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    Joined: Feb 2016
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    Hi all, long time no complain! Things haven't been great with the middle school, but we've been just living with it and waiting for it to end. Same old, same old with the school not following the IEP, not implementing accommodations and not providing 1:1 support. DS is in 8th grade, diagnosed gifted, ADHD, ASD, Tourettes, and anxiety.

    My main reason for stopping in today is the PSAT. The school gave the test to every 8th grader (which I was happy with until I learned when results came back they gave my son the PSAT 8/9, which is not the test they said they were giving). So honestly the scores aren't actually useful at all other than practice and predictive value I guess.

    Anyway, when requesting accommodations they convinced me to ask for time and a half rather than 2x time, the reasoning being that the student is apparently not able to leave the room until the 2 hours are up or do anything else after the test is complete (such as doodling on scrap paper) and I was very worried DS would not handle just sitting for potentially a long time after completing the test.

    First off, is this actually true? If so, is it some sort of odd punishment for requesting too much extra time?

    Second, DS was fine for time on the verbal sections, finishing with 5 and 10 minutes remaining respectively, but he ran out of time on both math sections. He had only 1 questions left on each. He guessed on the multiple choice question, but the written answer question he had to leave blank. Based on not quite being able to finish, would that be a reason to request 2x time on math for next year? Do kids usually have enough time to finish all the questions?

    Finally, he scored as expected, 700 in math, 590 verbal, in line with all previous testing. But in school he continues to struggle with any written/verbal responses. He says the words go away or he forgets what he's saying in the middle of the sentence. His working memory is dual 19 level, so I just can't figure out what's going on. The school says he's not trying, he insists he is. He is so stressed about every subject but math because there is so much work to do and he can't even get the first word down in the time it takes other students to complete the assignment. I'm at a loss and at this point I'm usually angry with him because I just don't get it. How can you consistently score 96-98th%ile on verbal measures and be unable to produce written work while being fully able to verbally complain about said written work for hours on end? So frustrating. He's getting poor grades in English, science, and social studies for incomplete assignments. He gets A's, often 100's on tests. Last year he was distinguished honor roll all 3 trimesters, now he says he doesn't care about his grades because the work is too hard and he's given up.

    After years of saying he doesn't want to homeschool, he has now changed his mind. But he's going to HS, so now is when I feel least qualified to teach him! How can I compete against honors/AP classes, science labs, or 3D printers? I told him he has to at least try next year and we will reevaluate after a couple of months. I'm also hopeful they will do better with the IEP there. The elementary school was overall great for him, the middle school was overall terrible, especially 6th and 8th where he had the same special ed teacher who is honestly awful. She's not mean or ill intentioned, she's just completely inept and never actually does anything she says she will do. She does not seem to care if the teachers follow the IEP and tells DS useful things like that getting As isn't important and that he's not A student material. Thanks lady.

    So yeah, I guess this is a transition to high school post, a PSAT/SAT post, and a bit of complaining. We are doing course selection for next year right now and he was recommended for general ed science, so I have to sign a waiver to request he go into chemistry. His MAPS test last year for science put him well above the 99th%ile nationally and he got the top PSAT math score out of his class of nearly 500, but they based the placement on teacher recommendation!?! Said teacher (who is new to the school this year and started at the beginning of the second trimester, DS was doing great before her) refuses to follow the IEP and, according to my son, is mean to all of the special ed students in the class. Why does she get to determine these kids futures?

    OK, that was more complaints. All done now, really smile

    Last edited by SaturnFan; 05/15/24 04:15 PM.
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    To address only the 100% extended time question: yes. The CB requires test-takers to stay for the entire time provided. You cannot leave early. This is the case for all of the CB's extended time accommodations (on APs, SAT, etc.).

    Regarding +50% vs +100% on the SAT suite: given the conversion of the suite to adaptive digital testing, starting from the SAT and apparently moving its way down (currently at the PSAT/NMSQT), I suspect that +100% will become less critical in the future, since the low-level questions will not be presented to high-achieving students. I do find that many students are drained by the end of +100%, especially the ones who are taking multiple AP exams in the same cycle.

    Does his IEP have accommodations for reduced items or assignments? Items sufficient only to demonstrate mastery of standards? Oral elaboration of written responses (complete assignment first on paper, and then orally elaborate to fill in details that didn't make it to the page)? Is he using assistive technology for written products (speech-to-text, typing), at least for first drafts?

