How to handle this kind of situation...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Okay, so Johnny has missed over 20 days of school so far this year. That doesn't include the equal number (or so) days he has checked out early...Mom writes a note every time saying little Johnny had a "migraine" a "tummy ache," and "upset tummy." Yada yada. I've already referred the excessive absences to admin. But this has made it extremely difficult for the child not to fall behind. When he is here, he follows my instruction pretty well, participates. Mom says Johnny hates coming to school this year, but Johnny missed 29 days of school last year, so did he hate school last year too?

    Johnny says mom said it's okay to miss school as long as you make up your work. WHAT? Not only does Johnny not make up his work, Johnny doesn't do the work when he is here. Exception: classwork, assessments---he refuses to do homework.

    I called mom last week to let her know it's getting beyond ridiculous (I have already noted on behavior logs missed homework, guess it didn't matter to her until I called), so he turned in some of his missing work. All of these were the 3rd or 4th copies of the assignments I gave him.

    Johnny has EC accomadations which call for modified assignments--he needs less problems because he gets overwhelmed. But, I have so many modifieds in my class that the general assignments I give are modified, with stretch problems that are not required--my average and high kids will always do these because they want to impress me and they want to do the work to get 2 extra points.

    So a typical assignment looks like this: worksheet with 10 math problems. I do two with the class. Then the last two are stretch problems, not required. My average and high kids always do these because either they want to impress me or want to get an extra point or two. So, all that is required for Johnny to do independently is 6 of the 10 problems. IMO, this is an abbreviated assignment. However, Johnny's mom thinks this is not a shortened assignment. I am not surprised, because little Johnny always needs a third or fourth copy, so when I hand him an extra copy he obviously doesn't have the two we did as a class, so he ends up with 8 to do instead of 6. All of his assessments (quizzes/tests) are modified with less "overwhelming" problems. Additionally, I have an EC teacher who comes into my class specifically to help him and the others.

    Here's the kicker. I honestly do not think he needs abbreviated assignments. He can do for me in class, and when he is at school he picks up on stuff and can do. He just won't do the homework. Refuses. Can I express that I don't think he needs the modification?

    Johnny doesn't have mods for ELA, and he doesn't do the work in there either. I also teach science, he doesn't have mods for science and his grade is JUST AS LOW in science as math because again, he doesn't do the work.

    So we have a meeting to discuss his PEP next week. I am AGGRAVATED. How can she not see that enabling her child to be excessively absent is the crux of why he struggles with concepts in math? How can I say this without crossing the line? I'm pretty brilliant, but if I missed 20 days of a course in college, I would've fell behind. EVERYONE falls behind when they are excessively absent. I'm not saying that he isn't EC qualified, but I think he isn't as incapable in math as the mom makes him out to be...
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Mar 5, 2014

    If his IEP says modified assignments, you must modify. Perhaps you should circle the problems he has to complete so Mom knows exactly what he has to do. If he's on a 3rd or 4th copy, I would still only have him do 6 problems. If you did 2 together, they weren't independent anyway.

    As far as voicing your concerns, you can talk to the SPED teacher who wrote the IEP prior to the conference to figure out why that modification was given instead of another. I would not voice objection during the actual conference with Mom unless you and the SPED teacher are in agreement that it should be changed. There's not a whole lot you can do about the absences beyond reporting to admin though.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Put twenty problems on a page. Modified is ten. Assign 15. Stretch kids can do all 20.
     
  5. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    In our district, parent cannot write an excuse for a student being absent. The only excused absences are those from a doctor. Students cannot have over seven unexcused absences in a semester. It is managed in increments with meetings beginning with administrator. We also have a DA Liaison who works with district's Child and Welfare Administrator for students with absences, behavior problems, etc. Parents have to attend classes and are given other tactics.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I agree with you, it is an abbreviated assignment. Unless the IEP states that he only has to do half of the assignment, asking him to do six out of ten on his own is fine.

    I'd cover my butt and write that at the top of the assignment page though.

