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    #99783 - 04/19/11 02:14 PM AAAAAUGH!!!!
    treecritter Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/10
    Posts: 111
    At the beginning of the year, the teacher set up an entirely separate curriculum for DS7 to keep him challenged. I appreciated it more than she will ever know, but it didn't work. The gifted program is a joke at this school - it's 30 minutes a week, and half the time the teacher doesn't even show up. Then his teacher found a math program where he could "test out" of certain subjects and keep going at his own pace. Still way too easy for him. Now they have him in a second grade class for math (he's actually in first). But he only ends up going 2-3 times a week, because he always has to go with his class to art, music, etc. (I'm all for the arts in school, but for it to override math? Really?) As if that isn't bad enough, missing half the classes is not affecting his grade - he is STILL getting straight 100's! Good grades are fantastic, but he's not getting a challenge at all, and I don't want him to develop a habit of being lazy in school. It's virtually impossible to get a kid skipped in this district, and now he's starting to get bored and not try as hard - his reading level actually DECREASED last grading period, and I know he hasn't lost the ability to read. So I don't see much chance of being able to convince the district to skip him. I'm completely frustrated and out of ideas. We do supplement at home, but that does nothing to relieve the seven hours of boredom while he's at school every day. Anyone have any ideas that I haven't already tried?

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    #99787 - 04/19/11 02:28 PM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    chris1234 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    Keep asking for the skip, and as many of them as you need. Find the person who has the ability to make that happen. (harder to do than to write, way harder).
    Right now we are doing online courses where the school has fallen down hard, but hoping for more (any) challenge at school sometime in next couple of years. I would lol, if it wasn't so sad.

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    #99896 - 04/20/11 06:25 PM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    bh14 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/09
    Posts: 367
    I agree with Chris1234. We were in a school that NEVER skipped a child in the entire history of the school. We went in well prepared and stated our case and guess what.... they agreed! It went so beautifully and flawlessly, I bet they wouldn't second guess trying it again if the need presented itself. Now, don't get me wrong... this certainly wasn't a solve all. We are still not being challenged, but I look it at as a stepping stone and one step closer to where we need to go. DC is so much more happy in the new grade though!

    Don't give up!


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    #99901 - 04/20/11 06:45 PM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    MagnaSky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/07/10
    Posts: 88
    Our school had not skipped anyone before either, after testing that showed that he was ready for the 7th grade and long discussion they agreed to place him in the 4th grade. We even had to sign that we are doing this against their advice. All the possible social issues that they presented, have not been issues at all. Our DS fit right in, has made a lot of friends. He still is not challenged enough, so one grade skip may not be the solution to all your problems, but it is a good start.

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    #99914 - 04/20/11 09:18 PM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    radwild Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 44
    Loc: Iowa
    Suggest that they look at the Iowa Acceleration Scale to see where your DS should be, and that you would be willing to do a trial period of 6-8 weeks and evaluate whether it's working. Good luck!

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    #99915 - 04/20/11 09:37 PM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    E Mama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/23/11
    Posts: 64
    I am sorry you are going through this and I understand your frustration. What has the first grade teacher said to you? It must be clear to her that your son belongs at least in the 2nd grade. Can you ask her directly to recommend it?
    We were lucky that our school skipped our kiddo after only the first two weeks of school (it was a private school), but it only took about 4 more months to realize that this would not be adequate.After one year of school I pulled him out and now homeschool. The school told me that he would plateau out- has not happened yet. Best wishes!

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    #99943 - 04/21/11 06:01 AM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    Catalana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/10/09
    Posts: 393
    Dear Treecritter,

    I am so sorry you have to deal with this, and having been there myself I really understand what you are dealing with.

    Can you tell us what you have already done and who you have spoken to? Depending on the size of your district (in a huge district going to the board prob. won't work), I agree with bh14 that I wouldn't give up until I had gone all the way to the super. I def. would not give up if a Principal says no. There are so many reasons schools do not want to skip (or do subject acceleration) and most of them just are not valid.

    Also, how is the social fit for your child in the current grade? I am dealing with almost an opposite issue, where they may want to full skip him (because easier for schedule) and I would prefer to stick with subject acceleration (although somewhat open to a one year skip). Part of this is because he has a huge group of friends in his grade that he really likes and enjoys, so we are lucky that we don't seem to see the social difficulties with same age peers that some gifted kids sometimes encounter (on the other hand, we have noticed increased frustration with some of his friends, so that may be an increasing issue).

