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    #167360 09/12/13 07:31 AM
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    Our situation: DS7 was subject accelerated last year in math 3 years. No other child in the school was. Because of scheduling, they can't allow him to continue with that accelerated group. The school contacted me yesterday and told me they have a group of 5 kids in his grade who will be doing "accelerated work" in math (DS included). Sigh. Do I just keep repeating myself that this group will not be enough? Their claim is that they pretested the entire class and the 4 other kids scored as well as DS. I think this is a bold face lie. But I have no way to prove it of course. I can't exactly stand over them when it's math time to see what they are actually doing.

    The other part of this is that DS7 has already started refusing to go to school..."not learning anything, so boring, etc."

    Then the weird thing: last week the principal approached DS and asked him to build "an interesting contraption" for her. At home. I know this is her way of "offering enrichment". Do I follow up with this? DS asked me what he's supposed to do.

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    I would thank the principal, but let her know I'm quite capable of providing enrichment at home, so if she could maybe find a way to engage DS while he's at school, that'd be a big help.

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    That is weird. I'd be tempted to find out what the heck was actually stated/intended there. Very peculiar as it stands.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by somewhereonearth
    Their claim is that they pretested the entire class and the 4 other kids scored as well as DS.
    This is possible if they chose a test with a low enough ceiling - such as an 'are you ready for this grade?' pretest of the last grade's skills, or even a test of current grade skills. (You can't really get better than 95-100%, right?) Your DS's abilities may not appear different unless they do an out-of-level test, which they would obviously rather not do.

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    YES! My friend had this... Can we just group your kid with the other 2 who also scored 100% on the (grade below her accelerated placement) test? Ask what test they took.

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    Originally Posted by ljoy
    Originally Posted by somewhereonearth
    Their claim is that they pretested the entire class and the 4 other kids scored as well as DS.
    This is possible if they chose a test with a low enough ceiling - such as an 'are you ready for this grade?' pretest of the last grade's skills, or even a test of current grade skills. (You can't really get better than 95-100%, right?) Your DS's abilities may not appear different unless they do an out-of-level test, which they would obviously rather not do.

    Ah yes! Why didn't I think of that? Of course that's what they did! (I recall now that they were only pretesting for THIS school year. So, 5 kids may have tested about 1 grade level up.)

    Wow this advocacy is exhausting.

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    Originally Posted by HappilyMom
    YES! My friend had this... Can we just group your kid with the other 2 who also scored 100% on the (grade below her accelerated placement) test? Ask what test they took.

    Thank you. I will do this. We have another meeting next week.

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    Update: principal responded and said she was merely "getting to know" my son. The project suggestion was her way of "providing" enrichment.

    Another update: the principal continues with her claim that there are 5 kids in DS class working at his level. Honestly, we are hanging by a thread here. I am really hoping that DYS is going to be able to help here even just a little. I don't want to jump ship yet.

    Anyone BTDT, can DYS help us to male this work or is this just insurmountable?

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    To me, this looks like the "get the data" stage.

    If I'm reading this correctly, your DS7 was accelerated three years in math last year. Assuming he was six, and enrolled in the age-appropriate grade, he was a 1st grader doing 4th-grade math last year. Is that correct?

    If so, that establishes his level = 5th grade math. I'd start examining his math work, and comparing it to your district's grade level expectations for 5th grade math. This data would inform your next step. Assuming it's not a match, you can present this data to your principal as evidence that his group is not, in fact, working at his level.

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    How many children are there in his grade? I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the possibility that there's a handful of children working three years ahead - and think how great a grouping with them would be if it's true! I'd go with "wow, how exciting, I never realised, of course that'd be great" and be prepared to be sadly disappointed if it isn't true. Fingers crossed that it is, though!
    ETA just to be clear - I realise your DS has DYS-level IQ and it would be too much to expect a handful with that. But my feeling is that you don't need IQ at that level to be 3yrs ahead in maths at this age. Whether age-peers doing the same maths are a better or worse social fit than +3yr peers ditto depends on your kid. One other possible benefit: in a group who are all ahead, they might be able to do things a lot more beneficial than the next year of syllabus. I think it might be worth giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    Last edited by ColinsMum; 09/13/13 09:11 AM.

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    Originally Posted by ColinsMum
    How many children are there in his grade? I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the possibility that there's a handful of children working three years ahead - and think how great a grouping with them would be if it's true! I'd go with "wow, how exciting, I never realised, of course that'd be great" and be prepared to be sadly disappointed if it isn't true. Fingers crossed that it is,


    40 kids in his grade

    !

    Last edited by somewhereonearth; 09/13/13 09:12 AM.
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    It could be that there are five at that level, although it statistically is uncommon. We're pretty sure that there were four or five very high ability (MG to PG) boys in ODS' k-year class at a small school. It was fantastic, although very challenging for the teacher. Our guess is that happened partially by chance, partially because that school attracted the professional (medical, STEM, business) parents who could afford it and who had kids who were, to say the least, not great candidates for the P.S. system.

    We have not seen that phenomenon since, unfortunately.

    More information will help guide you.

    Last edited by ConnectingDots; 09/13/13 09:14 AM.
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    Our school is an inner city one, with a sizable chunk of the population living in poverty. There is a tiny amount of affluent families.

    When I started poking around about the curriculum of this group, the principal stated that she didn't find a need to "assign a grade level" to this group. It is supposed to largely be enrichment with a smattering of some ungraded curriculum.

