Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about Davidson Academy Online - for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute

  • Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update Newsletter >

    Free Gifted Resources & Guides >

    Who's Online Now
    0 members (), 71 guests, and 12 robots.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    garg, sciOly123, arnav, Advocato, Tee
    11,461 Registered Users
    June
    S M T W T F S
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30
    Previous Thread
    Next Thread
    Print Thread
    Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Well, my first meeting with the SD was a very positive one and after an hour we got a lot of good information on what to expect and what our options are. It was clear that we were being guided towards having our DS attend K (versus going directly to 1st, which we were talking about as a possible option).

    Today I did a lot of legwork and I spoke with the principal where DS would start if he went into first. At this point DW and I don't know what we want to do for DS. We're collecting information. This was a very disappointment meeting as the principal was very much against the idea. This was done over the phone, which I will never do again (in person meetings only). Based on a few things that the principal said, my impression was that the principal is used to seeing "flash card" parents or parents that push their bright kids. So the reaction that I received was one more of roadblocks than of wanting to discuss the individual situation of our DS. Lots of quoting about social development, and eventually quoting of regulations. I was told that skipping first would definitely not be an option (I can somewhat understand, but now that my parameters have been changed, my opinion on the current situation has changed). In general it feels like the one-size-fits-all model. We're asking for what our options are and we're being told very clearly we have just one. Not very happy about that.

    I'm going to vent here for a moment, but from what I was told in order to start 1st instead of K, our child would need to be evaluated for mental age, have a mental age of at least 7 (isn't 6yo the cutoff for first?), take the exit K school evaluation test and not pass it but have an "exceeds" grade/evaluation. Contrast this with friends of the family who are one school district away and it was essentially one face-to-face meeting and a call to the child's former nursery school. Ah to be in that district!

    Now I'm going to have to go find the actual SD regs, and learn them. Huff.

    We did decide that we're getting DS tested independently. We found a place that will do the WPPSI-III for a reasonable price.

    Alright. That was cathartic.

    JB

    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    So it begins. I think in a lot of districts early entrance is an uphill battle. Enrolling our DS in K for a few months gave the school a chance to know him and see that he is not a "flash card" kid, as you (or possibly your principal?) put it. I think that helped them be more open to the trial of first grade. Still, I think they expected it to be a disaster and thought they would prove to us that skipping was not an option. Somehow, you have to get them to allow your DS to show his stuff. Just showing them numbers doesn't really seem to convince school administrators.

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Ah, I'm sorry for the lousy experience. I wish I could say that you are alone, and that everyone here will be shocked at how the administration treated you, but you're not alone and no one here will be shocked, methinks. Sad, but true.

    I always say that I don't know who these pushy stage parents are, as I've never met one, but they certainly give the rest of us a bad name, don't they? mad frown

    So aside from finding out what the school district's rules for acceleration are and getting your child testing, what's your game plan? Any thoughts?

    On the bright side, I guess it's good that you found out early what won't work with your school: being undecided about what you want, phone meetings, etc. That's good learning to get out of the way early. (Power of positive thinking and all that...)

    I think one of the best bits of advocacy wisdom I've picked up from this forum is that you should never go into a meeting without knowing what you want out of it. It's too easy for administrators to say no to anything even remotely resembling wishy-washiness. Even if you're not sure, I think you have to SEEM sure. Fake it if you have to, but don't let them see you doubt. Do that in private.

    Anyway, I'm sorry it didn't go better. frown


    Kriston
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 139
    B
    bk1 Offline
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    B
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 139
    We thought when we sent our DS, now 9, to pk, the teachers would quickly realize how smart he was and work with it. His school prides itself on differentiating.

    Well, the pk teacher thought he was really smart, and on her own initiative said we should get him tested, -- but she also said pk was a year to work on social skills.

    In K, the overworked teacher was dealing with all the kids in class who had as-yet unidentified LDs, separation issues, etc., and really had no clue about DS's abilities.

    By grade 1, DS had stopped raising his hand and the teacher noticed he was "struggling" in math because he wasn't finishing his assignments.

