School choice

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have not been here in a few days. Still just poppin in.
    i would like everyone's wonderful input. I know I asked before, but now we have gone to the presentation to the parents by the choice schools. Now...I am totally confused.

    Our city is the third largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. There are 23000 kids registered this year k - 12.

    There are TWO district HOME schools. One on the north side, one on the south side. When easy child went to high school, there were not any options. you go here.

    In the past 12 years they have added 5 choice schools. The student would go to his home school (a block away) and take a school bus to the school of choice. So, transportation is not an issue.
    home school (a block away) has 3000+ kids.

    Choice schools

    School one - houses 4 academies. Media production/radio and TV, biotechnology (nursing), Jr. ROTC (army branch. must wear uniform every day) and I don't remember the other because I ruled this school out. maybe.

    School two - Academy that specializes in pre-engineering, aeronautic's, IT, robotics, and machine stuff like CAD.
    This school is SOOO impressive. If you graduate (IF) from this school in pre-engineering you will enter your college career as a second semester Freshman. They are affiliated with 27 engineering colleges, Milwuakee, Northwestern, Perdue, Georgia Tech..and many more. If you choose another trade, when you are in your second year, sophmore year, they automatically enroll you in the local Technical college. When (if) you graduate and choose to go to Technical college you only need one more year for an associcates degree. First year credits earned in high school at the expense of the school district...So, in reality, since difficult child skipped a grade he could have an associates degree before he is even 18.

    School 3 - Charter school, not interested at all.

    School 4 - only accepts 40 freshman. Outward bound specialty. Off campus most of the time. However, you do not have late work. If you are not done...you don't go home. (lol) The teacher you get as a freshman stays with you the entire 4 years. They do an individualized accellerated program. I find this very interesting, but it has kids that are a bit hardened, and afraid this would influence difficult child so much. Scares me.

    School 5 - E school. this is an accredited school. Not the one recently on the news. This school is open 24/7, 365. You can do your work at 2am if wanted. Only needs to go to district office for exams. I initially ruled this out, due to isolation.
    difficult child craves friends and would be a loyal friend if given the opportunity. Found out that you can take 1, 2 or more classes at E-school, AND go to your high school at a later time. Rather than 7:30..maybe noon.

    Then they throw even MORE options at you. You can attend your Home school for electives, any OR all of the specialty schools for a class or two each day. Transportation provided.

    OK HELP. Applications for the choice schools are due by the end of next month. Each school interviews students and parents. School #2 checks grades. Realizing that middle school is a tough time, they do go back and check 4th and 5th grade as well as state tests.
    So..difficult child is very bright. Refuses to do work. Has refused for several years, usually earning not so good grades. Exception..last year one semester high honors. then he quit doing work. He does ALWAYS do his best on state tests and his scores are beyond advanced for his grade level..not age.
    difficult child will be 13 on Sunday. he will be going to high school at age 13.

    Will my little 13 year old get lost in the shuffle of 3000+ if I send him to the home school?
    He gets so bent out of shape if things are not "fair"..I suggested ROTC. :rofl: You want fair..black and white, this way or now way for each cadet. After everyone stopped laughing they actually thought about it.

    Heck, I don't know what to do. He is suppose to chose a high school, fill out an application, and choose a specialty school of interest. He has two days before he even turns 13. he doesn't know what he is doing in an hour. How can he choose what he will be doing the rest of his life.

    Then there is easy child. never any trouble. Didn't have choices 12 years ago. Had very close friends, friendly, involved in drama/theater. Outgoing. Now at age 24 and 3/4's, he is angry. Says difficult child can ONLY go to the home school. Like HE did.
    Why should HE get "special" treatment.??? i don't understand that one. easy child keeps saying how he hated middle school (same one, only Jr. high then). Says how he HATED high school (yet I HAVE to send difficult child there) Says he Hated all people. This is all news to me. And bothering me. difficult child wrote a paper on his HERO..easy child.
    wrote TWO more on when easy child left him for college. easy child has an uncontrollable influence on difficult child, and he is very, very angry.

    could it be jealousy? That difficult child could in reality have an associates degree before age 18, and easy child had to quit college (financial issues), currently has no car, lives at home and bartends? Is he angry or jealous? Is he lost, and trying to find himself? He is not friendly to us, pays no rent or bills, spends no time with difficult child unless it is to tell him something negative. difficult child is hurting. He misses his brother. girlfriend takes up much of easy child's time too. A changed person in the last 5 months. I don't know what to think.
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does difficult child have a passion he is good at that could be expanded into a career? ROTC isnt a ad program in high school to be honest. Your son could really blossom there. Is he very good at Math and sciences? Can he picture things in his mind in relation to space? Do things with computers just come easy to him?

    Then I would attempt to get him in Number 2.

    Ok...Im getting them all confused too...lol. You really have to look at his strengths and not so much what you think he will be when he grows up because you really cant know that right now...but you can see what his strengths are now. Find a school that plays to his strengths. Ask the guidance counselor what they think that would be.
     
  3. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I agree with Janet. I also think you have to look at what his strengths are now. Is it possible to have the school do a vocational assessment on him? I also think Janet is right about speaking to his guidance counselor for assistance. WFEN
     
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    oh...I spoke to EVERYONE. It is funny, he is very good in math, science, computers, all mentioned. Even history. Anything that he is interested in he does well. However. difficult child can do great, when he wants. If he is in the "I don't care" mood, he does nothing. Not that he can't do it. He REFUSES to do it. And when he DOES do it, he doesn't turn it in. Then I get the progress report, I see him do it. I check to make sure it is complete. Somewhere between the house and the class these papers are not making it. could be in his locker, he says he turns them in it is the same old thing.

