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Siddow
09-18-2007, 03:45 AM
My second son started kindergarten this year. (snif. he's a big boy now!)

The school had placement testing during the summer, and although I didn't get (read: wasn't given) results of the test, they put him in a regular classroom with the rest of the n00bs. His teacher transferred out the first week, and the assistant became the new head teacher. I met her during Curriculum night (two weeks into the school year), cornered her (sort of, just chit-chat, ya know?) and asked how my boy was adjusting, was he behaving, did he pay attention, is there anything I should be doing at home to help him succeed in school, was he a good student?

She said he was doing great.

Now, four weeks into the school year, I get a letter from the Early Intervention teacher, saying my kid is going to placed into the EIP program, which in my olden days of school, was the LD class (learning disabled). I disagree with this assessment, not only because I'm a proud mama, but because I have his schoolwork. He's doing well. I have a copy of his four-week assessment from his teacher, and he's exceeding in 18 out of 21 levels that he's been assessed on. It's only been four weeks.

My plan is to fight the move, based on his scores. Nicely, of course, requesting a re-assessment at twelve weeks. Any advice you can offer me?

Jersey Chick
09-18-2007, 03:51 AM
I would ask them on what basis are they deciding (wow - proper grammar and all!). How can they justify it after four weeks? THere's nothing wrong with asking (nicely, of course ;)) - it's your right as a parent to know why they are labeling him as such.

The_Grand_Duchess
09-18-2007, 03:51 AM
I would say to ask what specifically they were trying to move him for. I mean it may not be his schoolwork but he may have a problem with a large group of kids (although if he's anything like his mother I find this unlikely :) ).

Yeah, ask for it to be reassessed at 12 weeks.

Good luck and *hugs*!

akiwiguy
09-18-2007, 04:00 AM
Not sure of all of the ramifications of what you're saying, since I'm not from US, but food for thought...

My daughter was put on a program for those with reading disabilities (I think at about 5 years of age). She has since been dux of her primary and intermediate schools and won the only scholarship to a secondary school (which was never used because we moved). She is a prolific reader, churning through novels at the rate of one every couple of nights, and is a very good creative writer. When I look back, although it worried a bit at the time, I'm wondering whether the additional help might have actually put her at a distinct advantage over other students, and set up really good literary skills for life.

Not quite your exact scenario, but I think an interesting perspective.

Carole
09-18-2007, 04:04 AM
Ok, I am VERY VERY biased on this subject...and that's my disclaimer.

When my older son was in 1st grade, his teacher went to a "seminar" on ADHD. She DAIGNOSED (I swear, she actually said that, and no she wasn't qualified) him with ADHD and immediately began her own little "intervention". She demanded that we start him on Ritalin immediately. When we didn't because he didn't HAVE ADHD, that is when the real battle began. She singled him out and made his life very difficult from the second week of school on. He's never been actually diagnosed with ADHD, I might add, although he was evaluated on three different occasions by real-live licensed psychiatrists.

While ADHD isn't your complaint, I am saying this because you definitely need to step in here and become very active to make sure the best interest of your child is really what's at the bottom of it all. What happens to your child in the early years of school will stay with them throughout school, and what is told to them they will eventually believe with all their little hearts.

With my son, his teacher's "diagnosis" began a snowball of problems that followed him until he reached high school. He was labeled early, and by someone completely unqualified. But because it was on his record, that was the very first thing any new teacher saw and that became their first impression. We have been told more than once by a new teacher, "Oh...yes, I have read his file. I'm ready for him". No kidding.

His "ADHD" put him in the "problem child" category. He was EXPELLED in the first grade for carrying a "concealed weapon!!!", also known as a GI Joe toy. We had to petition the school board to get THAT one reversed. When we were in that hearing, we were actually told that there was zero tolerance for "weapons", even if they were obviously not real and that my son was being made an example. Can you imagine?! It was a 2-inch long rubber knife, for crying out loud.

Step in early and step in with both feet. The only real friends a child has in this world are his family. While there are countless wonderful teachers out there, your child is not their son and they will not be the ones losing sleep in years to come if they screw him out out of the gate.

Sorry to sound like a lioness about this, but I spent several years trying to undo the train wreck that his teacher started for him.

Foinah
09-18-2007, 04:04 AM
Perhaps he is being reassigned because of a behavioral issue? Social interaction is looked upon and gauged as well as academic progress in the first levels of education.

