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How would you handle this?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
My ds is in 1st gr. after being hsed for preschool and kinder. I have older dc, that I have also hsed,and are also in school.

At the start of the year, I explained to ds's teacher, that we had been hsing, ds had experienced lots of social interactions-especially sports teams,been involved with lots of enriching experiences, and that he has been brought up in a very enriching environment. We also informed her, that ds has many gifts( as do ALL dc), but he hadn't been showing any interest in formal learning-and that was ok with us, as we know he is bright-just wasn't quite "there" yet,with desk type work.

Ok. With that being said, we let her know, that ds is very athletic(for his age), and we were passionate about him getting recess everyday. We explained very frankly, that unless he was showing inappropriate social skills(likie hitting someone,etc), he was to ALWAYS go to recess. To make sure she understood *exactly*, my dh said ds was not to be kept inside for any school work type of reason-like not finishing his work.

After the first month, I set up a meeting with the teacher, to see how things were going. We met, and she had everything great to say about him-except that he was near the bottom of the class in reading. She said he could go to reading enrichment, with two other dc, and that would help. I told her that we were not concerned at all, that we saw he was progressing, and his transition into a school setting was more important. I told her that I would work extra on the weekends with him, to help him with his reading.

Then came the first conference. The same things were said. I asked about the reading enrichment, and she said it wouldn't be a coonsistent thing for him,at that time,as they were working on JA, and that would mean that he would only meet with the reading teacher once a month. We made it very clear, that we felt he was making wonderful progress with reading, we would continue to spend more time reading on the weekends-but if she felt that he *really* needed help-to please call or email us.

Conferences are next week. Today, ds came home, and said he only got one recess, as he had to go do extra reading practice with a different teacher. I asked him if he was given the choice to go to recess, and he said no, and was upset about it.

When talking about it with dh tonight, I told him, that as one of the room moms, I had a feeling that the teacher perhaps viewed ds as not needing extra recess,as he uses self control and is self disciplined-not rolling around on the floor, running around the room,etc. the way some of the other dc were.But! That still does not excuse the teacher's lack of communication with us! He has made excellent progress, in such a short time! Today was a beautiful day to be outside, and he was unfairly kept in.

Dh and I wanted to rip into the teacher, before she left the bldg, but decided to wait till our anger calmed down....so first thing Monday AM, we would rip into her.

What would you do?

(Thank you!)
post #2 of 60
I dunno exactly what I would do, but I certainly wouldn't "rip into her". Maybe just say something like "even though ds may not demonstrate it at school, ds really needs his outdoor time. I thought I made it clear at the beginning of the year that he is not to be kept indoors for school work but I guess that was a miscommunication. We don't want him kept in for recess for doing any sort of school work, only if he demonstrates inappropriate social behaviors such as hitting."
post #3 of 60
I *totally* understand your point of view and your requests, but IME public schools aren't set up for those sorts of requests.

It's all well and good that you want him to have recess and think his reading is fine, but the *system* is set up to give extra reading practice to all kids that meet a set of criteria that your son meets. That extra practice is during recess and that's just the way it is.

Good luck working out a set up that is best for your son

-Angela
post #4 of 60
Thread Starter 
Hey, Thanks!

Yeah,"rip into her" is just the mamabear talking....I'm not really a "rip into her" kind of person-usually!

Angela-this is a private school-I should have disclosed that. Yep, we pay for our dc's school and public.

Anyone else?
post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post
Hey, Thanks!

Yeah,"rip into her" is just the mamabear talking....I'm not really a "rip into her" kind of person-usually!

Angela-this is a private school-I should have disclosed that. Yep, we pay for our dc's school and public.

Anyone else?
Ah, well, then you might have LESS of a chance then. Are they full? Do they have a wait list? A private school that's in demand is likely to tell you to stick it. A private school that is hurting will probably work with you if you make a big enough stink.

good luck!

-Angela
post #6 of 60
I kind if agree with Angela in a way. While you may think your son is making fine progress with Reading, he may not be hitting certain benchmarks that students in your school/state are expected to make. And that could have consequences for the teacher or school. NCLB stuff.