    If you can let us know what you have done, maybe we will have some ideas about what else you can try. I am actually in the middle of writing a paper for my masters program on the disconnect between the research and attitudes toward acceleration. I assume you have read Nation Deceived? I actually think a book by Southern and Jones called "The Academic Acceleration of Gifted Children" might be better for talking to skeptics. The reason I think this is because it is published by Teachers College, Columbia University, which is really well-known and respected in straight up education circles (as opposed to gifted education, and those two worlds do not always connect very well) and also the name "Nation Deceived" seems to make people uncomfortable and defensive. I used it at my school but had to preface my discussion to it (Nation Deceived) by saying how I was put off by the name myself and explaining how it wasn't directed at educators, but all of us, etc. etc. Finally, the Southern and Jones book really pulls apart the research, which I found very useful.

    Cat

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    #99946 - 04/21/11 06:21 AM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    treecritter Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/10
    Posts: 111
    I've had numerous conferences with his teacher, who seems eager to help and has already put in tons of extra work for him. She was the one who suggested the subject acceleration for math, and while he's enjoying it, I'm getting very little feedback from the second grade teacher. DS says it's "mostly easy", though, and he's not the type to refrain from complaining if he is having to work too hard. I have spoken to the principal, and briefly mentioned the possibility of acceleration (among other options). He said grade skipping was something he had never seen done in the district, and left it at that. I've recently learned (I think) that this wasn't true - a little girl in my neighborhood says she skipped second grade. (She's now in fourth - so I can't guarantee that what she says is true, but she is small compared to her classmates). I feel like I'm constantly emailing, calling, or meeting with someone, and I don't want to be the parent that everyone ignores because I always have a complaint of some sort. (I used to be a teacher, and can tell you that in extreme cases, they just stop paying attention to the parents who constantly whine, so I'm trying to pick my battles and tread carefully).
    For the record, I don't want to skip him right now. I would rather let him finish up the year, then start fresh in third grade next year. His birthday is in October, so he's not that much younger than his classmates - so I don't think his social life will suffer much, if at all.


    Edited by treecritter (04/21/11 06:22 AM)

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    #99992 - 04/21/11 10:30 AM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    Catalana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/10/09
    Posts: 393
    Treecritter,

    Well, if it was me, I would start with a two pronged attack.

    1. Gather intelligence. Talk to the parents of the little girl, they may be able to give you a wealth of information. Check out your district's policy (you may have to do some digging). I was initially told subject acceleration "wasn't done" but it actually had been done in the past (full skips were done). The principal we dealt with def. wasn't completely forthcoming with information initially (I'd like to think we have now reformed her, we shall see).

    2. If you are sure a full skip is what you want, start drafting a letter with that as a formal request. I wouldn't wait too long, as the school year is starting to wind down, but I would wait long enough to do some of the intelligence gathering in #1. When you send it, send it to your principal, but also to the superintendent and anyone else in the chain of command between the two, or who might need to give input.

    If you want to look rational, you can refer to the IAS and not actually request the skip, but request evaluation by the district using the IAS to determine the appropriateness of the skip (of course, you will already know that he qualifies easily for the skip on the IAS I assume). Make sure you toss in things like "in order to insure that my child receives an appropriate education, I request that he be evaluated for promotion from first grade directly to third grade. I expect that you will use the Iowa Acceleration Scale, an instrument created by the University of Iowa and validated in several studies as an effective tool in determining whether a student should be full grade skipped. I look forward to hearing from the district within ten days as to when such an evaluation can take place. We look forward to working with you to make sure our child is placed in the classroom that will provide the best educational fit for his academic skills."

    Quick story. A friend's daughter started K reading chapter books and definitely ready for 1st grade math. She asked the Principal repeatedly to move her to 1st grade, and the Principal kept putting up barriers. Finally, about 5 weeks into the school year, and very frustrated, she emailed the Super. and basically demanded the skip. Within 2 days her daughter was in the 1st grade (they claim they tested her, but we haven't quite figured out how or when, and her daughter says no one ever asked her any questions...). She is now a 3rd grader and doing very well.


    Edited by Catalana (04/21/11 10:33 AM)

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    #100052 - 04/22/11 06:06 AM Re: AAAAAUGH!!!! [Re: treecritter]
    bh14 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/09
    Posts: 367
    Treecritter, I second the use of the IAS. It was very helpful even to the admin. as they were not aware of it's use and having never accelerating a child, it made them feel at ease with their answer to move forward.

    Catalana, if it's any consolation, I wouldn't be fearful of not accelerating based on the basis of a large friend pool. My DC is one of the extremely outgoing gifties (I know many are introverted) and she left so many friends behind and we went ahead with the full grde skip and she has adjusted beautifully! In fact, she didn't adjust at all! She has made just as many friends in the new grade and you would never know that she wasn't with this kids from kindergarten! If your child makes friends that easily, he will be so well adjusted even with leaving the others behind. In fact, if nothing else, we have even more friends now because we have the friends we left behind and all of the new ones we made! It was a win win for all!


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