I'd demand a meeting with the teachers and the principal to discuss the move. I'd even be polite (a major stretch, trust me!) -- well, until I wasn't any more ;)

Good luck!

dolores haze
09-18-2007, 04:08 AM
You need more information. Schedule a meeting with the teachers ASAP, and listen to everything they have to say before you make a decision. Are they saying your child will be in a full time early intervention classroom, or be getting a couple of EI sessions a week?

WendyNYC
09-18-2007, 04:11 AM
It seems early to me for them to be making these kinds of assessments, but perhaps that is the norm where you live. if you think they are off-base, can you have him privately tested? The Sanford-Binet and the WPPSI are two IQ tests used here in New York for younger kids (4 and up, I believe).

Shadow_Ferret
09-18-2007, 04:14 AM
What's a n00bs and should I be upset if you're referring to my kid?

Siddow
09-18-2007, 04:31 AM
What's a n00bs and should I be upset if you're referring to my kid?

A n00bie scholar, silly! My kids are home with me until they hit school age, so all their fvcked-up-ness is my fault, of course. :D

No, I'm all for early intervention when there's something that can be done for a differently-learning child. I think this is premature. At the first Curriculum meeting, there were, literally, a hundred or more parents whose kindergartners had been labeled EIP (Early Intervention Program) during the summer screening.

My kid's teacher is a n00b (hehe), planned to work as a teacher's assistant before taking on her own class, and got thrown into it because the main teacher quit. (transferred within the school system, actually, but still quit THIS class)

Thank you all for your replies. Keep them coming. I feel like I'm in for an uphill battle, and I'm really not up for homeschool. As good as I think I could do, I still think the school system could do better. I just want the chance to bring him to the front of the class, like my first boy, who started school in much this same way without any talk of EIP.

Joe270
09-18-2007, 04:34 AM
Siddow, this can be a really bad deal. It could be that GA is like TX, the schools get extra money for kids in 'special' programs, so they stuff as many in there as possible.

The suggestions above are helpful, but find out if that is the case in your school district. If it is, confront them on the issue.

My son had a 'lazy r' problem. You know the deal, 'wascally wabbit' speech. The school wanted him in speech class. He'd miss recess, which is where kids dump off their excess energy so they aren't so fidgety in class. I saw a spiral ahead and insisted on periodic re-evaluations, they agreed. He was out of speech therapy in six months.

If I hadn't have insisted on the reviews, he'd have been labeled and remained a cash cow for the school. Don't let them get away with it. Keep on 'em like white on rice.

Azraelsbane
09-18-2007, 04:42 AM
This is probably a stupid question, but did it mention which IEP they wanted to put him in? I was an IEP kid, but I was in gifted, which was the program for kids with 135+ IQs. Did they specifically say it with a negative connotation? I'd make an appointment for a parent/teacher conference asap. I have no idea how your state does things.

Carole
09-18-2007, 04:43 AM
Siddow, this can be a really bad deal. It could be that GA is like TX, the schools get extra money for kids in 'special' programs, so they stuff as many in there as possible.




OMG! I totally forgot about that! That is why my son's teacher went to the seminar in the first place! Absolutely, Siddow - look into this.

Now, of course if your child needs extra attention, you want him to have it. You just don't want him to have no options and to be at the mercy of a school system that may not really care about him.


Azraelsbane, high IQs go hand in hand with what some teachers call a "special needs" kid and also with Attention Deficit Disorder. Sometimes you just can't win for losing.

reigningcatsndogs
09-18-2007, 04:57 AM
I'm not sure if this is any help, because my experience is in BC schools with an autistic child, but here the minute a child is identified as MAYBE requiring an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or for early intervention, the parents are to be brought in to a team meeting (principal, vp, teacher, and anyone else who may need to be involved in his education). At the initial meetings, school district reps are also there -- district psychologist, special ed co-ordinator, etc. The situation should be discussed then in great detail, and a decision is made as to whether or not the extra attention is required. They follow the same procedure when dealing with gifted students as well, at least they are supposed to.

Greg's kindergarten teacher moved heaven and earth to find fault with Greg (he is not the autistic one). She even had me come in to a meeting because she had 'evidence' that Greg was totally color blind. This was three weeks into the year. He wasn't. He isn't. He did have some wonderful teachers along the way, but his K teacher just was adamant that she would find something wrong with him. The whole year was filled with delightful tidbits like that. Teachers are human, however, and so perhaps it was a personality thing or whatever, but it was a bad year because I didn't jump on it and go to the principal right away to discuss the problems.

