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    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Marcy Offline OP
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    I'm having huge issues with my son's school about challenging him. He's 6yo and just finished 1st grade. All year he complained about how boring school was and how he hated it. It all came to a head in March when he started having morning meltdowns and making getting him ready for school a total nightmare.

    I emailed the principal/teacher almost weekly about challenging him and got essentially nowhere. He got math enrichment for a few weeks with the "curriculum coach" but then it turned into her leaving a problem for him to work on, on his own, with no support.

    The worst part is that my kid loves learning, math and reading. He goes to Mathnasium for fun, because he saw the storefront and asked to go. There he has already finished multiplication and division, and is learning square roots and imaginary numbers. He loves to read as long as it isn't forced stuff from school -- he blew threw the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in a week.

    I'm at my wit's end with his school. He had a terrible 1st grade teacher who didn't challenge him in the slightest. He was given the same homework as all the other kids in the class, that was totally basic and busy work for him. We stopped doing all homework in November because it wasn't worth my time to force him to do it. I made him read instead of spending the time on busy work.

    I've thought about pushing him ahead a grade, but it really isn't an option. Our state is very strict about it, and he already is the youngest kid in the grade because he made the cut-off by only a week. He is academically advanced, but socially not so much so. I don't think he's mature enough to put with kids that will all be 1-2 years older than him.

    Any suggestions on what to do? I emailed his teacher and principal almost weekly last year and got nowhere. I'm not sure where to go from here.

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    Hi Marcy,

    It sounds like you have quite a bright kid! Your experience sounds very frustrating. I think many people on this board have had similar experiences with their schools and will be able to offer you a lot of advice.

    Have you had a in-person meeting with the principal about your concerns? I've found that usually gets more attention than e-mails, and that way you can have a conversation. It would be helpful if you brought up some of the things you just told us here and that you think he might be gifted and see what the school says. Do they have a gifted program or do gifted screening? It seems like those might be the easiest places to start.

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    You may have read these advocacy tips elsewhere on the forums:
    - In this recent thread, several posts discuss reasons to not use the word "bored" when advocating.
    - This thread suggests some words to use, rather than "gifted", when advocating.
    - While in general there is good and bad in everything, a focus on negativity and disappointment may be seen as smacking the oobleck with a spoon and creating an unyielding solid... it works against advocacy.
    - Focus on the positive, on the ideas set forth in the law and in school policies, and how the school can implement these to help meet your child's needs for intellectual peers and an appropriate level of academic challenge and pacing.
    - Tips on preparing for a meeting.
    - In addition to many helpful threads on the forums, the Davidson Database contains many articles by experts.

    A few key resources:

    Advocacy - Working with your child's school
    http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10558.aspx

    Guidebook - Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People (40 page printable pdf)
    http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Resources_id_14781.aspx

    Helpful Advocacy Books:
    Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children, by Barbara Gilman,
    Re-Forming Gifted Education, by Karen B. Rogers, Ph.D.

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    Do you have any test results (like the annual assessments/standardized testing) you could use with the school?

    I agree with George about asking for a meeting with the principal to plan for next year. You might bring results from Mathnasium with you to show the level at which he's working and start with asking what they might propose to meet his educational needs (that's a buzzword phrase)?

    Sometimes single subject acceleration is an option (i.e., going to a higher grade just for math).


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    1) Find out as much as you can about gifted programming and testing in your district by using their website or the state site, etc.

    2) One strategy that might help is going to the school, say things like I know my child is ahead in math and he gets good grades, but how do we know if he is progressing? Can we do some tests to see what his actual level is?

    if they have no idea what type of test, you can ask for an end of year 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade test to be done.

    Once the school has their own evidence on what the present level is of the student, it become much much easier to advocate.

    Good luck!

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    I'm sorry, Marcy - but your DS sounds so much like mine, I just about could have written your post!

    Does the school system you are in have any G&T or advanced programming, even if for older kiddos? If so, when does it start? How do you get in? Knowing that our schools at least offered advanced programming in 3rd/4th grade kept us in our p.s. (versus the $$$$ private gifted school)...but it is hard to wait! Honestly, if such programming did not exist, we probably would have left our school system by now.

