email I just sent to English teacher and principal...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, May 18, 2012.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Mrs. Rxxxxx, I was on PowerSchool this morning and I saw that Jxxx has a zero for the CD Project. This is the project that she did twice... as she - or our computer didn't save it the first time. She had to redo the assignment, then downloaded it on to a memory stick which she took to school. I guess our computer doesn't have the same word processing program as the school, so she then downloaded a template from the school computer on to the memory stick to try and reformat her assignment. That night at home, the template wouldn't work on our computer, so I took her to the public library so she could get on the same word processing program and try to reformat it. She was able to do that and put it on the memory stick. I also took her back to the school on a homework club day to download the project on the school computer. How much easier it would have been to print it out and hand it in? Is it the work the student does that is important or the size of the paper margins?

    There was also another large project that she completed, although late, and she said she wasn't given credit for it because you asked her to remind you to let her give the presentation and she forgot until the end of class. This is a child who can't remember half the things she wants to do, (pack a lunch on a bad school meal day, watch a show on tv at a specific time, keep plans she makes with friends, etc) let alone things that are not at the top of her list.

    I feel all this is a waste of my time and hers if she gets no credit for doing the work. I have tried to explain to the school how hard it is for her to follow thru on multiple step problems. At the meeting with the school psychologist she went over the IQ and processing speed percentages. She said Jessica was in the 87th percentile on IQ and 13th percentile for processing speed. That is 74 points difference. Every thing I have read on line states that students with a gap of more than 30 points finds school difficult and many drop out by age 16. I don't want that future for my child. I do believe she has a learning disability. I realize it is not something that someone observes just by giving her a test or having in a class for 45 minutes. I know she struggles, I know she wants to do well, that is why I have tried so hard over the years to find someone who will advocate for her.

    It seemed to me that at the meeting with the psychologist and school officials was a waste of time, as no one implented any guidelines to improve the situation. I went along with the "let Jxxxx try this on her own" plan which was no plan at all. Although she is intelligent, previous tests show that she has a deficit of executive functions - and so far we have not received any help with this area.

    So once again I have stood by and watch her be set up for failure. I am OK with docking her grade for being late, but I am tired of zeros for when she has done most of the work. It is hard to stand back and watch the same things happen year after year.

    I do hope you or Mr. Exxxxx responds to this email, as I received no response after the last email. We have four more years of school and I need a better road map for navigating thru high school. Can you tell me who I should contact at the high school to help get some guidelines in place before we get there?

    SO...... I am wondering if and when I might get a response? we have 4 more days of school. I am so tired of trying to get help... from the school... from the medical field... from the health insurance company.... KSM
  2. KSM - I think your email was very well done! I'm not sure there will be any response to it, especially at there are only 4 days left of school. The teachers are probably as checked out as the kids at this point.

    I am sorry for what your daughter is going through. She is very much like my daughter who has processing abilities in the 4th percentile. They work hard but their executive function and processing abilities are so low that it's hard for them to do anything but spin their wheels sometimes. Combine that with my daughter's math disability and UGH!

    We have struggled through a difficult year (grade 7) with a teacher that just can't be bothered and it has been very frustrating. Won't communicate via email, won't give written instructions for assignments and tests even though it's in her IEP, won't modify tests unless I tell him what to modify - also in her IEP, doesn't return phone calls. The only thing I have found that helps is calling the principal or the school board. My Dad likes to say that sh@@ runs downhill - and it does. If you go above their heads then maybe something will happen for your daughter.

    Can you have an influence over who her teacher/teachers are next year?? That might help.

    I wish you well.
  3. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Wow... I can't believe that they gave her a zero after the extremes you had to go through to complete the assignment. I would be livid. It's not as if you are asking them to bend over backwards, just to be reasonable! I hope that he responds to this... I would be calling until he took my call and if that didn't work, I'd try to get ahold of the superintendant. With only 4 days left he very well may just try to put it off (but it's his JOB to address it!).
  4. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    welcometowitsend- I am curious... With an IEP (which is federally funded, right?) wouldn't it be easy to threaten or contact someone who is in charge of the program rather than the school if the school refuses to follow the rules?
  5. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    at least you have an IEP. They said she didn't qualify for that. but "maybe" they could do a learning plan. Which I think is a 504 plan. Of course, difficult child is mortified when I talk to the school about a plan that takes in to account her abilities. I guess in the back of her mind it means going to a "special" class, or having a para follow her around to keep her on task. I am not expecting extreme measures. But this teacher won't send a copy of the homework to me so I can keep her on task. She expects difficult child to write down the home work for the week on Mondays and keep track of it herself. She even told me she didn't have time to send emails to me. Gee, in this electronic age, she should be able to post it for all students and parents to track.

    I know you know how hard it is to just let "life" happen to our difficult children... you want to help so much and there are road blocks every where you turn.

  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    OK... I got a response! Here are bits and pieces of her reply.

    Mxxx, I believe the reason I didn't reply the last time, was you asked if we had ideas, and I did not.

    Great... our educators at their best!

    As for the CD project, she has not turned in the project in any form to me. Does she have a printed copy somewhere? I don't care if it is the correct size at this point, would just like a copy of it. I understand your frustration, but I am equally frustrated, when I do all I can to help her and try to keep her on task.

    OK, I sent her an attachment of the project that was still on my computer.

    Her presentation that she forgot to remind me of, is not counting against her. I apologize I didn't remember to ask her about that, but in my defense, I do have 102 other students that equally need my attention. What would be a fair solution to the presentation in your eyes? I am willing to work with you here.

    Well, she only has about 20 in a class... not 102 at one time. Why would when a student comes to class and has to do a presentation, is it the students responsibility? And when difficult child did ask... it was at the end of the class and the teacher said, no it was too late. difficult child came home and told me the teacher said it was too late to take the assignment. She (and I) assumed that it would be a zero... which it was.

    Now for the CD project that was late, if she turns it into the basket, whatever copy of it she has, by Monday, I will be glad to give her the partial credit I did everyone else that was late.

    OK - like I said, I emailed that project to her already. Will have to hunt for the other presentation. At least she answered me. KSM
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Sounds like very similar issues son has. Keep fighting for a 504 or an IEP. YOu can assure difficult child that if she only gets a 504 , she will not go to special class and she won't have any one following her around - those are services and the 504 only contains accommodations. She would be able to get extra time for assignments, partial credit for work done or late, have assignments communicated in a more concrete manner, etc. Won't make things perfect and you'll still have to be following up behind her because while teachers allow (legally they have to) the accommodations, they are rarely proactive about them - so you have to be.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Teacher isn't going to cut any slack, unless the child has an IEP. Most teachers (our experience anyway) do not have the skills to deal with exception kids on the fly... there are a few exceptional teachers out there who can and do.

    We went through the whole label fight with difficult child. Didn't want to be different, etc. We had to force the issue, put things in place... but once we knew what we were dealing with, we were able to take his concerns into the picture. For example, he hates "assigned" aides - but has no problem if a "classroom aide" wants to give him a bit of extra help, and doesn't have an issue spending specific periods in a resource room... But until you have the "labels", and an IEP, you don't get anything.
  9. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I can't even tell you how lame I think that teacher's response was. At least they got back to you, though!
  10. ksm - I'm glad you got a response - and a fairly quick one at that.

    I have to say that 'not having any ideas' is not a reason to not reply to an email. That was ridiculous and if it's true then it's pretty disheartening. If a teacher with experience and who teaches 102 kids every year can't figure out a way to help your child, then what?

    I'm glad you are making some progress with this and hopefully she can salvage some of these marks by the end of the year.

    I really don't know why your daughter doesn't have an IEP. 13th percentile for processing is at the low end of below average and that should at least qualify her for something. Add that to the executive function issues and I would think an IEP should be put in place - even if it only entails written instructions and communication between the school and home.

    My frustration with my daughter's teacher is that he will send home instructions but ONLY if I write him a letter and ask him for specific information on an upcoming test or assignment. So, if daughter forgets about the assignment altogether then I can't ask him because I don't know about it. Frustrating. And he won't modify a test for her unless I specifically tell him what to modify. In my opinion her tests should be rewritten, not just have stuff crossed off - this is a visual distraction for her. Additionally, she is allowed to have formula/example sheets to help her get through math tests - I have to write them for her because he can't be bothered to do it.

    It's so frustrating but this guy is going on sabbatical next year so I don't have to worry about him. I have written a very long letter to the school which I will drop off today stating exactly what her teacher needs to be prepared to do next year - so there won't be any surprises to the poor unsuspecting teacher when this Mama Bear comes knocking on her door in September.

    From one Mama Bear to another, I wish you well with this! Hope the next 4 days go well and everything gets straightened out with these assignments - and hopefully you get a much more proactive teacher next year!
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    they are denying her civil rights. 504 plans and IEP's are both bottom line designed to make sure that a person who has a condition (and her adhd is one of those recognized) has an even playing field in public settings. Though 504 plans are often ineffective, they at least do document that there is a problem and if the time comes to push harder for an IEP if they try to say well we can just do some other alternative plan.... you can say "been there done that" .... Might be worth it to start using the legal terms, to let them know that you know her rights. Even if difficult child doesn't want it she doesn't have to be a part creating the document. Many of the things that can be set up, once they are in place can be just explained to her (like more flexible deadlines, being able to present projects in a different format etc.).... and she wont have to listen to or know the gory details that many kids dont want to talk about. (they may say she needs to be there but it i s really your choice)

    I think you did great expressing the concerns and your feelings in your email. Do you think that it would be worth it, just as a follow up, to say that you expect her to receive credit, period?? You have had meetings, they know of the issues and she has a right to accommodations given her medical condition and learning challenges. Must be so frustrating to know all this but not have them hear you at all. Great job speaking up for her.
  12. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    The teacher has stated that she will give her credit for the two big projects that are "missing". One I have sent as an email attachment. The other one, I am still searching for. I hope it is on difficult child's memory stick. KSM
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    OMW! Those responses are chillingly similar to son's science teacher form last term - the one I fired. Because even with an IEP the woman was horrid and not willing to accommodate.

    But at least you have a response and a plan to get those grades in this year.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrgh, how frustrating.
    I have to admit, I laughed outloud at that response--you asked if I had any ideas and I did not.

    You need an IEP and/or 504. They will not budge with-things like "I think my child has a learning disability." They are stuck in their ways.

    You GO, Warrior Mom!
  15. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We're going through this with easy child. If her only problem is processing, they won't give an IEP. Apparently, at least in my school district, they have to have more than one problem that directly impacts their ability to learn in order to get an IEP.

    Is this a new teacher? I uderstand that he might not have had any ideas on how to proceed with your daughter, but to not even e-mail you to say something to that effect? That's pathetic!
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    So... if you're severely hearing impaired, or severely vision impaired, or a quadraplegic (that's just "one problem", remember)... they don't get an IEP?
    I doubt it.

    I'd be looking for an advocate. It's the severity of the impact, not the length of the list, that matters.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I must have been typing when you were writing your WOW....

    No ideas huh....and no courtesy either apparently.
  18. I agree with Insane. Processing is a major part of being able to learn, to implement multiple steps, to formulate thoughts and organize them so they make sense on paper - this can be a huge issue!

    I explained it to my daughter by saying that it's like a Commodore 64 trying to run Windows Vista, surf the net and check email in the background - just too much for it to be able to handle so it gets stuck. Ugh!

    Does anyone remember that woman in Washington that was hired to revamp their school system? I thought she was great - where is she when our school boards need someone like that. we need to get rid of ineffective, uncaring teachers. I get that teaching is a job and earns income for people but it also effects our children and their future as well as the future of our respective country's. It's a higher calling in my opinion and should be treated that way.
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Great post! that is a great way to put it... by the way, my dad still has our comodore 64 AND IT WORKS
  20. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. My 10th grader has a processing speed of 5th%ile and is dyslexic.

    The one thing that is incorrect in your email is the correlation of the scores. The IQ score is comprised of various different tests, of which processing speed is one. IQ has two components, performance and verbal. If there is a large discrepancy between the VIQ and the PIQ, there is a problem. For example, my daughter has a 154 VIQ but only a 112 PIQ. This is almost 3 standard deviations (15 points per s.d.) between the scores. Average IQ is 100. Therefore, my daughter is in high average mode for PIQ (which involves math skills, visual spatial etc) so she never qualified for services although she is horrible in math. The total IQ is the average of the VIQ and the PIQ, which can be very confusing when you have a child with big discrepancies. My daughter's IQ was 133, which is considered gifted, but I had to pull her out of gifted classes because she could not do the math. on the other hand, oldest boy has the same overall 133 IQ, but his VIQ and PIQ were almost identical so his skills were more balanced. My dyslexic 10th grader has a VIQ identical to that of difficult child but a PIQ 40 points lower so his reported IQ is 20 points lower than difficult child's. I hope this makes sense.

    What you need to do is look at the subscore breakdowns and see how they come out. For instance, my dyslexic child scored in the 99th%ile of vocabulary and the 5th in processing speed, the 14th in spelling. It is those differences which show Learning Disability (LD) issues. on the other hand, if you have overall high scores in all areas, you are probably extremely bright with no LDs. If you have overall scores below average, they will not deem you to be Learning Disability (LD) but to be just not bright.

    The key is to look at the subscores and see where they come out. If you want to post your d's, I could give you some comments and maybe some suggestions about how to help. One I have is to have the school have an aide or another child copy the HW on Monday and provide it to your d - many schools provide this even to kids who don't have IEPs. There is a type of carbon paper - a kid with nice writing uses it to make notes and generally never knows who it's for. If she has a 504, you can ask them to add in that her HW assignments will be provided to her. One year, I had the right to email my child's HW in even though the other kids were supposed to hand it in. I gave him a copy and most days it got there, but when it didn't, it was nice that he wouldn't be penalized.

    Good luck,