When I taught 4th grade, I had to sit down with my principal after stan testing and explain to him why individual students didn't score well. It was literally like "Johnny missed the benchmark in math by X points. Why? How come Susie made it, but Johnny didn't? What did you do?" : And this was before NCLB.

IME, Public schools also think of everything in terms of liability, so someone at the school is probably thinking that if your child is not provided the extra help, and then doesn't progress and there is some consequence down the road, then you'll come back and sue. "Why didn't you help my child when you knew he was struggling?" Not that you would do this, but someone thinks you might.

I work in a HS now, and it happens all the time. We see what might be a problem and notify the parents and make a recommendation.... parents don't communicate and/or don't follow through and it's like talking at a black hole.... then the kid fails the class or gets suspended or expelled. Then all of a sudden mom and dad are all over the place "How come nobody told me?!?!?" Ugh.

ANYWAY.... I would not rip the teacher a new one. She may have had less input into the decision than you think. I would approach her as simply getting more info. "Johnny mentioned that he had an extra reading class the other day. Could you tell me more about this? I was a little surprised because I thought after our last meeting we were going to hold off on this. Did something change? How often will this class be? Is there any way he can have this class and still keep his recess?"

If you're uncomfortable with the extra help after getting all the facts, ask what you need to do to have him taken out. Offer to sign a form or something or talk to the principal.
post #7 of 60
I'm not sure, but I don't think there's much you can really do in this situation. I know recess is important but he is still getting the one, right? If it's the teacher/school's policy to keep kids in who are behind on any given subject, they are unlikely to make an exception in your child's case.

I guess I'm just thinking about it with regards to what my DD's class does. If the kids don't have their homework finished by Monday (it's only once a week so they've had 7 days to complete it) then they stay inside for one recess to work on it. I just can't see myself complaining if my DD had to miss recess to catch up on her work. I may not like it or agree with it (I actually don't care for homework at all!) but it's a good school and tend to go along with their rules unless I feel like it's truly harmful for my child. If I had any major concerns, I wouldn't hesitate to pull them out.

Is it every day that he would miss the one recess or just occasionally/temporarily for this program?
post #8 of 60
Thread Starter 
OK, these are good questions and insights to think/ask about.

Our older dc,are straight A students, w/o needing homework, so in terms of ds perhaps bringing the curve down for his class, my other two are doing the pulling.

The recess is a big thing, as there are actually three recesses many days-and today would have been one of those days...except they had a school assembly.

I know that this issue isn't nearly as huge as some on this forum, but,it's huge to us-as ds thrives in the outdoors.

The school is full for only two grades-neither of which our dc are in.

Thanks for the help and support!
post #9 of 60
If you decide to pursue this, I would create the following type note (and yes, I would do a note, oral communications are more likely to be forgotton or miscommunicated)

Dear xyz,

Our family highly values outdoor play. There are many reasons we picked this school - and the 3 recesses were one of them.

As such we were disappointed to learn DS was kept in during recess to work on reading.

DP and I request that all our children be allowed to go to recess unless losing recess is a consequence for a serious breach of behaviour (i.e "hitting", foul language, etc).

Should there be a program that you feel our child will benefit from during recess please give us a call before having our child participate.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter - and if there are any questions or comments, please contact me at : 123-4567

Sincerely,

abc
post #10 of 60
I am shocked and jealous that you have a school available with 3! recesses a day.

1 a day is standard here

-Angela
post #11 of 60
We've had positive experiences with private schools as far as general things go, mostly I think it's because we are paying them for a service, and expect to get our monies worth YK? I've found them to be very responsive IME.

OP:
What if you spin it a little bit.... The teacher is really trying to help your DC. They've recognized something they feel he could use some extra help with. As you are paying them to help educate your child, I'm hopeful they feel some responsibility toward that end goal and would like to think it is evident in their trying to get him some individualized assistance to that end.

