HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Education (Group) » How does one flunk 5th gr...

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:26 PM

How does one flunk 5th grade?

Here's a little rant about my daughter...11 yrs old, sharp as a tack, in fact she tests in the 89th percentile ...

This school year she has been plagued with drama and bullying, in the classroom and on the bus. The teacher did not engage this issue...the principal supposedly had some talks with the girls, but I was never brought in the loop, i heard about the conferences from another parent and my daughter.
So this week is supposedly parent-teacher conferences. And all at once, the teacher and the principal NEED to see me because she is in danger of being retained due to absences and missing work, even in class she is struggling. (well, ya, she is dealing with continued drama with these girls daily and the teacher refuses to listen to her) She has asked for a math tutor repeatedly and been refused as well...

Now, WHY in the HELL did they wait till NOW to try and get me to come in and talk? why do they wait till the Week of report cards to tell me she is failing?

Here's another twist...as a single mom, I am dealing with the feeling that this will be a bash session against me. Yea, I know it sounds childish...but I have dealt with this school district for 10 years with my oldest child....and the pattern is still the same. Everyone goes along and nobody says BOO to you...unless they want to panic and tell you your kid is screwing up and it's all your fault. NO support offered. and no offering of alternative options if your kid has a learning disability (which has never been tested) or some other problem.

Every year when I meet the teachers I fill them in on my kids personal story and how we as a family are struggling with poverty and such. we are all domestic violence survivors...my son has adhd supposedly (believe me, we dealt with the principal and several teachers on that issue already...still no offer of learning disability testing or alternative teaching options) My daughter has a congenital birth defect that makes her blind in one eye and she has a cyst in her brain as a result... i guess because she is intelligent, she doesn't qualify as disabled. I myself deal with a chronic auto immune illness and have explained to the teachers we need support as a family to keep on an even keel...but again, both kids teachers wait till THIS week to drop the bomb that either one is 'not performing'

(also, we have one of those schools that is the highest testing school in the county, so the principal is very anxious to keep them performing at high levels for extra funding. )

I have calls in to get testing done and research independent academics till the end of the school year. I just needed to rant, i guess...

38 replies, 7073 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply How does one flunk 5th grade? (Original post)
FirstLight Mar 2013 OP
elleng Mar 2013 #1
mainstreetonce Mar 2013 #6
FirstLight Mar 2013 #8
thucythucy Mar 2013 #10
d_r Mar 2013 #2
FirstLight Mar 2013 #4
onpatrol98 Mar 2013 #12
FirstLight Mar 2013 #13
savebigbird Mar 2013 #29
proud2BlibKansan Mar 2013 #31
chillfactor Mar 2013 #3
FirstLight Mar 2013 #7
chillfactor Mar 2013 #17
hedgehog Mar 2013 #5
msongs Mar 2013 #9
reteachinwi Mar 2013 #11
FirstLight Mar 2013 #14
MannyGoldstein Mar 2013 #15
FirstLight Mar 2013 #16
MannyGoldstein Mar 2013 #18
Rider3 Mar 2013 #20
MannyGoldstein Mar 2013 #26
MoclipsHumptulips Mar 2013 #37
Rider3 Mar 2013 #19
FirstLight Mar 2013 #21
FirstLight Mar 2013 #22
FirstLight Mar 2013 #23
OneGrassRoot Mar 2013 #25
southernyankeebelle Mar 2013 #24
FirstLight Mar 2013 #27
southernyankeebelle Mar 2013 #28
proud2BlibKansan Mar 2013 #32
southernyankeebelle Mar 2013 #33
proud2BlibKansan Mar 2013 #30
TexasBushwhacker Mar 2013 #36
SEMOVoter Mar 2013 #34
FirstLight Mar 2013 #35
FirstLight Apr 2013 #38

Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:31 PM

1. I guess one might, but in this case, TEACHER and SCHOOL flunk.

Very sorry, and getting angry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:43 PM

6. Put it in writing

A request for help......address it to the teacher,the administrator, the child study team coordinator and the Board of Ed. Tell them there will be no retention in a grade without your permission.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mainstreetonce (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:45 PM

8. good idea

since other communication is too casual, it needs to be an official request and sent to the proper channels... thanks

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:50 PM

10. A paper trail is always a good thing.

Good luck with this.

What a heart wrenching situation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:34 PM

2. hi

if your daughter performs at 89%tile on standardized tests and she is failing, then there is a disparity between her ability and her performance. There could be many reasons for that - such as the issues with peers that you mentioned - but another is because of a learning disability. Basically, the definition of a learning disability is that the child is not learning as they are capable, and it is not due to something else. So you have evidence of the gap between ability and performance. When you talk to the child's teacher and principal, express these concern and request to convene an IEP meeting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:38 PM

4. seriously!