    My advice is start talking early about your child's needs -- don't expect the teachers or admins to notice them, no matter how HG the child. It's also good to focus on specific actions, rather than just saying gifted. For example, DS's 2nd grade teacher really responded to hearing that DS was a knowledge sponge and needed lots of information, and an opportunity to talk about it. She assigned everyone discussion buddies, so DS always got to answer questions (with his friend, if not in front of the class.)

    This year, armed with IQ and achievement test scores, I went in to talk to the new teacher, and realized I should have stuck with the second grade approach.

    good luck

    bk

    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Originally Posted by gratified3
    As my kids have spent more time in PS, I've found that there *are* oodles of parents in the suburb type districts convinced their kids are geniuses and the school district has encountered a lot more of those kids and parents than PG kids (just because of the relative rarity of such kids).

    This has been my experience too. Many, many parents are convinced their children are exceptionally smart so the school district has had to deal with this many more times than with actual PG kids. I guess it makes the schools somewhat jaded.


    Quote
    ...a full grade skip of K isn't the only way to handle an HG kid in schools. Some stay at grade level with good teachers who differentiate, and some have happy times in K and skip later, and some get decent subject acceleration or other methods (ALEKS for math on computer in the classroom) that all works out. Even if the school sees the numbers you expect, meets your kid and still says no, it doesn't mean it will be a disaster.

    I just wanted to agree with this. There are several others here with PG kids who have made public schools work great for them. So don't lose hope yet!!! smile

    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    If you need a mental age, know that the mental age ceiling on the WPPSI looks like it's 7.2 (at least that is the mental age listed on my DS' score report for all three of his ceiling scores.) So if you're looking to get above 7, you may want to try a different test.

    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Even if you're not sure, I think you have to SEEM sure. Fake it if you have to, but don't let them see you doubt.


    I don't know, this may not be a hard and fast rule. I opened a dialogue with our principal early in the school year about DS (while he was still in K) and talked to her about my concerns for him if he is not kept challenged. We talked about the pros and cons of grade skips, differentiation etc. I wanted her to know that I had really considered these things. I even voiced reservations about grade skipping. I didn't share his scores with her at that time.

    A few months later, I talked to her again to let her know that trying to do differentiation wasn't working very well because it was too much of a demand on the teacher. I told her I was leaning toward requesting a grade skip for him. She gave me her objections, but I came back the next week with some information and his scores to back me up.

    I think using this approach sort of let her get used to the idea of grade skipping him. Of course, I know her since my DD has been at that school for three years already. I know that if I just show up and demand something she really digs in her heels.

    I don't know if any of my experience can help you...so much depends on the personalities of the people involved.

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Originally Posted by Cathy A
    I think using this approach sort of let her get used to the idea of grade skipping him. Of course, I know her since my DD has been at that school for three years already. I know that if I just show up and demand something she really digs in her heels.

    I don't know if any of my experience can help you...so much depends on the personalities of the people involved.


    True. Every situation and personality is different. I don't mean to overgeneralize.

    But I do think that a show of confidence--not being demanding, which is rarely a good move!--is always a good idea. Administrators in general have every reason to say no, and tend to be unlikely to say yes (and yes, that's a BIG generalization which will certainly not always hold true...). If you don't stick up for your child, who will?

    I used to work for a company whose IT guy was Mr. Negativity. If you asked him for anything, he said no. Every time.

    I always accepted his no's and found workarounds for the problems. Then one day it hit me that he wasn't saying "no, it is impossible," he was saying "no" because it made less work for him if I just went away. So for once I stood my ground, and his "no, absolutely not!" became a "yeah, we can probably do that for you." It was like magic! I think he figured that if he said no and you didn't go away, then you really needed what you were requesting. It was some sort of twisted screening process.

    I see the same thing happening in the schools. If they say no, it's more work for you to get your child what s/he needs and no work for the administration. If they say yes to you, then they have paperwork to fill out, hassles to create for themselves...all for a kid who, in their minds, might not merit the effort. (Especially given all the fallacies out there about grade-skipping and GT kids in general.) So if you'll accept a "no," they'll happily give it! Some of that is just human nature, I think.

    I guess what I'm saying is that while I agree with you completely that being demanding isn't good, I do think you have to argue your case persuasively, and I don't think you have to be a demanding shrew to make such a stand. I guess I figure that if you don't know what you want out of the situation, and/or you can't state what you want for your child clearly and decisively, you are sure to not get what your child needs.

