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    #49947 - 06/25/09 06:43 AM Help! need to make a decision today!
    bronxmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/09
    Posts: 173
    Hi, my DYS son (almost 7) has been going to a competitive gifted public school in NYC and it hasn't been working... he is not thriving academically and "hates" school... thinks he is stupid compared to the other kids... never has playdates... the mothers are strangely cliquely and I feel uncomfortable too. Plus there is a long commute, he spends an hour and a half in the car each day. He has some 2E stuff happening, like many of our kids, for example for most of this year he would not write anything... he has an advanced grasp of mathematical concepts but still counts on his fingers. He reads at probably a 9th grade level, so much of the year he spent reading in a corner and ignoring the teacher. I've been "this close" to homeschooling since November.

    We have just been offered a spot at a very sweet, progressive neighborhood school we can walk to. I have a baby who could also go to this school, and I LOVE the idea of investing in my neighborhood this way, being part of a warm community, etc.

    But the head of the school-- a very well-known educator who has started several great schools in NYC-- uttered the dreaded words when I asked if they could accommodate a gifted kid:
    "all kids are gifted."

    I need to register him-- and tell the other school-- TODAY if we are going to take the spot.

    Advice?

    I am afraid he will feel that he "failed" at the gifted school.

    I am afraid it was just a bad teacher this year, maybe if we stuck it out things would improve.

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    #49948 - 06/25/09 06:49 AM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: bronxmom]
    BigBadWool Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/15/09
    Posts: 101
    Do they have different programs at the new school? If you are happy with them I say go for it. Otherwise, I don't know, the quote from the director is very telling.

    I wouldn't send him back to the old school. Poor kid sounds miserable. Maybe put it on yourself and say you couldn't handle the drive anymore or something like that.

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    #49949 - 06/25/09 07:00 AM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: BigBadWool]
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    Hi Bronxmom!

    Your ds is still so young. The choice to leave the gifted school would probably be very challenging to reverse. (Is the gifted school public?) Grades really donít matter until around 5th grade in many cases. Although his grades may improve at the regular school, he might actually learn more at the gifted school. Yet you donít want your child to become accustomed to earning mediocre grades.

    What makes the neighborhood school so sweet and progressive (besides proximity and familiar faces)?

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    #49951 - 06/25/09 08:01 AM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: delbows]
    bronxmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/09
    Posts: 173
    Thanks for chiming in, guys. I have to go to the school right now. I will ask some more questions about the curriculum.


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    #50090 - 06/28/09 04:20 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: bronxmom]
    chris1234 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    Hi Bronxmom, stumbled across this post today...how did the meeting with the second school go?

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    #50101 - 06/28/09 08:13 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: bronxmom]
    fangcyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/06/09
    Posts: 127
    Loc: CA
    Do you have to make a decision now? Can you register in both schools and think about it some more?

    If you decide to go to your local public school and it doesn't work out, are you willing to homeschool him for a while?

    _________________________
    Cindi

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    #50104 - 06/28/09 11:37 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: fangcyn]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Hi BronxMom,

    What happened? Did they extend your deadline?

    FWIW at this point, be careful about the grass-is-greener effect. The other school might seem cuddlier, but if the principal says that all kids are gifted, your son might find himself spending the first couple months of the year adding simple numbers and reading simple passages.

    It strikes me as odd that the local school didn't give you any or much time to make a decision. I'd be very wary of a principal espousing the everyone-is-gifted line. Can the DYS family counselors help?

    On the other hand, if the other school is for gifted kids, why does your son end up sitting in a corner reading by himself? Why aren't they making accommodations for him? Given the population of NYC, the school should be familiar with HG kids.

    What you described makes me wonder if the school *really* is a school for gifted kids, or if NYC uses a wider definition of the term (ie, do they pull from the top 10% of the population instead of the top 2%, and then use a lottery to pick from applicants meeting the cutoff?). In that case, the school might have a lot of bright kids but not as many IQ 130+/MG+ as would be expected.

    Have you spoken to the principal and his teacher for next year (at both schools, but especially at the gifted school)? What can they do for your son?

    Just my 2c.

    Val

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    #50132 - 06/29/09 02:39 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: Val]
    bronxmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/09
    Posts: 173
    Hey guys.
    Well, the deed is done.
    I had to make a decicion that day, and I made it: I switched him. It is not the local school, really, it's a progressive charter school with a limited number of spots, which is why they needed me to take the spot when offered, because others were waiting, and the school year was about to end and the registration had to be completed or something. To be fair to the new school, I've been telling them pretty much all year how much I wanted our family to go there (we really had a TERRIBLE year at the gifted school), so it was not unreasonable to expect me to be ready to make a decision when the opportunity arose.

    I would have liked to keep him enrolled in both schools for a while, until I was sure of my decision, but I was specifically told that I needed to tell his currently school that he was leaving... my giving up our spot will make somebody very very happy indeed, so ethically it is not right to hold both spots.

    But as soon as I registered him at the new school and informed the old school of what I'd done, I panicked and decided I'd make a terrible mistake... spent a day feeling really sick... then came out on the other side, feeling I'd made the right decision after all. (I spent four hours on Friday in a playground watching him interact with his classmates from the gifted school and it was just... I don't know how to describe it... a mess. My son is just really really intense...)

    The gifted school looked at probably the top 3% on the OLSAT test, then hand-picked the kids at an on-site assessment (the process has changed now and become a lottery of kids scoring in the top 1%)...so we're probably talking about a fair share of HG+ kids, but they don't seem to know what to do with my kid, he was not inspired or engaged, and it wasn't working-- academically or socially. Also, there was a weird atmosphere among the parents. I don't know if it was a class things, or what, but the place did not seem to match our values, somehow.

    Anyway, it's a complicated situation, but what I feel now is this: relief and renewed optimism that I'll now be better able to follow my instincts as a parent, which I used to do quiet well.

    I feel like this ambition when it came to schools for him-- which for me started with the "top-tier" preschool and continued with a failed attempt to get him into Dalton or Collegiate or Trinity or whatever-- was somehow profoundly at odds with my core values as a person-- though it may have come from a genuine grasp of how unusual he is.

    So I'm going to try a school where I feel more comfortable, where we don't spend two hours daily in the car, where I have to believe they'll notice that he reads and thinks like an adult but gets too excited at recess... and if it doesn't work, then we will have tried everything, and I'll have my husband's support in homeschooling!

    Sorry for the long rambling post... it's been an emotional few days.

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    #50133 - 06/29/09 02:47 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: bronxmom]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Hugs to you! It does sound like a difficult decision, but it makes sense to try something new when the current situation is not working.

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    #50138 - 06/29/09 03:56 PM Re: Help! need to make a decision today! [Re: Cathy A]
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    Been rushed off my feet but just wanted to post quickly to send a hug your way! You are a fantastic mom and trying to do the best for your son - keep your belief in yourself strong and don't be hard on yourself smile

    I am pleased that you are starting to feel better now that the decision is made and like you say, if it doesn't work, homeschooling is an option for you (and you will have the added bonus of your husband's support).

    There is also plenty of support to be had around here...

    XXX

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