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Science Class Acceleration - WWYD? **UPDATED DD's in!**

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Over the last year plus, I've had to begin to advocate more for my DD's education. If you are interested in extensive background info:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1351558/determining-ability-to-learn-updated

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1357942/iq-testing-results-what-to-do-now-updated-post-12

In these threads, I explored what to do about my DD's need for acceleration/accommodation in school. After investigating her options we chose to move her to a different school district (with good and flexible gifted services), to a STEM MS. We have been very pleased with the change, but as I thought at the time of our choosing this school, having a heterogeneous science class would be a problem. So at the first teacher conference, we discussed with her science teacher about DD's need for some accommodation, as she knew most of the curriculum for 7th grade science. The teacher proceed to say that she has never worked with gifted students (dubious statement, as this school has a 40% gifted population - how does the phrase go....you could swing a dead cat and hit one??????), and she was not trained to do so. So we agreed that she would consult the gifted liaison to work out how to accommodate my DD. Not to get into the full knock-down-dragged-out story - but fast forward to about 2 months after the initial meeting with the science teacher, when she (finally) sends out an email outlining her accommodations (for all gifted students, and those who scored high enough on the unit pretest) - a choice board. No changes to the boring lecturing/fill-in-the-blank notes all the students had to take during the lectures in a semi-dark room.

So I knew we needed to do something different, but as I've always been very laidback about "pushing" for accommodations, I continued to wait to see if things would change for DD. Her teacher then was sick for weeks and weeks, and the boiling point hit when a substitute had the kids spend day after day looking at the science textbook, finding the definitions for various applicable words for the unit they were working on. So at the second teacher conferences, with the science teacher still out sick, we talked to the principal about what to do with DD, as she was losing her love for science (and this girl LIVES for all things science!). She immediately suggested moving DD to 8th grade science (and then having her repeat 8th grade science the following year to get the information she missed the first 1/2+ of the year). Loved the idea of immediately moving to 8th grade science, not so fond of her repeating it. After some waiting, DD was moved to 8th grade science, and she fit in nicely. Her new science teacher had her first work on some of the beginning section of Study Island (computerized statewide testing prep); DD scored well, even in subject areas that she hadn't formally been taught.

So as a planner, I knew I need to talk with DD's school counselor about next year's science class option. For me, repeating 8th grade science isn't my first choice. At the end of the meeting with the counselor, we had come up with a plan - 1st choice to go to nearby in district HS for Conceptual Physics (assuming they had space for her), and the 2nd choice to take Environmental Science class online at MS. A couple weeks go by and I get a call from the counselor. Apparently she had discussed this plan with the 8th grade science teacher, who expressed concerns that my DD had missed quite a lot of the curriculum (especially the Physics unit), and that given the changes that were planned for how the curriculum was going to be presented next year, she thought it would be better to have her repeat it.

Now that I've given some background information, here's the situation: we have a meeting with the 8th grade science teacher on Thursday, to discuss her concerns (as well as to discuss DD's progress in her class so far). I'm looking for others' BTDT experience with acceleration of science classes. I'm also looking for advice on how you would handle the meeting: prep on my part before, what to ask, what to expect, how to resolve continued difference of opinion, etc. I'm still leaning towards DD taking a HS class (preferably Physics), but I am going into the meeting with an open mind.

As a sidenote, I had already planned on investigating MS Science homeschooling curriculum to work with DD this summer to fill in the gaps of what she missed in 8th grade science.

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UPDATE post #5
UPDATE again, post #19
UPDATE yet again, post #28
Edited by oaksie68 - 5/26/13 at 9:11pm
post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post



Now that I've given some background information, here's the situation: we have a meeting with the 8th grade science teacher on Thursday, to discuss her concerns (as well as to discuss DD's progress in her class so far). I'm looking for others' BTDT experience with acceleration of science classes. I'm also looking for advice on how you would handle the meeting: prep on my part before, what to ask, what to expect, how to resolve continued difference of opinion, etc. I'm still leaning towards DD taking a HS class (preferably Physics), but I am going into the meeting with an open mind.

As a sidenote, I had already planned on investigating MS Science homeschooling curriculum to work with DD this summer to fill in the gaps of what she missed in 8th grade science.

How well does she know Physics? As in how is it tested at the 8th grade level? Year end test or end of unit? IF you feel she know, suggest she be tested (per the 8th grade teacher's testing) and see if she passes (in the teachers eye!).

It seem silly (if she does know it) and even if she is not as versed, what is the plan to do with her after the Physics unit? Sit there are re-due and see if she tests better than she did this past year of the exact same units? That would be nutty-IMO I can't see repeating a whole class over one unit.

Push and prove or just push and say NO to a repeat of 8th class all together, frankly if it were mine and I knew she knew the work, I would prove it, and say NOW this is where I feel she needs to be (HS class!). Good luck!