    (Of course, compromise may be necessary, but that doesn't mean you can be wishy-washy and uncertain going in. Compromise is a choice, so you have know what you want in order to know what points you can give in on.)

    ...

    But then again, what do I know? I freely admit that there's a reason I am not in the school advocating right now: it is SOOOOO not my forte'! :p


    Kriston
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted by Kriston
    So aside from finding out what the school district's rules for acceleration are and getting your child testing, what's your game plan? Any thoughts?
    • Get a good nights sleep because that works wonders! (done)
    • Get DS tested on our own. We need to know where he fits on the scale. (trying to find the right test facility for use. Found one but it's the WPPSI)
    • Schedule a meeting the K Principal. (Tried one before, but we'll try again. Busy time of year for them.)
    • DW is going to follow up herself with Elementary Principal. And she's going to do it in person. She has some follow up questions and will use it as an opportunity to re-iterate our points.
    • Fall-back plan as proposed by my DW is that the worse case we will home school in the afternoons after K. That would solve next school year, but then we'd have new/different problems the following year. (I'm starting to warm up to this idea but I worry that DW will go insane.)

    Brick walls are there for a reason. (Randy Pausch)

    JB

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted by gratified3
    The school hasn't had a chance to meet your kid and figure this out for themselves and you've had no testing.

    Totally agree. We want them to meet DS and we do want to get him tested. We haven't done it up to this point because it is part of the process of identification. However since this is a long process, we've decided to get him tested this summer on our own.

    Originally Posted by gratified3
    I strongly recommend avoiding the WPPSI. It is a test designed for kids up to 7 and GT kids in the upper ages will hit so many ceilings that the test doesn't yield much helpful info. Did the SD request or require that test? If not, the SBV can be used in the K age group, otherwise, the WISCIV can be used only after 6 yo. There are massive ceiling issues on the SBV and WISCIV for the HG crowd that leads to problems anyway, but the WPPSI will magnify that and potentially mess up your results.

    This was just the testing that I was able find. I've got quotes from $350 up to nearly $2k. If we submit the written request for early admissions, they'd perform their own test. We're trying to find out what they'd test so that we don't overlap. I suspect--but don't know--that he'd run into ceilings on WPPSI.

    Originally Posted by gratified3
    I sometimes think that we are forced to argue so hard for our kids that we end up talking ourselves into things trying to get our point across. Not saying you are heading there, but full grade skip of K isn't the only way to handle an HG kid in schools. Some stay at grade level with good teachers who differentiate, and some have happy times in K and skip later, and some get decent subject acceleration or other methods (ALEKS for math on computer in the classroom) that all works out. Even if the school sees the numbers you expect, meets your kid and still says no, it doesn't mean it will be a disaster.

    Both DW and I agree completely. What was a little frustration on our end was the pat answer and very hard push back from the principal (who, incidentally had already talked to the assistance superintendent our us by the time I called). Compared with the director we met with who clearly expressed her recommendation and opinion but we still considered that meeting a positive one.

    So, I understand where they are coming from and until either we provide them with more evidence we'll get standard answers. We'll just need to be persistent. They way that I left it was the principal was that we may request early admissions so that we start the process of testing, but we may still elect not to.

    JB

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted by EandCmom
    I just wanted to agree with this. There are several others here with PG kids who have made public schools work great for them. So don't lose hope yet!!! smile

    Nope! Not yet! Unfortunately asking about our options has triggered somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, we're going to try very hard to keep a positive attitude!

    Thanks

    JB

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Dottie, thanks.

    JB

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Originally Posted by Dottie
    One of the hardest things I've found to pull off is the "poker face". It's normal to have doubts, and realistic to consider alternatives, but most schools will pounce on parental indecision as an opportunity for them to ensure that their relatively "status quo" plan will be fine for your child. In their defense, they get many worried parents, and their seasoned reassurance if typically all that is needed.

    However, if you have the child that truly is the "exception", you will most likely need persistance and a lot of confidence (that can be faked if needed).


    Thanks, Dottie. This is what I was trying to say, too. You just explained it a lot better than I did! smile


    Kriston
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    acs Offline
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    I just want to toss in our elementary experience to the mix of stories that is going up here. I know it is unusual compared to others on the board. I don't know how unusual it is in general.

