwhelmed' by the increased product. What saved him was his typing speed. I'd offer her big bucks to become proficient at touch typing if she isn't already. Older kids tend to have more stamina and be able to stay up later to do homework in setting were kids are getting 1 to 2 hours a night - typing was the great leveler - my son could do the work in one third the time and still get to bed mostly on his typing speed.

    Given her IQ scores, I hardly think a 1.5 year acceleration is 'beyond the scope of acceleration reccomendation.' And I do think that choice A may place her with kids who have a different relationship with learning and school than choice B, or as they put it: 'may not foster peer relationships.'

    You already know how much writing is going to be assigned for HAL english 6, so you are in a great position to understand how much work seems expected at your school. If she could do it as a 4th grader, then she certianly can do it next year. How much harder will social studies be than english?

    As for math, I'd be strongly tempted to have her do the equavalent of 5th and regular 6th grade math over the summer so that you can be sure that you can go for option B without missing the chance to 'allowing exposure to critial components of 5th grade curriculum.' ALEKS math is a quick online way to see where she stands. Would I then push for her to get HAL Math and Science next year? Depends on your kid, but I've noticed that one main cause of perfectionism, is the specific lack of self confidence that comes from lack of academic challenge. First see how she does with ALEKS, and then you can always suggest it in the fall. In the long run she gets there when she is ready - because your school is terrific!!!!

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

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    #47841 - 05/19/09 01:17 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Grinity]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    FWIW - I agree with your logic! smile

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    #47845 - 05/19/09 02:17 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    It makes sense to me as well. Sometimes with these kids you have to just go for it! Since they don't come with a manual, you have to go with your gut and worry about tomorrow when you have to.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #47914 - 05/20/09 09:38 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: BWBShari]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Well the meeting is done and option 2 is the way we are going.

    The meeting was nerve wracking, however! The 6th grade gifted (HAL) teacher was there and she was VERY unhappy with the prospect of potentially coming up with a curriculum for one student because she did not like the idea of DD repeating essentially the same class all over again (I thought this was interesting since the school had no qualms about recommending she not only take 6th grade reading again, but at the lower level). The Dist Super was there and the principal and all agreed that she didn't need to do that. We all felt that DD loved reading so much that it wouldn't necessarily burden her to re read some of the classic novels (which she can read in a day or two). By the end of the lengthy convo I think we all agreed having an "Easy A" in reading was the least of the issues. If we cannot move her to 7th grade reading, this is better than nothing. It is just going to be a transition year.

    I do not think the middle school principal supported option 2. you get a vibe that is unmistakeable. Plus he kept saying "IF we choose option 2." I don't get the warm and fuzzies from this team.

    Well, it is done. But I will be glad when school is in session and this is behind us. I just hope all goes smoothly in the Fall.

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    #47919 - 05/20/09 10:14 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Congrats on getting through the meeting with a plan to move forward on! Is there any follow up meeting planned for the fall after the initial transition?

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    #47922 - 05/20/09 10:41 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: inky]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Yes we have alredy scheduled a check in meeting with the 6th grade team 5 weeks into the school year, and the social worker will meet with DD weekly at lunch for the first 5 weeks as well to see how it is going. After that it will be set up as needed.

    We are following the Iowa Acceleration manual and it is all outlined who is responsible for what and when.

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    #47924 - 05/20/09 10:50 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: marieg]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Looks like the ducks are lined up nicely! smile

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    #47946 - 05/20/09 02:55 PM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    mom2sofia Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/09/09
    Posts: 28
    Just wanted to chime in and say "good luck" to your daughter. We've been considering one whether should consider requesting subject acceleration, and that it in itself is stressful. Although, I'm a newbie to all of this, your decision seems like a well-thought out, wise one to me!

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    #48002 - 05/21/09 09:08 AM Re: Meeting today: which option would you choose? [Re: mom2sofia]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Quote:
    We've been considering one whether should consider requesting subject acceleration, and that it in itself is stressful


    We've had her in subject acceleration and that's what led to the full skip. It seems they weren't really thinking ahead beyond elementary school with the subject acceleration. When you get to middle school, it becomes much more complicated. They tie this subject to that subject, you cannot take this class without that class. This class only meets then, and the other meets now. In elementary school it all sort of took place at the same time and wasn't an issue. Make sure with subject acceleration they have a plan for year to year.

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