Sunday, May 23, 2010

at the end of the bell curve

I feel like I need to play catch up, and document things here, in case I ever forget, or just in case anyone is still reading despite my lack of posting.

The schedule here is maddening right now, it is the end of the year, which means extra school activities, extra extra curricular activities, and the like.

The last school meeting we had, I did not document as of yet. In good news the high ability learning team for the district came, per our request. I also had my SIL come because she has her Masters in curriculum and is a second grade teacher as well. There were at least 9 people in attendance including the school psychologist who administered SR's IQ test, and checks in with him from time to time. The principal, the vice principal, SR's homeroom teacher, a councilor, etc...you get the picture. I let DH be in charge, and he shared that position with the school.

I am fatigued emotionally after 2 years of impromptu, and planned meetings expressing my expectations etc. I had to pass it over, I have become cynical, frustrated, and am not ready to play nice any longer. I have mentioned here before, you can poke sticks at me for a while, I am actually conflict avoidant (I swear). However after 2 years of feeling poked at and unheard, I was not feeling like the best advocate.

What DH did do was make them aware that we are not idiots, we can read policy, and we are aware clearly that this child has fallen through the cracks academically, and otherwise.

The high ability learning ladies had some great ideas, and recommendations, and we will continue to work with them. They are professionals in the area of these types of children, and knew exactly what he needed, and would enjoy.

He will qualify for 2 mentors (again)next year of his and our choosing. We are currently looking again at math and science. He did take the 5th grade math AYP the other day sight unseen, and managed an 83%. His science mentor will have to provide complexity and novelty for SR, which will be challenging unless the mentor is really excited about teaching. SR also took the IOWA the other day, and although I am certain academically he is able to skip a grade or 2, emotionally he is not there. Kids like SR are very very asyncratic. Professionals in education are not used to working with children like SR, because the percentages are low. He is considered profoundly gifted, which means there are FEW real life experience with these types of children. (Please read) He can become overwhelmed with details, and noise, and sitting in a classroom with other children. although he has improved tremendously. He also does not want to be advance to another grade, it causes him anxiety, and he is concerned about bullying, and friends. When we asked the ladies that are the high ability if they had any peers in the district for SR, they announced they might have one similar thinker, not similar interests, but similar thinking and processing. We found out he tested higher than any other child in the district.......I need to keep thinking of that in order to process this.
They will differentiate his curriculum to suit him, and will educate all staff that have contact with him. (this has been a problem) He (according to current policy) will have access to a councilor on a regular basis. He will be able to study life sciences, and Earth sciences, continue his research, and present information. He will also be mentoring in the special needs classroom, and I think that community service in school will help him feel useful, and he really does genuinely have concern for others, his empathy is amazing.

You are also looking at the new chairs and co chairs of the PTO committee on high ability learners. We want to help educate parents of these children, and the staff to work together. DH will also be on the board of community review for policy for high ability learners.

PN is getting tested this fall as well.....

There is another meeting this week, where I am hoping to find out more, and make sure they have the ball rolling, I do not want it to stop.

9 comments:

ptg said...

Good luck.

kg said...

My son (now 24) was like your son many years ago. It isn't easy. School (and other people) really don't have experience with this level of giftedness. It's rare. But you are wonderful parents for him, and school (at least some of them) are trying. They are always going to be a little behind the curve. But you are right, keep looking for those that love teaching to help him along the way.
Over the course of our son's school years we did accelerate him, three years. It was his choice, but in hindsight, we think it would have been better to not. It left some major growing up to do in college. He's done ok, still on his own track. But as he's gotten older he has made a place for himself. As your son continues to advance, look to the local community college for help, and then UNL. In our state we could dual enroll between high school and college (and school district paid for it!) (that was availible for younger dau, and not our son)
We also have the younger sister---also very gifted, but a little less trouble fitting in. That helped a lot. She's in college now and loving it. She helps big brother with some of the fitting in stuff, and just being the one who understands both him and "normal" intelligent people the best.

KAEmommy said...

Hope everything goes well! I am finishing with my teaching degree (this week) and I know how important it is to have parents involved in their children's education. You are doing great!