 

BTDT- my DD was homeschooled and I never had to deal exactly with this situation. My closes was prior to pulling her out in 2nd and she came home with an F on a spelling test, no reason given and I had a meeting and the teacher said she was "cheating"- I demanded she be retested, the teacher threw a fit, she was retested on the teachers time, got 100, and the next day I pulled her out- not the same, sorry.

post #3 of 35
DD was just accelerated a year in science. She'll be bussed to the high school in 8th grade for science and math. We were fortunate that the teacher did all the advocacy for her, so we haven't dealt with your direct issue.

One solution for the missed content would be for your DD to study the gaps from the first part of the year and challenge the unit tests before next year starts.

I'm glad to hear the school is working out, even if she did have one lousy teacher!

Edit: if you do the challenge of the unit tests route, I would agree upon upfront that she'd take the same tests the other students took, and what percentage is needed to pass.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

How well does she know Physics? As in how is it tested at the 8th grade level? Year end test or end of unit? IF you feel she know, 

I just had her show me her Study Island score for the two tests for Physics - Newton's Law of Physics and Object Motion, where she got 70 and 90 percent correct, respectively, which is passing. I believe there was an end-of-unit testing that occurred.

suggest she be tested (per the 8th grade teacher's testing) and see if she passes (in the teachers eye!).

Having her take the unit test is something I will ask for her to do.

It seem silly (if she does know it) and even if she is not as versed, what is the plan to do with her after the Physics unit? Sit there are re-due and see if she tests better than she did this past year of the exact same units? That would be nutty-IMO I can't see repeating a whole class over one unit.

Well, she missed at least one other unit, and she did even better on those Study Island tests. And having her marking time for the rest of the time is concerning to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

DD was just accelerated a year in science. She'll be bussed to the high school in 8th grade for science and math. We were fortunate that the teacher did all the advocacy for her, so we haven't dealt with your direct issue.

After our meeting on Thursday, we'll have a better idea where we stand. I plan on sharing more info about DD (while the teacher knows that DD is advanced enough to be in her class and hold her own, she may be unaware of DD's background, her testing results for example, how quickly she learns, especially in science), and I plan on fully considering the rationale for the teacher's concerns about DD moving on to the HS for Honors Conceptual Physics (Luckily, they provide Honors HS Geometry at her MS, which she is taking next year). It seems to be a good move, as the description of the physics class states that the student "should be concurrently enrolled in Geometry or Accelerated Algebra 1-2 or higher". But I will have to drive her to HS (no biggie; I already drive her to MS since she is an out-of-district student), but then she has to get to the MS on her own.

One solution for the missed content would be for your DD to study the gaps from the first part of the year and challenge the unit tests before next year starts.

One of the great things about her 8th grade science teacher is that she has all of her lectures/notes on her school website. So DD studying the units and taking tests shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish. Reading and studying the notes on the Chemistry Unit is how she is getting prepared to take the unit test this Friday (and on the surface, it seems that the material is very understandable to her). I would imagine if she does well on the Chemistry test (and other unit tests) that should be enough proof for her to move on to HS science. And I would think that she should be able to take these tests before the end of the school year. Who knows though; it could be a moot point if they don't have room for her!

I'm glad to hear the school is working out, even if she did have one lousy teacher!

And a doozy of a lousy teacher she was! Even the principal (leaving at the end of the year - SAD!) was kinda sorta throwing her under the bus in terms of how the teacher teaches (not her by name, but by teaching style - you could tell she meant the 7th grade teacher). Other than that, it really IS working out!

Edit: if you do the challenge of the unit tests route, I would agree upon upfront that she'd take the same tests the other students took, and what percentage is needed to pass.

I'm assuming it shouldn't be a problem for her take the unit test(s) that the other students took, or something rather similar....

Thanks for the feedback....it's keeping my thinking and processing....
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
So we had the meeting with the 8th grade science teacher this morning. It went really well! And apparently, she informally tested DD on the physics unit (not sure if it was the unit test), but told us that DD scored a 71%, with no Physics exposure/teaching. She stated that she was impressed with this score specifically, and was also happy with DD's participation and performance in her class (stated that her knowledge/judgment is sought out, even amongst the high achievers in class), and also stated that she is scoring better than some of them as well.

She stated that her main concerns were about the social/emotional aspects about being in a HS Honors class, at the HS with older HS students. But DD is quite comfortable being in class(es) with older students - she was in multiage classes most of ES, and in MS, she is in HS Algebra as the only 7th grader (in that particular section). And as the nature of the elective classes there - she has been with and is friendly/friends with many of the 8th graders from her Piano and Engineering classes. But I agree, as she gets older, and as a female going into the science field and higher math classes, she could start to stand out even more, and could become a target to be bullied/made fun of/ostracized, etc. I'm not taking that lightly. But she has been maturing into a teen that doesn't care if other students think she different/weird, whatever. She's confident in who she is, what she can do, and where her passions lie. And I really think that it helps her that most of her friends are boys, and the girls that she is friends with share similar interests and don't bring drama to their friendships.

