Poss.Opportunity to attend DA Reno but Unschooling

Posted by: GGG

Poss.Opportunity to attend DA Reno but Unschooling - 01/01/21 01:15 PM

Short backstory: IQ test at 3 and 8, DS scored 99.9%ile both times. DS is 9 and in 5th grade. DH applied for a federal job and they asked him to consider Reno, waiting to hear about job offer details. DS has classic PG profile aside from additional 2e dx's, OCD and ADHD (that one may not apply anymore but not officially dropped yet).

We would like to apply for the in-person school in a year. I'm looking at the qualifications and trying to see what I can do to prepare him for testing because I would like to primarily unschool for the rest of this school year. He is very bored in his public, DL class. His teacher said she cannot accommodate him, which I understand. He is grade skipped and in a GATE class but he's still ahead of the other students.

I was thinking of unenrolling him from public school, enrolling him in an online math class that is at his level and then unschooling the rest of his year. He and his brother are self-motivated and spend a lot of time writing stories, making comic books, websites, doing science experiments, and reading and taking outschool classes.

We have homeschooled and public schooled depending on the needs of the year. We would be moving there for other reasons, just fortunate that DA in-person is there, worried that DA in-person will not tolerate 2e needs, worried that I won't support DS enough to score well enough to qualify. His OCD is mild his primary themes are moral/scrupulosity and symmetry and although it's always present, it has not affected his in-person school behavior, aside from worrying that he will do something wrong.

My main questions are: Am I crazy to just unschool for 6 months to a year before we do testing to apply for DA in-person?
How do I know if DA accepts 2e students? What if they say they do, but in reality, we go through all of this testing and applying, tours, etc. and he is not given the chance to be admitted because of the OCD diagnosis.

Any advice or thoughts?

Thank you to so many of you who have been helpful, informative and supportive over the years as we go through this parenting journey. My first time posting in these forums were when our DS was 2.5 after he taught himself to read.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Poss.Opportunity to attend DA Reno but Unschooling - 01/01/21 03:07 PM

No BTDT advice...but from my reading of the admissions criteria, it appears that you would not need any new testing beyond what you already have up to and including the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.

You have several options for exploring admissions, I think, including 1) just starting an application for this cycle and letting it play out (remember, you are not required to disclose a disability); 2) inquiring about disability services, with or without starting an application; 3) unschooling through the rest of this year and next, and then applying for the 2022-2023 cycle--but that just puts off the decisions about 1) and 2).

But there are a few other points of context. Firstly, no public school (and it is a public school) is allowed to discriminate against students on the basis of their disability, even if they are a selective school, if they otherwise meet the admissions criteria. You have qualifying test data in hand at this moment, and once he is in-state, he will meet the residency requirements for the day school. If you are concerned about the "middle school level" academics statement, remember that he would have completed a standard fifth-grade curriculum (at least) by the end of this school year, which makes him minimally middle school level by definition. I think you're in the clear on this one.

I would be less concerned about not being given a chance to be admitted, and more concerned about whether they successfully serve 2e students (I know nothing about them in this area directly, so I'm certainly not suggesting that they do a poor job at this; it may be excellent). It may be helpful for conversations you have with them regarding 2e-type concerns to be specific to scenarios described more in asynchronous terms, initially, if you feel uncomfortable with disclosing a disability prior to admissions--although that may be somewhat unavoidable, since I assume the diagnoses are written on the psych evals. Or you could start with open-ended inquiries into diversity in the school population, of various kinds. They may volunteer the information that you are looking for in a more spontaneous way, which may give you more confidence in how consistently the environment embraces students like your child.

And fwiw, I'm guessing some variation of your DC's particular quirks are probably not that uncommon in the population the school was designed to serve. There haven't been behavioral or emotional concerns significantly out of the range in a standard school setting, so there's no particular reason that they would suddenly arise in this new setting, or to anticipate that recommendations or school records from previous schools would cite them as a caution.

IOW, I wouldn't weight admissions chances too heavily into your schooling decisions for the next few months or a year. Do what makes the most sense for DC's needs now, and apply (or don't apply) on the schedule that fits his needs and your family needs for the coming school year.
Posted by: ChasingTwo

Re: Poss.Opportunity to attend DA Reno but Unschooling - 01/02/21 10:01 AM

If your child is a DYS, you may wish to ask other DYS parents about this, as they are often a wealth of information. We have not applied, but I hear it is not universal but not uncommon for DA to ask 10-year-olds to defer a year or take explore classes for a year before matriculating.
Posted by: Deep135

Re: Poss.Opportunity to attend DA Reno but Unschooling - 01/03/21 07:30 PM

DA middle school starts 5th or 6 th grade? Looking to apply for my 9 year old (4th grade)