    Also, I would network with parents of bright children in your area (especially the parents of older students) to try to find what schools and programs are working for their children. We have learned so much from other parents.

    How your school will react to an advanced student is really a YMMV situation. A talented teacher can make for a good year, but IMO - if your school is leaving EVERYTHING to the teachers (no advanced programming), they may be setting the teacher and her advanced student up for failure. Expecting the teacher to differentiate, when she may have more than 20 students, may be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

    We have not figured it all out yet, but we are doing our best, working year by year. Best of luck!

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    Can you ask about subject acceleration just for math? DS8 was sent to 5th grade for math and then was sent back when math was over. He is obviously not as mature as 5th graders but they just worked around that (luckily his school has been very flexible...in the past we have dealt with schools that were exactly like yours). Subject acceleration is something that it's best to plan before the school year starts because they will need to align the math schedules of two different classes.

    Before DS went to that school, I advocated for him to be allowed to do Khan Academy on the computer during the second grade math. It has video tutorials for each unit as well as practice problems with tips/hints if he got stuck (if a kid gets stuck they can keep clicking on hints until the problem is basically solved for them). The teacher had asked for all computers to be removed from her classroom and I found out after a few months of school that she had been having DS do this on a mini-ipad (and only a couple times per week). DS wasn't coordinated enough to make it work on the ipad. He also didn't have access to any scratch paper. The teacher wasn't monitoring what he was doing at all. I asked for DS to be able to leave the room to do it on a real computer under the direction of a spec. ed teacher (DS has an IEP) and the classroom teacher made a huge stink. That's when we took him out and put him in current school. Anyway, the Khan Academy solution isn't ideal because obviously it's better for a child to have instruction from a real human, but it's better than nothing.

    For reading, I sent in books like Harry Potter for DS to read in class rather than the low-level books that were there, and that solved most of the reading problem (again, no direct instruction though).

    It's easier to advocate if you have test scores. DS was 99th percentile for both math and reading but it didn't end up mattering at the last school. The teacher was obsessed with the idea that he might have gaps. Current school on the other hand used that data to accelerate him for both math and reading. They assessed him at a reading Level V and instructed him at that level, whereas the other teacher a month or two earlier had assessed him at an L and I don't think he was ability grouped for reading even at an L.

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    This is my first post. I'm in the exact same boat as you it seems. DS7 struggled through first grade. Motivation was lost about 3 weeks in. He lived for the the weekends and mathnasium! It is very difficult to watch your child be unhappy in an environment where you thought they would excel.

    I ended up meeting directly with the principal who was extremely supportive verbally but nothing new was implemented before year end. We are now heading into 2nd with hopes that a new classroom teacher and my advocacy early in the year will set him up well. In the meantime, we are seeking out educational assessments and touring a few private school just to be well informed of our options. One extra road bump for us is that DS7 has a twin smile
    who is also gifted, possibly 2E but seems to be thriving in school. We will see.

    My advice is to contact an educational psychologist if you haven't already. It was great for my peace of mind and support.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    The worst part of his not being challenged is the school tests the kids regularly and knows he is advanced. His star reading score peaked at grade 6.1 in March. It started to go down after that, because March is when he gave up on trying at school and slipped to 5.1 by June.

    Similarly his star math score peaked at a scaled score of 842 in March (>4th grade) and then started to go down to a low of 640 (still >4th grade) in June. He took the test for 1st graders in math which doesn't give a grade level for more than grade 4 and he wasn't allowed to take the upper grade test because the school had only paid for exactly the number of licenses they needed for each grade.

    I understand why you say not to use the word bored, but it is sadly true. My son COULD make the best of the situation and try and enjoy school, but that is not his personality. I am working with him to try and improve his attitude, but it is slow going. I will however, remember that for my next meeting with the principal.

    I talked/emailed his teacher and the principal multiple times with no success except for a few weeks of math enrichment. I asked if he could go with higher grades just for math/reading time but got that whole "gap" nonsense that others have mentioned here. I feel like we could remediate any possible gaps at home in a few hours.

    I have just scheduled a full IQ evaluation for the end of August in the hope of possibly getting an IEP requiring him to be challenged. Nevada supposedly doesn't have gifted IEPs, but a teacher I met from the highly gifted program here told me they can be done.