    We did nothing to prepare the school for our child. We went to the Kinder screening in the spring like everyone else. He was screened by Mrs. K who saw immediately the kind of kid he was. In the fall, he arrived, the teacher remembered him and within the first week, she had him with full library priviliges. She had him tested (on the STAR test) and based on that got him going with accelerated reader tests at the 4th grade level. She differentiated the curriculum in math and other subjects. She kept him very challenged. But the other thing she did was she bragged about him in the staff room. She made sure he got a good teacher for him in 1st and from then on he was a legend at the school and I never really had to do anything.

    The other thing that happened was that I volunteered there regularly and developed a wonderful relationship with everyone at the school. They knew that I cared about all the kids and wasn't just focused on mine. So when I did ask for something, they took me very seriously.

    These two things, a wonderful K teacher and my volunteering, made for a great experience for DS.

    I almost wonder if going in ahead to ask for things might have changed this relationship. There was something magical in her face as she "discovered" him during the screening. If I had gone in ahead and prepped her, I am afraid it would have made her look at what he could do more critically.

    I know others have used my approach at it backfired big time, so I don't mean to suggest it is the approach to use. I just suspect that any approach could backfire and for us the low key approach worked marvelously.

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,134
    K
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    K
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,134
    Originally Posted by JBDad
    [*] Fall-back plan as proposed by my DW is that the worse case we will home school in the afternoons after K. That would solve next school year, but then we'd have new/different problems the following year. (I'm starting to warm up to this idea but I worry that DW will go insane.)
    [/list]
    Brick walls are there for a reason. (Randy Pausch)

    JB
    I think it's good to know and accept that you really need to look at your child's educational life in 6-12 month chunks of time. If that will work for next year - excellent. If you child is happy socially at school and reasonably engaged, all the better. Then decide where you need to go and what you need to do for first grade next winter/spring. It's good to keep it in the back of your mind you'll probably always need to do adjusting unless you full time homeschool. In which case, you're just do it all on your own turf! Good luck!

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Good point, kimck! If you can get 6-12 good, solid months out of any arrangement, then you're doing pretty well. At that point, it's probably time to reassess.

    I think that's one of the challenges with these kids: the moving target of education means we're never done!


    Kriston
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,134
    K
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    K
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1,134
    Dottie - that is our school too. No 1st grader is assessed or given anything above 4th grade level. I had a one on one conversation with a 1st grade teacher at our local GT Magnet. They do the exact same thing. She thought it was a step in the right direction that the once a week library visits that the kids get, they can check out books at any level. Well, that's great. But it does nothing to assess or teach kids at their actual level.

    My DS went from self choosing books at 4-5 grade level at the beginning of the year to basically being able to pick up and read anything he wants now and was kept at that 4th grade level in class all year.

    ACS - you definitely hit the jackpot with that teacher!

    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    We did the homeschool after school. K was a 1/2 day program, the teacher was great, she made every effort she could to work with us. That being said it wasn't enough in all areas math/ reading. She did however help with writting and spelling. After school we did about 15 minutes of reading outside of the little books he was given to take home. In math they asked for 5 minutes at home we did about 15min. Some days more or much more, some days none. In advocating we met with the K teacher principal, district gate coordanator, director of elementary schools, and two of the school board members. All had open doors, they were all nice, however they all were against a grade skip to 2nd for next year. However if we pushed I am sure it would have happened. We became active with the PTA, the school site council, etc... Over time the principal and the teacher started to become advocates also. That being said let me give you an example of how they still don't fully underrstand. End of year k evaluations, the k teacher asked for and got permission to test his reading up to begining 2nd grade. The teacher infored us that he is reading at leval F, I know he is more at level L (I have simaler tests)There testing says F, because its as high as they tested, not as high as he can test. I appreciate the effort. The mentality is very stongly set. SCHOOL IS ABOUT SOCIAL INTERACTION NOT ACADEMICS. Also fear is at issue, when the ES school placed DS5 with a 2nd grade teacher for Math, it creates a problem at 4th grade as to where to send him for math. Advocacy takes time, even once a school agrees that your child is gifted, then what? Our school agreed to allow John Hopkins online math for next year, isntead of classroom math, they agreed to moving him up a grade fo reading. We decided that it was not enough and went the private school route. The best is be adaptable, things always change.