    And you can compete quite easily with honors/AP and facilities by looking into dual enrollment options at your local 2- or 4-year state colleges. Even if he doesn't place into say, college science courses that require calc, an intro science course aimed at non-science majors would still move faster than a college prep high school class. At this level, you're not looking to build a college transcript, just to keep his mind stimulated, so it doesn't matter that these might not be the level he would want on his college transcript later. (Besides, a lot of colleges will just consider them as part of the application package, not for transfer credit.)


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    Hi aeh, thanks for the reply. Based on all of that I think we will stick with the 50% accommodation. For DS a lot of the extra time needed is for regular adhd speed issues, but he also spends tons of time on tics and what I have dubbed digital tics (moving the mouse cursor certain ways and numbers of times, scrolling repeatedly, tapping certain keys, etc. A computer keyboard is a huge distraction for DS (not to mention the distraction of having a world of information and entertainment available at any time to compete with on task behaviors). I have asked the school since the beginning of 6th grade for paper tests and assignments, but you'd think I was asking them to grow and pound their own papyrus and hire a team of scribes to translate to hieroglyphics for all the progress I've made.

    The IEP has tons of SDI's, here are some highlights (there are about 5x this many total):

    DS should receive extended time (time and half) to complete assessments. (Had some trouble with the HS math teacher on this one, but all is well now afaik with extended time on tests)

    Homework should be adapted to reduce the repetitive content questions and reduce the number of problems on a single page. For
    instance, chunking the amount of information or options presented on a page. (I have only seen the math teacher doing this)

    When writing is not being assessed allow DS to provide answers orally. (I'm not sure how they are implementing this accommodation as the PCA was usually the person who did this and he hasn't had one in a long time, DS types at 12 WPM under testing conditions, slower in actual practice)

    Graded assignments should be adapted to reduce the number of problems/questions and reduce the number of problems on a single page. For instance, chunking the amount of information or options presented on a page. (Since pretty much all school work is on the Chromebook on things like google office apps every kid sees the same thing and none of the assignments have been adapted.)

    DS should ONLY be presented with the problems/questions that he is expected to complete. (See above. Also the only teacher who seems to be cutting down on number of questions required is the math teacher, but DS forgets he only has to do some of them and ends up doing all of them anyway... hence this accommodation which isn't being implemented)

    Tests should be adapted to reduce the repetitive content questions and reduce the number of problems on a single page. For instance,
    chunking the amount of information or options presented on a page. (Only the math teacher seems to be giving a modified version of the test)

    DS has up to 7 days from when a graded assignment is introduced to submit it for full credit. This applies to any graded assignment outside of math homework or in-class worksheets that require immediate feedback to identify misunderstandings. If a lengthier classroom project is assigned and students are provided 7 or more days to complete, DS is expected to complete it in the same amount of time. (I've been fighting this one, I want reduced workload, not extended time. There is no more time in the school year for DS than there is for the other kids and DS never gets any free time on evenings or weekends because we are always trying to catch up on school work. The school says he should be getting more done in class, but without a PCA to keep him on track and since the teacher is too busy to do the "frequent teacher check ins", DS barely gets anything done in the classroom.)

    Staff will work with DS to keep track of due dates by using a paper and electronic calendar to promote independence and organizational skills. (This planner hasn't had anything written in it in months. We were told very clearly at 2 separate meetings that anything not in the planner he was not responsible for, which led to him getting a B in ELA last trimester for incomplete work we thought he didn't have to do. This B is the reason he no longer cares about his grades, it broke his streak of straight As)

    When DS is expected to take individualized notes, the teacher will provide him with skeleton notes. Teachers will post notes on
    teacher sites for DS to access at a later time. (There are no notes, none online and none to be filled in by DS)

    DS never knows when the tests are, never knows the assignments, rarely has needed materials, never has permission slips or books he needs to read for school. There is no communication from the school and DS is basically being left to flounder because he's not causing any behavior problems and he's doing well enough.

    Just last week I had to sign a waiver to put DS in Chemistry class next year instead of standard 9th grade science because the teacher didn't recommend him due to him not getting a 96% or above in her class. He is the schools top student in both math and science by standardized test results and is getting no accommodations in science at all and is still maintaining an A due to mostly perfect test scores/natural aptitude and they want to put him in general science? I had to sign a form agreeing he did not qualify and he and I both had to write paragraphs to try to convince them to give him a try. Of course it's all "subject to availability." My paragraph was not very friendly.

    We plan on giving the HS a chance next year, maybe they will do better. If not, I guess we have more options than I thought. Thanks for your help, I'll feel a little more confident moving forward.

    Last edited by SaturnFan; 05/22/24 09:00 AM.

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