    My district does have a GATE (gifted and talented education) program, but it only starts in 3rd grade and is only for a couple of hours per week. My son goes to a smaller charter school that doesn't participate in GATE. I've thought about pulling him out and putting him in our local school, but it's very overcrowded, so much so that they just went to year-round classes and I can't see things improving when he's in an overcrowded classroom and school. Plus they're already made the classes for next year, so he'll be stuck wherever there is an opening instead of thoughtfully put with the teacher that might be a good fit.

    I'm still reading through/processing the links posted above. I really appreciate everyone's responses and suggestions. I felt like I'm fighting this alone, but it helps to see others who have been there or are doing the same thing. Fighting for the kids who come after hit home too. My best friend has a highly gifted daughter at the same school who is entering 1st grade, so things I (hopefully) get changed will help her out too.

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    Hopefully you can make the existing school work. As others have mentioned though that if it is not fixable in any kind of reasonable time it may be best to remove your child and seek alternate arrangements. We did this with our DS4 as he was too young for kindergarten. Private school is expensive, the commute is a drag, but the program works, he has friends, and he is happy.

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    Originally Posted by spaghetti
    I don't know what I'd do, but I'd not let my child get negative messages about himself, and I'd defend him against those messages at every turn. So, when he is refusing school, I'd contact the teacher and not assume the reason, but ask her what's going on. Teachers may not care about academic fit, but they do care about emotional health at this age. Bring her in on solving the problem at hand. And you might just win her over. Or you will know it's a toxic situation and it will be clear you need to remove him.

    I really needed to hear this today. Thanks for articulating how to approach this situation if it happens for my own DD again.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by George C
    Have you had a in-person meeting with the principal about your concerns? I've found that usually gets more attention than e-mails, and that way you can have a conversation. It would be helpful if you brought up some of the things you just told us here and that you think he might be gifted and see what the school says. Do they have a gifted program or do gifted screening? It seems like those might be the easiest places to start.

    I did have several in person meetings with the principal but they lasted like 5 minutes. I felt totally blown off each time. I've ponied up for full IQ and achievement testing, which is scheduled for next month. The psychologist will also come to his school for a scheduled meeting, so I'm hoping armed with his results and a psychologist I will be taken more seriously next year.

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    Originally Posted by indigo
    You may have read these advocacy tips elsewhere on the forums: ...

    Thank you! I'm still working my way through these posts and resources and they've been very helpful for my planning.

    Odd thing is I spent last year searching to try and figure out how to get help with this and never found much useful. I was only googling unschooling to help a friend and stumbled on this forum. Best google ever.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by ConnectingDots
    Do you have any test results (like the annual assessments/standardized testing) you could use with the school

    The school has all the results as he was tested monthly by them. His Star reading scored peaked at grade 6.1 in March, which is when he gave up on trying at school. It then drifted down to 5.1 by June.

    For Star math he had to take the 1st grade test which doesn't give grade levels past 4th grade. He always tested at >4th grade level, but again his scaled score peaked in the 800s in March and drifted down to the 600s by June.

    I am getting full testing done this summer so will have more data to strengthen my case.

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    Originally Posted by cmguy
    Hopefully you can make the existing school work. As others have mentioned though that if it is not fixable in any kind of reasonable time it may be best to remove your child and seek alternate arrangements. We did this with our DS4 as he was too young for kindergarten. Private school is expensive, the commute is a drag, but the program works, he has friends, and he is happy.

    I really don't have many options here. The public school is the only other viable option, as we're zoned for a supposedly good one. However it is very overcrowded, so much so that the school just went year-round. They've already made the classes for next year, so if we switched now he'd be stuck wherever they could fit him, as opposed to wherever would be the best fit. I've emailed the vice principal who is the one who talks to parents and tried to make an appointment to discuss possibly transferring, but have gotten no response, which doesn't make me sanguine about how responsive they'd be to his needs.

    There aren't any good private schools in my area. There are a couple of good ones that are a 40 minute drive away, but that really isn't doable for us. I'd have to spend almost 3 hours a day driving back and forth between home, school and work. He would have no time for any after school activities and would hardly ever be able to play with school friends since most would live far away.

    There are only two secular private schools in my area. One is so rigid they suck all the joy out of learning and the other seems to be all show (fancy facilities, etc) but no real substance.

