Got the dreaded Letter yesterday

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by corney, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. corney

    corney Companion

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    Dec 18, 2009

    after review of the assessment testing thus far your child is in danger of not passing to 4th grade.. Please make an appointment to discuss further action with her teacher.

    You all are wonderful teachers and offer such great advise on how to help me with me daugher and her school struggles. However I can't help but think isn't that what she is in school for, to be taught? Isn't it the school's job to be sure that all children are learning and to exhaust all avenues of educational means to be sure that goal is met?

    Yes I as the parent should be notified that they see an issue that needs addressing..In that same letter how about telling me they are in the process of implementing additional steps so that her academic goals will be met and they would like me to come in to discuss them.

    They already knew she was struggling, they act as if it's something new that has been discovered.

    Do any of you have some suggestions on how I should handle this? She has been tested and found to be "specific learning disabled", She has an IEP and is in the ESE program. She also has after school tutoring in reading through the school.
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Please keep in mind that is legal notification. It is like a yellow light. Stay calm, and make an appointment to talk to her teachers. Go in willing to implement anything that helps your child. You want them to teach her, not to just pass her. Some parents only respond to this type of letter. So while it might have offended you, it was not necessarily sent that way.
     
  4. scienceboy

    scienceboy Rookie

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    Corney, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. You really need to get involved with her teachers, and get involved with the upper management as well. I have heard of parents who come with their attorneys weekly to meet with school psychologists to make them give their child the proper services or educational needs they should have….yes it’s a dirty job but now days it’s the only way to actually get some action, standing by the sidelines just doesn’t cut it. So squeak squeak.
     
  5. corney

    corney Companion

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    Dec 18, 2009

    I have been squeaking since before school started.. they all knew and know she needs additional services.. as it may be a legal obligation to send that letter and cover their butts, what can I do aside from spending thousands of dollars I don't have trying to fix the educational mistakes they have created by not addressing her specific learning disability properly..
     
  6. scienceboy

    scienceboy Rookie

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    Unfortunately without an attorney now days no one pays attention....sad but true.
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Yes, the job of a school is to help your child get an education... howeve,r schools are also limited in the amount of time and resources they have available. It's really helpful to many kids, especially those who are struggling, to get additional assistance outside of school... sometimes just having parents reinforce concepts is enough, some kids need additional help from tutors or specialists.

    Please don't look at this as anything different from "let's discuss more ways to help her." :)
     
  8. sharnon007

    sharnon007 Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2009

    I wish I could offer advice. All I can do is tell you what I do.
    I make games for teachers that use the Treasures series- my son uses it in school. Guess what his grade was in reading at the middle of our nine week term? So, I devised a plan to do at home to help him. He has to do something every day. I make him read something (like Evan Moor Read and Understand or even an article on Weekly Reader site or other similar site) and we talk about it. He has to write dictation sentences 2 times every day(he's tested on Fridays- instead of spelling sentences). But- he has to write at two different times- not all at once. I found the workbooks for below level, at level and above level and either print them or we go over them on the computer. I also google other things that he's studying and have him watch a movie, or play a learning game and such.
    I also have LOT'S of workbooks and stuff that are digital that we use- and I let HIM come up w/questions for games that I make for his story that week.
    I have lot's of resources if you wanna' holler at me.
    Good luck!
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Are they not implementing the process outlined in her IEP? Do you have 'proof' they are not addressing her learning disability, such as she is not getting x amount of hours with the ESE teacher, she is not getting her tests read to her, etc? Remember-a school only has x amount of time with your daughter. The teacher could be working her butt off, the resource teacher could be working like crazy, all IEP processes are being followed, but your daughter just isn't getting up to where she needs to be.

    If they are NOT addressing the concerns in the IEP, then you should set up a meeting to discuss that. And if you feel that the goals in the IEP do not address the learning disability, you should state that at the meeting-once you sign the IEP, it's pretty much saying you agree with the process.

    I think. I am not a spec ed teacher, but I've sat in enough meetings that I'm pretty sure that's what happens.

    I'm going to add that teachers are pretty awesome, but we're not magic. We can work very, very hard with a student, and they can still fall below grade level. I spent 60 minutes with my student today, pounding my head on the cement floor (in my mind) because she's just not getting a basic math concept. And I'm working one-on-one with her. It's a team effort between the teacher, the STUDENT (so many forget about that...), and the parent. Support has to come from all sides, not just the school and the teacher.
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2009

    I would guess that they think that your daughter is going to fail the state assessment this year. For the most part, students have to pass the state assessment in third grade to be promoted. If they have LD they can have modifications, but still have to pass it in some form or another. One question I think helps is, what would you do if this was your child? That can allow for a more candid answer than just a teacher or counselor telling you all of the options.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Are you in Palm Beach county, by any chance?

    Meet with your school's ESE coordinator right after the break.
     
