Choice High School update...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am not sure where to post this. I have posted prior regarding the choice High Schools.

    I am terrified of sending difficult child to the district high school. He JUST turned 13 and to be sent to a school of 3000 kids scares me.

    We went to the open house at one of the choice schools last night. If you graduate from there, in Automated Machine, pre-engineering, robotics, IT - micro computers, web design, networking, Aeronautics ...too many to mention, you leave High school with 22.5 transferable credits. Approx. $30000 worth of credits(one of the engineering school's figures).

    difficult child seems very interested. BUT, they go through the cumulative folder for each and every application. They look at grades all the way back to 4th grade.(they understand middle school can be tough). They look at state test scores, they look at each and every comment the teacher makes on report cards. Unfortunately most of difficult child's comments are, "does not work up to ability".

    He scores way in the advanced field for the state tests. But he has struggled in middle school. Blame myself because he entered middle school at age 10, and I was working out of town, second shift. I wasn't there for him. He refuses to do work. Or past tense on that. He has come a long way. But his response was always, "grades don't count until High School, I'll do it then."
    He has never failed a class, but certainly doesn't do as well as he could. Depends on the teacher. He has spent two years getting blamed for everything which affected his attitude.

    This school also looks highly upon letters of recommendation from principals, counselors and teachers. i am very fortunate this year. The principal has taken the time to get to know difficult child. She is wonderful with him. Thinks he would do great there.
    Also a counselor from elementary school, who we keep in touch with, is willing to write a letter, with a bribe..he brings his grades up. Anyone who has taken the time to get to know him found a very different boy than his reputation. Still I am worried. This school requires hard work.

    So, our application is in. Letters have been requested. I am scared out of my mind. He would walk to the district school (one block away) take a shuttle to this academie. Stay until after lunch and take the shuttle back to the district school for his French class. (no foreign languages there). And, I just found out he can speak French very very good. I was watching a movie and they were speaking in french. I asked him what they said. He told me the entire conversation. not bits and peices, or words. The entire conversation.

    Well, my new question is, should I make an appointment with this principal and meet with him? Should I discuss difficult child? He did say that they also consider any family problems that may have affected a students progress. And that can remain private, just noted. And we had a life changing experience 3 years ago.
    What to do. Find more answers, wait and see?

    This requires hard work. He may not be able to do it. The alternatives are much scarier. 3000 kids. Too many for him to impress. to many chances to face temptation.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would think a meeting with the principal would help. Do you know any other families whose children go there? They can give you a handle on what the principal is like.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've discussed this with my difficult child's principal as a possibility for him when he gets out of middle school. I wondered if it would be possible given his previous behavior record at school and because he has intermittent periods of cognitive problems. He does very well in between those periods. She still seems to think it is possible- however- it will take her "help" to get him in (if he wants to go- I'm not going to force him). Anyway, I would suggest finding a person from each school they want records from who can go to bat for difficult child and help reinforce that any previous problems aren't indicators that this specialty school isn't right for him. Also, as JJJ suggested, talk with the principal at the specialty center, as well.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'd give it a go. If you don't, you will always wonder if it would have been a better path...

    And if you try and fail, then at least you tried. That is also an important message to give difficult child.

    If the school reads his record and still takes him, they cannot claim 'false pretences'. They may see in him, and his record (with all its faults) a kid who will fit their mould like a glove.

    Or not.

    Definitely worth a shot.

  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I spoke with his current principal at Middle School as well as the counselor from elementary school who remains very close to difficult child. Both said in their professional opinion the large district school would not be a good fit for him.

    His current principal has taken her time this year, to get to know him. She found a whole different boy than his reputation indicates. She called him down yesterday and spoke to him. She AGREED to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf, but he must bring/keep his grades up. She feels this school will be the best placement for him. He wants to do this, and he is reminded of the hard work expected from him. She also said she will call this principal and when he comes to view the records of the students who applied, she will speak to him personally.

    He will, if accepted, attend this academie most of the day. After lunch take a shuttle to the district school to attend foreign language class. So he is getting the best of two schools.

    I am so nervous. I know he can do it. I am so optimistic of this new setting. Hope he is really willing to put forth the effort.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok, you must have a little time. If both his principal and exteacher, or such, from his elementary school are both willing to write letters if his grades go up, that means their letters will not be going out right away?

    I advocate meeting with the principal, but I already gave you that opinion on your last post regarding this school. I will tell you that this is when you see if difficult child can muster up. If this is where he really wants to go, he needs to step up to the plate. It will only take you a couple weeks to see if difficult child is up to the challenge.

  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Applications must be in by January 25th.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he have a history of getting enthusiastic and then having it peter out or does he follow through on his enthusiasm?