    I love everything about his school except the academics. It is a small charter school with a very safe environment. While his 1st grade teacher was not good, his classmates were the nicest group of kids and families. If I pull him out, he would never get back in, which makes the decision really hard. The waitlist to get in is long. If not for this I would give the public school a try and if it didn't work out just go back to the charter.

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    Originally Posted by ConnectingDots
    Do you have any test results (like the annual assessments/standardized testing) you could use with the school?

    I agree with George about asking for a meeting with the principal to plan for next year. You might bring results from Mathnasium with you to show the level at which he's working and start with asking what they might propose to meet his educational needs (that's a buzzword phrase)?

    I feel crazy as I've posted this a couple of times and the posts seem to have gone *poof*. Something I posted after appeared, so here's a third try.

    The thing that irritates me the most is that the school does know how gifted he is. They Star test all the kids routinely -- monthly if they are above grade level, more often if they aren't.

    His Star test for reading peaking at grade 6.1 in March, which is when the meltdowns began and he quit trying at school. It then drifted down to 5.1 by June, which is the score my 1st grader got with no effort whatsoever.

    Star math similarly peaked at >4th grade and scaled score in the 800s in March and then drifted down to the 600s (still >4th grade) by June.

    I am getting him formally tested this summer, but they already have the data that shows him performing better than the 99th %ile. I shouldn't have to pony up all this money to show them what they already know, but if it gets things done it'll be worth it. The psychologist we're going to will go to a meeting at the school, so I hope armed with test results and her, we can make 2nd grade more engaging for him.

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    Marcy, between my 2 DYS, I have every flavor of standardized test score for (WISC, EXPLORE, WIAT, MAP (multiple subjects), ITBS, CogAT, State Tests) - all high - and so far it has gotten us very, very little in terms of actual different instruction. Most of this testing was done through school. What the testing did do was get our older DYS into some advanced programming available at the schools. Our younger DYS is still waiting to be old enough to test into these programs. So far, the school's set programs have offered a small amount of help. I think we have realized along the way, though, that our DC need more. Unfortunately, testing does not always help if the school is ultimately unwilling to do anything...and we had been promised all kinds of things. It wasn't until we actually finally asked for something...that we realized that the school really would not do much of anything other than plop the kids in the age-for-grade classroom. (Sigh). But I think that our schools are overly-cautious and afraid to accelerate.

    If you decide to have any testing done, I would simply make certain that your school uses/acknowledges/values the results of that particular test.

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    I thought a STAR assessment was more of a swag of approximate achievement level. The tests are usually quite short and more for planning appropriate skills to teach as they align with Common Core. I also didn't know you could take them that often.

    Anyways, our DS couldn't stand them, even though they were so short.

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    Hi Marcy -

    We have a very similar situation. I would echo the other posters who suggested trying to get a face to face meeting with the principal or other administrators. Our school does not offer any accelerated or advanced math for elementary school kids (just a weekly enrichment pull-out for 40 mins) and we tried a few different forms of advocacy before sitting down at the end of the school year with the principal and two different administrators. I can't tell you we've had success so far (we've been given excuse after excuse, actually, and are now waiting for them to get back to us) but it's a necessary step in the process to show them how serious the issue is and hopefully you will have better luck than we have had to date.


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    Originally Posted by Loy58
    Marcy, between my 2 DYS, I have every flavor of standardized test score for (WISC, EXPLORE, WIAT, MAP (multiple subjects), ITBS, CogAT, State Tests) - all high - and so far it has gotten us very, very little in terms of actual different instruction. Most of this testing was done through school. What the testing did do was get our older DYS into some advanced programming available at the schools.

    At the least, if he tests in >99.5%ile the district has a highly gifted program that he would be invited to. They do things like robotics classes after school, where they invite all the highly gifted kids in the district to attend. Not only would that be something he would enjoy, but he'd get to meet other kids like him.

    Originally Posted by Loy58
    If you decide to have any testing done, I would simply make certain that your school uses/acknowledges/values the results of that particular test.

    I'm blazing new trails with this school, so I do need a starting point. Once I have the testing done, and the gifted IEP written out, I'll be more aggressive than I was last year. I didn't fight when the curriculum coach just threw a problem at my 6yo and left him to try and figure it out himself -- this year I will in no way accept that as legitimate enrichment.

