Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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.

life goes on

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I am taking cheesecake...

We have yet another meeting at the school tomorrow.

The last meeting was very hard for me to figure out. I normally am a great read, but take an educator who has been in practice for 16 or so years, who is trying to cover his ass, and placate at the same time...I left feeling almost exactly like I did going in.

Also note I PROMISED myself I would shut my mouth, and let DH handle it. 4 minutes into it, I was biting at the bit. I was good, and just spoke my heart....

We met with the principal, (who we found out) was one of the writers of the "gifted and talented policy". We asked him about his policy, and pointed out the several discrepancies between what they told us they would do, their non communication of the policy, and how the policy is a great policy, but only when being adhered to.

I will not go into it too deeply here, because frankly there is too much information, and my brain as far as this is concerned is MAXED out. If they followed the policy, we would have a child who was enjoying school, and not bored.

Every meeting I have had, every single time I have mentioned re: my son, well in almost 2 years, it feels like it fell on deaf ears.

Hence the reason I have let DH, take the drivers seat on this. He is diplomatic, a team player, and extremely good at developing policy. He had the principal stumped a couple of times, and I even saw the poor man turn a shade of almost green when my husband pointed out a specific failure.

It really comes down to a couple of things. Just because someone is credentialed, does not mean they will care, or will know how to implement a plan, and common sense.

I am unsure what happened to common sense but I am amazed daily by the lack of it.

I will also add here, we have a case of a child who is misunderstood by his teachers, and heck most folks, and from what the school psychologist has mentioned, it might be that way until college.

That means my child is coming home and reading Scientific American because he wants to, he is curious, and understands concepts that frankly most adults have trouble with...

and tonight the poor kid had to fill out a homework sheet about people pulling an over sized carrot out of the ground with the assistance of a mouse, and cat.

No wonder he is frustrated, and acting out. He wants to study biology, physics, chemistry....and they are giving him homework about a carrot......

and they wonder what his problem is.

Pray for us. DH has been working very hard...very very hard on this power point for tomorrow. He knows the policy like the back of his hand...

I am going to try and keep my mouth closed and let him keep this staff on task, I have nothing new to tell these people. I have said my piece....

PRAY