The most significant thing I think I can tell you is that the principal at your school will make the biggest influence. If you have a principal that you can talk to and who is open and available, that will be 90% of the battle. They will set the tone for all meetings, for how the teachers interact with you and your son, and a billion other things. Talk to the teacher immediately to find out her criteria, the basis for her 'diagnosis', and then meet with the principal. And yes, there is a dramatic difference in the level of funding the school district receives when they have a special ed student, at least here in Canada. My numbers are a couple of years old, but where a mainstream child in the BC education system generates approx $7,000/yr for the school district, a 'High cost, low incident' special needs child like my son generated approx $130,000/yr more. That's good because it is to be used for whatever services the child needs. The bad thing about our system is that the money goes into the School District coiffers to be used 'generally on special needs education', which translates to the fact that it never actually has to go to the individual student. It's a loophole that they, as administrators, seem to love.

Hang in there, and I'll be praying for you that things go well.

Siddow
09-18-2007, 05:07 AM
This is probably a stupid question, but did it mention which IEP they wanted to put him in? I was an IEP kid, but I was in gifted, which was the program for kids with 135+ IQs. Did they specifically say it with a negative connotation? I'd make an appointment for a parent/teacher conference asap. I have no idea how your state does things.

Not a stupid question at all. We have Advanced Placement classes here. I was in them. It's for the kids who finish their work in five minutes, and go somewhere else while the rest of the class takes up the rest of the hour. :D

No, I got the Form Letter that was sent out before the school year started, with the sentence about the special meeting for parents with the date and time scratched out.

Hense my frustration. There's a space for the parent's name, and it's blank. Pisses me off. I've been involved in this school system for six years. I don't like form letters, parts blacked out, missing my name. Makes me feel like they're not seeing the big picture.

And I still feel like I should have heard from his teacher first. She has my phone number. Make a call, ya know?

Azraelsbane
09-18-2007, 05:10 AM
Not a stupid question at all. We have Advanced Placement classes here. I was in them. It's for the kids who finish their work in five minutes, and go somewhere else while the rest of the class takes up the rest of the hour. :D

No, I got the Form Letter that was sent out before the school year started, with the sentence about the special meeting for parents with the date and time scratched out.

Hense my frustration. There's a space for the parent's name, and it's blank. Pisses me off. I've been involved in this school system for six years. I don't like form letters, parts blacked out, missing my name. Makes me feel like they're not seeing the big picture.

And I still feel like I should have heard from his teacher first. She has my phone number. Make a call, ya know?

Yeah, that form letter thing is a little screwy. Hope you find out what the heck is up with them at the school, and everything turns out for the best.

tjwriter
09-18-2007, 05:10 AM
Sigh. I'm sorry.

Stuff likes this makes me wonder about putting Piper in school... I don't want to have to deal with this kind of stuff. I can't keep my cool that well.

Talk to whoever it takes to get an explanation and request reassessments as often as you feel are needed.

Siddow
09-18-2007, 05:49 AM
Sigh. I'm sorry.

Stuff likes this makes me wonder about putting Piper in school... I don't want to have to deal with this kind of stuff. I can't keep my cool that well.

Talk to whoever it takes to get an explanation and request reassessments as often as you feel are needed.

No matter how silly/stupid the public education system gets, I still like the way they make my children become independant. I'm watching, and complaining when needed, but I'm not physically there, and I think that's a great experience for kids who intend to be grown-ups.

I'm trying to raise adults, here. Raising kids is easy. Raising adults is HARD. Don't be scared of the education system. I really do think it works, when partnered with learning from home. It's great for kids for to get bumps along the way, it's just hard to discern the bumps from the scars.

Azraelsbane
09-18-2007, 05:52 AM
No matter how silly/stupid the public education system gets, I still like the way they make my children become independant. I'm watching, and complaining when needed, but I'm not physically there, and I think that's a great experience for kids who intend to be grown-ups.

I'm trying to raise adults, here. Raising kids is easy. Raising adults is HARD. Don't be scared of the education system. I really do think it works, when partnered with learning from home. It's great for kids for to get bumps along the way, it's just hard to discern the bumps from the scars.