Her science teacher also went into more detail about how the year would look if DD repeated the class. She seems to have a lot of lesson material in her arsenal - such as hands on projects and ways for students to go deeper into the science topic areas. And as she is getting to know DD well, she would be able to know what areas that she needs deeper work, so next year could work out to be interesting and fun for DD, but not necessarily challenging.

It was really kind of funny. Towards the end of the meeting, her Algebra teacher strolled in, and joined the conversation as if he'd been there the whole time. He brought up some very good points about various questions (more administrative vs. weighing pros/cons, like he was past the "should she/shouldn't she" to "here are things you need to think about to see if this could work") that needed to be answered. I'm guessing the science teacher and the Algebra had a conversation about this (their classrooms are connected). As a side note, her Algebra teacher has been great for her, preparing her for what to expect from a HS level class; you can tell he cares about her and wants to help her advance/succeed.

So the nuts and bolt questions that we need to get answered are: can she get from the HS to the MS in time for 1st block Geometry class (if they keep it at that time like this year). Also she is looking at a specialty HS program for Engineering, Biotech, and Sustainability - we need to make sure that her taking the Physics class at one of the district's HS would count at the another of the district's specialty HS, and/or find out if it would mess up the progression of coursework for the HS program she is interested in, or possibly not count at all. If these questions are answered satisfactorily, and if there is space next year, we'll have to decide if she is ready socially/emotionally and if she motivated to be challenged and ready to do HS Science work. I think she is.

How do I go about deciding what would be best for DD? I'm trying to weigh supporting DD in staying in an environment where she can get a lot of hands on, in depth experience with physics, chemistry, and genetics (at the MS level) vs. having her stretch herself to move forward and be challenged in a HS Physics class. And as I know I will be asked about what DD thinks and wants winky.gif, she told me quite emphatically that she wants to go to HS and to be challenged. As she isn't a morning person (ha! she HATES to go to sleep, and HATES to wake up usually, unless there is something she is motivated to get up for), but she said that she would go to bed and night and wake up in the AM without problem for this.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

So the nuts and bolt questions that we need to get answered are: can she get from the HS to the MS in time for 1st block Geometry class (if they keep it at that time like this year). Also she is looking at a specialty HS program for Engineering, Biotech, and Sustainability - we need to make sure that her taking the Physics class at one of the district's HS would count at the another of the district's specialty HS, and/or find out if it would mess up the progression of coursework for the HS program she is interested in, or possibly not count at all. If these questions are answered satisfactorily, and if there is space next year, we'll have to decide if she is ready socially/emotionally and if she motivated to be challenged and ready to do HS Science work. I think she is.

How do I go about deciding what would be best for DD? I'm trying to weigh supporting DD in staying in an environment where she can get a lot of hands on, in depth experience with physics, chemistry, and genetics (at the MS level) vs. having her stretch herself to move forward and be challenged in a HS Physics class. And as I know I will be asked about what DD thinks and wants winky.gif, she told me quite emphatically that she wants to go to HS and to be challenged. As she isn't a morning person (ha! she HATES to go to sleep, and HATES to wake up usually, unless there is something she is motivated to get up for), but she said that she would go to bed and night and wake up in the AM without problem for this.

 

You think she's ready for HS. She thinks she's ready for HS. Sounds like a plan worth trying. thumb.gif  Hopefully the logistical stuff is worked out. However, I'm a little skeptical about how much differentiation will actually be offered to your DD if she repeats MS physics. If you trust this teacher to provide an enriched, engaging year, then it's probably simpler to stay at the MS. 

 

I am a little unclear on the age difference between her and her potential HS Physics classmates. If it is only one year and she isn't particularly emotionally immature, it wouldn't concern me as much as a 2 or 3 or 4 grade skip. It doesn't sound like immaturity is an issue. 

 

Would it help satisfy her current teacher's concerns about the social and emotional impact if you used the Iowa Acceleration Scale to assess her readiness for acceleration. I think it's usually used when full-grade skips are under consideration but it might be appropriate for this kind of subject acceleration from one level of schooling (MS) to another (HS). 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

But I agree, as she gets older, and as a female going into the science field and higher math classes, she could start to stand out even more, and could become a target to be bullied/made fun of/ostracized, etc.
 
