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    Joined: Aug 2010
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    I'm new to this forum, this is my first post. My 6yo son is in K, and is currently taking math with 1st grade, which he loves. I'm specifically looking for suggestions I can discuss with the school for him for math next year - school administration is telling me they can't guarantee classroom schedules will allow him to move on to 2nd grade math next year, and he may have to retake a full year of 1st grade math.

    I have my 2nd meeting with the VP tomorrow morning, to discuss this further. They don't set classroom schedules till August of next school year, so no one will be able to guarantee us anything. However, I do want to discuss options for him if he's unable to move on to 2nd grade math due to scheduling conflicts.

    What are some options that others have used? My goal is for him to learn at least the 2nd grade math curriculum next year so he can move on to 3rd grade math the following year. I believe he really needs curriculum compaction so he can move up two grade levels instead of one, but I don't plan to bring that up at this point.

    I've thought of him being excused to the computer lab to learn 2nd grade math on his own while his classmates are in their math block, although that seems a very dry way to learn math. I've thought of hiring a tutor to teach him 2nd grade math one or two days a week (much cheaper than moving to a private school). I've talked with two other K families about having a math group for the three children where we, the parents, are responsible for teaching them 2nd grade math. I'd appreciate ideas and experience from others, workable suggestions I can discuss with the school administration. That's the meat of this post.

    A few more background items for context, if it's helpful. A)Because he didn't pass the school district's GT test last fall, he is not eligible for an IEP. This means I have to start over each year advocating for him with his new teacher. The school district does not accept outside testing (which we do have, showing he is gifted). B) His current 1st grade math teacher is recommending that I ask his current K teacher to help us advocate for him at the beginning of next school year, and hopefully the schedules will work out, rather than escalate to the principal if the VP proves unhelpful. C) The VP, who I'm being directed to for the time being, is in her 1st year with the school; is not familiar with the 1st and 2nd grade math curricula; is completely overworked because of exploding student population (due to the stellar IB program) concurrent with terrible budget cuts; has a lot of advanced learners in the lower grades (changing school demographics), and she's not understanding yet that his math skills are beyond those of other advanced learners in his grade. Because he didn't pass the school district's GT test, I don't have much weight behind me. She's not really informed enough for our previous conversation to be productive. I'm hoping tomorrow's will be more productive. Thanks for any suggestions.

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    Thanks much for your suggestions. The VP ended up calling me this morning and cancelling our meeting, saying she had talked with the principal, and all agreed they can't discuss this with me till beginning of next school year because they don't set schedules till August. She reiterated their goal is to accommodate advanced learners within their grades rather than moving to different grades, but she did end the conversation saying DS is on their radar screen and they do understand he has advanced math abilities.

    I'm meeting with the educational counseling specialist next week (she did his testing last summer) to discuss viable options for us next year if he's unable to attend 2nd grade math. I'm going to discuss your suggestions with her, and ask about any specific math achievement tests we could use to help make our case next year if we need to.

    Actually, as I think out loud, I should probably ask if the school can administer a math assessment for him at the end of this year or beginning of next. I personally think he's ready to skip one more grade level and go directly to 3rd grade math, which may have fewer scheduling issues. They used STAR Math to assess him at beginning of K, but I never received results, and I don't know anything about that program. Thanks for all your suggestions, your response is really helpful.

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    It seems wrong that the vp just calls off the meeting until next year. It is still part of their job to meet w/parents and keep aware of issues. I agree w/ finding the math coordinator and getting them involved to take an assessment. Remember that if you request in writing that certain test be done there is more likely to be a response or action, send copy to district office as well as building principal.

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    I think that what your son needs could/should be determined not based on a scheduled list of classes, but based on what he needs. I would consider trying to get the meeting to discuss standard class possibilities and out of the box possibilities, regardless of schedule, perhaps a best case scenario. Then after that maybe the fall can be a time to finalize...?

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    We've had similar issues with scheduling math acceleration. This is one of the reasons that a full grade acceleration would be a great option if you DS has high abilities across the board.

    Unfortunately for us, DS was skipped a grade and then subject accelerated further and no one wants to grade skip him again regardless of his across the board qualifications, although it's certainly tempting to us.

    So, here's what we did. This year there was no 2nd grade class whose math time lined up with a 3rd grade class's math time. They looked at it every which way, but they just couldn't make it work. So my DS7 has to switch between teachers. He has a 2nd grade teacher, whom he is with for most of the day. About 15 minutes into the day he goes to 3rd grade math. When my DS returns from math his regular class is working on math so my DS works on something else (there is a teacher around if he needs help). Then he's with his 2nd grade class most of the day until the end of the day he goes to another 2nd grade teacher to do the reading he missed with his class while he was at math. So, essentially, he has a regular teacher, a math teacher, and a reading teacher that he moves among on his own. His school was very concerned that a young 2nd grader wouldn't be able to handle all the switching and would feel like he didn't belong in any class, but that has really not been the case. In fact, DS says it keeps the day interesting, which is good since math is the only thing that's at his appropriate level all day long.