I would encourage homeschooling as a last resort. I know a slew of kids who are homeschooled, and I have yet to meet one who was well adapted to the outside world. It's just my personal opinion, but I think elementary school is about 70% social skills and 30% education. Definitely deal with the problem, but think really really hard before removing a child from the school system entirely.

Tymolee
09-18-2007, 06:15 AM
Sorry to hear about your troubles, Siddow.

I have to second what everyone else here is saying... step in early.

I had a similar problem to Carole (though not nearly as bad - I'm sorry to hear what happened to your son, Carole). My son is going into first grade. In kindergarten, his asthma specialist switched his medication and he was absolutely off the wall. Violent, aggressive, very unlike himself. I called his teacher to warn him of the side effects we were seeing and to see if she had also noticed a change in his behavior. She had, and she was planning on calling me to discuss it. I explained that we had to wean him off the medication, but that once that was over she should see that his behavior would improve.

She had been concerned, thinking that he might be ADHD or have behavioral problems. I explained it was the medication and, though doubtful, she agreed to wait before recommending him for further evaluation. Sure enough, a couple weeks later, he was back to his mellow little self. There was no more talk of ADHD.

I think you should definitely call the teacher and the principal, ask to see the tests results, have him reevaluated and speak to the counselor or whomever administrated these tests. Try and get all the information. Have him independently tested. A neutral third party test administrator might be really helpful.

I wouldn't go in with guns blazing, so to speak, quite yet. But I would be firm and insist that I have all the information before putting him in an EID program.

Soccer Mom
09-18-2007, 06:46 AM
I agree for not going in guns blazing. Listen to what they say first. You absolutely know your child best, but hear the teacher out. She might have a different perspective.

My youngest is repeating Kindergarten and holding him back was the best decision. He really struggled last year and is doing great. His teacher is fantastic and he's glad to be in her class again.

BTW: both my kids have done speech in TX schools and the results were phenomenal. It's free therapy twice a week for 15 minutes at a time, but really helped. I actually got more aggressive and had my youngest evaluated on my insurance company's dime. Insurance throws up like a million hoops, but I jumped through and now youngest gets an hours worth of OT and speech a week.


I'm not always happy with the school, but nothing in life is perfect. I'm lucky to have a good school system here, but sometimes it's all in how you approach them.

JLCwrites
09-18-2007, 07:15 AM
Ditto to the statements on finding out whats up.

I was a teacher (before I became a parent) and had to sit in on a meeting that ended up putting a child back a grade. (I was in tears, but it needed to be done. The parents previously did not have their child in school, or home schooled for an entire year due to family issues.)

No teacher should make these decisions lightly, hopefully there is a VERY good reason they are suggesting this, otherwise fight it.

I've helped other parents when confronting administration or teachers with unfounded decisions. (One parent was new in our country and was confused as to why her child was being labeled ESL even though he was born in the US and grew up with parents who spoke both languages. Her son showed no signs of difficulty mastering English!) It is frustrating because, as stated in another post, the label stays with the child each year in school. It can be noted on the child's records and affect the teacher's perception of that child.

Public education shouldn't be dismissed. There are always issues or teachers a parent and child needs to overcome. That's life! There are also plenty of AMAZING teachers and programs that are found in public schools.
(Not attacking other educational environments, just defending Pub. Edu.) :)

Cassiopeia
09-18-2007, 07:51 AM
You have every right to understand the reasons behind putting him in an Educational Individualized Program. You should also ask for testing to be done by the school district and not just the special education teacher at the school. Challenge them on all fronts.

When that is said and done, should your child still show and it is justifiably shown needs an EIP, do not fight it. Do not run from it as though it were a label.

For many years, my son was misdiagnosed by his school and because of that I rebelled. However, when we were in South Africa, they did testing as well and more specifically were able to identify that there were gaps in my son's education as well as the fact that he had Occupational issues left unattended by our schools in Utah.

My son, never developed proper use of his gross or fine motor skills. They caught it in South Africa. He went into Occupational Therapy. To this day at 16 his handwriting is that of a 4th grade child and will most likely never improve much beyond that. Thankfully he gets to use a laptop. He has also been diagnosed and correctly this time with sensory integrations problems which are improving with time and techniques. Unlike most people, he can not filter out ambient noises or light. He is always in fight or flight mode so he is easy overwhelmed through his senses on all fronts and can have severe asthma attacks because of it.