 

Is being a girl in science and math really an issue? It sounds like you live in a very traditional, old-fashioned area. Back in the dark ages of the 1980's, my courseload was heavily science and math (physics, chemistry, biology, calculus, statistics and probablity and so on) and most of my classes were 50/50 male/female. I don't recall anyone making it a bullying issue - and there was lots of bullying for other reasons. Even the girls who planned careers in traditionally female-dominated professions (nursing, teaching) took STEM courses in preparation back then. My DD is taking a similar courseload now in 11th grade. It seems like there are lots of other girls in her classes. 

 

 

post #7 of 35

It seems a long way off but in your plans, keep an eye on general college admission requirements. For example, in California, our big UC system is no longer giving credit for anything but Algebra 1 taken prior to freshmen year in high school. Any higher maths, sciences, anything won't be credited towards their admission requirements. It shouldn't be an issue and there are ways around it like taking classes at a community college. Certainly, I wouldn't deny her accommodation because of this hiccup but I wanted to throw that out as we've seen a couple families left scrambling at the end.

 

As for going to HS. I assume she's the '00 on your sig and she's turning 13 this year. My DD went to HS at 13 and so will my DS. Middle school really is when kids are at their worst and bystanders are at their weakest. There are still bullies in high school (and adulthood) but in general, fewer passive bystanders. My DD didn't have issue being a high school student at 13. She didn't have issue being a college student at 15 (and being a girl in science and math classes to boot.) Just keep the communication going and it'll be fine. 

 

Our BTDT experience isn't relevant to your situation as my eldest was accelerated in science but our local middle school offers 2 different advanced 8th grade sciences... one continuing the engineering program from 6th and 7th, the other in horticulture. Mine skipped skipped 6th grade science (at the time, they hadn't yet started the engineering program) did the 7th grade program and both 8th grade programs. My eldest would never have taken a horticulture science class by choice but I have to tell you, she's actually found it useful lol.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

But I agree, as she gets older, and as a female going into the science field and higher math classes, she could start to stand out even more, and could become a target to be bullied/made fun of/ostracized, etc. I'm not taking that lightly. But she has been maturing into a teen that doesn't care if other students think she different/weird, whatever. She's confident in who she is, what she can do, and where her passions lie. And I really think that it helps her that most of her friends are boys, and the girls that she is friends with share similar interests and don't bring drama to their friendships.
Also she is looking at a specialty HS program for Engineering, Biotech, and Sustainability - we need to make sure that her taking the Physics class at one of the district's HS would count at the another of the district's specialty HS, and/or find out if it would mess up the progression of coursework for the HS program she is interested in, or possibly not count at all. If these questions are answered satisfactorily, and if there is space next year, we'll have to decide if she is ready socially/emotionally and if she motivated to be challenged and ready to do HS Science work. I think she is.

 

I have a DD who is now in highschool and is a math and science kid, and was accelerated to highschool classes while still in junior high.

 

Bullying is not an issue at all. At all. Really surprised me that you would worry about it.

 

However, my DD's friends and intellectual peers are all older than her and mostly boys, which at times is uncomfortable for me as a parent. It was mildly uncomfortable when she was in middle school hanging out with highschoolers who were driving, but we could meet their parents and make peace with them. Now my DD is 14, in high school, and has friends who are out of highschool and on their own, including, of course, a boy she has a special attraction with. My advice is to BRACE yourself. Once we started down this path, there really wasn't any turning back, and her social life would be completely appropriate for a 17 year old, but she is 14.

 

We switched my DDs schools mid year this year (long story) and the highschool level work she did while in Jr. High does not count at her new school. But it's fine. It was never about graduating early, just about learning and growing and being in the right class for her at the time. She doesn't have any regrets about that, other than 1 semester of a class that she has to retake the *exact same class*, but she is going to do it through an accredited correspondence program this summer to get it over with as painlessly as possible.

 

BTW, the UofA, ASU, and Embry Riddle in Prescott all have engineering camps that your DD is nearly old enough for. And there were other girls at the UofA one last summer, as well as female counselors who are majoring in engineering winky.gif

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

You think she's ready for HS. She thinks she's ready for HS. Sounds like a plan worth trying. thumb.gif   Hopefully the logistical stuff is worked out. However, I'm a little skeptical about how much differentiation will actually be offered to your DD if she repeats MS physics. If you trust this teacher to provide an enriched, engaging year, then it's probably simpler to stay at the MS. 

That's the way I'm thinking we'll go. I don't really think she'll get enough differentiation to be useful either, but the teacher is engaging and really knows her science (originally degreed as an engineer before moving into teaching), but really probably won't be able to do as much for DD as we would like (that's including DD in that!). It sure would be simpler - I'll have to get her to the HS, with my DS in tow (and I'll have to sign him up for before school care), and then possibly wait for DD to take her to MS. A pain for sure!

I am a little unclear on the age difference between her and her potential HS Physics classmates. If it is only one year and she isn't particularly emotionally immature, it wouldn't concern me as much as a 2 or 3 or 4 grade skip. It doesn't sound like immaturity is an issue..