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    Originally Posted by ConnectingDots
    You might bring results from Mathnasium with you to show the level at which he's working and start with asking what they might propose to meet his educational needs (that's a buzzword phrase)?


    I'd be careful about bringing enrichment results - they might accuse you of creating the problem In the first place and tell you to stop hothousing.

    A s a PP has said, it might work best to reframe the problem as his emotional health being endangered - according to what elementary school teachers believe, kids who get As for grade level work have no academic needs (and they may believe that it's the needs of an over ambitious parent in play rather than the kids need. But the meltdowns at home - they need to hear about that, pronto.

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    Originally Posted by Marcy
    I really don't have many options here. The public school is the only other viable option, as we're zoned for a supposedly good one. However it is very overcrowded, so much so that the school just went year-round. They've already made the classes for next year, so if we switched now he'd be stuck wherever they could fit him, as opposed to wherever would be the best fit. I've emailed the vice principal who is the one who talks to parents and tried to make an appointment to discuss possibly transferring, but have gotten no response, which doesn't make me sanguine about how responsive they'd be to his needs.

    There aren't any good private schools in my area. There are a couple of good ones that are a 40 minute drive away, but that really isn't doable for us. I'd have to spend almost 3 hours a day driving back and forth between home, school and work. He would have no time for any after school activities and would hardly ever be able to play with school friends since most would live far away.

    There are only two secular private schools in my area. One is so rigid they suck all the joy out of learning and the other seems to be all show (fancy facilities, etc) but no real substance.

    I love everything about his school except the academics. It is a small charter school with a very safe environment. While his 1st grade teacher was not good, his classmates were the nicest group of kids and families. If I pull him out, he would never get back in, which makes the decision really hard. The waitlist to get in is long. If not for this I would give the public school a try and if it didn't work out just go back to the charter.

    Marcy, fwiw, we were in a similar situation re school when my ds was in early elementary. Same issue with achievement testing too - the school would only test to end-of-current-grade-level. I was very hesitant to leave the school because I loved the philosophy, class size, "extras" in terms of arts/etc. We're in a slightly different situation in that our ds is 2e, so he also had challenges at school. When he was first diagnosed, his neuropsych recommended we leave the school - and I held on because I didn't want to let go of what I *wanted* the school to be, and my ds also didn't want to leave what was familiar to him. A few years later, ds told us he wasn't going back - he'd had enough of the lack of intellectual challenge. We ultimately switched to the school our neuropsych recommended, in spite of it being quite a reach for our family in terms of expense and commute time, but it was the single best educational decision we ever made. The reason I mention this is, if I'd posted at the same age and place for my child as you are posting now, I would have thought we were absolutely in the best school possible and would have thought many of the same things about other school placements. I realized in hindsight that my ds might have been happier and more appropriately challenged if I'd spent more time trying to research other schools - not just go on what I heard from parents but actually talk to the other schools' staff as well as the school district gifted program.

    Just a for instance - the school that is overcrowded. Yes, that might be a nightmare in terms of the number of students... but what if the school was willing to subject accelerate your ds? What if the larger # of students meant the school might be able to pull together a higher level reading group in his grade across classes? What if the overall attitude of the teaching staff made it easier to challenge higher ability students?

    The other one thing I'd mention that we did - which was just a bandaid but it was something - our elementary school was really stressed for resources. They weren't adverse to helping kids who needed a challenge, but they didn't have the time to really make it happen, so we had parents who came in as volunteers once or twice per week to help advanced students in subjects like math, writing, spelling etc.

    Best wishes,

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    Such wonderful responses! My small contribution is this: a first grader who reads at a 5/6 level and does math at a 4th grade level might be much more advanced than you are estimating and getting the testing results can help you decide how drastic you need to be in any changes of schooling or advocacy. I applaud you for trying to communicate with the admin but it sounds like they aren't going to get it even with test results.

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    I have read such helpful and informative things. I'm so glad I made this post. I'm not sure where we're going to wind up but I feel better prepared for what is ahead. I feel a lot less alone too!