Now after fighting for his rights after all these years we come to high school, were basically, it doesn't matter, the kids just skate by anyway. However, he is awakening to the truth that he will succeed only if HE does it because the system isn't geared to help him now so long after the fact.

Had they paid attention to him in kindergarten like I begged them to, and as was confirmed by his Occupational Therapists both in South Africa and here now, he would have been given the help with early on and done much better in his school career.

So, don't believe them and don't disbelieve them. Do what's best for your child and forget the labels. My son's father wouldn't listen to me or anyone else but now, he is finally getting that it isn't something to be ashamed of or wrong to have a learning disability and it must be addressed.

I am not saying your child does or doesn't. Just make sure that they are getting the best possible education NOW at this age so they aren't fighting a battle later on that is only worsened by setting aside the help they might need now.

All the best *hugs*

Siddow
09-18-2007, 04:06 PM
I talked to the specialist this morning, the one who sent the note home.

"Just disregard that. It was a mistake. I'm not going to be working with your son at this time."

grumble, grumble...

In one way, I'm relieved, but in another, I'm frustrated! What the heck are they doing in that school? Ah well, at least I have more time to bring him up to speed on the things he IS behind on.

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories.

Carole
09-18-2007, 04:10 PM
That's weird. What happened? Did the specialist's schedule fill up? They said that they aren't going to be working with your son at this time. Did they also say that your son doesn't NEED it? If so, how was the mistake made? Is his name similar to another child's who does?

That "mistake" just sounds very fishy to me.

Siddow
09-18-2007, 04:26 PM
She said that she was going over the test scores from the summer screening, and selected some kids who scored on the lower end (but not low enough to have been placed in the intervention program from the start) to work with, but she was premature in her choosing. The school has already given my son's teacher an assistant to work with the entire class, because her whole class is a little behind the rest of the grade.

I'm sure the first-week disruption had a lot to do with it. This teacher is very new, and was unprepared to take on a class by herself. She started the year as the assistant teacher, and got a sudden promotion when the other teacher transferred.

We discussed getting him additional assistance if he doesn't score better on the tests this fall, at the 9-week mark. With an actual, experienced education specialist in his classroom, we're both pretty sure he'll do fine, but we're both going to keep an eye on his scores.

Our system has a ton of new teachers. My county is experiencing a lot of growth right now, has gone from 10k residents to 150k residents and is still growing. Used to be farmland, now it's all McMansions. Sigh.

eldragon
09-18-2007, 04:28 PM
Everyone else already pointed out the obvious stuff, like making sure your son really needs help.

But from a different perspective; I fought tooth and nail to make sure my daughter (now almost 19) never failed a grade. From first grade to her senior graduation last May (we didn't know if she would graduate until the day before the ceremony) I had my face at school fighting for her. I hired tutors, had her constantly evaluated, even home-schooled her one year to bring her up to speed.


She never made any effort. Seriously. She never had homework, never had assignments, never had anything to do regarding school. F's, F's and more F's saw me down at her school, meeting with principals and assistant principals and counselors, etc.

She had planners and journals in which her teachers had to write down all her assignments, year after year I pushed her to get through school.

Now she's out of high school, and now what? She is not college material. No way I'm paying her tuition and babysitting her any longer. (I'm in college, and paying my own tuition).


Was it worth it to push and pull my kid through school? Not really. She's moved across the country to live with her deadbeat father who never paid child support or sent birthday gifts or gave a hoot whether she passed a grade. She's sick of my nagging ass.

So good luck. I know how hard raising kids can be, and it's not always rewarding.

robeiae
09-18-2007, 05:17 PM
It's frustrating stuff, I know. A couple of things:

1) If you're concerned about how the school handles things, consider having you son independently tested. It costs some jingle, but having that paperwork is a good bulwark against having the school tell you what he is capable and not capable of.

2) It's Kindergarten. He will (can) still learn more from you and the rest of his family than he will (can) at school. The most important thing is that he's more or less happy at school, imo.

Siddow
09-18-2007, 05:45 PM
<snip>The most important thing is that he's more or less happy at school, imo.

YES! That was my biggest concern. The EIP students get taken from the classroom during 'centers', which is education disguised as playtime. The kid loves centers, as do most of them, and I think losing that part of his day to do more bookwork would kill his enthusiasm for school.

For now, crisis is diverted, I know what we need to work on, and we've got a plan of action in place.