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    ss62 Offline OP
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    I had a meeting with the school principal last week. Overall, the meeting went well. He totally heard me and accepts that DS is probably getting bored since there was a slight decline in the IRL and SS in his STAR Reading and Math between Fall testing and winter testing. I came to understand that the school district does not have a tool like IAS and that the guidance team will meet with us to decide about the grade advance. Thanks to indigo, I was equipped with a summary sheet, a detailed case study and copies of all relevant data during the principal's meeting. I provided him all of those. I have another meeting in a couple of weeks with the guidance team that includes gifted programs office director, his class teacher, the school psychologist, the principal and the asst. principal and I and DH. I am concerned that they do not have a tool to come up with the decision objectively. They will collectively discuss about the data with us and say an yes or no. I discussed about IAS with the principal , but they are not going to buy one and use it for my DS. I am wondering if I should just wait for the meeting or do something else in the meanwhile.

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    Originally Posted by ss62
    Overall, the meeting went well.
    Good to hear.

    Originally Posted by ss62
    IAS... I am wondering if I should just wait for the meeting or do something else in the meanwhile.
    Suggested next steps:
    - Try to obtain the IAS through your local public library (inter-library loan program) as mentioned by ElizabethN.
    - or purchase IAS via Great Potential Press. While $269.95 is not insignificant, IMO it is a worthwhile investment in your children. The 10 forms could easily be used, at the rate of 1 each year.
    - or type words such as "used copy iowa acceleration scale" into your web browser and purchase a used copy. Several options appear to be available for about $60-$80. Tips on buying IAS 2nd hand:
    -- Purchase 3rd edition (current) if possible, but 2nd edition will do, if price is a factor and you get the old version for much less than the 3rd edition.
    -- Verify whether the purchase price includes both types of forms, and what quantity of each.
    -- If needed, purchase replacement forms or make-do by jotting on paper (such as graph paper to keep the responses tidy).

    Come to the meeting prepared with:
    - your family members' IAS evaluation forms completed and already discussed at home, to your level of comfort, ensuring that your child, spouse, and self are confident that you are in agreement,
    - copy of your family members' completed IAS evaluation forms,
    - the IAS manual and a Planning Record form to discuss with the school.

    If the school remains uninterested in the IAS, you will still have benefited:
    - the contents of the IAS will no longer be a mystery to you, you will not wonder about it, the unknown will have no power over you,
    - your knowledge of the IAS will provide a basis for your evaluation/assessment/opinion of the school's data-gathering, discussion, and decision-making
    - based on the data your family members provide to IAS prompts at home, your family will have had fruitful conversations in the home prior to the meeting
    - you will be confident of making the best decision possible based on the information available at this time... no regrets... just possible future changes in decision, based on new or revised information available at that future time.

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    ss62 Offline OP
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    Thanks indigo, yes, I have requested a copy of the IAS through interlibrary loan as my local one does not have it. Not sure if I get hold of one before the meeting. I will try to purchase a used copy as you have suggested.
    DS will certainly qualify if they take an objective approach, but do not know what they will come up with, depending on whatever process they have, right now. I asked the principal for forms that I need to fill in, but he says there are no official forms for this process. I am starting to worry.
    Also, he says kids who do not progress along with their peers may later turn out unhappy etc..I got scared by that idea, but I am sure DS is pretty social and can fit in with older kids. My brain is just a big mess right now. I am sure IAS can help me figure out most of these elements.

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    Originally Posted by ss62
    he says kids who do not progress along with their peers may later turn out unhappy etc
    Two questions to think about:
    1) What does he mean by "peers"...
    chronological age peers, or academic/intellectual peers?
    Many families find that academic/intellectual peers are a gifted child's TRUE peers.
    2) What informs his view...
    is it a reliable source of information?
    - There are years of research (empirical evidence) behind the reports presented by the Acceleration Institute, and behind the development of the IAS.
    - There are years of lived experiences (anecdotal evidence) from families with gifted children, shared in the posts on this forum discussing acceleration.
    - Both of these would be considered credible sources.

    While I understand a school's desire to be cautious in advising whether or not a student should skip a grade, when a school lacks depth of experience with whole-grade acceleration, it seems the best way to proceed with caution would be to leverage the years of experience behind the IAS. No need to guess, worry, or re-invent the wheel.

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    Originally Posted by ss62
    ...he says kids who do not progress along with their peers may later turn out unhappy etc...

    Ugh - I hate this scare tactic. They MAY turn out to be most anything: happy, unhappy, tall, short, etc. Each kid should be evaluated individually, and not compared to caricatures on TV or children from anecdotes. (including my anecdote in the next post smile )

    Also, we found the IAS a great resource, so I hope your copy arrives before your meeting - even if the school won't officially recognize that process.

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.

    Last edited by SFrog; 04/10/18 02:42 PM.

    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.
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    Originally Posted by ss62
    I am concerned that they do not have a tool to come up with the decision objectively. They will collectively discuss about the data with us and say an yes or no.

    Hopefully your evaluation and discussion goes better than our first attempt at a grade skip (K to 2nd). The school was supposed to use the IAS, but the [censored] principal made up her own test. My kiddo was ding'd for not knowing material they wouldn't introduce until the end of 2nd grade. Also, their collective discussion was more of an attempt to bully us out of wanting a skip.