That said is the issue with him missing recess or with them giving him extra help? Did I read that they offered and you declined it stating you would work with him at home? If they do feel some responsibility toward his education they might not be comfortable with that if he is not making forward progression. If you do not have an issue with him getting the assistance at school I would thank them for being so concerned and simply ask if there is another time other then recess where he may get that help. In many schools it is really a challenge for scheduling purposes to have someone come in and do that 1x1 work. He will always miss something unless they are able to do it after school (which you may have to pay extra for).

I would bring up the issue of communication separately, once the first issue is resolved. After speaking with the teacher regarding the timing issue on the reading work (when to do it, if to do it) I would email/write a note saying: "Thanks so much for your time and concern for our child. I really appreciate your efforts and assistance in working this out with us for our kiddo! If in the future you ever feel he needs some extra assistance in any area would you please contact us first so we can work this out prior to the start of any services? That would be most appreciated and would help us in being proactive rather then reactive. Thanks again!" The teacher may feel like she already did come to you though, so I would put the emphasis on the 'start of any services'. She may feel defensive either way....

I'm with you, I don't want my kids to miss recess at all. At our ODD's school kids are pulled out during other activities and not during recess. If they are getting help or enrichment in math they get pulled out when their class is doing math. If it's work on reading they get pulled out during reading time, writing: during language arts etc.. Many kids still feel like they miss something though, and I know it's a challenge for the school to try to schedule all the extra services. If they don't have the flexibility to do this, maybe they could schedule his reading work during recess but only on days where he also has PE, so he gets the physical activity if you wold be OK with that. If you don't have a problem with the extra help he could be getting, I would go in with some suggestions on when to do it....
post #12 of 60
I have seen kids who fell behind on reading. It is so very very important for kids not to fall behind in that area.

Our school systems are set up so that EVERYTHING depends on kids being at least at grade level for reading. Think about it, there are even things like word problems in math.

You seem really dismissive of the fact that his teacher thinks he has an issue with reading. If it's a private school (I attended one for my 1 to 12), and they come to believe you aren't on board, they can and will kick him out.

It sounds like you've been at 2 meetings with his teacher and refused to extra help she believes your son needs.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Ah, well, then you might have LESS of a chance then. Are they full? Do they have a wait list? A private school that's in demand is likely to tell you to stick it. A private school that is hurting will probably work with you if you make a big enough stink.
I don't agree, my ds goes to private school, and the staff take parents requests very seriously, so if I insisted he never miss recess (they don't have children miss recess for any reason that I know of including extra reading support, so it would be a moot point), then they would most certainly honor my request. Special ed is always done during regular class time, either in pull out alone, or in small groups, or within the classroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I am shocked and jealous that you have a school available with 3! recesses a day.

1 a day is standard here
3 recesses are also standard at my ds's school.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post
I kind if agree with Angela in a way. While you may think your son is making fine progress with Reading, he may not be hitting certain benchmarks that students in your school/state are expected to make. And that could have consequences for the teacher or school. NCLB stuff.
NCLB has no relevance with a private school. (Thank goodness).
post #15 of 60
I think that from the first meeting on you seemed very unwilling to work with the school on anything by "demanding" that he never, ever miss recess. You are taking away the teacher's right and ability to handle her own classroom, which is looked down on. Also, if this private school is making enough money, they do not have to follow your demands and might just let your family go, which is something I would be worried about.

I think it is in every parents best interest to work with teachers. I am a teacher, so I know this firsthand. So many people in this forum have to practically beg their DC's teachers to meet with them, so when you have a teacher reaching out to you to help your child, that is wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Ah, well, then you might have LESS of a chance then. Are they full? Do they have a wait list? A private school that's in demand is likely to tell you to stick it. A private school that is hurting will probably work with you if you make a big enough stink.

good luck!

-Angela
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I'm not sure, but I don't think there's much you can really do in this situation. I know recess is important but he is still getting the one, right? If it's the teacher/school's policy to keep kids in who are behind on any given subject, they are unlikely to make an exception in your child's case.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKessed View Post
I have seen kids who fell behind on reading. It is so very very important for kids not to fall behind in that area.

Our school systems are set up so that EVERYTHING depends on kids being at least at grade level for reading. Think about it, there are even things like word problems in math.

