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    We're inching toward a fight with a school two of my children attend and could use an outside opinion on whether I should let the school take its time on deciding whether to agree to a skip, or push for action now.

    My oldest child grade skipped when transferring to the school, and it has been a resounding success. It was also super easy. Took about 1 minute of advocating and showing test scores.

    My youngest child will be attending the 6-12 school next year as an incoming 6th grader. She has tested into 8th grade math. But her area of interest and giftedness is language arts. Her 5th grade LA teacher tried to get her placed in 7th honors English, but was denied. So she'll be in 6th honors English. (The school only does placement testing for math.) Her NWEA Map scores are above 97th percentile for 11th grade. I spoke to the GT coordinator, who told me that since we didn't have any formal testing on her (WJ or WISC), they wouldn't consider subject acceleration or a full-grade skip, despite the MAP scores. (We had all that testing for her older sibling when he skipped.) The coordinator said they would keep an eye on her the first months of school and if it looked like she needed more challenge, they would do testing and the IAS.

    My dd says she wants to skip. Also, she is dreading the lack of challenge she anticipates for 6th grade LA. So we had private testing done last month and the psychologist strongly recommends a full-grade skip. If she skips, I don't want my dd to start in one grade and skip mid-year, simply because I want her to have the chance to make friends at the beginning of the school year, and my dd doesn't want any attention called to the skip.

    So here's my question-- since the tester and my dd both want a skip, there's no reason for me to drag my feet, right? I actually do think it's possible for my dd to be challenged in 6th grade English, and the teacher has a great reputation. But since the psychologist is recommending a full-grade skip, I should follow her advice, right? (Also, the psychologist thinks dd will be more likely to find friends a grade or two up, which I mostly agree with.)

    Just looking for any BTDT advice for someone who didn't pursue a skip, even when it was recommended. Conversely, I'd love some advice on successfully fighting for a grade skip about 6 weeks before school starts. Well, actually, I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me what to do. smile

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    First, it sounds like you would not really have a fight with the school for SSA or full-grade skip, since the school has already said (and demonstrated) that they are open to either/both with documentation from formal testing. So I don't think it's so much a question of persuading the school as it is of determining what makes the most sense for your DD and your family.

    I can't speak fully to the BTDT, since we've taken every skip offered, and then switched to homeschooling, but I will note that we advocated for early entrance to 1st grade a month before school started, and received it once the school had the (very reasonable) documentation that they wanted. (Not out of the blue. We'd been in discussions for four months before that.)

    My bias generally, for a student who meets objective (e.g., IAS) criteria for grade skipping, is to give a fair amount of weight to what the student says she wants. But you know your child best, and how accurate her perceptions usually are.


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    Thanks, aeh. I appreciate your input. How long does the IAS take, and do you know if it can be done over the summer? Is the WJ IV enough info for the IAS, or should we get private IQ testing to speed the process? (I'd rather not, because that's another $700.)

    My biggest concern is that she be placed correctly at the start of year so that she is in class for all the introductions that happen at the first of the school year.

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    The IAS is a checklist for organizing and analyzing existing data, rather than a direct test. If all of the data are available, it should not take more than a few minutes to complete, and maybe one meeting with school staff to discuss.

    In your place, I think I would discuss the WJIV that you have with the school first, and see if that's enough. It covers both the grade-level and above-grade-level achievement testing portions of the IAS, if you can have the psych re-score it using the target grade (so in this case, using grade 7 norms). Of the three scoring sections of the IAS (IV, V, VI), only IV is affected by IQ testing, adding between 2 and 6 points. V & VI can be covered with a single WJIV administration. It is quite possible that the achievement testing you already have will be sufficient to meet the cut score on the IAS, or that if it is only a couple of points away, that it will persuade the school to expedite the cognitive assessment. They may have staff available to do testing in the summer. Can't hurt to ask.

    Last edited by aeh; 07/05/17 10:58 AM.

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    aeh, thanks again!

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    Though I hesitate to disagree with aeh, and in your shoes I'd trust aeh more than I'd trust saharafrog - I would seriously consider getting an IQ test done before you push for the skip. I think the school would balk at this item being missing from an IAS assessment. While I am not up-to-date on the 3rd edition's view on IQ, in the 2nd edition I'm pretty sure if you did not score above a certain threshold, acceleration was not recommended. I think the school could plausibly argue that a missing score is not above that threshold.