Bou said...

I have a cousin that sounds so much like your son, it is scary. They made the mistake of advancing him and I think it was the beginning of the end for him... because the kids older weren't really sure what to do with a kid that was half their size, 2-3 years younger, and fluent in Spanish because he taught himself? It was an absolute disaster... and there was nothing for him. Private school was almost worse, although they were able to challenge him more.

He went through a seriously bad time as a teen and twenty-something trying to figure out how to fit when he realized... he didn't. He ended up marrying a GREAT girl, who came from a brilliant family and completely understood him. He went back to college and get this... he is a MATH teacher in the public school system, High School, and he will ONLY teach the high risk children. Pegged out IQ and the man wants the challenge of those others deem unreachable. He's won all sorts of awards. He really is amazing.

So you are doing the right thing. It sucks having to fight all the time for our children. I'm beaten down by it. But... it is the victories such as the one you just experienced, that give us the energy to fight the next battle.

I cannot wait to see what greatness your son has in store for this world... he has so much to offer.

Army Wife said...

Meeting #3 in the morning yawl....wish us luck

TF Marne said...

I don't know if you would be interested, but this is Task Force Marne, and we are the 3rd Infantry Division currently stationed in Iraq. We have some stories you might be interested in to post on your blog. Please visit us on Facebook before you make your decision. We are only trying to further tell the Army's story.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tikrit-Iraq/Task-Force-Marne/156320704002

Thank you for your time.

Nicole Marie said...

Hello,

I must admit I am not regular reader of your blog, but I could really use your help with a school project I am working on (note: I am NOT trying to sell you anything).

I am a graduate student in marketing at Emerson College, and we have to market a new website www.virtualcelebration.com for a class project.

It is a spot to host parties for important life events online (i.e. kids' birthdays, family holidays, etc.) and all guests can create pages with photos, videos, voice comments, games, slideshows, etc.

Here's where you come in...we think that marketing this to military wives with kids might be a good opportunity. Because you have a young child and you're already using social media through your blogging, I'm wondering if you'd be willing just to take a look at the site and provide me with some feedback. It could be all anonymous if you want, and this is purely for research (i.e. I'm not trying to get you to buy anything). I'd just really appreciate your input.

If you know anyone else in this type of situation that might also be willing to help, that would be AWESOME, as well.

Please email me if you're willing to spend a few minutes on this. I can give you some login info to see other parties already created and give you a few questions to guide your feedback. Thanks so much in advance.

nmeckert@yahoo.com or nicole.eckert@emerson.edu

Nicole Eckert
Emerson College

Nicole Marie said...

Hello,

I must admit I am not regular reader of your blog, but I could really use your help with a school project I am working on (note: I am NOT trying to sell you anything).

I am a graduate student in marketing at Emerson College, and we have to market a new website www.virtualcelebration.com for a class project.

It is a spot to host parties for important life events online (i.e. kids' birthdays, family holidays, etc.) and all guests can create pages with photos, videos, voice comments, games, slideshows, etc.

Here's where you come in...we think that marketing this to military wives with kids might be a good opportunity. Because you have a young child and you're already using social media through your blogging, I'm wondering if you'd be willing just to take a look at the site and provide me with some feedback. It could be all anonymous if you want, and this is purely for research (i.e. I'm not trying to get you to buy anything). I'd just really appreciate your input.

If you know anyone else in this type of situation that might also be willing to help, that would be AWESOME, as well.

Please email me if you're willing to spend a few minutes on this. I can give you some login info to see other parties already created and give you a few questions to guide your feedback. Thanks so much in advance.

nmeckert@yahoo.com or nicole.eckert@emerson.edu

Nicole Eckert
Emerson College

farmwifetwo said...

It's been a while since I checked your blog and was wondering how it was going.

Welcome to the land of "special" parenting and the joys of the system.

It's a crappy place to play and there's nothing they hate more is parents that know the rules and expect them followed.


Best of luck with it... Some days are better than others, some battles you expect to be difficult are easy and the easy one's difficult. Just never give up.