    Joined: Dec 2007
    Posts: 902
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Dec 2007
    Posts: 902
    I'm sorry you've already run into somebody who doesn't get and is opposed to grade skipping.

    I don't know how far WPPSI can take you as far as mental age goes. We never saw any age equivalents for DS5 IQ test, I didn't even know they do that these days. DS5 was tested at 5 years 4 months and even with the low ceilings for gt kids managed to get DYS score. I just wanted to point out that you can still score really well on WPPSI at the age of 5. Call the psychologist and ask more about the mental age and what score he would have to get in order to have mental age of 7.

    I would also strongly suggest achievement testing since IQ is just a number but grade/age equivalents is something the administrators understand much better. Perhaps they meant achievement test age equivalent of 7?

    Dottie has quite a good explanation why you want your child to excel as opposed to just pass at the end of the year tests when you are doing grade skip. It pretty much boils down to the fact that you still want your child to be in the top 10% of his new class.

    Not all teachers can figure out how far the kids are. Today was my kids' final day in Montessori and I got to take home all they workbooks. They had DS3 doing CVC words, which is really laughable. He could have done this more than a year ago. DS3 reads 2nd-3rd grade books without any problems now. It makes me really wonder how much they got to know him during the year frown

    One more thing. 1/2 K is not that bad as long as you really take it as a social outlet, you know like PreK. Major problems usually start with full day school. If he has to go to K than 1/2 is so much better than full day.


    Last edited by LMom; 06/13/08 01:28 PM.

    LMom
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    BTW, this was a very hectic work day for me. But I've been reading all of the posts between meetings. Just wanted to say thank for the input & support. Edwin, yes, that is exactly the vibe I'm getting right now (SCHOOL IS ABOUT SOCIAL INTERACTION NOT ACADEMICS). Somewhat funny, because this is exactly the opposite of what my parents told me when I attended school umpteen many years ago!

    JB

    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    Note this has been my experance so far, however I am sure there are some that understand. Note even my DW belives there is a strong social aspect of school. She may be correct, there are many parts to learning. I just disagree when they seem to make it the main focus in discussions. I really belive most want what is best for the child. It's hard for them to understand. My brokker has used the just let him be a kid, and look at all the bright kids that have went through school with no acomadations and are doing fine. His advice is not malicious, just uninformed. Like school is the only place they learn. We will do the sports shortly, outside activities, friends, party's etc... Just at school we want him to be with a peer group and be chalanged. We want him to value effort, learn to push himself. But to the outside it looks like we are pushing them and making them into social outcasts. Best of luck with the school, the good thing (Great thing) is that you see it and you are now an advcocate. In time your child will also learn to advocate. Look at all the parents that just drop and run and expect the schools to do it all.

    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Originally Posted by Edwin
    Look at all the parents that just drop and run and expect the schools to do it all.

    The funny thing is the schools complain about those parents, too. Where is this mythical perfect parent they are imagining? You know, the one who makes sure their child is ready for school and that the child's issues are addressed all without asking anything of the school.

    I don't think they can have it both ways. I think that involved parents are always going to be asking more of the school. If they want us to be involved they have to accept that.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    nt

    Last edited by Dazed&Confuzed; 06/13/08 07:07 PM. Reason: removing overly neg post
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Quote
    Where is this mythical perfect parent they are imagining? You know, the one who makes sure their child is ready for school and that the child's issues are addressed all without asking anything of the school.

    I don't think schools are looking for the parents who don't ask anything of the school. My kid's teachers have been perfectly willing to help with things that I've needed help with. In fact my DS10's teacher was instrumental with our figuring out he has visual perception/tracking issues. What I think the school's don't like are parents who don't come in with facts to back up their claims. I know lots of parents who feel their children are exceptional but they don't have "proof". These are the ones the schools deal most often with. The schools have to make some sort of criteria in order to weed out the really gifted kids.

    Originally Posted by acs
    The other thing that happened was that I volunteered there regularly and developed a wonderful relationship with everyone at the school. They knew that I cared about all the kids and wasn't just focused on mine. So when I did ask for something, they took me very seriously.