    I'm the first to admit that a big part of DS6's problem is that he is a negative child. Instead of making the best of things and enjoying what he can, he focuses on being bored and "hating" stuff. I have long known this and work on it with him, but it's a very uphill battle.

    It doesn't help that he is almost pathologically shy and has a hard time with making friends and being in big groups of kids. One of the things I love about his school is how he socially grew from hiding in a corner to having good friends and feeling comfortable with all the kids. Our town is very high turnover and in most schools there are always a bunch of new kids, but in this school you are with the same 100 kids in your grade the whole way through, give or take a few that move away.

    He has his formal testing scheduled for the week of August 17, so after that I plan to schedule a face to face meeting with the principal and the psychologist.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    We just finishing WISC-V testing and the neuropsychologist said DS6 is profoundly gifted.

    I don't have the full scores yet but his Verbal IQ was 155, visual-spatial was 147 and fluid reasoning was 151.

    His full IQ will be brought down by the 108 he received in the part where you had to write quickly, but the neuropsychologist said she recommends discounting that section because the problem was his fine motor skills not his thinking. I forgot the name of that part and a visit with the google still has me confused to exactly which section this is.

    Unfortunately the neuropsych was pretty gloomy about his school giving him appropriate challenges and enrichment. We're going to work on after school activities, but I don't want the 7 hours he spends in school every day to be boring and meaningless.

    We're scheduling a meeting with his teacher, the principal and the curriculum coach, so we'll see where things go from there.

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    ndw Offline
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    Those are amazing scores Marcy. It is good to have independent confirmation of what you suspected and that can help with advocacy. The difficulty is that children at that level of Giftedness generally need substantial accommodations to their educational pathway. A couple of hours of enrichment means very little. You may well be looking at grade skips, yep multiple.

    If you haven't looked into how level of giftedness can impact school decision making I would start looking in that direction. You also need a serious and lengthy conversation with the school who may have never seen, or recognised, a child like your son before. At his age you don't want to be doing all his schooling after hours. His day needs to have meaning and he needs time to be a kid. But to do that you have to educate yourself first. Unfortunately you can not rely on the school to be the experts in this situation.

    Start by downloading A Nation Decieved and a Nation Empowered from the Acceleration Institute

    http://www.accelerationinstitute.org

    Having gifted kids can be hard work, including loads of reading and research, but it is worth it.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    Acceleration is so hard. I don't think he can skip grades because he is not socially mature at all. I now recognize that some of his social difficulties are due to his level of giftedness, but some are just plain immaturity. He is already the youngest kid in his grade because his birthday is only 6 days before the grade cut-off here.

    The school has been pretty hostile to acceleration, prattling on about him having "gaps" in his knowledge. The neuropsych said that is ridiculous in his case.

    I have finished reading Nation Deceived and am halfway through Nation Empowered and am going to email these to his teacher, the principal and the curriculum coach before our meeting. I've pulled out a bunch of relevant citations for them like these --

    Reason #5: Safe is better than sorry. Most teachers see non-acceleration as the safer option—they feel that doing nothing is not harmful. Response: Doing nothing is not the same as “do no harm.” Choosing not to accelerate is itself an intervention. The evidence indicates that when children’s academic and social needs are not met, the result is boredom and disengagement from school.

    Reason #11: There will be gaps in the child’s knowledge. Teachers are concerned that accelerated students will have gaps in their understanding of concepts. Response: We accelerate students because they are well ahead of their age-peers in their academic development and knowledge. Gifted students are swift learners and any gaps quickly disappear.

    I'm going to push for subject acceleration. The school wants to go the route of project-based learning where he will build upon the same things the other kids are doing with additional enrichment. After reading these I believe he will continue to be bored, especially as the project-based learning will still be happening with other kids in his grade, most of whom are grade levels behind him academically.

    Thank you for your help.

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    ndw Offline
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    I am hearing you Marcy. We had similar concerns. We started with spending part of the day in first grade during kindergarten and using independent books not leveled reading. The teacher actually was good at math differentiation. We are not in the US but there are similar challenges everywhere.

    If moving up a grade is too hard then subject acceleration is a good starting point or accelerating in place by bringing the work to him in his classroom. The difficulty we found with that is DD felt different when she worked alone and the stimulation of everyone working at a higher level adds a different dimension.

