my ds6 (turns 6this wk) is in kinder, but accepted into the school thru their SAS program (an advanced program set up for gifted/advanced kids, where they are clustered in class and the curric is differentiated for them)

i'd like to think of myself as being my son's "advocate", i want to be a team player, i want to be able to see these folks at school and feel a genuine warmth for them and know they are helping my child to succeed. i believe yes, you attract more bees with honey smile

and the beginning of the year did start like that...
however, i quickly learned that there is in fact NO SAS program taking place in this school. ((interesting is that they get EXTRA FUNDING $$ for being SAS! guess what i am thinking about doing?))

i waited. i thought, give the teacher a couple weeks to get oriented with kids. still nothing. meantime the newness of new school/routines/kids has worn off and my ds is completely bored with school. he doesn't want to go.

he is starting to tell teacher he is bored, the work is babyish etc, (hey she asks him!) and i am giving my ds lectures on "respect" & what it means etc,
and he comes home other day- "why do you want me to show my teacher respect when she doesn't respect me?" i ask what he means? he replies, "everything is just so babyish. i just want to learn one new thing. she doesn't have any time for me, she is too busy teaching the kids what the letter A sound is"

my plan of attack was simple. i began a nice rapport with the teacher. she knew he was SAS. i mostly observed those 2wks. then i mentioned some concerns to teacher, asking what her suggestions /thoughts were, asking what could i do, inquiring when they might start differentiating in re to read/math. at first she said soon, then finally i was told NOT happening. but teacher was giving my ds more work (read busywork) "to challenge him". so i just waited. finally at wk #6,after discussing w/ teacher, i go to principal.

i thought we had agreed on a plan to help him feel successful in at least one area- reading. i thought let's get this going, and work towards math! but.... it has been another 2wks.
and what i rec'd from principal???

lipservice. served with a smile!!!

wk #9 begins tomorrow.
now i am done.

i am going to take my son to school and make appt with principal.
i am going to flatout call her out. and
in as nice a way as i can,
i am going to let her know that if i do not see immediate action,
i am taking this above her to the superintendent, because i am CONCERNED about not only my child- but the entire student body- because WHAT is the school doing with the SAS $$$, if not applying it towards programs for the SAS kids???

i am my son's advocate, i have tried the best approach i know how, and (or maybe but?) by being a nice person, they have bluffed and fluffed me and 2months have gone by and my son is developing a defeated attitude, and is stagnant in his learning...

so i feel i tried. now i will be the hardnosed advocate, and if by being that- i come across as pushy parent? too bad.
i really don't care. i feel i tried...
now i want to see some action. some type of positive change in the right direction.

*i should add, my son also has (very high functioning as in no one would even question that he has anything going on) autism. nobody knows it (aside from school staff), he has come a long way, even as i continue to want to work on social- there is no denying his intelligience, and THIS is why i wanted him in SAS kinder. he will get to continue to work on his SOCIAL skills- but he will also satisfy his need to learn new things smile

win/win right? except again, i have seen no SAS at all.
it is begin of 3rd month into schl year- they are working on alphabet and ONLY 2 letters for sounds- A and M. they also worked on learning 5 simple sight words. (the entire kinder sight word list- my son has known since age 3). they worked on counting up to/recognizing #1-5.

my child is NOT the only one who knows more, i have approached other parents, whose kids are also advanced, mostly little girls, but they say they are okay with it because their dtrs loving school etc friends etc- which i totally get- girls are VERY social. that is huge for them... only 2 are bored with the learning part, but parents say they like the kids so much that they don't mind if it is boring... when i told one parent, that my child was underchallenged, a mom of a young boy said- my son is OVERchallenged and they won't differentiate for him! turns out this little boy, who is JUST turning 5 in nov. also has autism.

one other thing. i have access to lausd CA treasures program. it is their reading/language arts program. there is not one thing NEW in the kinder curric that my son will learn.
and just for fun-
yesterday he read EVERY reader in their 1st grade treasures progam Unit #1 (it is divided into 6 UNITS for the year). answering the comprehension questions correctly. yes. 1unit in 1 afternoon. how is it possible? because he is reading above that level. so he whizzed thru the books. he was having FUN!

and even though he is advanced in reading/math- he is mostly self taught, i haven't "worked" with him, in the sense of sitting down purposely teaching him, except by always reading to him, answering his Qs and playing games with him, he tends to choose to play the learning type games, and just encouraging his crazy zany self-- he has the most amazing sense of humor and thinks at times he is a comedian hahaa as well as a very active huge imagination- he is always "inventing" new things/games...
so, there are some pockets of stuff he doesn't know like time & money.
more reasons i wanted him in the SAS kindergarten!!

**his teacher was happy to point out that he needs to work on his handwriting- he doesn't always push with enough pressure, he sometimes writes mirror images for the letters, he doesn't stay in the 3 lines perfectly-i said, yes, this can improve, but right now, this may be what you get- his fine motor skills not the best, (some is age, some is lingering fine motor skill deficit- specifically the intrinsic muscles of his hand-palm), he will most likely never have terrific handwriting, he won't be a surgeon. and his hand gets very tired fairly quickly, but he is always trying and that is GOLDEN in my book,
i also pointed out that he is writing in complete sentences (mostly) with capital and punctuation. she said he misspells words. i say- whose teaching him? no one! he is spelling phonetically. (ie anyone== newon OR together== to gether (as 2words) smile
((the teacher blinked at me))

she also offers no comments regarding the fact that he seems to be gifted in visual arts- specifically painting with acrylics!!! his work blows away adult artists considering his age and no training.

and yes, i overheard this teacher going on and on about an older grade girls drawing. so i peeked at it. it was good, better than some others, but didn't stand out as being amazing.

*i realized then that she is just possibly- totally disregarding/overlooking my son. he's right in front of her 5d/wk, and i realized she has never said anything positive about what he is doing- just points out his flaws like the handwriting or complaining of being bored.


YES i think that turned into a rant.
but i feel SO MUCH BETTER!
so thanks for "listening"
any comments about my plan to approach the principal in this manner?

One can never consent to creep when
one feels an impulse to soar!
~Helen Keller