    I think this is an example of a great parent here. She volunteered regularly and developed a great relationship with the school. So they took her seriously. I think that once you get the schools taking you seriously, they will be much more accommodating. Dottie and acs have both have wonderful results with this. smile

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Originally Posted by EandCmom
    What I think the school's don't like are parents who don't come in with facts to back up their claims. I know lots of parents who feel their children are exceptional but they don't have "proof". These are the ones the schools deal most often with. The schools have to make some sort of criteria in order to weed out the really gifted kids.

    Originally Posted by acs
    The other thing that happened was that I volunteered there regularly and developed a wonderful relationship with everyone at the school. They knew that I cared about all the kids and wasn't just focused on mine. So when I did ask for something, they took me very seriously.

    I think this is an example of a great parent here. She volunteered regularly and developed a great relationship with the school. So they took her seriously.


    Well...

    I did all these things, and the teacher told me she felt like I "didn't trust her." She saw the test scores before I did, and I was volunteering in the room--all per school protocol. I didn't just lurk! I was supposed to be there! But being involved in the classroom and asking only that she send home harder books as homework (so no extra work for her!) apparently meant to her that I was looking over her shoulder.

    In our case, I'm 100% with Cathy on this one. I wasn't supposed to ask for anything "special," at least not from that particular teacher. Granted, she was no poster child for GT education. But still, Cathy's experience is the same as mine.

    Sometimes I think test scores can work against you, actually. The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that she thinks that DS7's high achievement test scores occured because I was a pushy mom. Why else would she be so defensive before I had even begun to advocate? Either she just hates and fears GT kids (which is possible, since there are people out there like that, for whatever reason) or she decided out-of-hand that I was a problem parent. What could have caused this, when I'd said about 3 sentences to her? (And had had an excellent relationship with his K teacher, BTW, so no teacher's lounge talk working against me.)

    All she had were his test scores, so I'm betting they played a part in how she saw me. And she didn't interpret them as a good thing...

    Just my humble experience!


    Kriston
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 1,783
    Well, I'm sure I shouldn't generalize about what schools want. But our principal said at an awards ceremony, "Mrs. X is the perfect parent! She volunteers wherever we need her and has never asked for anything extra from the school."

    I have volunteered out the wazzoo. I am PTA treasurer, school site council chair, math lab coordinator, room parent for two classrooms, and I volunteer in the Kindergarten 3 hrs a week teaching science. My total volunteer hours are about 30 hrs a month. I hate the idea that the reason DS got his grade skip was because I volunteer. School placement decisions should be based on the child's needs not the popularity of his parents.

    Oh, and I have yet to win one of those awards...perhaps I asked for too much.

    Last edited by Cathy A; 06/13/08 03:55 PM.
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 307
    Hi Cathy

    I agree, placement should be based upon the student. I used to work in schools a long time ago as a contractor (Low Voltage cable installer). Good teachers , bad teachers, great prinicpals, the whole gambit. But as a trend, trying to work helps, but not always. I have an Elemtary principal in one of my voulunteer groups. She has almost no one for PTA or School site council. I am not trying to defend the schools, there are some very bad ones. But I try not to paint them all with the brush of my experance alone. On test scores our school did not really look at them, a lot of things are what works best for the school. I offered to provide achievment testing, they said it would not help. They have to make there own determinations. I understand this somewhat. Our new school has asked each new parent to give the teacher time to evalute each child before making requests. We have to trust there judgemnt for now. It's all about adjusting, new schools, new teachers, hoefully we pick correctly.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    BTW, I'm going to post over in the Region forum, but I'm looking for recommendations on testers in the Philly region. I've gotten one already, but if anyone else has had a positive experience testing, please post or PM me. Thanks.

    JB

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    I'll refer you to the tried-and-true Hoagies' page on the subject:

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/psychologists.htm#susa

    These are testers recommended--often (if not always?) by other Hoagies users--as accustomed to working with GT kids. I recommended a new tester in our area after she did a fabulous job with my DS7.

