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The Venting Booth The Venting Booth

So OVER the school thing....

Posted by on Jun. 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM
  • 31 Replies

(Sorry this is long and I kind of ramble and rant, but I get SO MAD just thinking about it that I can't think straight!)

Before school was out for the summer, I had my oldest son tested for honors classes for next year (6th grade).

This is the child who has been bored since Kinder, the child who by three could count up to 17 objects without pointing to them or touching them (which I didn't realize was a big deal until a family friend who has her masters in early childhood education freaked out over him doing it.  She was running him around the restaurant we were in, having him count things, and said he was so smart it was scary.)

Anyway, we get the results of the testing back, and they say "your child will be best served in normal classes"  OK, I'm not agreeing, but I'm looking at the percentages they have listed, and yeah, some of his are lower than the medians listed,  so OK.  I don't agree, but OK.   Let me mention real quick that we moved here halfway through the school year this year, and he got "pass plus" on all three of his state tests this year - without having been here for most of the curriculum.

Anyway, I pull out his results again a few days ago, trying to make sense of things - when I finally see that the scoring matrix they use includes the state test scores FROM LAST SPRING.  Since we didn't live here then, they put NOTHING in those fields.  Hello, this is why his percentages are way lower than the cutoff! (And honestly, for science, they use all three of the state test scores - math, reading, and science, and WITHOUT ANY of those, he's only 13.75% too low to qualify for honors science.   13.75%!  With THREE ZERO scores! W....T.....F.....????)

I've submitted an appeal, including his state test scores from this spring, his state test scores from our previous state from last spring (he tested "advanced" in math and reading, "proficient" in writing, being one point away from advanced there too,) his report card (lowest grade was an A-)  and pretty much a demand that he gets into honors for language arts and science because I say so or else....LOL

If they still deny, I think he's going to do online, although I've read plenty of bad about them too AND my other two children will freak that they have to go to school and he doesn't.  Ugh.  I just don't want him to have to continue to do work below his level because they couldn't consider his scores fairly..... 

Ugh.  I really didnt think it was going to be this hard.  When did we lose all control over what our children learn?  *I* say he needs honors, at the very least in LA and science, why isn't that good enough? 

by on Jun. 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Justamon
by Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 1:09 PM
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I'm a teacher and I have quite a bit of knowledge BUT if a child is bored, my gosh let's allow him to become "un bored." I had a 6th grade student acting out, and his IQ was 138!!! Guess what I had to tackle first BEFORE they would allow him to move up so he was challenged. Behavior! So, he and I had a very long talk...we worked hard on his behavior...but, it made no difference, well not really. He continued in the same grade and classes but the teachers and I, and his parents all came together to develop challenging curriculum for him. A little ingenuity brought about a different outcome. Don't be afraid to be an advocate for your child, parents do and should have a say in their children's education. Don't let him become bored....one reason students "drop out" is because they become bored. Let's challenge and teach our children...Good Luck! 

JayeC2
by Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 1:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you!  I was that child - I was ahead of the others, and so bored that I would finish my work and have a hard time waiting for everyone else to.  Of course, this was ages ago, and gifted programs were very new and we didn't have them in our little county school.  My first grade teacher sent me to second grade for reading, but when that same second grade teacher wanted to pass me to to third grade for reading the next year, a parent complained that I was getting an unfair advantage.  So instead, she borrowed SRA's from a fifth grade teacher, thinking that would keep me busy.  I did 25% of them the first two weeks of second grade, so she had to limit me to one per week after that.  I don't blame them, they did what they were allowed to do for me.  My mom probably should have advocated for me more than she did, but there just weren't any programs for me back then.  I do remember they suggested I skip a grade, but she didn't want to move me ahead.

So far, no behavior issues with my DS, but he doesn't participate much because he's just over it.  He hates reading aloud in class, since to him everyone else reads so slowly, even with being placed in the high reading group.  

Thanks for backing me up on this :)  I've had a few people make me feel like I'm being unrealistic, or question why I "need" someone else to tell me my kid is smart - it's not that at all!  I just want him to NOT be bored and start hating school like I did! 

WickedOpal
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 4:18 AM
1 mom liked this

I remember the slow reading when I was a child.  I was so bored.  I remember being bored a lot in class.  They all thought I had an attention issue, when really, it was a bored as heck issue.  I am so glad they have gifted now for my DS.  Even then, he is still bored, but it's not as bad.  I feel for you both.

Jannarella
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 4:41 AM
1 mom liked this

Online is good. My child is in it. From experience I can tell you she absolutely loves it. She finished 3rd grade math by christmas vacation and will be starting 5th grade math in the fall due to the fact that she finished 4th grade math by the end of the year. She is at a 7th grade reading and comprehension level (Going into 4th grade) and her writing is great. With common core looming in the near distance I would say online is the best if you do not want to do traditional home schooling. (yes they will do what the states do but if it's at home you know whats being taught and how) Unlike regular public school the lessons cannot be hidden from you becuase you know what he is learning and can  go through it too.