  12. corney

    corney Companion

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    Dec 27, 2009

    No, I'm in Levy County.

    I will be contacting them on Monday.
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Dec 27, 2009

    QUOTE--"It's a team effort between the teacher, the STUDENT (so many forget about that...), and the parent."

    I absolutely agree with this statement. We have to make sure, when creating IEPs, that everyone involved understands their accountability, including the student. I've actually requested some IEP reviews when I see students being handicapped from an improperly written IEP with too many modifications and accommodations. Students all need to be pushed to achieve. No one should be allowed to slide by. If the work is still too difficult for your child with the modifications and accommodations outlined in the IEP then it's time to have another meeting and make specific adjustments to that IEP. Make sure you come in with specific recommendations so that they know exactly what it is you are dissatisfied with. Don't just say the school isn't doing their job and not give specific suggestions with good arguments for each one. It just makes the parent look bad when they do that like they think learning is a magic pills that we coax children to swallow. Learning is active and requires the active participation of students, wjether they have an IEP or not. Improperly written IEPs are sometimes a result of parents not being knowledgeable in differentiation strategies, state standards, and cognitive levels of learning. Afterall, you can't fix something if you don't not what part is broken can you? Some schools are dealing with so many IEPs that they sometimes have to be reminded that one size does not fit all. I get very irate when I see the exact wording in most of my students' IEPs. How can they all have the same needs if they are special needs? For that matter, they'd might as well not have an IEP. When I see things I don't like going on with my students, I make sure to take it to the school counselor and get things changed. For me, an IEP is more than just a piece of paper and it needs to be written in a manner that will be effective and address a child's learning disabilities so that the child is able to access the same curriculum as his peers. If the child is unable to meet the state standard, the first thing I would do is make sure that child is doing everything he should be doing in school. No one slides by, IEP or not. If the student truly cannot meet the standard and is putting in 100% of their effort while utilizing all the modifications and accommodations afforded them, then the IEP needs to be amended because it is no longer meeting the needs of the student. :2cents:
     
  14. ashley57

    ashley57 Comrade

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    Dec 29, 2009

    I'm in Pinellas Co. Our policy here is that a "potential retainee" letter goes home for any child (any grade) that is not meeting expectations.

    3rd grade is a little trickier due to FCAT and mandatory retention for those who do not score a Level 2 in Reading. Does Levy have assessments being taken to earn "points" toward a Reading Portfolio? That's part of the Good Cause Exemption. How have those been?

    Has your daughter been retained previously?
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Devil's Advocate here, I hate to ask, but what are you doing at home to help your child?

     
  16. corney

    corney Companion

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    Ashley57, I'm not aware of the Good Cause Exemption. I don't know if it's being used or not. I do know she is assessed constainly. In my opinion to much at times..

    Hoot Owl, we read together, do homework together, all kinds of positive reforcement, rewards etc. Last year I was giving extra activites that were following along with the school work but I was advised to stop doing that because I was giving her too much. So now I just help with spelling words and what ever homework she has.
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Corney, I did want to bring up that having to repeat a grade is NOT a death sentence. I just went through this with my youngest son. In spite of all the accomodations on his 504, he was still not doing well. We actually wound up making the choice to move him down a grade mid-year. When I was weighing all our options, I talked to a LOT of people. More people than I would have guessed were retained in elementary school. My BIL was retained twice (and he out-earns everybody in the family except for his wife). Sometimes kids just need that extra year to really get the material solid.

    It's a tough choice. Let us know how the meeting goes.
     
  18. corney

    corney Companion

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    I have come to the realization that she will probably need to be retained this year, if so I plan on putting her in private school to get her away from the "teaching to the test" mentality so many school systems have adopted. I know there are ridiculous restraints on how teachers have had to change their teaching styles. And I know it's a difficult task to teach all students independently. I just feel that if the schools stayed the course and continued to teach normal and not put so much emphasis on the "test" more children wouldn't have these issues.. At the very least 10% of the children in my daughters school are considered learning disabled. To me that's a lot. A lot more then there should be.. But what do I know, I'm not an educator.

    Anyway, I'm going to contact the school and set up a meeting with the ESE dept and her teachers. Watching her at home as she begins her work I see it is without a plan. She has no analytical or strategic thinking skills. She guesses at everything. These are the areas that she needs help in.. whether the school can help with that I don't know.. I can only offer her suggestions, but she needs more. She is a very literal thinker. She doesn't grasp a hold of metaphoric thinking, it confuses her.

    I always ask y'all for suggestions.. tell me if what I'm saying makes any sense, if so help me ask the right questions when I meet with the school.
     
  19. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I think it's really great that you've identified an area that she needs work on--analytical and critical thinking. There are many things you can do to help her with this! I'm thinking encourage reading/watching mysteries, and DISCUSS as you read/watch with her. What are the clues? What is the detective thinking? Every time there is a problem in life-from calculating the tip at the restaurant to explaining why she choose to take a second helping- have her talk through her thought process and the steps she took to reach a conclusion. Make her back everything up with a reason. Show her that she thinks about everything during the day even when she doesn't realize it!