    I'd recommend starting there. Welcome to the start of the long journey... laugh


    Kriston
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 516
    Cathy A and Kriston I am sorry you both have had such bad experiences with your schools. frown

    JBDad I hope you find a good tester and Edwin I hope your new school works out well. smile

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    I do agree that volunteering really works but what if you don't have time? A friend of mine, pulls kids out every week for advanced math work. That would be tough for me w/ an infant and a preKer. I did offer though but the teacher didn't take me up on it. I"ve been in the classroom about 5-6x to do science w/ the entire kids. Now that things are winding down, I'll probably be in the class another 2-3x before the school year ends. I have to take my toddler with me but thankfully she is well-behaved. On the occasion I have to bring my preKer, that's a bit more stressful for me, but I manage. I had two more lesson plans that I had hoped to get into the classroom to do - one on robotics to illustrate how sound waves travel but I just never had the time to get it together in my head, plan an activity for the kids, and find a sitter for the preker. My toddler won't stay with anyone so I have no choice but to bring her along. I've also been to the all the parties (we at most have 3-4 parents attending out of class of 20kids). I have a good relationship with the teacher b/c of it. For ex: I was the only one informed when testing for the gifted program took place. All the other parents were never informed. But what if you're a working parent? SHould you be penalized for not being able to be in the classroom?

    I know I should have done more in the class but I was really thrown for a loop w/ kid #3 and my DH works 70-80hrs/week so it's all on me.

    I've read over and over that if you want extra for your kid, you need to show the school that you're willing give to ALL the kids - for right or wrong.

    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 323
    S
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    S
    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 323
    And, what if, no matter how many times you offer or how hard you try, the teacher rebuffs all attempts to volunteer in the classroom? Case in point: Pud's teacher said "I don't spend as much time with his reading group as I do the others because he doesn't need it as much". Okay, said I, let me come into the classroom and read to the other kids or listen to them read while you work with my child. Nope, no way, completely out of her vision of the world.

    Here's another thought: I wish that I had thought to volunteer in the next grade up toward the end of the school year to get to know those teachers.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    The other issue is that at the elementary school, the Principal instituted a rule that NO SIBLINGs on school grounds. She said it ruins it for the siblings to be at the school. The PTA got an exception b/c they'd lose most of the PTA if everyone always had to get sitters for younger children. And many of the teachers have a NO parents in the classroom at any time rule except for PTA conference. Fortunately, DS always had a teacher that let parents come in for parties but that is your only exposure to the class.

    My DS got no reading instruction for most of the 2nd grade year, this year. He said his group did only independent reading and then wrote in their reading journal. Well, uh, unless someone is looking over his shoulder, he's not going to write much in a writing journal about a book he may not have had any interest. I really, really wish I would have had the time this year to offer to come in a read w/ the kids and discuss books with them each week but w/a baby, it just wasn't happening. Maybe next year I'll be able to spend more time in the classroom. But at this school, a friend said after 2nd grade, they really cut the cord and parents really aren't wanted in the classroom at any time.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Yes kcab, one year I put together the 3'x4' portfolios for the kids to take home their art work from the year in. Most did it at school (especially to get that exposure) but w/ a young toddler at the time, I came in, picked up supplies and brought it home to do. The next year I was on complete bedrest so I physically couldn't do all the stapling and manipulating of such large sheets of paper so I couldn't do that. I did however put together all 700 invitations (gluing papers together) for the art show. The art teacher had previously been doing all this work herself year after year but after her DH said he would no longer help her, she had to enlist parents lol.

    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 323
    S
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    S
    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 323
    Originally Posted by Dazed&Confuzed
    Well, uh, unless someone is looking over his shoulder, he's not going to write much in a writing journal about a book he may not have had any interest.


    Yep, same here. Mine also did a couple of "independent" projects, which were all done at home and were basically busywork,

    Okay, I won't complain any more, especially since it is waaayyyy off topic, sorry.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Uh yeah, sorry to be so far off topic....how did that happen anyway? blush

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Meh. That happens in an active conversation sometimes. <shrug> Personally, I think as long as we answer the original question and respect the original poster if s/he wants to haul us back on topic, it's okay to meander a bit. Sometimes really good stuff comes out of tangents, and I would hate to lose that by staying strictly on topic.