    I hate, hate, hate that modification. Do IEP writers think that teachers assign more problems than are necessary? That we just throw crap on a page to fill it up? If anything these lower students need MORE practice than the others. Thankfully the few times that I've had the accommodation show up on my paperwork I was able to argue it away for my class.

    I have had many parents that think extended time on tests or assignments means more than everyone else in the class. Nope. extended time is more than what it *should* take the average student. Often 1/3 to 1/2 of my on-level class are students with accommodations of some sort. Many of the remaining students do not have stable homes and/or internet at home. So all of my assignments have built-in extended time. If I think it should take one evening, I'll give them two. If a test should take 30 minutes I will set aside an hour and have students who finish early work on an on-going project or start vocab for the next chapter.

    I will still have some parents complain that their child didn't get MORE time than everyone else. It doesn't matter if she had twice as much time as she needed, she was entitled to MORE than everyone in the class. We had a parent whose son had "extended time for assignments" on his 504. No specification of how much extended time. He was an honors student and his class was asked to analyze a poem and to print it up in some sort of graphic design. The teacher said that the students had analyzed similar poems in class and it took the kids about fifteen minutes to complete the tasks. But since not everyone in her class had computers at home she wanted to make sure that they had enough time to use the library computers at lunch for the graphic. The kid in question had his own laptop and printer in his bedroom. The teacher explained that extended time was built into the due date and that she really wanted to see rough drafts the following day. The boy didn't turn it in on time and his mother expected him to get another full week as an extension. @@
     
  7. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Mar 5, 2014


    I get that crap all of the time. Then they want to come back another period, and finish the test after they've seen it. So they can just go and look up answers. And it's never that they actually need more time....they just don't know how to solve the problem. I have watched them spend 10 minutes starring at a problem. Now I give them one page at a time so they can't game the system.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It is sooo easy to spot the families that want accommodations so their child can have an unfair advantage versus those that just want their child to have a shot at success.

    I attended a meeting recently where the parents were all gung-ho about getting separate setting for their child during tests AND quizzes. I explained that most quizzes given at our school take just a few minutes and that by the time a student leaves for another room, takes the quiz and returns, he would have missed valuable instruction due just to travelling time. The parents immediately dropped that request. They wanted what was BEST for their child. Not what made him special or gave him a leg up.
     
  9. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    This is how I feel in a nutshell. I get the feeling that the mom thinks Johnny should have less than everyone else. Well the thing is I have 21 kids in that class, and 9 get modified assignments, Johnny's 504 doesn't say he gets less than every single solitary student in the class, just that he gets an abbreviated version of the assignment, and so do 8 other kids. Just like the student you mentioned, he doesn't qualify as getting the MOST time, he gets extended time---if you have a substantial number of students who need the modification, well you build the modification into the assignments.

    For me, it just seemed more efficient and economical to make the modified version the standard "assignment" knowing the non-modified kids would do the extended problems and end up doing more than the modified kids would do.

    It also makes it less conspicuous and obvious as to who receives modifications--from the kids' perspectives at least.
     
  10. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    AGREE. It's ridiculous to have such an open-to-interpretation modification. What if I gave 50 problems, instead of 10, and had him do 20, that's even less than half!. That would be an über- modification! But he'd end up doing 14 more problems than he is now!

    I feel like I don't give a whole lot to begin with for homework, and then he is only required to 6 problems. And he still doesn't even do them...

    No I haven't written anything the top of the page. First-year teacher blunder?? I just never thought it would be questioned ??!!

    And then during pullouts he loves to practice his long division, so I give him problem after problem at his request to do on dry erase boards. He has done more long division problems than anybody else!! So not modified on that :)
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Here's my perspective as a SPED teacher...

    The "reduced work" accommodation is heavily overused. The kids it should be used for are the twice-exceptional kids that really don't need the practice. Alternately, by shortened assignments, it should primarily refer to writing.

    With that said, whenever I modified a student's page, I would always write clearly on the top that it was modified before it went home after being graded, or if I was keeping it for documentation.
     
  12. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Let this child be in my district... miss 10 days and you are being taken to court. :)
     

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