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    #241760 03/29/18 03:07 PM
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    ss62 Offline OP
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    My DS8 is in second grade full time gifted program where he is accelerated by one grade in all subject areas. He excels in school and always maxes out on achievement tests. His recent WISC-V results are in the 99.9th percentile. Though he does not say he is bored and he seems happy at school, I have a feeling that he finds the subject content easy as he can quickly finish almost anything he is working on.

    Considering all thes factors, I have been talking to his teacher about a grade skip at this point. The teacher says he can totally pull off the grade skip academically and that yes, he finds most of the content easy as of now. He is December born and one of the oldest in his classroom. Therefore, I am thinking he can emotionally and socially fit in with the 4th graders (gifted classroom) next year. As of now, the teacher is making sure he is engaged by providing him independent inquiry based learning projects.

    However, the final decision will be made by the principal and the gifted programs office and also depends on the policies. I have been called for a meeting next week with the principal.

    I am planning to carry all the available data for the meeting. I am a little concerned if the grade skip can impact him negatively in anyway. Are there any parents here who have opted for a grade skip and encountered negative situations? Please also suggest how I should prepare for the meeting.

    Reading through this advocacy guidebook right now. It is incredibly useful. https://dnnlv5ifs.blob.core.windows.net/portals/2/PDFs/Guidebooks/Davidson_Guidebook_Advocating.pdf?sr=b&si=DNNFileManagerPolicy&sig=QD1wJFgpbD0qSc%2B19ujLU6ImtSTG7%2B96vLdC80amMgE%3D

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    My DD experienced no downsides directly related to skipping 3rd, except that her school quite foolishly segregated children by grade level, so she could no longer enjoy the company of her previous friends. It was very much a short-term problem. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.

    One special consideration for boys is that so much of their interaction, positive and negative, is very physical. For social development reasons, therefore, I would caution any parents to think carefully about a grade skip if their boy is already small for his cohort. If he can at least be reasonably expected to hold his own today with the older cohort, and family history suggests that it is unlikely to change, then when all other considerations are good, go for it.

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    Originally Posted by ss62
    Considering all thes factors, I have been talking to his teacher about a grade skip at this point.
    Does the school use the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS)? Have you read up on this tool, to possibly position yourself to recommend its use?

    Originally Posted by ss62
    the final decision will be made by the principal and the gifted programs office and also depends on the policies.
    Have you read your State laws, and school polices?

    Originally Posted by ss62
    I am a little concerned if the grade skip can impact him negatively in anyway. Are there any parents here who have opted for a grade skip and encountered negative situations?
    There is good and bad in everything. There is a roundup of acceleration PROs and CONs in this old post.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    Please also suggest how I should prepare for the meeting.
    What is the purpose of the meeting? To define and initiate a process? To gather data from you? To present you with the school's decision?
    A crowd-sourced list of meeting tips is found in this old Advocacy thread.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    Reading through this advocacy guidebook right now. It is incredibly useful.
    Yes, the Davidson Guidebook - Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People is one of many helpful resources listed in the Advocacy thread.



    Pointing to roundup threads and posts, and even the existence of roundup threads and posts, is not meant to put a damper on current conversations. Rather, it is to help provide a knowledge base for parents, even when the forum is not very active.

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    ss62 Offline OP
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    Thanks Dude and Indigo
    Dude, yes, my son is a little petite for his age. But he is a sunny person with a positive attitude. That leads me to think he may fit in with older children.

    Originally Posted by indigo
    Pointing to roundup threads and posts, and even the existence of roundup threads and posts, is not meant to put a damper on current conversations. Rather, it is to help provide a knowledge base for parents, even when the forum is not very active.

    I totally understand. I have been going through many of these links from the forum since the last couple of days.

    They have mentioned that the meeting is to discuss about "my requirement" since I have e-mailed to the teacher about the grade skip and had a meeting with the teacher too. The teacher says she will approve it from her end, but I do not know yet if the school will approve this idea and initiate the process. I am providing them whatever data I have so far.

    I did read about the IAS online and have asked the teacher to find out if the school uses it. Can this tool be accessed in anyway by parents to find out where the child fits?

    The state laws do not say anything about acceleration. In the DYS link, I see that individual school districts decide it. I am not able to find the school district's acceleration policies online except for math placement.