    Luckily we abandoned that school district. Two grade skips (from other school systems) later (skipped 2nd and 6th grades), we have a perfectly happy 17 year old freshman in college who shudders when we ask if she'd rather be a junior in HS.

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.


    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.
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    ss62 Offline OP
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    indigo, thanks for those wonderful pointers, as usual. I think the principal was trying to talk about his 'gifted program classmates', when he said 'peers'. Obviously, they consider all the kids in the gifted program are equal in some ways. They are all in the top 2 percentile and so, the school district considers them all to be of the same proficiency. I did point out to him that the difference between a score of 130 and 160, for example, is the same as that between a 100 and a 130. Basically, I was trying to point to him that not all gifted kids act the same way and like the same things. Of course, I did not use an excellent wording, as you had used in your post. I am gonna have to steal and practice some of your vocabulary and terminology before I go to this meeting :-)

    SFrog, thanks for your anecdote. yes, the scare tactic worked on me. I did get give it a thought:-( but I understood that my DS is definitely mature to handle and be with older kids. I am trying to purchase a used copy of IAS online.

    I think my DS might also take a test, similar to the one you are mentioning about. If there would be one, a 50th percentile or more is good enough to qualify for an acceleration. I remember seeing such a thing in one of the posts about IAS. But, yes, if they decide to say a 'no', they will say it anyways. Fingers crossed, but extremely worried. I am really glad that your kid used a couple of skips and is doing well in college.

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    For the "130 and up are all the same" issue I've had some success advocating for PG kids using data from here https://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx

    I made up a chart with 3 columns and then put in the numbers for IQ's from 130-160 (I stopped there because extended norms are non-existent in Canada, if you have a kid with scores above that you could continue)
    - IQ
    - Rarity of this IQ and higher 1/x
    - A teacher will experience every...(for this, I used a 1:20 ratio that our school district targets for primary, obviously for larger classes and/or teachers that teach in multiple classrooms this would be different and you can redo the math)

    IQ Rarity..., A teacher...
    130 44 2 years
    135 102 5 years
    140 261 13 years
    145 741 37 years
    150 2,330 116 years
    155 8,137 407 years
    160 31,560 1,578 years

    It might also be useful to add another column of how many kids would be expected in the district (I didn't do this because it highlighted that there are more gifted kids in our area than you would expect (for a variety of reasons) but I didn't want to distract and have them question why we have so many).

    A variation of this was shown to me years ago by a local advocacy group when I first started our adventure. It really helped me understand why teachers and principals didn't seem to understand my child and our situation. This made it so clear that while they might have dealt with lots of gifted kids and what they were talking about might have worked well for many of them, there was a reason they were kind of clueless when it came to ones further to the right.

    I know percentiles basically say the same thing but this made it a lot clearer to the wider audience I was dealing with. I'm a pretty mathy person and even for me this really hammered it home. It helped me feel a little less crazy/pushy/demanding for looking for more and gave me something concrete to point to as the reason why.

    Last edited by chay; 04/11/18 05:45 AM.
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    Originally Posted by ss62
    Also, he says kids who do not progress along with their peers may later turn out unhappy etc.

    I don't think you two disagree on this point, and the real issue is you're working from different definitions of "peer." The kids who are the same age are not your DS's peers.

    My DD would happily fill your ear with commentary about how the kids in her grade are immature, and she was already skipped a year.

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    Originally Posted by ss62
    if they decide to say a 'no', they will say it anyways.
    Tip: If and when a school says "NO", now or at anytime in the future... this is not the end. Do not freeze up in the meeting. Instead, flow along for a moment:
    1) listen closely, and jot down all the reasons they cite. Then politely, and genuinely ask, "Is there anything more?" until you have listened with interest and made note of all that they reveal. You want to know, understand, and document ALL of their reasoning. So that you may best prepare to advocate for meeting your child's needs.
    2) close the meeting by leaving things open for future discussion. Possibly say something along the lines of understanding that they believe it is not time for a grade skip, but let's continue to observe how he is doing and meet again to discuss our observations in... a month(?)...

    On the other hand, if/when a school provides the learning environment which you were seeking for your child (such as the grade skip), do not smile, gloat, treat it as a relief, victory, or "win"... as though this was a contest or debate. In fact, you could help close the meeting in a similar manner to what is described in #2 above (as a suggested course of action if they do not approve the grade-skip).

    Bottom Line: Maintain even keel and focus on facts, not emotions, which ever way they decide. Remember, this is a long-term parent-school partnership focused on what is in the best interests of your son.

    After the meeting: Be sure to send a brief, pleasant meeting recap or letter of understanding (as described elsewhere in advocacy posts and threads).

    Originally Posted by ss62
    ...extremely worried
    Worry may often be the result of not having a Plan-B or back-up plan. If the school refuses whole-grade acceleration, what are next steps?
    - Explore the possibility of piece-meal acceleration for specific subjects?
    - At-home enrichment?
    - Evening, weekend, and summer courses?
    - Homeschooling? Homeschool co-op? Unschooling?
    - Look at other schools?
    - etc...
    While options on a list you may come up with may be unpalatable due to location/commute, effort involved, time taken away from other endeavors, cost, etc... a family must weigh which option or combination of options available provide the best (or least-worst) opportunity for their child's continued growth and development.

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