When students and families just don't work.

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Backroads, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 10, 2020

    Yeah, I'm looking for a little sympathy, though preferably some usable advice if anyone has insight.

    I'm teaching online. Purely online. An online school families have to go out of their ways to attend. Kindergarten is not required in our state... which leaves me wondering... why enroll kindergarten if you're not going to work?

    I have a student who has been behind, extremely behind, since he enrolled. He does a couple of lessons on average a week in a program that is more or less self-paced, but because semester timelines are a thing, a couple of lessons a week just won't cut it.

    His parents are supposed to be working with him and helping him learn. I just can't sit and help him for hours a day (I don't have the time, plus it's simply not the model of the school). Parents have all sorts of reasons they're behind: new jobs, new schedules, grandparents don't know how to log on, etc.

    Right now, administration is looking at declaring truancy (or as much as we can declare that with this being unrequired kindergarten).

    I know and agree I can't hold every family's hand, but it's looking like it's that or kick them out at this point. Right now the only way he'll finish the semester on time is if we double up all the lessons, and I don't know if he can handle that each day.
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Nov 10, 2020

    I teach 3rd, so truancy is a very real consequence for my class, but even so I have students who just don't show up.

    I've reached out to parents, admin has contacted them, the social worker... just about everyone. One parent is now saying she's going to withdraw her kids from school because she's over virtual learning. Which... fair, but also illegal the way she's probably going to do it.

    It's frustrating. And admin is getting on my case about another kid who's missed a lot of school, but realistically what am I supposed to do when this kid is on a district hotspot with 10GB of data per month and can't connect to the internet for most of the month?

    Having school with the same standards as a normal school year right now is absurd and idiotic. Everyone is stressed, kids who are the most at risk are the ones most negatively impacted by this because a lot of them have parents who can't stay home from work for 9 months to help with school. It's beyond insane and I'm over it.
     
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  4. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Nov 10, 2020

    Is there any threat to being able to continue? First grade is a free pass, but would your school drop him as a student? That's been the motivator for at least one family who bounced their child out of public school to avoid retention based on "truancy" and failure to complete makeup work. Technically she wasn't truant because she missed so much class because of type 1 diabetes, but the family wasn't taking appropriate steps to manage her health and didn't make her do work she'd missed, so she was failing or getting Ds in every class. Diagnosed in 6th, was supposed to be retained, but they put her in our charter and delayed the records and by the time we got them she'd already started 7th, so they let her stay. She was supposed to be retained again this year, but it ended up not mattering since none of the kids could be retained this year unless the parent chose because of the state laws regarding retention plans. The kids have to be given a chance to show improvement, which went completely out the window with distance learning.

    I'd lay out a schedule, try to get contact info for whoever is supervising schooling, and lay out the situation. This is what he has to do to get caught up, this is my suggestion on how to do that, this is what will happen if he doesn't catch up. Maybe provide a troubleshooting guide too. After that, it's out of your hands.
     
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 10, 2020

    So here's a fun update: Mom recently had surgery. She wants to submit a doctor's note to excuse the student from a few weeks of school.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Nov 10, 2020

    I don't see much that could be done except if the administration decides to terminate the enrollment due to not doing the work, and most likely, that depends on how the contract is written.

    I can believe the parents, in good faith, signed their child up and it became more than they expected it to be. Their reasons may also be true. Life is too much for them to sit with their kindergartner all day to help with the learning. I also agree they should remove their child and either look to public school or wait until first grade when hopefully school will be in-person.

    I think you, the administration, and the parents need to have a frank discussion about what is feasible and what is not. Sorry you are dealing with this.
     
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