    So, as far as the school, I like the one where there is no late or missing work. Not done, don't go home. That is a rougher area, afraid for him there.

    ROTC, the best year of his life was with the strictest teacher. Every kid faced the same consequence, no exceptions. Makes me think ROTC would be good. Don't know about wearing the uniform every day. He is a preppie.

    Oh so confusing.
     
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    It is VERY confusing!

    Is there a guidance counselor that can help break this down for you?
     
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    oh bbk...if it were only so easy. The counselor knows him, but doesn't know him if you know what I mean.

    Everyone who has taken the time to get to know him finds a very different child than what they hear. He IS a very good kid.

    The principal decided months ago she would deal with him personally since the new vp has threatened me too many times. I know the principal has 1000 kids to deal with, run a middle school but always, always takes the time to see him every time he comes in. Which is often some days. Program director also said she doesn't see the difficult child others see, AND she has made it her goal that HE WILL succeed. She is great. Those two KNOW him. They really KNOW him. Principal suggested the technical school with AP calculas and AP physics for engineering. She said he is capable of so much if he WANTS. Those two are very in touch with difficult child.

    Hug your baby girl often. I am having a very difficult time dealing with difficult child becoming a teen this weekend. With all the difficult times, he is a true gift.
     
  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Kjs</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    Everyone who has taken the time to get to know him finds a very different child than what they hear. He IS a very good kid.

    Principal suggested the technical school with AP calculas and AP physics for engineering. She said he is capable of so much if he WANTS. Those two are very in touch with difficult child.

    </div></div>

    In your situation, I would pick a school that has the best chance of the staff getting to know him. The school with the individualized instruction sounds promising.

    It really won't do any good to go to a school with high expectations, even if he is capable of doing the work, if he won't do it and he ends up with the same reputation he has now.

    When you say the kids are a bit hardened, what do you mean? I would be concerned about this, too, but maybe they are other misunderstood difficult child's? Can you go to the school and visit when it is in session?

    My kids go to a small private school where many of the children have "learning differences". Since so many of them have differences, the students and teachers are very tolerant and accepting. This is the kind of school I think would be ideal for your child, if you can find it. They do more individualized learning for everyone to accomodate their learning differences which works for those who struggle and those who find it easy.
     
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you have an amazing school district. It sounds so impressive. I have no idea, other than wondering if he can try going to the different schools to see what he's interested in.
     
  9. kjs,

    I have a neighbor who is a private educational consultant for parents who are trying to decide on the best school placement for their kids. She meets with the child, gathers info from the parents and the school(s), and observes the child in school. She then makes her recommendations. I wonder if you would have some folks in your area who do this kind of work?

    The wonderful thing about her is her years of teaching experience and experience as an educational psychologist. The real plus , though, is her ability to be very objective in her observations and recommendations.

    Our difficult child is so similiar to yours in many ways. He can do the work, but sometimes refuses to do it, and sometimes he does it but does not turn it in on time (or at all). I'm not sure I'll ever understand it. Because he loves all things related to math and computers, we thought he would be great at drafting and CAD classes , but they were his worst grades ever. He had a real run-in with the teacher. We also discovered in his neuropsy that he has real limitations in picturing objects and their movements through space and visual memory. Wow, if only we had known that before he signed up for the courses!

    I think that many issues will factor in to your choice. Does difficult child have a feel for where he would like to go?
     
  10. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fairlyoddparent</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When you say the kids are a bit hardened, what do you mean? I would be concerned about this, too, but maybe they are other misunderstood difficult child's? Can you go to the school and visit when it is in session? </div></div>

    This school is in the center of the city. It use to be the alternative school for those who were expelled from the home school. It houses the only teen parent program. Has a baby lab so the teen mothers can take there kids to school. Many of the students there still...are expelled from the home school. Many are in trouble with the law, and many have criminal records.

    The fact that difficult child would do anything for a friendship scares me so much. Afraid the influences of this environment could prove to be damaging.
     
  11. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    He is leaning towards the technical school. Neighbors son attends there, her other son is in difficult child's grade. She tells me the school is so laid back, so much less pressure than the middle school. But, her oldest also is one that will get up early to complete assignments, do homework while eating lunch, no problems.

    Her son that rides with us, and is in difficult child's grade has same problems as difficult child as far as doing homework, and the same exact problem ...somehow, the work never makes it from the car to the class. She wants this son also to go to this school, but worried they won't accept him if he doesn't bring his grades up.

    The program director sent me an email. Said the technical school, and others are impressive. That difficult child could benefit from the academic expectations, but is afraid they could not handle the emotional side of him.

    In hind sight, skipping a grade seemed to be the answer back then, challenging him..that was the answer. I believe it was the cause of the emotional issues. His brain may be advanced, but physically, emotionally, he is not capable of handling the social aspect. Not his fault. OUR fault for expecting him to.

    I hope that anyone who faces this same situation will learn from my posts and my experience. The advancement/challenge, is not worth the emotional problems that will come.

    I believe we will apply at a few of the schools. difficult child has tours next week with his class. Parent tours are in a few weeks. I will speak to staff at each school. In the end, I hope to find the school that difficult child will feel comfortable at.

    Last night difficult child told me he thinks if he went to the home school, he would be bullied. (silly me, I thought maybe because he is young and smart) He says he will be bullied because he is so small. Afraid they will beat him up.
     
  12. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    i have to say when I first read the end of your last post here and saw if he went to home school he would be bullied I was confused. I thought who would bully him, you, husband???? Then I read it again and realized what you meant.

    Sounds like you have pretty good plan. I am kind of glad we live in a small town without all those choices - yet that adds to its own set of complications.

    Good luck with this.

    Beth
     
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