According to the school despite working above grade level in all assessed areas they do not feel that he has fully completed the complete 1st grade curriculum and socially/emotionally it is in his best interest to attend 1st grade next year!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Crisc!! My stomach knotted up when I read your post. It sounds altogether too familiar! Our school is mostly accepting of grade skips and acceleration. But they have an unusual preoccupation (in my opinion) with wanting highly gifted kids to be perfectly well behaved. There is some research that says that educators expect highly gifted kids to be more advanced socially and emotionally than average kids. They hold them up to a different standard. Behaviors that are acceptable in average kids are not acceptable in bright kids. There is a stereotype that highly gifted kids are anti-social, and they worry that the gifted kids are more likely to go off in that direction (think Ted Kaczynski hiding out in a Montana cabin). Therefore I think they are willing to put more emphasis on the "emotional needs", as defined by good behavior, than the "academic needs" in order to raise "good citizens" for the future. That is what we are experiencing at our school at least.

They are completely clueless that to the fact that highly gifted little boys need to be academically challenged in order to keep from acting out due to boredom. There have been so many times in the past year that I wanted to shout this at DS8's 4th grade teachers, his gifted instructor, and his principle. I have held up reading assessments (done in class, by his teacher) that clearly show that DS is reading at the 9.7th grade level. I have held up two books in front of them: Lord of the Rings (book 2) and his current AR book and tried to show them what he reads at home verses what he reads at school. And if he gets up and wanders around the classroom when he is suppose to be reading his AR 4.1 level book (which he finished a week before), then perhaps he might be bored out of his noggin???

All of this is met with glassy-eyed expressions and quoting of school policy: Students need to be able to sit in class and behave, even if they are bored senseless. Okay, the last part of that sentence is not official school policy, since they can not fathom that any child could be bored senseless with their exciting and challenging curriculum!

Currently DS6 is severely underchallenged and has completely given up on school. He is no longer making any real effort to complete his work.
We are seeing the same thing with DS8, even with a full grade acceleration and a jump up to 7th grade science. He has realized that he can write down answers from his previous store of knowledge without ever opening a book or studying and he can still get A's and B's. It is so frustrating to watch him stop trying at school. I don't have any suggestions for you, unfortunately! I hope others do.

The only thing that I can add is that the first half of this year, after the grade and subject skips occurred, DS8 loved school. There were few behavioral problems and he focused on school work. However, ever since January, he has become increasingly bored and increasingly frustrated with school. And correspondingly, the tolerance with non-challenging assignments and teachers that don't understand him or his needs has dwindled. There is, without a doubt, a correlation.

I would have your school give him the end of the year tests for 1st grade, and the beginning of the year (or even mid-year tests for 2nd grade) and see where he is academically. Then show them research on the emotional needs of highly gifted kids.

Here are some of the links that I posted earlier that show a connection between boredom and behavior. The book Exceptionally gifted children by Gross, Miraca is particularly good for this. The book follows about 15 highly gifted kids and looks at the correlation between the schools willingness to advance the child and the long term effect on the child in terms of success in jobs, marriage, and happiness. I printed out some of these references and showed them to the powers that be at our school, with no effect. I hope you have better luck!

Hang in there! It is really too bad that we are all fighting this battle alone in our own little school districts. Sigh! frown I wish there was a way that we could flood each other's school with a letter writing campaign... a form of testimonial to say that "My child is a highly gifted child whose behavior and progress in school dramatically improved after a grade acceleration!" We could stuff your Assistant Principle's mail box to the brim!

Mom to DS12 and DD3