How do you handle parents of students who want to skip grades?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2021

    New school year, new insistences their kids are highly advanced. I know the easy and proper answer is send it to administration, but how do you hold a conversation with the parents?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If your school has a procedure to follow, validate that you heard their concerns and politely inform them of the proper procedure.
     
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  4. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    Basically this. My district has a policy of “never skip” so it’s very rare that students are allowed to skip grades. And the reason for that is because of the way the state’s curriculum is structured, we’ve found that if they skip a grade, they’re way behind when they get to that grade. And that’s because the grade levels overlap and the lines aren’t as clear, especially towards the end of the year. If it’s an issue of students not being challenged enough we can put them in higher grade-level classes which go more in depth into topics.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    “I would be happy to give you the email of our instructional coach, who would be the person to consult. It would also be good to wait until we’re able to see his/her test scores from the beginning of year assessments coming up.”
     
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  6. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I had a student last year who could have skipped to the next grade. Parents did not ask but he was soo far advanced. He was in the 1st grade Reading on a 4th or 5th grade level. Could do any math I gave to him. I never once suggested that he be moved because maturity wise he was not ready. In reading I kept him challenged by giving him those books he needed. Math he was my helper and tutor. He gained some maturity and I had a helper. LOL
     
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  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    This made me laugh! I guess it is b/c the coach would so not appreciate it and is a lot less skilled than most of the teachers!
    She used to pass new mandates down to us and some really did not work. 1x I asked her to come demonstrate with my class because it was not doable with my class. She wasn't able to complete 1 task even in 3 days that we were given an hr to complete daily. From that point on, she listened when I told her something wasn't working! :)
     
  8. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    It depends on if the kid is advanced or not. If the student is advanced and mature enough, I listened and did what I could to help them. There was paper work to fill out and the student had to pass a series of tests.
    I am surprised by how many schools do not encourage it. It was very common in my family to skip a grade. ( I was the ONLY 1 who didn't.) At my last school, it was not uncommon either. Usually though, we'd pull the child and teach the advanced level to them if they were immature or their parent never brought it up.
    However, if the parent was a total moron, who thought their kid was advanced, or better yet, bored, I got to where I was pretty honest ( maybe even blunt) in explaining where their child was academically.
    Also, I learned to roll my eyes silently with this type of parent. In order for the child to be tested, we needed to get the ball rolling with testing. I wouldn't recommend testing for this type.
    I remember 1x giving the math workbook for the next grade level and encouraging the parent to see how her child did with it for 30 minutes at home each night. After trying to explain and get the kid to do it at home for probably less than a week, the mom was like: " Never mind!" :)
     
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  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Love that! Anyone making those types of decisions should be required to demonstrate/trial the procedure before making it a mandate.
     
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  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Follow-up question: I have a parent who is already being very pushy about this. The kid has not been tested, but Mom says the kid is half-way through 1st grade curriculum.

    Because of the state law, she simply can't go to 1st grade without approval from the state board, so Mom is thinking we can make do with an entire year of extensions.

    I have no access whatsoever to the 1st grade curriculum, and last year I felt my self-made extensions... sucked. Basically busywork. I'm overwhelmed at the idea of making a year's worth of extensions, functionally another curriculum. Any tips?
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Well, you can't teach 2 grades at once so I don't see what the parent thinks they are going to get. How are they halfway through the 1st grade curriculum? At home? Then the parent can continue with it at home and leave you alone :whistle:
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I just read that again. If the state board doesn't approve it then how it is your problem? I would not let her make more work for you. If the state didn't think she was ready then too bad. (Can you tell I'm fed up with entitled parents?)
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Since you didn't directly state that the state board has denied her, I am assuming mom did not take that route yet.

    Has the child been denied already? If not, is the procedure to get state board approval publicized anywhere so Mom can start that route? Or you can point her to the state board and she can direct her question directly to them.
     