They will send each child their own computer if you decide to put all of your children into the online school and you will get a stipend and the end of each semester to help with your internet cost. All schools have outing so they will be able to meet other kids from school as well. Us homeschoolers are not as kooky as everyone thinks, we just know how to read and think critically. LOL

Also you don't have to send an intent to homeschool letter becuase since it is online public school they will send the necesary changing document to the school as if you were in a brick & mortar school.

I started my oldest in online becuase she was being teacher bullied due to her race (her and 3 other students who were not of a certain blood line were targeted by this teacher. My daughter got the worst becuase she was a Military child.)  Now she started school on a military base and did head start and preschool there. When she started kinder in CA she was bored and then I found out about the bullying and acouple of questionable incidents at the school. Teacher bullying is the worst kind becuase we trust these people to care for our children. When  she started 1st grade she was already ahead. We moved and she had to attend regular public school becuase Michigans Virtual Academy hit there student limit for 1st grade. She was getting a weeks worth of homework and finishing it in one maybe 2 hours. THE WHOLE PACKET!!!!!!!. So I know where you're coming from.

KsAangel25
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 6:25 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow, good luck. Our school district doesn't believe in passing or holding back students. Even though in their own words one of my daughters is "gifted." She's starting to become bored in class. I tell her to take a book out and read. She'll draw all over her tests instead. It's not lack of maturity. She's the oldest 8 year old you'll ever meet. They just don't want her to feel different from the other students. When did individuality become such a terrible thing now?!?
JayeC2
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM

OH ladies - while I'm sorry you are going through this, there is a small part of me that is so glad I'm not the only one.  I've been through the whole range of emotions since last week over all of this.  I still don't know what the school is going to say about my appeal (the secretary said she was "sure you'll hear something in July") and since school starts here at the end of July, I think I'm going to go ahead and start the enrollment process for online and then just not finish if they approve him for honors.  

I did get to talk to another parent from our district with middle schoolers, and she says they are VERY picky as to the cutoffs for their honors program.  We are one of the richer districts in the state, and they want to keep their numbers good, and all of that.  So after that I'm not at all confident that they will approve him for THIS year.  Her opinion was that I suck it up this year since it's ONLY 6th grade, and that he would probably get approved next year.  Not really what I wanted to hear, but I respect her opinion.  

Jannarella - which online do your kids use?  I'm hearing more bad than good about k12, and about equally bad/good with Connections, although most of the bad I've read about Connections says if your child is ahead, it's awesome, not so much if they are behind.  Our state gives Connections a D, and our public school is an A.  

Our middle offers languages to our 8th graders, but they have to test into that.  If I do online, he can take language this fall.  I'm really failing to see too many drawbacks to this! 

Runner36
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM
1 mom liked this

Good luck with all of this.  My oldest ds has always been in honors or the G/T (gifted/ talented) classes.  They refused to put in in the G/T program here...but since we were only here for 6 weeks of his 6th grade year, I sucked it up and put him in all honors classes for 7th grade (which they allowed based on his previous scores/ schooling in the last school district).

I would pull my son out and have him do online schoolingin a heartbeat if my dh would allow it.  I know he would thrive and probably be done with high school already.  Hopefully you hear good news soon, but if not...I vote for online schooling :)  Good luck mama!!

JayeC2
by Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Thanks!  I feel extremely lucky that my DH is supporting my decision, whatever I decide to do.  At this point, all three kiddos want to do online.  I'm trying to make sure they realize it's going to be as much (or more) work than "real" school.  I'm a tiny bit worried about the social aspect of it, but I can work that out.  I already found a homeschool robotics team that will take oldest DS....

There is also a tiny piece of me that is a little sad that I won't have those 6 hours a day with just me and the dog...LOL  But it will be fun having the kiddos here all day too.  :) 

Quoting Runner36:

Good luck with all of this.  My oldest ds has always been in honors or the G/T (gifted/ talented) classes.  They refused to put in in the G/T program here...but since we were only here for 6 weeks of his 6th grade year, I sucked it up and put him in all honors classes for 7th grade (which they allowed based on his previous scores/ schooling in the last school district).

I would pull my son out and have him do online schoolingin a heartbeat if my dh would allow it.  I know he would thrive and probably be done with high school already.  Hopefully you hear good news soon, but if not...I vote for online schooling :)  Good luck mama!!


Pecuellar
by Member on Jun. 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

 That is what happens when the district lets a computer do their job.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jun. 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I agree with your frustration.  The test scores would have made this easy.  But I think you're right to request they include past scores at least.  Perhaps you can request they put him in the advanced classes on a trial basis and if he's not achieving a certain grade like A or B (or perhaps C initially since he might need to do some initial catch up because he hasn't been in these classes in the past).  I've seen that work.  However, administrators and teachers sometimes really have their hands tied and are unable to make exceptions.  It's very frustrating for everyone involved in these cases but sometimes it happens.

If you cannot get him into advanced classes, perhaps you can suppliment with after school activities.  You're likely already doing that.

And there's online school.  I've taught for 3 different ones (and also taught in a physical classroom) and they're very different.  Amazing for some students and not for others.  If you want to discuss more details (what you might want to consider, etc), let me know and I'll PM you.  I have a lot of thoughts on the matter but it probably doesn't interest you unless you end up going that route.  In short, it really depends what your school goals are.  :)

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