    As for metaphors, maybe you can have 'metaphor time', when you read books and poems that contain them, write them yourself, just talk about them, etc? Immerse her in what a metaphor is, and show her all the ways they are used in life. But I would do a concentrated period of them, so she can draw connections between them, not scatter them around at first.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    One really fun way to develop critical thinking skills is to watch and analyze Scooby Doo episodes. Pause the show right before the gang unmasks the bad guy and ask her who the ghost really is and why they did it. Once she gives her opinion, let it play and see if Velma agrees. It's goofy, but it really does work. This is a favorite activity of my boys. They actually do it on their own (DVR is a great thing).
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not all private schools do a good job of meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities...many just don't have the resources....:(
     
  22. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I work at a private school and we get struggling students that have to be retained from the public schools every year. Like czacza says, a lot of private schools do not have the resources to deal with the learning disabilities. Instead, they are lumped together with the other children in a class and many times the teacher does not have the time to help them individually. The struggling students sometimes get shuffled to the next grade still struggling.

    If you go private really research and make sure they have teachers that can help your child. Good luck
     
  23. teacheragz

    teacheragz Rookie

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    Such as interesting conversation. What interests me is the discussion between private and public schools and the "teaching to the test" reference. I wonder how involved you are politically. If you don't like how schools are teaching to the test we must get involved with our political leaders and communities. Schools are required to do more with less and especially now with our current economic standing. Special Ed resources at my school are going to be cut even though the need (# of students) is increasing. Unfortunately, the government is not really concerned with the resouorces and funding necessary for students to "reach the goal".
     
  24. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I really don't have much to add to this conversation except to wish you luck with your daughter and her education.

    You mentioned 10% being too much. Interestingly, in one of my assessment classes earlier today, the professor stated that on average, 10% of the school population is identified as Special education. Of course, I don't have any data to back this up right now, only my professor's word. But I did find it interesting that you both used the exact same statistic, with one thinking it was too much, and one thinking it was normal.
     
  25. corney

    corney Companion

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    I have started doing this a little at a time. It helps with conversation in general as well. :D
     
  26. corney

    corney Companion

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    My statistic comes from my opinion, and the knowledge of class size my daughter has had in the ESE program. I feel it is too much, it should be down around 3-5%, again just my opinion. The way of teaching has changed. The basics of reading aren't taught anymore. Cirriculum is packaged and if benchmarks aren't met the instruction not achieved is disgarded the teachers are to jump ahead to the the proper benchmark.. that is not teaching. I feel if the schools would stop teaching to the test and allow the teachers to teach their own style that the test results would be much better. Before the fedaral testing was adopted we were state tested twice a year.. early and towards the end.. it didn't determine if teacher and students passed or failed, it determinded if we were learning anything.. most students didn't take it seriously. But our teachers knew what students were struggling and why.. At that point they were referred for special instruction..

    I never in a million years would have thought that the school systems would get so far off track that you can't count on them to educate effectively and efficently..
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The percentage of students identified as 'special ed' sometimes depends on the school's ability to service them...My district has great resources ($$) and services kids well...as a result, people move to town so their special ed/special needs kids will 'get what they need'...it's not about not teaching with package curriculum or 'teaching to the test'...it's about being highly qualified educational professionals who see students' needs and do the best to get them the help they need.
     
  28. corney

    corney Companion

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    I totally agree, but here in Podunk FL, that is not the attitude I receive. I went to public school in New Jersey. We had all the help we could possibly get if needed. If I didn't hate the cold so much I'd move back just to send her through NJ's school system.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Funny...My district is in NJ!
     
  30. corney

    corney Companion

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    I know I saw that.. but meant what I said.. the school system was so much better up there and I was in a small district.. What area are you in? I was in Mercer and Monmouth County.
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bergen.
     
  32. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I agree that you need to make sure that all the goals listed in her IEP are being addressed and that they are appropriate. Also realize that you are responsible for helping meet those goals as well, typically our IEP list the strategies and they are discussed with the parents so that they too can be assisting at home. In my state we cannot retain a child who is underperforming if they have an IEP, even if it would be beneficial for them. You may want to determine what the law says in your case. It may have been a blanket statement, our notification officially says "at-risk of retention" even though we are unable to retain with an IEP. I'd get a bit more clarification on the matter.

    IF you are feeling that the school is not doing enough, you need to get educated on what your child's rights are as well as your parental rights. IF needed you may wish to discuss this with an attorney that specializes in these circumstances, but even then you are the one who needs to be educated and not count on others to tell you what is going on. You are your child's best advocate! I hope that everything goes better and your child begins to see results for their effort (and yours).
     

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