I know...I plan on tackling this early next week, after I have a chance to get some more info on testing and social services assistance. I am hoping to even get a mediator to come with me to the conference so I don't feel like they are ganging up on me. I hate the fact that this stuff makes me cry in front of them and then I look weak....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:57 PM

12. Hang in there...

Don't hate the fact that this makes you want to cry. You want to protect your children. Nothing else in the world will ever mean as much as your children...once you have them. It sounds like you're doing the best you know how under the circumstances and you haven't give up. And if they mistake your love for your children and your concern for their well being as weak, then they're the ones who are questionable. Not you. You're the normal one. As administrators, educators, parents, a community, this should make us all want to cry.

After all, they're the professionals. They're trained in their craft. You're your child's advocate. But, realistically, these are the people who are supposed to have information to share with you on how to get things back on track. That's what these meetings are supposed to be about. How do we get things back on track? But, often they're run like liability meetings. "We've told you. Now, we're clear of responsibility."

Is there a possibility that your pediatrician or a doctor, or perhaps someone else can refer you to some one else who can help you and your daughter? It would be great if you could find another school. Sometimes a change can make all the difference in the world. But, sometimes, it's not possible. It would be too late for this semester, anyway. But, a new perspective in a better environment can sometimes be of benefit.

Your family is fortunate to have you in their corner fighting on their behalf. So, hang in there. You're swinging like a champ. If you must cry, just keep one eye open, so you can keep fighting on behalf of your kids.

Good Luck!



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onpatrol98 (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:07 PM

13. thanks

this is why I am partially avoiding the meeting till next monday or so, so I can get most of my tears and frustration OUT so I don't go in there and make an ass of myself... LOL

I told the kids not to say anything about it all to the teachers...but you know we have all had family talks about this for the past 2 days. I have had to reassure them it is only partially their 'fault'...yes, the teacher and myself are all responsible for these issues, and now we get to work to find solutions. and they know I want testing and tutoring made available. they know I can't do it all alone, but that I fight for them when the chips are down.

I told my boy to tell his teacher if she asks: "she says she will deal with this after she takes care of my sister's issue."

I told my girl, if anyone asks to say "she'll deal with you when she's ready"
....she asked me if she could say it with that attitude, really? I said yes, they deserve the attitude right now

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 06:56 PM

29. Actually

The definition of learning disability differs from state to state. Not all states are solely using discrepancy between IQ and performance as an indicator or cause for further evaluation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to savebigbird (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:11 AM

31. Good advice.

It's also almost impossible to find that information online.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:36 PM

3. there is a new school going online on May1st....it may be a better option for your daughter.

if you are interested in this option let me know...I will be teaching the middle school kids....they will be offering classes and tutoring through the summer months....

schools are becoming nutorious for ignoring bullying and the ramifications it brings to the innocent victims...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chillfactor (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:43 PM

7. yes, please PM me

i may have to go OUTSIDE the school district. This is a very small rural town, all run by dr's and big contractor/casino/ski resort money interests, even the school board.

our principal is actually the superintendent...which is even MORE shameful that nobody even CALLED me over the past few months.....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:28 PM

17. done...good luck!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:40 PM

5. It is so hard when the teacher blames the child instead of

looking at what is gong on in the classroom!

The part about hearing about a problem in March instead of October really hits home with me!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:50 PM

9. take a witness with you for all meetings, a friend is ok, doesn't need to be a legal advocate....

school staff are much better behaved when there is a witness who can support what actually went on.

oh, and take a recording device and record the meeting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:50 PM

11. I think you are seeing the result of Prop. 13

 

and NCLB. School funding (or lack thereof) has reduced staffing and many of the remedial/help/health programs that benefit kids, and increased class sizes reduces time for teachers to individualize curriculum or provide one-on-one help. The pressure to make adequate yearly progress on NCLB tests adds stress to teachers and administrators in an already stressful environment. I'm sorry your daughter is paying for policy decisions that are out of your and her control and were not made with her needs and interests in mind.

It is just about the reverse in the United States: we have some states that spend as much as three times more than other states, and the high spenders are not surprisingly the high achievers, like Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The low achievers are not surprisingly the low spenders Mississippi, California, Louisiana.


http://www.alternet.org/education/teachers-make-handy-scapegoats-spiraling-inequality-really-what-ails-our-education-system?page=0%2C1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to reteachinwi (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:23 PM

14. I wholeheartedly agree...

not only are we in CA...but in a very small rural area to boot... and I think our county is very RED, because the county seat is nearer to Sacramento and more upscale...while our little town is like the bastard cousin

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:25 PM

15. You have the right to ask the district to evaluate her for a learning disability.

 

It's federal law. Check out wrightslaw.com for details.

