I’m usually on this forum because of my 9 year old 5th grader. This post is about my 6 year old 1st grader.
But first some background on my son to give some perspective on the history with my daughters school. My son asked at the end of K to skip 1st grade. We met with the school principle to discuss ways to make 1st grade more engaging for him. It turned out that they were completely unwilling to get him in to the pull out gifted program and completely unwilling to arrange testing. We ended up deciding to look at skipping 1st grade, but still couldn’t convince them to do testing. We ended up contacting the principle of the full time gifted program who arranged testing and ended up recommending both the skip and enrollment in the full time gifted program. At least 2 of his classmates in K were also clearly advanced and the school continually discouraged testing. One did eventually end up going to the full time gifted program in 3rd grade.
The school is the special needs cluster program. The school is also very into heterogeneous groupings for classes.
My daughter is in 1st grade. She has amazing reasoning and problem solving abilities. She enjoys Math and Science and does very well in both. She is behind in reading. She spoke late and has been slightly delayed in speech. She receives speech services at school and has since last year. In K she displayed almost no interest in learning to read and we pretty much just followed her lead. She very recently started having a real interest in learning to read and asking all those questions about words, spellings, sounds, etc. that kids ask when they are ready to learn to read.
From our past experiences with this school we knew it could take forever to arrange testing. We would like to get her tested this spring for admission to the full time gifted program in the fall. The program starts in 2nd grade.
We had conferences earlier this week. The teacher said that she is well behaved, enthusiastic, doing well in Math. She mentioned that she was behind where she would like to see her in Reading being at only a DRA level of 2, but expects to see her at an 8 by Christmas and on therefore on track to hit the goal of 18 by the end of 1st.
My husband asked about testing for the full time gifted program and got what we now consider the party line at her school of “don’t like to test until 2nd grade, can’t test again for 18 months if she doesn’t qualify so they advise waiting, testing being challenging for that young of students......”. She said they do group testing in 2nd, but if we want her to be tested before then we needed to speak to the gifted pull-out teacher.
I emailed and asked for the contact information for the gifted pull-out teacher. She wrote me back to say that she wouldn’t recommend a 1st grader due to all of the reasons she mentioned to my husband. She also reminded me that my daughter isn’t where they want her to be in reading.
The school uses the KBIT brief as an assessment of ability and the KTEA math and reading for admission to the gifted programs. I really think she’ll qualify on the KBIT and think she’d qualify on the KTEA math even without progress in reading. If we wait until spring she may have made leaps in reading.
- Would you want testing knowing her teacher doesn’t recommend it at this time?
- Would you want testing knowing her reading is behind?
- Would you wait until spring knowing that the district requires 18 months before they would retest? So if she didn’t make it into the program this spring she couldn’t retest until 3rd for admission in 4th. Where if we tested now and she didn’t make it into the program she could retest over the summer after 2nd for admission in 3rd. Private testing in 2nd would be an option for us if she didn’t qualify this spring.