You seem really dismissive of the fact that his teacher thinks he has an issue with reading. If it's a private school (I attended one for my 1 to 12), and they come to believe you aren't on board, they can and will kick him out.

It sounds like you've been at 2 meetings with his teacher and refused to extra help she believes your son needs.

:
post #16 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
If you decide to pursue this, I would create the following type note (and yes, I would do a note, oral communications are more likely to be forgotton or miscommunicated)

Dear xyz,

Our family highly values outdoor play. There are many reasons we picked this school - and the 3 recesses were one of them.

As such we were disappointed to learn DS was kept in during recess to work on reading.

DP and I request that all our children be allowed to go to recess unless losing recess is a consequence for a serious breach of behaviour (i.e "hitting", foul language, etc).

Should there be a program that you feel our child will benefit from during recess please give us a call before having our child participate.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter - and if there are any questions or comments, please contact me at : 123-4567

Sincerely,

abc
Thanks! This was helpful!
post #17 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I am shocked and jealous that you have a school available with 3! recesses a day.

1 a day is standard here

-Angela
I know, it is absolutely wonderful! To be honest though, the third recess doesn't happen every single day-just on days when it is nice-and the third recess is usually really short-just enough time to "air the dc out."
post #18 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EXOLAX View Post
That said is the issue with him missing recess or with them giving him extra help? Did I read that they offered and you declined it stating you would work with him at home? If they do feel some responsibility toward his education they might not be comfortable with that if he is not making forward progression. If you do not have an issue with him getting the assistance at school I would thank them for being so concerned and simply ask if there is another time other then recess where he may get that help. In many schools it is really a challenge for scheduling purposes to have someone come in and do that 1x1 work. He will always miss something unless they are able to do it after school (which you may have to pay extra for).
Yeah, the issue is with him missing recess.

In that first meeting(just 4 weeks into school) she did bring up that he was behind in reading(which we knew),and offered the extra help. I declined at that point, as dh and I still felt that he was in a major transition time,coming from being hsed to at school all day.

At the first *real* conference, it was brought up again-though she did say that he would only get the extra help 1/month, due to JA. It didn't seem worth it, especially since we work with him a lot outside of school(mainly weekends).

(Thanks!)
post #19 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKessed View Post
I have seen kids who fell behind on reading. It is so very very important for kids not to fall behind in that area.

Our school systems are set up so that EVERYTHING depends on kids being at least at grade level for reading. Think about it, there are even things like word problems in math.

You seem really dismissive of the fact that his teacher thinks he has an issue with reading. If it's a private school (I attended one for my 1 to 12), and they come to believe you aren't on board, they can and will kick him out.

It sounds like you've been at 2 meetings with his teacher and refused to extra help she believes your son needs.
Our ds is able to read instructions for all of his school work-including math problems.

Do I sound dismissive? Hmm. Maybe the teacher has taken this view also. I guess I feel that each time I have met with her, I have agreed with her, that he is behind in reading,and that we are very proactive in providing him extra help. While it could be an issue for the teacher, it isn't at all for us-unless it is for ds...as in he feels stupid compared to the rest of his peers.

And, if it really is an issue with the teacher, we told her to email or call us if he wasn't progressing enough, or that she really felt he needed extra help.

Please read my above post, that explains why we declined the extra help early on.
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post
Yeah, the issue is with him missing recess.

In that first meeting(just 4 weeks into school) she did bring up that he was behind in reading(which we knew),and offered the extra help. I declined at that point, as dh and I still felt that he was in a major transition time,coming from being hsed to at school all day.

At the first *real* conference, it was brought up again-though she did say that he would only get the extra help 1/month, due to JA. It didn't seem worth it, especially since we work with him a lot outside of school(mainly weekends).

(Thanks!)
I do think you sound very dismissive of a potentially serious problem.

4 weeks if plenty of time for a kid to adjust to grade 1. So by the second conference - that should no longer be an excuse as to why you didn't want him to get any help.

And if you're really working with him alot - and he's still behind in reading - then he sounds like he really does need the extra help.
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