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  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My understanding is that Mom is currently working with the state board.
     
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  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I think it's part of the whole "we meet students where they are at!" mentality.
     
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  16. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Wow! Your state is strict on that! Sometimes, we'd do this: Ask a teacher 1 yr above, to pull the student for reading and math only. That way you do not have to work w/ the student individually. They get taught on their level, but get to socialize with kids their own age for everything else.
    All of our staff was excellent about taking kids when asked. ( I did it a lot. Advanced kids are usually fun to work with!) Since you have such strict rules, you'd definitely ask your P 1st. Also, do it with the parent knowing the child has to keep up with that level, possibly working at home too, or move back. If they do not provide testing, you can do it on a trial basis too. If the kid is in over their head or stressed, it is easy to put them back w/out a bunch of paperwork.
    If you think the mom is exaggerating though, I'd have her push to get the child tested, so my name was not on the referral. Then the counselor would have to be the 1 with bad news test results.
     
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  17. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    That is definitely what it is all about. My last 10 yrs of teaching, I had many ages and several grade levels for reading and math at the same time. I just had to teach separate groups. To me, it was fun to work with younger, high flyers. Often it sparked the older ones to work a bit harder b/c they did not like someone younger showing them up. :)
     
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  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Right, pulling the kid for a certain subject is understandable but to have the teacher use a whole separate curriculum for one student doesn't seem feasible or fair. The only thing I can think of is getting work from the higher grade teacher and giving it to the student but that doesn't mean you'll have time to teach the higher grade content.
     
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  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So here's the fun thing: It's a completely virtual school. The curriculum is online and big chunk of it is self-paced and self-directed. I do less teaching and more about checking in with students and helping them here and there with curriculum. I do small lessons.

    I very well could loop in the 1st grade teacher and have the student go to her math and reading lessons, but again, they're not the whole curriculum. It may be a start, though.

    What I think they're hoping for is I just created things from scratch to replace the kindergarten curriculum.
     
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  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    And with how the online school is set up, I don't even begin to know how I would get work from another grade, without asking that teacher to make it.
     
  21. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Oh, wow! That is a total game changer. I'd ask the P to loop the child in like you said to a 1st grade teacher's group for math, reading, and writing if the student appeared to be that advanced. It is hard to tell though without testing and being in person with the student. Social Studies and Science at that age I would not be as concerned with, but that's just me. I am happy for you to have an online job. I wanted one last year, but our district is so stupid. Other than the break in March that everyone did, our kids have been back in person.
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    At my school, some advanced students will attend a higher grade level class just for math. Reading is a little different, because we already have leveled groups and they can just be in an advanced group doing advanced work. Gifted students also have independent study projects they're working on as part of their ALP (advanced learning plan). I would think skipping a grade all together would be really inadvisable for social reasons. Possibly I would consider recommending it only if the child were on the older end of their grade level (i.e. has an Aug. or Sept. birthday, entered K when they were about to turn 6 in Aug/Sept.) and would still be within the "normal" age range for the grade above.
     
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  23. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I always thought it was normal just from my life experience. One of my kids skipped 6th grade. He was mature and big enough to handle it.
    1 advantage was I got his 1st yr of college report cards because he was a minor. Some kids goof around their 1st year in college, but I could see how he was doing. :)
    Looking back though, I think most kids benefit from staying at home until they are 18. My sibs all felt like they grew up pretty fast by going to far away universities young. My sister was a sophomore in a big U at 15- 16 yrs. old. It is probably best to keep them in their own grade level for that reason, but let them advance if they already know the material.
     
  24. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I was asked to let my oldest son skip a grade. I said no for a plethora of reasons. The main one was if hw skipped he would have been in the grade as his older sister. I don't think that would have worked for our family. He did just fine. Would have graduated valedictorian but we moved to another school. (thats another thread because there is a funny story that goes with that) He is now a successful mechanical engineer, happy, and adventurous.
     
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