If she is diagnosed with a disability, she'll have access to services to help her, and it will be the district's responsibility for her to succeed.

If the district determines that there's not a disability, you can have testing done by your own psychologist to double-check.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:27 PM

16. holy wow...i didn't even know that link existed!

thanks so much!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:29 PM

18. My wife and I help local parents with this stuff

 

Feel free to PM with any questions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:33 PM

20. What a nice thing for you and your wife to do!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rider3 (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:33 PM

26. Tremendously satisfying work

 

Some kids need some extra help to get through school, and the special ed rules are complex. Nothing better than helping to get a kid into a situation where they've got a shot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 03:55 PM

37. I suspect you and your wife

 

are true treasures.

I will second that 'nice thing to do Manny', you and your wife rock.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:33 PM

19. This sucks

I'm sorry for what you're having to deal with. It just seems today that people are so apathetic to others' situations. I hope you - and your kids - can find some strength and hang on. I'll be thinking of you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rider3 (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:44 PM

21. thanks

I keep telling myself it is a lesson in not only ASKING for support when I need it, but in believing I deserve that support from my community in the first place...I don't think it is too much to ask
As a single mom since the age of 20, I have battled my whole life to feel like I was accepted by school, parents, etc...it's not an easy road to tread when one blames themselves for everything anyway, lol.

My oldest is now 20, and goes to the local community college. He was assessed upon enrollment and they found a learning disability of sorts, and accommodate him when taking tests, etc. And his whole public school career was plagued by struggle...and we never knew!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:09 PM

22. The Principal just called

Last edited Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:44 PM - Edit history (1)

...mind you, this is the first phone call all year, and he knows us well enough to talk to me...

so he says the rerason for our meeting was to go over the kids 'slipping' and that its a real cause for concern, etc.

so i told him all of the above...that this was a shit trimester, because I myself was down with my illness for an entire month, that my girl was dealing with continued bullying, and the teacher blew off her requests for a math tutor, and that my son is really good at flying under the radar until the shit hits the fan...

I also said that i need to ask for SUPPORT, please lets use all the resources available, because I am a single mom and can't do this all by myself...and COMMUNICATE with me please...don't call me 'in front of the firing squad' the week before report cards. If this is THAT urgent I should have heard more than a whisper over a month ago.
I admitted that in moving forward I can be more on the ball. we both agreed the kids need to be more self motivated and start setting goals...he even said that he wants them to start that *now* because he seems them both in AP classes in upper grades.
He also agreed to discuss assessments for them both. I told him I knew he has resources, so let's USE them.
I think he was actually surprised when I told him about my daughter's blindness and cyst in her brain - so I think that made an impression. I also shared that my oldest wasn't diagnosed till after high school and that we struggled thru his entire teen years...
He says he is going to talk to the 'team' including the kids, and see what the next steps are and supposedly let me know from there. I told him I can't help if I don't know what's going on, and the kids are REALLY good at saying "It's fine..."

7 minute phone conversation.
Let's hope it works
I am grateful for you guys and your thoughts, and the fact I could rant here and get my thoughts straight before that call came! whew!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:46 PM

23. also...you wanna hear "Irony"...?

I start online school this next Tuesday to finish my BA after 20 years of trying and failing and struggle...The first class is all about goal setting, psychology of learning and accomplishments, etc.

So I get to learn about this in myself at the same time teaching it to my kids... hmmmmm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:08 PM

25. ....



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:56 PM

24. Well I sure can relate to you. My step-grandson might have to repeat the year also.

 

Now I always thought he enjoyed reading. My poor little granddaughter is going to have to repeat first grade because she has missed to many days. Both children have. The blame lays in their mother's lap. She was taking the kids to school in the morning. But she can't manage to get her lazy ass out of bed. We live right next door. We have told her to call us and we would take them. It is better to be 5 mins late then not go at all. They have been having martial problems. My son got a new job and he at to go to three different places they send him to. So now she is stuck having to take them. At parent teacher meetings my son went for his daughter and his step son and their mother. Come to find out the boy who is pretty smart is having problems with reading. Now the boy hasn't been with us except for the last 18 months living with them after my son and his wife remarried. He is reading at a second grade level. I was shocked. I asked with in the hell does the school system pass kids when they are having problems? I hate it here because the teacher never calls if she is having problems with a child. I don't know why. The high school here is even worse. You can't call the teacher. You have to go through the principal for that grade. When you make an appoint to see the principal in that grade they can't tell you anything and they tell you to talk to the teacher. It is such a run around. I would tell people try to get invovled at your child's school. That is the only way you know how your child is doing. Now my grandkids are being picked up at 6:30 in the morning and get home at 3:40in the afternoon. I feel sorry for kids today in school. I already told my daughter-in-law if she is smart when it comes time for high school she will home school her daughter. Her own sister had problems in middle school with fighting and bullying (I have a feeling though she was part of the problem) and her mother homeschooled her starting the 8th grade. Our elementary school goes here to 8th grade. Good luck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:49 PM

27. yikes

the situation is similar for many of us I'm afraid. No support systems in place to assist, and no information unless you go after the school/teacher/etc yourself. It's the same with medical treatment in so many ways, unless you are aware anough to be your own advocate, you're screwn.