    A couple of years ago our DD was subject accelerated for both math and reading, and because of the schedule and them not wanting her to keep coming and going, she ended up doing 3rd grade all morning long (reading, math, writing, art, gym) and 2nd grade in the afternoon (lunch, social studies, science). Spelling ended up pretty much getting lost in the shuffle, but no one was worried since she was a good speller. This 2nd/3rd grade split worked well for the year. Still, the next year, she just ended up moving to 4th grade entirely.

    So, all this is to say that maybe some creative schedule shifting can be done if math doesn't directly line up between grades. Or maybe you should consider a grade skip. IMO, if they know your DS needs 2nd grade math, they are obligated to give him 2nd grade math. Or keep 3rd grade math an option if that schedule works out better? Might be worth asking.

    Last edited by mnmom23; 04/08/11 04:00 PM.

    She thought she could, so she did.
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    These are all such helpful suggestions, thank you. After reading these, I realize we need some math achievement testing. I like seeing that it's possible to get really creative with scheduling, provided teachers are willing, and the achievement testing would help us support the need for it. I've put all these suggestions into a list and am working on a plan; I hope the meeting with the outside educational counseling specialist will help. (And yes, kcab, she'll attend meetings with school if we ask, which is a nice backup if we need it.)

    As an aside, I found out last night that the school has lost $158K in funding for the IB program due to severe budget cuts, so the admin has larger concerns on their hands right now than DS, who is one of 500 elementary school students. And a quick note on acceleration - right now, his reading needs are being met through ability grouping at grade level, and he's thriving socially, so I think math acceleration seems to be the best for him at this point in time. I'm so glad I found this forum, I now have the benefit of others' experience rather than starting from scratch, thank you!

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    Just a quick comment, since others have given you great advice. We (eventually) got great math accommodations for our DS when he was in kindergarten. The school gave him achievement testing finally, and then the GT coordinator basically tutored him by giving him 2nd grade math, compacting the school's curriculum. We had big problems the following year, though, because the plan and continuation of the plan was nowhere in writing. Sop the following year, when our DS was grade-skipped to 2nd, which was in a different local school, and the GT coordinator went back to classroom teaching, we basically started over with the new school. Our DS was getting the exact same 2nd grade curriculum that he had already done the previous spring, and it took lots of intense meetings to get this issue resolved.

    Bottom line, if you can, I highly recommend getting specific accommodations in writing, and a plan for the future (at least the following year) in writing (e.g., continue with math where he left off, with compacting if necessary, etc., i.e, this child does not need to repeat any math!!!) Teachers change, schools change, people misinterpret/don't remember.

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    I wish I could get something in writing. Our district doesn't do IEPs except for special ed students on the other end of the bell curve. All I can do is document with his current K teacher, and she and I can present it to his new teacher next year.

    I met with the educational counseling specialist today and she wants to do achievement testing before developing a backup plan for him for next year, if the scheduling doesn't work for him to take 2nd grade math. It will also help support my requests for whatever accommodations we're asking for, even if the scheduling does work out. The cost of consultations and achievement testing is irksome, particularly if scheduling is such that he can go to 2nd grade math anyway, but I keep telling myself it's cost-effective compared to private school, it will give us a better picture of his abilities/needs, and I can better advocate when I'm confident about what I'm advocating for.

    She's recommending the KTEA-II. I searched old forum threads on this site, but didn't find much about it other than some concern about ceilings, which I am NOT concerned about in our case. I'm hoping this is a reasonable test for what we need though. Not asking for any advice particularly, mostly following up, everyone's advice has been so helpful. I have some questions for mnmom about creative scheduling that I will attempt to do off the public forum if I can figure it out.

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    Can you request them to put a goal plan for the following year in writing? My district doesn't do IEP's for gifted either, but this is what they are doing. They are going to include a plan B if the differentiation isn't working that they will be using with my dd. We don't have gifted laws, so legally I don't think it will have any weight, but to me it is their word in writing and will carry some weight b/c they would look bad if they didn't follow through. They also can't pretend like they didn't say something if it is in writing and they signed off on it. That is something they have been doing a lot this year.

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    Hi there,
    My DS10 was always very, very interested in math but his school did not test for giftedness until the end of grade 3 and couldn't provide him with any additional math instruction. By chance we found a place called Mathnasium- a math learning center- that fit his needs wonderfully. The creator of this franchise had a son who was profoundly gifted in Math and most of the curriculum is based on how he taught him the concepts along with the skills. Needless to say my son had a ball- his assessment put him way above his grade level and they allowed him to work on any area of math he was interested in. There aren't many of them but I would definitely go to the website to see if there is one in your area. Was a life saver for us! HTH.


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