    I know the kids in the group. Maybe one other child could do work 2 grades up. The rest don't know their times tables.

    Unfortunately there is not a lot of trust to go around here anymore.

    I will certainly go to the next meeting with a positive attitude and will ask to see the curriculum (they still claim that they don't need one).


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    If there's no curriculum, then the principal has no basis to say that your DS is being taught at anything resembling the correct level. She has no basis to say he's being taught anything at all.

    Still, your DS should be bringing papers home, and that can be your data set.

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    Originally Posted by somewhereonearth
    I know the kids in the group. Maybe one other child could do work 2 grades up. The rest don't know their times tables.

    somewhere, I would be cautious of making generalizations about what the other children in the group know or don't know or are capable of re math unless you've seen there work from the previous year. "Knowing" times tables it a developmental skill that comes late for some children, early for others, similar to reading. Being able to quickly recite times tables in early elementary doesn't necessarily correlate at all with being able to understand above-grade-level math concepts. My EG ds was not able to quickly recall his multiplication facts until around late 5th grade, but he was able to learn advanced concepts quickly. Same situation with my HG+ dd - although I thought she had her multiplication facts down cold last year in 3rd grade when there was daily drill&kill... this year she seems to have forgotten most of them and is "multiplying on her fingers".... yet she's in accelerated math and doing really well.

    Quote
    I will certainly go to the next meeting with a positive attitude and will ask to see the curriculum (they still claim that they don't need one).

    I would be really bothered by the idea of not needing a curriculum. I think what I would do in your situation is have a list of the district's math standards/curriculum for each of the early elementary grade levels, as well as a list of the topics your ds studied last year in 3rd grade math. Let them know you expect the math group to build on what your ds already knows. If the principal is dead set on the idea that it's only going to be sideways enrichment, there still needs to be a plan.

    FWIW, our ds was not accelerated in early elementary - not because we didn't try, but because his school simply wasn't going to do it. We after schooled in math instead - not the ideal situation, but it worked out a-ok in the long run - math is one of (imo) the easier subjects to after-school in and show what is learned vs district curriculum standards, so it was relatively easy for our ds to be subject-accelerated once he was at a school that was willing to accelerate.

    Good luck with your advocacy - I hope things work out!

    polarbear

    Last edited by polarbear; 09/13/13 12:18 PM.
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    polarbear: I should have been more clear. My son is also a big concept kid, not at all interested in learning something like the times tables. He is still slow with his math facts. I meant that the other children actually do not know how to multiply. They can write out arrays and count the numbers. It sounds like they gave the grade the end of grade 2 test which means, at this school at least, you don't have to know how to multiply yet. I only know this because we happen to car pool with 2 of the kids and they talk shop in the car.

    As far as the curriculum...they believe that DS can hang out while the other students catch up to his level. The problem that we are currently having is that DS has started to really complain about school and has already begun refusing to go to school. He continually asks why he can't go back with his accelerated group from last year. When I have asked the school, the only response I get is that they have discovered other children with the same talent. (At first it was a scheduling conflict, but the reason has changed.)

    If DS is put in this group that is maybe doing 3rd grade work, while he needs to go onto 5th grade work, it will obviously still be a poor fit. Somehow, it has gotten into the principal's head that the fit will be "close enough". I have explained to her that being put in this group will be equally frustrating but it has fallen on deaf ears.

    Truthfully, DS needs whole grade acceleration. But this is where we left off at the end of last year. So we will work on this piece and then go for the full acceleration (probably).

    What concerns me (which I have shared with the school) is the refusing to go to school and the distrust that my son has developed regarding the adults at his school. He has already become quite cynical and jaded (anyone else? I know DS is PG but this is even a little shocking to me.) Ex. "How was your day DS?" "Well I didn't learn anything as usual. What do you expect from teachers who don't care and don't know anything."

    Ouch

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    Okay, so it's apparent that the school is lying to you.

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    Knee-jerk, not useful response:
    I'm glad you have such a creative, rich year planned to meet DS's level! Will he see his friends from last year's class in this group?
    No? It wouldn't be the right placement for them? So why is it right for him?

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    We have a national curriculum but no text and no work comes home. It makes it really hard to know where they are. Could you find out what is happening with the kids who he wad with last year (was he just in a 3 years ahead class or was it a special group?). Also can you insist on seeing the test given? That way you might be able to work put the level. Sounds like somebody is having a panic attack about what to do with him when he finishes maths 3 years ahead of schedule.

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    If they do, indeed, have 5 students working at his level, it would seem that much more important to work out the scheduling issue so that they could all go to 5th grade math. Why would it suddenly not be a priority if they found more kids who need it?

    I think they're giving you the runaround.

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    Update: DS assessment came back. He got everything right on the 4th grade assessment except he switched all addition and subtraction problems. So that's why they want to hold him back. I sent an email back explaining his perfectionism at work and saying that it sounds like he is ready for 5th grade. I asked if I could send in his 5th grade material from home. My DH claims this was an arrogant move and that I should not have done this. Am I wrong here?

    Last edited by somewhereonearth; 09/16/13 08:16 AM.
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    He got nervous and stated during the test "I don't want to get any wrong". When he switched all the +/- questions he got them all right (with his switch in his head.) I think he is terrified that they are going to have him repeat 2nd grade math.

    I know he really wants to go back with the other kids. If we cant do it because of scheduling, then he would be happy to work alone.

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