Only a year - not a concern for me because as I stated that she has been/is in classes with 8th graders (other than science class). She fits in really well, from what I hear from her and what the teachers tell me.

Would it help satisfy her current teacher's concerns about the social and emotional impact if you used the Iowa Acceleration Scale to assess her readiness for acceleration. I think it's usually used when full-grade skips are under consideration but it might be appropriate for this kind of subject acceleration from one level of schooling (MS) to another (HS). 

I think that after our meeting yesterday, and talking more about who DD is, I thinks she is now maybe only abstractly concerned about the social/emotional aspects. Probably won't need to do the IAS, unless the HS, or her MS principal puts up a stink (don't think that'll happen though).

Is being a girl in science and math really an issue? It sounds like you live in a very traditional, old-fashioned area. Back in the dark ages of the 1980's, my courseload was heavily science and math (physics, chemistry, biology, calculus, statistics and probablity and so on) and most of my classes were 50/50 male/female. I don't recall anyone making it a bullying issue - and there was lots of bullying for other reasons. Even the girls who planned careers in traditionally female-dominated professions (nursing, teaching) took STEM courses in preparation back then. My DD is taking a similar courseload now in 11th grade. It seems like there are lots of other girls in her classes. 

No, probably not an issue, just me being a Nervous Nellie, and maybe having a bit of professional training paranoia redface.gif (masters in counseling, with focus on adolescent girls/women). And not in a very traditional, old-fashioned area - Phoenix metro area here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

It seems a long way off but in your plans, keep an eye on general college admission requirements. For example, in California, our big UC system is no longer giving credit for anything but Algebra 1 taken prior to freshmen year in high school. Any higher maths, sciences, anything won't be credited towards their admission requirements. It shouldn't be an issue and there are ways around it like taking classes at a community college. Certainly, I wouldn't deny her accommodation because of this hiccup but I wanted to throw that out as we've seen a couple families left scrambling at the end.

Hmmm, I'll have to ask about that - I'm betting I'm going to have to have a conversation with a HS Guidance Counselor about this question (and some others). I bet this is not in the MS Counselors wheelhouse. If Arizona (or other) colleges have this restriction, it'll drive DD nuts - she'd HATE repeating math!

As for going to HS. I assume she's the '00 on your sig and she's turning 13 this year. My DD went to HS at 13 and so will my DS. Middle school really is when kids are at their worst and bystanders are at their weakest. There are still bullies in high school (and adulthood) but in general, fewer passive bystanders. My DD didn't have issue being a high school student at 13. She didn't have issue being a college student at 15 (and being a girl in science and math classes to boot.) Just keep the communication going and it'll be fine. 

Yep, she just turned 13. Thanks for validating what I thought about the differences in the kind of and/or frequency of bullying in MS vs HS. We do communicate well still at this point, thank goodness.

Our BTDT experience isn't relevant to your situation as my eldest was accelerated in science but our local middle school offers 2 different advanced 8th grade sciences... one continuing the engineering program from 6th and 7th, the other in horticulture. Mine skipped skipped 6th grade science (at the time, they hadn't yet started the engineering program) did the 7th grade program and both 8th grade programs. My eldest would never have taken a horticulture science class by choice but I have to tell you, she's actually found it useful lol.

Her MS has a beginning and advanced engineering class, as well as something called TechYes (learn to do/teach incorporating technology into learning/education), as well as TechLab, where you rotate through things like robots, lasers, architecture, health and wellness, and some other topics. These are her favorite classes behind science. It's one of the things that sold us on this school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I have a DD who is now in highschool and is a math and science kid, and was accelerated to highschool classes while still in junior high.

Bullying is not an issue at all. At all. Really surprised me that you would worry about it.

See above, I wasn't worried about it until it was brought up as a general concern (not specifically aimed at my DD). Hearing what the last few posters have shared, and knowing my DD, I'm officially not going to worry anymore about this!

However, my DD's friends and intellectual peers are all older than her and mostly boys, which at times is uncomfortable for me as a parent. It was mildly uncomfortable when she was in middle school hanging out with highschoolers who were driving, but we could meet their parents and make peace with them. Now my DD is 14, in high school, and has friends who are out of highschool and on their own, including, of course, a boy she has a special attraction with. My advice is to BRACE yourself. Once we started down this path, there really wasn't any turning back, and her social life would be completely appropriate for a 17 year old, but she is 14.

So this is what I'll have to look forward to? yikes.gif *GULP* No real outward signs of boy craziness yet.....

We switched my DDs schools mid year this year (long story) and the highschool level work she did while in Jr. High does not count at her new school. But it's fine. It was never about graduating early, just about learning and growing and being in the right class for her at the time. She doesn't have any regrets about that, other than 1 semester of a class that she has to retake the *exact same class*, but she is going to do it through an accredited correspondence program this summer to get it over with as painlessly as possible.