I have decided that if the school doesn't set up some assessments I will go thru my doctor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:09 PM

28. My son had ADHD the school never told me. I worked at a doctor's office and realized

 

he was having some of the same things going on with him. It doesn't help I paid for his elevation then have it sent to the school and they turned around and tested him again. But I don't care if your kid is good or has problems the school isn't helpful when you really need them to step up to the plate. You get to think there is something wrong with you and your kid. I tell you when I went to the high school here where my son goes I found it to be shocking. These kids that really need help aren't getting it. The special teachers are frustrated also. I remember helping the teacher give TPAC tests. These kids were taking tests on stuff they hadn't even learned. How can this be? My son go a raw deal and many kids like him did. The principal doesn't care. They are to busy walking around the halls telling kids to pull their pants up or if they have a chain with a wallet on the end to tuck it in their pants. They have their special people they like. You can see it who it is who they seem to help. I hope you can help your daughter. Maybe you can take her to school and pick her up. That alone is a big help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:14 AM

32. ADHD is a medical diagnosis. Schools don't diagnose it.

They also almost always give their own evaluations. I'm sorry you didn't know that before you paid for it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:13 AM

33. I did but had their own evaluation team. That is the way they did it. I can only tell you what

 

I went through. The letter helped but they still did their own evaluation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:09 AM

30. By not coming to school

You answered your own question.

And before you get upset with the school, in many states this is yet another mandate from the state legislature. In my state if you miss 20 days (next year it's 15) you are retained.

You need to request a 504 plan for your daughter and an evaluation for your son. Put it in writing. Shame on the school for not helping you with those. They should know better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 22, 2013, 03:20 AM

36. As a former teacher, I can confirm this

Many years ago, as long as a kid made up the work they missed, it didn't matter how many absences they had. But they figured out that make up assignments don't really make up for instructional time, so that's when the set-in-stone attendance requirements came about. Honestly, I think it's for the best. Kids need to be in school and get there on time. It does sound like your daughter needs to be evaluated though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 05:11 PM

34. Hang in there, Mom.

I too am just a Mom. I'm not ready to tell my story, but your's really touched me.

Our kids have one shot at childhood. Adults and school administrators can have many careers.

Throwing good thoughts and steely nerves your way -

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SEMOVoter (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 05:24 PM

35. ...

thanks much... still trying to navigate through the solutions. (...and deal with the stress of paying bills and life along the way)

I appreciate the good vibes...we meet with the Independent Learning Teacher tomorrow at 3.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2013, 03:43 PM

38. Update - the plot thickens

We are formally asking for a transfer to Independent study for the remainder of the year. We met with the director and teachers and REALLY love the format and the people. Laney herself said she liked that the teacher talked to her like a real person and looked her in the eyes...not like a kid that they want to brush off.
damn, my girl is soul-smart!

So we have had the flu/strep run through the family for the past 2 weeks.
I sent a request for homework to the school secretary and to both teachers on wednesday morning, and gave them till Thursday after school to have it ready. My son's was there...but not my daughter's.
my BF was asking...is this chick TRYING to sabotage our girl just so she can say she was right and hold her back? WTH?

so my girl tries to go back to class monday, still sick...hoping to get some of her backlog of work as well. She took it upon herself to write the teacher a note and tell her teacher she was disappointed her work wasn't ready, and asked the teacher if it was an accident...(she even had me sign the bottom so her teacher would know I knew about it and backed her up in asking this)
the teacher possibly threw it away
My daughter has stayed home the remainder of this week, still sick

Two days later, my SON overhears this teacher talking smack with the 4th grade teacher of my daughter...sharing the emails, talking about my attitude and my daughter's letter...all within earshot of his entire class! They were taking a test, so it was quiet enough for them to hear everything...

I *just* wrote another letter to the Superintendent, sharing all of this information ans asking him to respond in writing.

can you believe this?
I insinuated that we may need to transfer my son next year because now all the 5th grade teachers are against our family. I also asked if the reason my kids are being bullied is because they kids at school think it's okay cuz the teachers are talking smack about us?
I also asked if this has to do with our socio-economic status... just to scare him that I am thinking we are being discriminated against...

I'd LOVE to hear your input on this twist, guys...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread