Well I just pulled my daughter out of her "Blue Ribbon" school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Buglover, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    I spent over a year sitting in orientations, on the wait list, hoping to get lotteried in to this awesome school. Its public, but everyone wants their kid there because test scores are so high. Not long after she "won the lotto" we started meeting parents who had children who were asked to leave the school, told they were not a good fit for the school, etc. Too hyper, wouldn't pay attention, etc. Then one day when my daughter was in Kindergarten I overheard a school employee talking to parents, saying how hard everybody had to work because there were THREE boys in 5th grade with ADHD, and standardized testing was coming up, etc. For several weeks every day this same employee would be out, gabbing about these boys.I felt really bad for those boys, and thought I would never want anybody talking about my kid like that. Then I thought about it and wondered why there were ONLY 3 kids in 5th grade with ADHD, since according to NIH 9% of kids have ADHD???

    That means at a school of over 600 kids there should be about 55 kids in the school with ADHD, if they had a normal population. Thats almost 10 kids per grade level, not 3! But there are NO Kids in dds class with ADHD, although I suspect my daughter may have the inattentive form. SO it does seem that they weed out most kids they feel will ruin their 100% proficiency rating. And they do it by making the kids and parents so miserable that they voluntarily leave!

    Anyway, a few weeks ago daughter was diagnosis with sensory processing disorder (SPD), mostly its her ears/hearing. She can't focus if there is noise or any distractions, says noise hurts her ears etc. Well now she comes home every day with sticky notes all over her papers "X didn't finish this, please complete and send back in", "X had plenty of time for this. We put her in the hallway where its quiet and she still didn't do it". According to daughter, the "quiet hallway" desk is next to a classroom door where they are very loud.

    Well yesterday morning I was so tired and feeling at the end of my rope. I decided if anybody complained about my daughter today they would get kicked in the shins. I am just so fed up with hearing educators complain about her. Then last night we came home from gymnastics (we were told by Occupational Therapist (OT) to keep her in gymnastics no matter what because its good for her sensory processing disorder (SPD)) and I looked through her backpack. There was at least 1.5 hours of extra work in there that she didn't do at school. So what WAS she doing at school? Its 1st grade, and this was all stuff she KNOWS HOW TO DO. Like write the word turtle next to a picture of a turtle. I swear I just don't get it. But I do know I just about burst into tears last night. There was NO 1.5 hours of free time, what family has that after a long day? It was time for bath and bed with a half hour to study her spelling list and read to her.

    So anyway her new school is rated an "8" on greatschools.org whereas the school we are leaving is a "10". Whatever. Maybe the 8 will have tolerance for a 6 year old? AT least we will get a 2nd opinion on her school performance.

    If anybody wants to add their school stories or advice I would love to hear it. I know it was the 10's job to teach my daughter no matter what, but I could not bear the thought of anybody discussing my daughter like that, as if she were a hindrance/problem. I am so upset right now. I know I need to get her evaluated for a learning disability but I honestly want to see what a normal school has to say about her first. I just don't see how she can sit here and read the newspaper and national geographic magazine out loud to me like its nothing but then at school she cant write turtle.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  2. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    Your daughter sounds alot like my oldest difficult child! He was screened by the school's Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) (speech and language pathologist in K) and they said he has "tendencies toward Auditory Processing Disorder (Auditory Processing Disorders (APD))". It was confirmed by an Audiologist in 3rd grade and I was able to get him a 504 plan and more testing by the school.

    My point is, your daughter sounds like she has Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - Auditory Processing Disorder. Simply put, the ears hear just fine, but the brain has a hard time listening. So, if you would like to learn more about Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), I strongly recommend the book "When the Brain Can't Hear" by Teri Bellis. This book will help alot.

    Second, when you move to the new school, I would recommend meeting with the school and getting a 504 plan set up. I can give you a draft to work from. It will allow for accommodations to help your daughter in the classroom.

    Oh and yes, I would RUN from the "10" school! If things are this challenging in 1st... just wait! Been there, done that, own the t-shirt (now body armor).
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It does sound like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Another good book is "Like Sound through Water"

    School's ratings can be helpful but more important is the "fit" between student and school. Harvard is a great university but for some kids it is the wrong "fit" so it isn't good for them.

    :wine: Here's hoping the new school is a perfect fit!
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    This could be a carbon copy of my world right now. difficult child is also in a "blue ribbon" school and they only thing it has done is short changed my son.

    He has been pushed to the side so many times I could scream. husband and I just had another meeting on Wednesday and things are "finally" looking up for difficult child.

    Just keep on top of EVERYTHING and make your presence known. It is frustrating and challenging, I know ...
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Poor thing. I hope the new school does well. Ratings do not reflect reality most times. With NCLB, schools end up rated lower because they ARE willing to work with the kids that have a harder time, and they dont tend to test as well. But if looking at other measures, like IEP progress reports, individual grades and improvement in a child's test scores (even if not proficient) over years, then you get a better idea. So, it is likely your hunch is right.

    It is also a possibility that because this school was not willing to even bring their concerns to you (it seems anyway) that there is way more to the picture going on. She sounds like she has high ability but as you said, further assessment is very important. Even if this school is more tolerant, if she needs more help then she will need it regardless of how understanding they are.

    What can look like adhd could really be the auditory processing disorder. Of course she can seem inattentive if she has an auditory processing problem of any kind. Does she have a general sensory integration disorder? Could there be other issues going on? How does she do with friends etc. (did I ask you this already, sorry if I did... I should go look)

    I am changing schools for my son too. I hope it goes well for you. If this happens again...that you notice she is struggling, then I am sure you have heard this before, but you will probably want to request an evaluation for an IEP/special education. Send it certified mail so you have proof they got it. Just depends if you find them to be an accommodating school in general, but you will have specific rights with an IEP that just are not built into a 504 plan if they are not good with follow through. You will get a sense of it.

    by the way I have walked up on people AS they were talking/gossiping about my son, in public, using his name. Once so loudly that I heard the chick across a parking lot. I came right up to her and told her that this conversation is completely inappropriate. She then said my son was rude and that she was going to report me to child protection because for any child to be like that I must be a lousy parent. I made a pretty big stink over that. So inappropriate. (and this was a special needs bus... can you imagine, of course he has issues, that's why he rides your bus.... just sickening) I would have been livid if I heard that too.
  6. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    Justour2boys I do suspect Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), I just wasn't aware of it until a few weeks ago, I thought it was just part of sensory processing disorder (SPD). It is very obviously a brain problem, as her hearing is excellent, but she doesn't follow auditory instructions at all . What is a 504? Is it different from a IEP? I haven't been on a learning curve like this since grad school!!!! Auuugh! Who diagnoses Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), an Occupational Therapist (OT) or an audiologist? You know we got so used to seeing her dance around with her hands over her ears we started to think it was normal. I am most definitely running from the "10" school, I am just about giddy with relief! Can you send me that draft through a pm? Or do you need me to send you my email?

    JJJ-yes it is most definitely about being a good fit, and this is not a good fit for sure. I SOOOO hope the new school is.

    I am getting both the books you guys mentioned, they are in my Amazon cart and I will check out here in a minute, thank you!

    Shelly have you noticed fewer than normal ADHD kids at that school? Just curious. I wonder if they all tend to drive more difficult kids away. For us it was just time to go. In Kindergarten her teacher right away complained that daughter made some letters backward, and we knew for a fact that its normal in K, but not at THAT school! It was just absurd, plus half the class had been redshirted and didn't start K til they were 6. Hardly comparing apples to oranges when you compare that school to a normal one. Good luck with it, sounds like he is doing ok.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Is there a place you can post reviews about the school? Ratings are all well and good, but they mean absolutely nothing without the details. I'm sure other parents would like to know WHY the school gets such an artificially high rating.

    I say you're better off and will do much better with a REAL school that teaches REAL kids and STILL manages to get a good rating.

    Personally, that's one of the reasons I adore my kids' school. We're Title 1 which means a very high rate of free and reduced lunch. 85% to be exact. Statistically speaking, that means 'our' kids should be lower performing, but this school is an A rated school, and when test scores are compared, we pretty much blow all the other schools out of the water. They are certainly not perfect, but they actually teach the kids - ALL the kids.
  8. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    That school sounds like it needs a class action against it. I'd be taking my child out, also. I wish I had as good of advice for everyone on this board as some of the ladies do, but I think we are just beginning our journey through the schools.

    difficult child here is in Special Education, he's had an IEP since K for learning lags and speech. This year the teacher has been sending his unfinished work home some days (only Thursday is homework day). I have asked her before if there was a problem, why he wasn't getting it done in school, but I never get a clear answer. I feel like she doesn't understand that I am trying to help, and when I express concern about anything, she comes back with a "He's such a SWEET kid, a JOY to be around!". It's as if she is trying to defend him to me because I am the big old meanie stepmom who rides him or is hypercritical of him. That's not it. I want her to work with me, not just go with the flow. If he's having problems, I need to know about it! Conferences are on Monday, so we will see how that goes.

    I hope that your new school is a much better fit!
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq1.htm WHAT IS A 504 Plan?? In about.com and with links to your state for specific information for your state.

    WHAT is the difference between a 504 and an IEP?? http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq2.htm

    A 504 plan is available to any person with a disability (in this case in a school) who needs accommodations to be able to access the same educational services as any other child. It makes it so that their disability isn't a barrier for them. So, if all your kid needs is for them to use an FM system and then she doesn't need any special therapy or services through special education, a 504 plan could be written to require all of the teachers to use it.

    There guidelines vary and enforcement is next to impossible because there are no regulations that demand certain procedures or would end up with fiscal punishment if they screw up. OF course you could always sue for discrimination.

    An IEP is a plan for special education services. These can be very very minimal, involving only two goals and support in the form of consult from an expert. It can mean a child has a resource room to go to once a day to get support with all of their other work, or therapy. Data must be kept, procedures must be followed, time lines adhered to. It is far more involved than this simple explanation. Writeslaw is a good website as is PACER (a parent group for educational rights) if you want to learn more about either option.... a 504 OR an IEP.
  10. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    She plays just fine with other kids, you would never know there was anything "wrong", not at all, except she tends to be shy and will often be the last one in line. I have read that this is due to the decreased bumping/sensory strain and is common in sensory processing disorder (SPD). Her other sensory issues are smell sensitivity and she also has massive transitioning problems, which I can understand if sounds are that awful for her. She missed school last week due to snow and I have never seen a happier kid in my life, played in her room all day, made me several books, etc. Not one tantrum, perfect all day because she didn't have to go anywhere.

    Oooooh I would be so mad, I can't even imagine how I would react but it would not be pleasant. When the school employee talked about those boys I actually felt sick in the pit of my stomach, I can't imagine it being your own kid! ((((((((Huggs!!!!)))))))
    I hope your new school works out better for him and you both!
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It usually starts with an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) screening, specifically for the "full spectrum of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) conditions". From there, you would go to a very highly specialized audiologist with experience in advanced Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing... regular ones do not have the expertise.

    Occupational Therapist (OT) can deal with auditory sensory issues... not the same thing, can co-exist.
  12. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    Keista I am going to leave a very thorough review on Greatschools, thats the best place I know. How ridiculous, a lot of the kids are a year older and the kids with learning problems have been removed. They better be a "10", even though its meaningless because of the way the school is run! My son's high school is like the school you are talking about, they are in the Newsweek top high schools every year because they do have a lot of free/reduced lunch kids there but they also have the best IB program in the state. My son's gifted, thats what I am used to so this whole thing with daughter is extra baffling and frustrating, esp. since we think she is gifted too, if they would pull their heads out long enough to listen to what she says.

    Hoperemains, I wish I had a dollar for every time the teacher told me how "sweet and creative" daughter is. Do you have time to do all the extra work? I just find it overwhelming, I don't know what they do in school if the work isn't getting done.

    Buddy thanks for the info, you are like a Google search engine :)
  13. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    The max is usually 3 worksheets. We're pretty boring around here, so I am home and there SHOULD be plenty of time to do it. However, if he's not in the mood to do the homework - even if it's only one wksheet, it would take him 5 minutes to do - then it is an all night battle. Even if I tell him it's his choice to do it or not, because I know his teacher will hold him accountable and make him stay in from recess the next day to do it, he throws an all nighter. The really frustrating nights are when doesn't want to or screams for hours that he "CAN'T" do it (getting violent, throwing stools down, breaking 10 pencils, etc), then decides he's done with his tantrum and does it in less than 5 minutes with absolutely no help. *Pulling my HAIR out!*
  14. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    Wow isn't that frustrating? You know it will take them 5 minutes or less, but they spend an hour tantrumming first, then 5 mins on the paper. I tell her that too, it just makes it worse :)
  15. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi, difficult child's first school was a neighborhood school with excellent test scores. difficult child was there on a transfer from our supposedly "bad" neighborhood school. And, boy did those parents freak out about difficult child's behavior! The attitude among a lot of parents seemed to be, "I paid a lot of money to buy a house in this neighborhood so my kids could go to this school. We don't want to put up with kids who are different."

    I think it is a big red flag when unfinished work starts coming home with instructions to finish it and return it. That speaks volumes about the teachers awareness (or lack thereof) about the child's disability and about the teacher's willingness to work with the child.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Buglover, yes, you are on the right track ... quite often, schools with-the highest ratings, regardless whether they are private or public, screen their student population.
    We went from private school to private school to public school. Turns out the regular public school within walking distance of our house has been the best for our son, who is a square peg in a round hole. He doesn't have the friends I would like him to have, but the teachers are used to students like him and at least I don't get complaints and people talking about him behind his back or whatever they might do. I love that the assignments are posted online so I can keep up. (All but one teacher are good about keeping up with-it.)

    You will find a place for her. Once you calm down, just remember that she is a square peg in a round hole and it's about her education and what fits her best, not what looks good on a standardized achievement test.
  17. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    good for you :)

    i never got the chance to respond back on your other thread, but just wanted to say that giftedness and disability (especially HIDDEN disabilities) can most certainly coexist.

    google 2e (twice exceptional) and it will lead you to some really great stuff...hoagies site has some really good info.

    mine is similar to yours in the respect she been extreme grade levels ahead in reading, has particular talents in most areas of math (not all) and pretty much hears it once and is good to go, provided she remembers it. she should have been in a gifted program from day one, but here its really just a heavier workload, and that part was the last thing she needed...sometimes schools dont get that they most certainly should, and CAN modify an excellerated program when its appropriate, and i regret not pushing the issue. its been a very difficult thing to manage in regard to schools--she struggles with adhd and other executive function, dysgraphia, some visual stuf, and a few other things.

    but i meant to say in the other one--tread very carefully in advancing yours a few grades in the subjects she excels in...it was up there with one of our biggest mistakes ever. there came a point where academically there was no place else to go. in hindsight, i'd have not bumped her up a few grades, i'd have insisted on more appropriate supplementation and high interest materials at her level (that I in IEP). mine ended up being literally *more* bored, because she already knew it all, if that makes any sense.
  18. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    Well believe it or not the principal from "10" called me last night. Long story short, she volunteerd with no prodding from me that "10" was much more rigorous than other schools, not for everybody, in fact only one of her 3 kids went there because it was too much for her other 2! So it DOES have a harder curriculum and I have been making poor barely-old-enough-with-sensory processing disorder (SPD) daughter go there. Principal also said there were hardly any Special Education/ADHD kids at "10" because it was too overwhelming for them. (It is not a neighborhood school, it is run completely by lottery system, so nobody just gets to go there based on where they live). Anyway, how frustrating, I feel like no matter how much I research and study things its not enough. But whew, so glad to be done with it. Today I get to go to her new school and get school supply list and stuff, talk to principal about IEP 504 things etc.

    tictoc yes I do get that vibe too, everybody drives very expensive cars and you can tell they think they are above having to deal with difficult kids. Its a turn off for sure!

    TerryJ2 I can't imagine dealing with a private school where parents are paying to have their kids educated in a "better" environment, that would stress me out. I think the school down the street will be best for my kiddo too! :)

    Confuzzled I will look that up, 2e. It is easy for her to get ahead in reading because its easy for her, also she is behind in math because she hates it. That should seem so obvious, shouldn't it? But it is such a struggle to get her to do stuff she doesn't like, and who wants to deal with a tantrum if it can be avoided?
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not read all the responses, but that school is AWFUL, in my opinion. I dont' CARE about test scores. they have lost sight of the fact that NO 6yo should do that much work. Family time is as important as school time in the long run. Test results for a kid in 1st grade are just not that important. T hey are for the school that gets funding based on those test results, but not for the kid!

    There is no excuse for a teacher or other school staff member to be telling people that there are 3 kids with adhd and they all have to work super hard because that. in my opinion that is gossip and is wrong and possibly illegal. I am sure they do discriminate and cherry pick the better students.

    I am also sure that your daughter will grow up to be a more well rounded person than the kids who grow up thinking this is the best approach and she will also be far more tolerant of others and more caring and compassionate. They sound exactly like the first grade teacher wh o thought that since Wzi was in the gifted program then all his grades should be 100% and he should be able to correct all of HER mistakes. The gifted program was a full class day in another building, so this teacher thought that Wiz should come home and do every single paper that the other kids did in her class after he got home from school on the day of the gifted class. She was incredibly irate (her face turned an interesting shade of red-purple with her fury) when I brought the statutes about no child being forced to do 6 days of schoolwork in a week and how if a child went to a school assigned program like the gifted program then they were NOT to do the reg classowrk for that day.

    In the long run your daughter will greatly benefit from NOT being in that school. Those who think this is a great thing are just burning the kids out. I read an article about overparenting that says that college administrators are calling the students "teacups" and "crispies" now. Teacups are students who have been so overmanaged and over protected that they are unable to handle life on their own, they just cannot function with-o someone there to tell them what to do and how to do it. College is traumatic for them.

    Crispies are what this "10" school will produce. Kids who are so burned out from working hours and hours extra to get the highest A and do the most extracurricular activities are the "crispies" because they just crumble. they just cannot handle another set of expectations because they are just too stressed out.

    YOUR daughter will not be in those groups because she has a mom who wants her to have a childhood, to have a family life, and to do normal things and not freak out to get the highest standardized test scores.

    in my opinion most educational systems in the US have lost sight of the fact that there is a LOT more to education than can be measured on a standardized test. students now only want to know what is on the test and they have a tough time with the idea that their entire future does NOT hang on the results of any test. sadly we now have parents who never learned this who are raising kids.

    So relax, get your daughter the help and supports she needs, and let the lemmings flock to the "10" rated schools. Raise you child to be happy, healthy and well rounded and she will end up with a satisfying, well rounded life.

    You did GREAT by pulling her out!
  20. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well said, Susiestar!