Set up to fail

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    An update for those that don't remember - difficult child is in an alternative school. It's been a disaster.

    Things haven't gotten much better. She stopped calling me from school everyday when, a couple weeks ago, she called crying and I called the alt school not at all happy. We had a meeting that was contentious - because I was angry and deliberate - and asked them with 5 teachers and 10 students how could they not see that difficult child was having a panic attack every. single. day.

    She's not learning. They aren't working with her like they are supposed to be. difficult child is seriously depressed. She has given up. She now refuses to do school work. When they talk to her about it she tells them that the law forces her to go to school; it does not force her to do work. Which is true. Sigh. She plans on dropping out in February when she turns 16 and I can no longer argue with that. School isn't working for her. She can (and will) get her GED, go to community college or tech school, and go from there. It's not ideal. I certainly didn't look at her while I held her after giving birth and say, "My beautiful baby girl, you are going to be a high school dropout."

    However, the link above shows the *horrible* IEP meeting we had 3 weeks after she started the alt school because the placement was *obviously* a very bad fit. They wouldn't do anything. Now, they are saying that if difficult child doesn't do any work that she will have to return to the home school. At almost the end of the first semester. There is no way, at that point, she could catch up and she would be set up to fail. And to make matters worse, from what the alt school is saying (which I need to check into) is that the school doesn't have to allow her to take the actual GED test (although she has to be enrolled in classes immediately upon dropping out) until what would have been her graduation date, and that our school district never lets kids take it before.

    So, not only have they set her up to fail, they are going to put her life on hold for 2 years. She wants to get this whole part of her life behind her. School - and this school district - has been a nightmare for 8 years. She wants it done - move on - and forget about it. Actually, she wants to "bring the school down", but we know that's not going to happen.

    I plan on calling the Superintendent tomorrow and setting up a meeting, but I want to know about this moving her back to home school in the middle of the year, with her being so far behind, and setting her up to fail. What is the school district's responsibility in that?
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    And two more things: *I* wasn't told about her possibly going back to the home school, they told difficult child. And they won't let me come into school and do work with her at the alt school, citing privacy issues.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Does your district have an adult education program that difficult child can access? Will the community college allow her to enroll at 16, GED or not. if she passes their placement tests? Is there an online ed program that she's eligible for that isn't affiliated with the local district? Can you declare her emancipated for the purpose of education only?

    Just throwing out anything I can think of. Making her sit, stuck, for two years, is seriously not cool.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    In order to drop out, she has to have parental consent, school consent, a job, and be enrolled in GED (adult ed) classes.

    Still, the law states that they can't take the GED until they are 19, unless they are 18 and the school signs a GED Waiver Form; they are 18 and their class graduation date has passed; or they are between the ages of 16-18 and the superintendent signs a GED Waiver Form. Apparently, our school district isn't known to do that.

    However, since this placement has been a disaster since day one and they insisted she stay, then threaten to pull her out and put her back in regular school where she will be so far behind she can't possibly catch up, thus setting her up to fail, I think gives me some ammunition.

    It doesn't make any sense to have to take GED classes (like 6 months) and then wait almost 2 years until she can take the test.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It may be true about her not being able to take the actual GED test until her class graduates. I believe I have heard that rule before somewhere. However, I do believe she can take Adult education classes at the community college which are totally different animals. They will test her, see how many credits she actually needs to graduate and she works on so many "hours" to gain those credits. She can get those hours as fast as she wants to do it by simply working the workbooks and moving on to the next one and getting them done. Thats what Jamie did when it became obvious that one teacher had it out for him in his first semester of his senior year and wasnt going to pass him for English and wanted to make him take it over in the second semester which would have thrown his schedule off. We took him out and sent him to Adult ed and he graduated a month earlier than his class.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My home state is the same way, you can drop out at 16 but you're not allowed to take the GED test until you're 18. Adult Ed should be a viable alternative, and she may want to look into the CLEP test, too.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    If I recall correctly, thank you not only couldn't take the GED test prior to what would have been his graduation date, I think he couldn't even enroll in the GED class until after that date as well. I don't understand the rationale behind that rule - why discourage kids from moving on?

    What about an online curriculum?

    Change in placement is an IEP team decision and you do have to agree to it, so their threat is just that - a threat. She's in a more restrictive placement right now and moving her back to a lesser restrictive placement because she's not doing well where she is ... well, that just flies in the face of IDEA completely. If you've got an advocate, time to get with- them and develop a plan. If you don't have one, I think you need to find one ASAP.

    Sorry she's continuing to struggle.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree that the sooner we can get her out of there and into adult ed classes and or community college it will be soo much better. I'm so sorry my board niece (and her mom) is having to go through all this craziness. Hugs,
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    As I recall - the rationale behind the rule is that years ago kids were dropping out of school early, taking the GED and moving into the workforce before 18. This practice seemed to be discouraging kids from finishing high school and considering higher education. So the rules were put in place to stop this practice. The rationale is supposed to be that "Hey - you can't get the GED before 18 may as well stay in school."

    But obviously - this strategy is not good for all students equally...

    Are there any other options for difficult child at this point?
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That hoovers - in my state they can take the GED at 16 as long as you filled out this form and got the state's permission (my understanding was they never turned a kid down). difficult child took the adult education classes and got her GED at 16. When she was in alternative school, it was a nightmare for us, too. They didn't do a thing but watch movies and do worksheets. They didn't teach the kids a thing. When difficult child went back to regular school, she had to really bust her behind to get caught up. Which she did, but then she got expelled and sentenced to alt school again. Once she was sentenced there again, we both knew it would be a waste of time (they wanted her to go for a full year) and seh dropped out. Definitely not the dream I had for difficult child but it was the best thing for her under the circumstances.
    Now, you cannot get into certain colleges here until your class would have graduated. And I will also tell you that more and more colleges are taking GED's these days - even some universities if you score well enough on the placement exam!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh, sounds like a very unproductive situation, flutteryby. I'm sorry.
    I've learned more things on this board ... didn't know that about the GED.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    That is exactly what I was afraid of happening with Onyxx, spending her freshman year at the alt school - and I was right.

    You can only try, Heather...