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    Originally Posted by ss62
    they have mentioned that the meeting is to discuss about "my requirement"
    This is sufficiently nebulous that it could mean anything... good or bad. Unfortunately, this phrase, isolated and out-of-context, is focused on YOU (your requirement) and not on YOUR CHILD (child's educational needs, ongoing growth, etc). If this occurs in conversation, you may wish to gently, politely change the focus from you to your child. The worst-case-scenario of a school stating they wish to schedule a meeting to discuss "your requirement" may be that they'd announce that they cannot meet "your requirement". This can be a conversation ender, whereas staying focused on your child's ongoing development generally allows conversation to continue, with brainstorming on various ideas, options, feasibility, counter-proposals etc.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    I do not know yet if the school will approve this idea and initiate the process.
    What process? It appears, from the lack of published acceleration policy, that the school may not yet have adopted or defined a process. They may not have encountered this type of situation previously, or may not have encountered it frequently enough to have established a process. You may wish to become familiar with the IAS and suggest utilizing it to establish a process which advances objectivity.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    I am providing them whatever data I have so far.
    You may wish to make a cover sheet, inventory list, or summary of the data points you have so far. Ensure that you provide a copy of the summary sheet for the school's convenience, and only provide the school with copies, not originals, of any of your data point documents. Ensure that you leave the meeting with ALL of your documents.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    I did read about the IAS online and have asked the teacher to find out if the school uses it. Can this tool be accessed in anyway by parents to find out where the child fits?
    The IAS is not used unilaterally to see where a child fits. It is an aid to gathering information for discussion, to ensure that all important factors are considered and documented. The tool is copyrighted and can be purchased but not copied or posted online. The authors have intellectual property rights and it is a violation of the law to copy/post online. Here is a brief roundup of links on the IAS:
    - Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) (link to IAS description on Hoagies' Gifted Education Page)
    - IAS - Acceleration Institute
    - IAS - Great Potential Press
    - post discussing tests for Ability, Aptitude, Achievement
    - post discussing aeh test insights
    - post discussing single subject acceleration (SSA), IQ cutoff
    - post discussing whether IAS forms are needed
    - post discussing older sibling in receiving grade

    Originally Posted by ss62
    I am not able to find the school district's acceleration policies online except for math placement.
    Introducing the IAS may be helpful, as it keeps the decision focused on facts and research, not emotion or hunches. The IAS may form the basis or foundation for the school drafting an acceleration policy. It may be helpful to you have an acceleration policy in place prior to possibly needing to discuss further acceleration for your son... or future acceleration for your daughter (as you've posted elsewhere that her preschool achievements may indicate giftedness). Having an objective, documented policy in place, published and accessible to all, will help avoid the notion that the school exhibited favoritism, caved to a pushy parent, etc.

    Remember:
    - The end goal is doing the best, under a given set of circumstances - including financial constraints - to meet your son's needs and facilitate your son's continued and ongoing development... which may include one or more whole grade accelerations over time.
    - The goal is NOT the whole grade acceleration. It is not a one-and-done solution. Meeting your son's educational needs is an ongoing process of gathering data and making adjustments to provide the optimal or least-worst learning environment for your son, over time.

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    ss62 Offline OP
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    Thanks a lot indigo. All those inputs are eye-opening. I read up on all the policies from the school district to find out these details regarding "retention / acceleration".

    "When a student is identified for retention, double promotion, or additional acceleration, the
    guidance team will convene to conduct a review of progress, including progress reports,
    standardized tests, and/or recommendations from previous instructor(s). If the school year has
    begun, the student will be placed in his/her expected grade level, pending the recommendation of
    the guidance team.
    If the guidance team determines additional assessment is needed to make a recommendation, the
    parents will be informed and their written permission will be sought. Upon completion of the
    assessments, the guidance team will reconvene to discuss their recommendation for retention,
    double promotion or additional acceleration as well as any additional special programs or
    services."

    His progress reports are a mix of 'meeting' and 'exceeding' expectation numbers. He takes only STAR few times a year as the standardized test. He has the WISC-V reports. Recommendations from the teacher will be positive, I hope.

    From the policies, I understand it is more of a review team discussing his data and deciding on the acceleration. I am not sure if they have anything to collate all the data and quantify. I do not know if the school district is using IAS. If they are not, can I request them to?

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    ss62 Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Remember:
    - The end goal is doing the best, under a given set of circumstances - including financial constraints - to meet your son's needs and facilitate your son's continued and ongoing development... which may include one or more whole grade accelerations over time.
    - The goal is NOT the whole grade acceleration. It is not a one-and-done solution. Meeting your son's educational needs is an ongoing process of gathering data and making adjustments to provide the optimal or least-worst learning environment for your son, over time.


    I will always, always remember that.


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    Originally Posted by ss62
    I do not know if the school district is using IAS. If they are not, can I request them to?
    Yes, you could describe the overall concept and benefits of this tool. You could provide weblinks and/or printouts of sources the school could consult for more information. You can pull this information from the links upthread and put it in the format you would like.

    Some schools/districts may take notes as they work together with a parent, specifically for the purpose of drafting policy and practice statements to define a standardized process to use going forward. If they do not make you aware that they are doing this, you may wish to ask.

    Then again, your child's school may be one which does not closely define policy/process/practice. Unfortunately, this usually results in a degree of re-inventing the wheel each time an acceleration is being considered.

    There is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Hopefully considering a variety of possible approaches and strategies in advance will have you feeling well-prepared and confident to work flexibly with whatever situation presents itself.

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    ss62, I was able to check a copy of the IAS out of the library for purposes of seeing what's in it and getting an idea of how it might be used. Even if your home library doesn't have a copy, it may be available via interlibrary loan. You may not be able to lay hands on it for this meeting, but it can be valuable to bring to a meeting to show the school what it is. They might well end up purchasing a copy to help them develop a more objectively defensible process.

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    ss62 Offline OP
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    Thanks indigo and Elizabeth, I will see if I can get it from the library.
    I am a little nervous about this meeting and I have a feeling there is a high probability that this may not happen, because a staff tells me this has never ever happened in the gifted program. I also heard that it is probably not within the principal's jurisdiction to decide and we may have to wait for the gifted programs office to make the final decision. I am going to try my best though. I am reading through the various links that you have shared earlier to make myself knowledgeable about advocacy for acceleration. Thanks again.

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