From what I've been told, Algebra this year, as well as Honors Geometry, and I would assume HS Honors Conceptual Physics will count on her HS transcript (can't remember if it's just acknowledgment of the credit, or if the grade is figured in the GPA...). Yet another question to ask..... notes.gif

BTW, the UofA, ASU, and Embry Riddle in Prescott all have engineering camps that your DD is nearly old enough for. And there were other girls at the UofA one last summer, as well as female counselors who are majoring in engineering winky.gif

I knew about the UofA and ASU camps, but didn't know that Embry Riddle offered them - thanks, I'll have to check them out! Awesome that there were other girl campers as well as female counselors there.

Thanks again all for your continued input; it' giving me lots of info to ask questions about!
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post


So this is what I'll have to look forward to? yikes.gif *GULP* No real outward signs of boy craziness yet...

 

Its not "boy craziness."  It's a relationship based on friendship and mutual interest.  It's the natural outcome of having mostly male friends who are several years older than you. shrug.gif

 

(I'd be more comfortable with boy craziness.)

 

I believe that most universities require a certain number of years of math at the highschool level, not specifically Algebra I. So if they require 3 years of math, a kid who took some math in junior high that is usually considered highschool level must take 3 additional years of math while IN highschool, such as precalc, calc I, calc II.

 

What my DD was told at engineering camp is that getting through calculus while in highschool is the real goal for any one who is serious about pursuing math, science, or engineering at university.

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Its not "boy craziness."  It's a relationship based on friendship and mutual interest.  It's the natural outcome of having mostly male friends who are several years older than you. shrug.gif

(I'd be more comfortable with boy craziness.)

Sorry, that was a bad attempt at a joke...I see what you mean about a relationship based on friendship and mutual interest. I can see that happening with her.....and I think one her boy friends (although the same age) would like to be her boyfriend! I wouldn't mind so much, because I really like him, and I like his parents too![ But DD is just oblivious to it.

Quote:
I believe that most universities require a certain number of years of math at the highschool level, not specifically Algebra I. So if they require 3 years of math, a kid who took some math in junior high that is usually considered highschool level must take 3 additional years of math while IN highschool, such as precalc, calc I, calc II.

That's good at least, as DD is planning on get to calc. So from that angle, she should have it covered!

I believe that most universities require a certain number of years of math at the highschool level, not specifically Algebra I. So if they require 3 years of math, a kid who took some math in junior high that is usually considered highschool level must take 3 additional years of math while IN highschool, such as precalc, calc I, calc II.
Quote:

We've been told that too; it's good to know that now, so we can plan accordingly.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Its not "boy craziness."  It's a relationship based on friendship and mutual interest.  It's the natural outcome of having mostly male friends who are several years older than you. shrug.gif

(I'd be more comfortable with boy craziness.)

Sorry, that was a bad attempt at a joke...I see what you mean about a relationship based on friendship and mutual interest. I can see that happening with her.....and I think one her boy friends (although the same age) would like to be her boyfriend! I wouldn't mind so much, because I really like him, and I like his parents too![ But DD is just oblivious to it.

Quote:
I believe that most universities require a certain number of years of math at the highschool level, not specifically Algebra I. So if they require 3 years of math, a kid who took some math in junior high that is usually considered highschool level must take 3 additional years of math while IN highschool, such as precalc, calc I, calc II.

That's good at least, as DD is planning on get to calc. So from that angle, she should have it covered!

I believe that most universities require a certain number of years of math at the highschool level, not specifically Algebra I. So if they require 3 years of math, a kid who took some math in junior high that is usually considered highschool level must take 3 additional years of math while IN highschool, such as precalc, calc I, calc II.
Quote:

We've been told that too; it's good to know that now, so we can plan accordingly.
post #13 of 35

Yay!  Glad the meeting went well.  Given the dizzying nature of spiraling curricula, I wouldn't worry about the missing 29% of content before next year unless your daughter wants to patch the gaps herself.

 

Another point to encourage the acceleration, DD's teacher pushed for the science acceleration so that the science class in which math is applied comes closer in time to when the math was learned.  This will get her to an algebra-based science class the year after she takes algebra instead of 2 years after.