    That's just my opinion though...Worth what you paid for it! wink


    Kriston
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    acs Offline
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    I didn't mean to make anyone feel guilty on the volunteering front. My DS's school is underfunded and has a lower-middle/lower class population. The school hardly has any volunteers and they fawn over anyone who is literate and less needy than the children. LOL. I have only one child and I work only 3 days a week. My situation makes volunteering very easy and very rewarding. My mother tried to volunteer at my school when I was a kid and she was never allowed to. It was against school policy.

    One of the strengths of this board is that different people with different experiences post their stories. I hope that the result in a good resource for people who are needing to make decisions. I would feel bad, though, if I made anyone feel guilty for something that cannot be helped. That is never my intent!

    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Nah. No guilt. smile

    I just think that it's too simple to approach it from the standpoint that schools respond better to advocacy if parents volunteer. As in all things, that works in some schools, and it doesn't in others. Our school happens to be overwhelmed with volunteers. I was only allowed in the classroom twice a month because so many parents were volunteering and the teacher had such limited hours when she accepted help. The jobs she assigned involved keeping the parents out of the classroom as much as possible. (And that's how it was for other parents, too, not just me. I checked with friends. It seems this particular teacher *really* disliked parental involvement!)

    Ya' know, one of the things this forum has taught me is that above all else, stuff varies. Depending on the child, depending on the situation, depending on the school, depending on the teacher...There are simply no hard and fast rules.

    (Of course, that's a hard and fast rule, right? wink )

    Anyway, no guilt. laugh


    Kriston
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 1,815
    WEll, that's the one thing that I found so shocking when my son entered school after talking to friends all over the country.....schools are all soooo different, sometimes even within a school district!!!!

    Nope, no guilt....just wanted to present the other side a) some schools don't allow parents in and b) some parents aren't able to do it.

    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted by Kriston
    That's just my opinion though...Worth what you paid for it! wink

    Got my money's worth... wink

    JB


    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    JBDad Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted by Kriston
    I'll refer you to the tried-and-true Hoagies' page on the subject:

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/psychologists.htm#susa


    Of course. I should have checked there first! But after posting here and on PAGE I got a few people personally recommending someone in my area, so that was good.

    JB

    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    acs Offline
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 797
    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Our school happens to be overwhelmed with volunteers.

    Do you think some of them would want to volunteer our our school?!? We could sure use some. I think that the elementary PTA actually had to fold this year because there were no parents involved. frown

    Originally Posted by Kriston
    I was only allowed in the classroom twice a month because so many parents were volunteering and the teacher had such limited hours when she accepted help. The jobs she assigned involved keeping the parents out of the classroom as much as possible.


    I did a ton of photocopying and running errands. One year my right arm got visibly larger because of all the hours I spent using the dye-cut machine! Still, for me that meant that the teacher was getting to teach instead of doing all this annoying stuff. And, in the case of dye-cutting, it meant that the teacher had material on hand to do some crafts if she ever ended up with 15 minutes to do them in. So I wasn't always in the classroom either. But it did allow me to be part of the community of the school. But I can see in a school where parents are knocking down the doors to volunteer, I still would have been just one of a crowd.


    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 6,145
    I certainly had no heartburn about doing some "busy work" out of the classroom--better me doing it than the teacher, certainly!

    But my point was that she seemed to choose the work she did in order to keep parents out of the room. (And I'm not just paranoid. It was one of the big complaints that other parents had about her, too. She was unusual in the amount of time her volunteers spent out of the classroom.)

    In fact, the only time that parents spent with the kids at all was during library time...when she wasn't there! I honestly think she just *really* hated to have people see her working.

    She's just one case, and a bad enough case that it drove us out of the schools at that. But it was my experience, FWIW.


    Kriston
    Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

    Moderated by  M-Moderator 

    Link Copied to Clipboard
    Recent Posts
    Should We Advocate Further?
    by polles - 06/13/24 07:24 AM
    Justice sensitivity in school / DEI
    by Meow Mindset - 06/11/24 08:16 PM
    Orange County (California) HG school options?
    by Otters - 06/09/24 01:17 PM
    Chicago suburbs - private VS public schools
    by indigo - 06/08/24 01:02 PM
    Mom in hell, please help
    by indigo - 06/08/24 01:00 PM
    Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5