    Sometimes the "immaturity" eases or goes away when the appropriate challenge level is reached but he is only a little boy too! When DD was going to first grade she used to take a teddy bear with her so she looked very young but it was fine.

    Some other good books on Giftedness if you are at the early stages of the journey can include:
    Giftedness 101 by Linda Silverman
    A PArents Guide to Gifted Children by James Webb

    And in your case
    Exceptionally Gifted Children by Miraca Gross.

    There are many books and resources but it can be a little overwhelming!
    Websites including here, the Davidson Institute Database, Hoagies Gifted and SENG are worth bookmarking.

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    By the way the gaps thing is generally a non issue and especially at your DSsage. It is a common institutional response. However, curriculum compacting works well to allow the school to see him work quickly through material. Pretesting to know what he can miss is also good. Although I find that a little unnecessary at the early stages of school where it's more skills, reading and basic math skills, than actual conceptual knowledge.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    I'm hoping that subject acceleration will be going to higher grades and working with older kids, doing higher level work. While my son is immature in some things with play, he does well in advanced academic situations with clear cut rules. I feel he needs to be exposed to kids thinking on a similar level to him and to not always be miles ahead.

    Plus it will cost the school nothing, since they'll just send him to a different class for certain times. I'm hoping they'll find this aspect attractive, as it won't require any extra materials or teachers.

    I'm going to look for the books you mentioned. I'm currently reading Raising Gifted Kids: Everything you Need to Know to Help you Exceptional Kid Thrive by Barbara Klein, which the neuropsych. recommended.

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    Sounds a lot like my DD. We operated on the same principle that we didn't want her to be cruising at the top of the class but striving to reach the top. It was better for her to develop the skills of learning to learn.

    It does cost the school nothing but schools often feel that they know much better than you what is right for your child. After all education is their business. Having a gifted child can be rather like coming across a patient who has a very rare condition and walks in with books of information for you. Some schools are grateful for the information and the fact that you have done the work to compile it, some are aggravated that you presume to encroach on their knowledge silo and get narky. I have seen both. Obviously we all hope for the former!

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    Good luck with all your advocacy efforts. One thing I'd like add (and I know I'm late coming into this discussion) is that you may decide to embark on deeper research into school options in your area. Where we're at there are educational options that fly under the radar and don't come up immediately in searches. Everything from public virtual schools to homeschool coops to private options for quirky or gifted (or quirky/gifted kids) to legacy charters or magnets in the public system that don't really advertise. I don't know why this is, but as a parallel effort, look deeper in what alternatives there really are.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    I finally got the full results of DS6's WISC-V -- definitely last minute as his IEP meeting is tomorrow morning.

    WISC-V
    Verbal Comprehension 155
    Visual Spatial 147
    Fluid Reasoning 151
    Working Memory 120
    Processing Speed 103
    Full Scale IQ 144

    Subtests
    Block Design 19
    Similarities 19
    Matrix Reasoning 19
    Digit Span 13
    Coding 8
    Vocabulary 19
    Figure Weights 18
    Visual Puzzles 18
    Picture Span 14
    Symbol Search 13

    Obviously the coding section pulled his full scale score down -- the psych said this involved writing and the problem was his poor fine motor skills. From the reading I've done since, he has clearly hit the ceiling effect as well, with subtest scores of 18/19 in 6 of the 9 sections.

    He also had other tests that I hadn't heard of -- results below.

    Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale (RIAS)
    Verbal 154
    Nonverbal 145
    Overall IQ 158

    Subtests
    Guess What (verbal) 75
    Verbal Reasoning (verbal) 85
    Odd-Item Out (nonverbal) 72
    What’s Missing (nonverbal) 75

    -----

    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - III

    Math Problem Solving 150 Grade Equivalent 4.6
    Word Reading 150 Grade Equivalent 8.4
    Psuedoword Decoding 134 Grade Equivalent 7.2
    Numerical Operations 126 Grade Equivalent 3.0
    Spelling 141 Grade Equivalent 4.9
    Math Fluency – Addition 108 Grade Equivalent 2.0
    Math Fluency – Subtraction 118 Grade Equivalent 2.3

    -----

    Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery Test-III

    Oral Reading Fluency 138 Grade Equivalent 5.1
    Passage Comprehension 145 Grade Equivalent 7.5

    -----

    I was kind of surprised at the two math scores with 2nd grade equivalents as he's so far ahead in math concepts, but it did say fluency so maybe it involves speed.