 

With regards to the gender worries, the enrollments of girls in the highest level science classes does not tend to drop off until late in high school.  Girls will tend to elect into the honors classes freshman and sophomore year, but will then elect against the AP classes.  You might start to see a gender split in 10th grade then.  However, a few good teachers and councilors aware of the data is often all that's needed to put those high ability girls back into appropriate classes.  Check out Expanding Your Horizons and other programs aimed at girls.  The data show that a few inspiring classes, teachers, or programs at the high school level is what it takes to have women persist and choose a college degree in the STEM fields.

post #14 of 35
She's already 13 as a 7th-grader taking 8th-grade science? That sounds like fairly small potatoes in terms of an age mismatch to me, though maybe kids are a lot older for grade where you live. My dd was 13 for the first three months of 10th grade, and most of her classmates didn't even realize she was technically supposed to be in 9th. With just a one-year acceleration, and her not being young for grade or particularly immature, I don't think the differences are likely to be significant.

Miranda
post #15 of 35

Given all you have said - I would go for it with her! Good Luck and 

 

 

 

Quote:
 It went really well! And apparently, she informally tested DD on the physics unit (not sure if it was the unit test), but told us that DD scored a 71%, with no Physics exposure/teaching. She stated that she was impressed with this score specifically, and was also happy with DD's participation and performance in her class (stated that her knowledge/judgment is sought out, even amongst the high achievers in class), and also stated that she is scoring better than some of them as well.

she stated impressed (I guessing) she didn't really know until she tested her! winky.gif Glad she did so.

post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

Yay!  Glad the meeting went well.  Given the dizzying nature of spiraling curricula, I wouldn't worry about the missing 29% of content before next year unless your daughter wants to patch the gaps herself.

Her current teacher has given her some online experiments and projects to do, that she has had her class do in previous years. And I'm always looking for various other websites, homeschooling science curriculum etc., so I'd love other recommendations, experiences! We'll also be spending some time with the engineer side of the family this summer, so that can lead to quality grandpa/uncle time doing some experiments and such (Also has an uncle who is a HS Chemistry teacher)

Another point to encourage the acceleration, DD's teacher pushed for the science acceleration so that the science class in which math is applied comes closer in time to when the math was learned.  This will get her to an algebra-based science class the year after she takes algebra instead of 2 years after.

This was my thinking behind choosing the Honors Conceptual Physics next year (vs. repeating 8th grade, or taking another, random HS science class), as the course description clearly states students taking the course should be concurrently enrolled in Geometry (which DD will be in next year), or Accelerated Algebra 1-2 or higher (DD will have completed Algebra 1-2 at the end of this year).

With regards to the gender worries, the enrollments of girls in the highest level science classes does not tend to drop off until late in high school.  Girls will tend to elect into the honors classes freshman and sophomore year, but will then elect against the AP classes.  You might start to see a gender split in 10th grade then.  However, a few good teachers and councilors aware of the data is often all that's needed to put those high ability girls back into appropriate classes.  Check out Expanding Your Horizons and other programs aimed at girls.  The data show that a few inspiring classes, teachers, or programs at 'the high school level is what it takes to have women persist and choose a college degree in the STEM fields.

That is really helpful information! It sounds like it would help a lot for DD to find a mentor teacher during HS - and I also think the set up at the specialty HS program she is interested in will easily lend the ability to find just such a person. As I've stated I have a background in counseling/psychology with a particular focus on women/adolescent girls, I tend to be aware (extremely sensitive?) to issues the particular issues faced, so I'll continue to pay attention and support her! (And try not to hyperfocus, or look for problems where there probably isn't any redface.gif ) Thanks, GeoFizz! It would be nice for my DD to be able to find someone like you that has your qualifications and experience in the sciences!

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

She's already 13 as a 7th-grader taking 8th-grade science? That sounds like fairly small potatoes in terms of an age mismatch to me, though maybe kids are a lot older for grade where you live. My dd was 13 for the first three months of 10th grade, and most of her classmates didn't even realize she was technically supposed to be in 9th. With just a one-year acceleration, and her not being young for grade or particularly immature, I don't think the differences are likely to be significant.

Miranda

She just turned 13 this month; I was originally of the same mind you are about the age mismatch, but for whatever reason, the school admin and teachers seem to be approaching this with an abundance of caution. The way her school district works, it will be noticeable that she is not a freshman at the HS, as she will only be at that building for one class, first thing in the morning. I guess my only remaining concern (as it pertains to her maturity) has to do with her reticence to be proactive and advocate for herself with her teachers. We have been working on that this year, with me coaching her on how to handle various situations that require her attention (having the grade for an assignment that she completed and turned in being noted as missing, for example), as well as being resistant to asking her math teacher for help clarifying some math concept. She is getting better, but HS can require more of this kind of thing, and she won't be at the HS the whole day, so dealing with her Physics teacher could be tricky.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post


Her current teacher has given her some online experiments and projects to do, that she has had her class do in previous years. And I'm always looking for various other websites, homeschooling science curriculum etc., so I'd love other recommendations, experiences! We'll also be spending some time with the engineer side of the family this summer, so that can lead to quality grandpa/uncle time doing some experiments and such (Also has an uncle who is a HS Chemistry teacher)


With regards to the gender worries, the enrollments of girls in the highest level science classes does not tend to drop off until late in high school.  Girls will tend to elect into the honors classes freshman and sophomore year, but will then elect against the AP classes.  You might start to see a gender split in 10th grade then.  However, a few good teachers and councilors aware of the data is often all that's needed to put those high ability girls back into appropriate classes.  Check out Expanding Your Horizons and other programs aimed at girls.  The data show that a few inspiring classes, teachers, or programs at 'the high school level is what it takes to have women persist and choose a college degree in the STEM fields.