    As aeh said, once all the elements are in place the IAS committee assessment can be surprisingly short. For both of my DD's accelerations, the IAS committees met only once and neither meeting took more than an hour. They really could have taken much less time, but we all wanted to make sure a thorough discussion took place.

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.


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    aeh Offline
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    SF, feel free to disagree with me any time you like!

    You are correct that an IQ score below 115 is considered a rule-out for acceleration, so it is possible that a school may push back without the IQ score. But since the OP's school has already offered an IQ test in the fall, without the achievement data, it seems worth the try to go for a (perhaps provisional) skip agreement during the summer, where the family appears to value starting the year in the child's long-term placement, and the achievement scores may be strong enough to support a skip, rather than waiting for a skip during September.

    Another option is to check existing school records for any other measure of ability, such as the CogAT. The OLSAT and other group standardized ability measures often paired with school-wide achievement tests are not considered primary measures by the IAS, but it might be a selling point to the school, if a score of this type is in what would be comparable to the qualifying range.


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    aeh, Is it likely that an IQ would be below 115 when her GE on the WJIV range between 12th and 17th grade on the broad achievement scores, or ranges?

    Our tester knew we were trying to determine whether we were right to push for acceleration in language arts and she said the WJ would provide better info for the school, plus give an indication of IQ.

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    No, it is not likely that her cognitive numbers would come out below 115 if her achievement is that far above grade level (keeping in mind, of course, that GE's are not truly accurate measures of instructional or mastery levels--but the best you have under the circumstances). For most people, there is a reasonable level of correspondence between ability and achievement, and typically, discrepancies are in the opposite direction (ability higher than achievement), with the possible exception of rote or basic skills, which are occasionally splinter skills.

    (E.g., I've had a number of students who could be considered intellectually impaired, by some standards, who were able to read and spell at an age-appropriate level, and occasionally one finds ASD learners who have similar splinter skills in decoding/encoding or mechanical calculations, but in both cases, without necessarily the accompanying high-level problem-solving or comprehension skills that one would expect in a higher-functioning learner.)


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    syoblrig - I think this is what I'd do in your situation - since you've spoken with the gifted coordinator already and she was not willing to approve a skip without testing. First - I'd try to find anything I could in writing in your school district policy re what is usually accepted for a grade skips (specific test names, and score cut-offs). Second - I'd go ahead and schedule a private IQ test for the week before school starts, and after your school principal and/or counselors return to work before school starts. Depending on your district, this might be anywhere from 1-3 weeks, and in some cases principals might be in the office earlier. Then I'd send an email *now* to the principal, cc the gifted coordinator and counselor, and let them know you're requesting a skip, let them know which tests and scores you have for your dd (include Cogat/etc if you have additional testing from school), ask to set up a meeting to discuss the skip, let them know it's very important to meet before school starts so that your daughter doesn't have to change classes mid-quarter. Ask if IQ testing will be required or is suggested. If they say no IQ testing is needed, cancel the appointment. If they aren't sure about the need for IQ testing or they say it's required, go ahead and get the private testing - unless they say the district can do it before school starts.

    I'd also suggest you remind them that your ds skipped successfully, and I'd also offer to keep my dd out of school until they can complete the testing if they say that they can't test her until after school starts. Of course you don't really want to keep her out, but if they do drag their feet on holding a meeting and testing, keeping her out of school (or saying you will) will most likely result in a much earlier meeting (although I'm not in your district, I am speaking from personal experience lol!).

    I also have a question for you -

    Originally Posted by syoblrig
    So here's my question-- since the tester and my dd both want a skip, there's no reason for me to drag my feet, right?
    Just looking for any BTDT advice for someone who didn't pursue a skip, even when it was recommended.

    I'm guessing the reason you asked this was that you were worried that your dd wouldn't get the skip and you were hoping things would work out anyway? Or is there a reason you are hesitant to advocate for a skip? Everything you've mentioned here seems to point in the direction of skipping with no second thoughts, but if there's something more, I'd take those concerns into consideration.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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