    In any case, his IEP meeting is tomorrow, so hopefully we get somewhere with the school this year.

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    Due to the lower scores for Working Memory and Processing Speed, did they calculate a General Ability Index (GAI), in addition to the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ)?

    Given your child's fine motor skill issues, have you looked at information about the possibility of dysgraphia ?

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    ndw Offline
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    I second Indigo's question about the GAI. It may depend on your school district as to whether they accept the GAI or the full score but either way you have a child with excellent reasoning skills who deserves an appropriate and challenging education. Good luck with the IEP meeting!

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    aeh Offline
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    GAI = 158, same as the RIAS FSIQ.
    CPI = 114, for just under a 3 SD difference GAI > CPI. IOW, big, very big.

    RIAS subtest scores are reported as T-scores, so that's a truly impressive verbal reasoning score (+3.5 SDs, analogous to scaled score 20 or 21 on the WISC).

    WIAT-III Math Fluency subtests are probably a function of writing speed, in this case, and as reflective of the skills responsible for his Coding score as they are of his math fact knowledge. (Task is akin to a paper/pencil "math minute".)

    The other achievement scores are generally reasonable for his GAI, likely with some effects from lack of systematic instruction for later skills in numerical operations.


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    For anyone unfamiliar with CPI who may wish to learn more about it, I'll add this link.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Due to the lower scores for Working Memory and Processing Speed, did they calculate a General Ability Index (GAI), in addition to the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ)?

    Given your child's fine motor skill issues, have you looked at information about the possibility of dysgraphia ?

    I don't think he has dysgraphia, after looking at the link you gave. His handwriting is only a bit worse than the average 2nd grader's -- it only seems bad when compared to his intellectual ability. He is also a great speller both orally and written.

    I probably spoke wrongly when I said poor fine motor skills. He has 6yo-appropriate fine motor skills, but they still hold him back when writing since his intellectual skills are so far advanced.

    Originally Posted by aeh
    GAI = 158, same as the RIAS FSIQ.
    CPI = 114, for just under a 3 SD difference GAI > CPI. IOW, big, very big.

    RIAS subtest scores are reported as T-scores, so that's a truly impressive verbal reasoning score (+3.5 SDs, analogous to scaled score 20 or 21 on the WISC).

    WIAT-III Math Fluency subtests are probably a function of writing speed, in this case, and as reflective of the skills responsible for his Coding score as they are of his math fact knowledge. (Task is akin to a paper/pencil "math minute".)

    The other achievement scores are generally reasonable for his GAI, likely with some effects from lack of systematic instruction for later skills in numerical operations.

    I found out this morning that his math scores were low because he maxed out the math for his age. The neuropsych said the tests didn't go into multiplication or division for age 6 even though he knew them already. His handwriting wasn't an issue there as he did all the problems in his head.

    -----

    The meeting seemed to go okay although his school is dead-set against grade acceleration. His teacher really seems interested in giving him challenges and things to engage him. She already has him doing different work during center time when the other kids in his class are doing the grade level skills. We'll have to see how things go -- my only real concern is that he's happy, since he was so miserable last year.

    -Marcy

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    aeh Offline
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    Hate to mention this, but there is no hard limit on the items administered on the WIAT-III numerical operations, other than the usual discontinue rule based on incorrect responses, so not attempting the multiplication and division problems was a decision by the examiner, not an artifact of the test.


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    Originally Posted by aeh
    Hate to mention this, but there is no hard limit on the items administered on the WIAT-III numerical operations, other than the usual discontinue rule based on incorrect responses, so not attempting the multiplication and division problems was a decision by the examiner, not an artifact of the test.

    Yep. DS has a similar GAI and took the WIAT at age 6. He hit higher skills and you can get up to a 160.

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    Marcy Offline OP
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    So, DS7's teacher emailed me and told me she thinks he should skip to 3rd grade, both maturity-wise and academically-wise. She told administration this and there were adamant against any form of acceleration.

    ::headdesk::
    ::repeatedly::

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