That is really helpful information! It sounds like it would help a lot for DD to find a mentor teacher during HS - and I also think the set up at the specialty HS program she is interested in will easily lend the ability to find just such a person. 

 

 

Finding a mentor is a great idea. You mention an engineering side to the family. Perhaps they can help her make some connections too. DD has attended various programs promoting girls in science and engineering fields. I suspect that observing role models in our family, such as my software designer sister or my mechanical engineering SIL or her brother's girlfriend who was accepted into a highly competitive architecture school, have had as much impact on my DD's attitude toward females in STEM fields as the promotional programs.

post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

She's already 13 as a 7th-grader taking 8th-grade science? That sounds like fairly small potatoes in terms of an age mismatch to me, though maybe kids are a lot older for grade where you live. My dd was 13 for the first three months of 10th grade, and most of her classmates didn't even realize she was technically supposed to be in 9th. With just a one-year acceleration, and her not being young for grade or particularly immature, I don't think the differences are likely to be significant.

Miranda

 

I'm in the same state (but a different city) as the OP. Kids here have to be 5 by Sept 1st to start K, and 6 by Sept 1st to start 1st (public schools will NOT consider grade skips before 2nd).

 

Generally kids are 14 by Sept 1st to be in 9th. The only 13 year olds would have moved here from some where else *or* been grade skipped, which is very rare. Red shirting in common in middle class areas, so it isn't uncommon in "good" schools for kids to be 15 by the time start 9th. The one's that aren't already 15 end up turning 15 throughout 9th grade.

 

My DD mentioned previously in the thread has a summer birthday and wasn't redshirted, which means that she is considered young for grade by being 14 for her entire freshmen year.  

 

Also, on the topic of how noticeable it will be -- the larger the school, the less noticeable. Most highschools in my city have about 2,000 students. It's just to big to wonder what happened to the girl that you only see in first period, because there are lots of kids that you only see for one period. At the small, private school my DD was at previously, everyone knew exactly what grade and how old every one was.

 

A lot of freshmen still need scaffolding to advocate for themselves. Mine does, in spite of being wicked smart!  It's something that her teachers and I have been working on together via email this year. At her school, it is understood that this is still challenging for many students, especially in such a large school.

 

As far as what to do this summer, I would seriously look into the programs at the university. If money is an issue, apply for a scholarship.

post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 

An update will follow, but I wanted to respond to previous posts first!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Finding a mentor is a great idea. You mention an engineering side to the family. Perhaps they can help her make some connections too. DD has attended various programs promoting girls in science and engineering fields. I suspect that observing role models in our family, such as my software designer sister or my mechanical engineering SIL or her brother's girlfriend who was accepted into a highly competitive architecture school, have had as much impact on my DD's attitude toward females in STEM fields as the promotional programs. 

 

I hope DD spending some time with them will help this.  Unfortunately, these family members all live on the east coast, and we live in AZ, so we don't see them more than once a year.   But DH is in the technical field (software engineer), so that helps too; he is able to help her with concepts, homework, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

I'm in the same state (but a different city) as the OP. Kids here have to be 5 by Sept 1st to start K, and 6 by Sept 1st to start 1st (public schools will NOT consider grade skips before 2nd).

 

Generally kids are 14 by Sept 1st to be in 9th. The only 13 year olds would have moved here from some where else *or* been grade skipped, which is very rare. Red shirting in common in middle class areas, so it isn't uncommon in "good" schools for kids to be 15 by the time start 9th. The one's that aren't already 15 end up turning 15 throughout 9th grade.

 

My DD mentioned previously in the thread has a summer birthday and wasn't redshirted, which means that she is considered young for grade by being 14 for her entire freshmen year.  

 

Also, on the topic of how noticeable it will be -- the larger the school, the less noticeable. Most highschools in my city have about 2,000 students. It's just to big to wonder what happened to the girl that you only see in first period, because there are lots of kids that you only see for one period. At the small, private school my DD was at previously, everyone knew exactly what grade and how old every one was.

 

A lot of freshmen still need scaffolding to advocate for themselves. Mine does, in spite of being wicked smart!  It's something that her teachers and I have been working on together via email this year. At her school, it is understood that this is still challenging for many students, especially in such a large school.

 

As far as what to do this summer, I would seriously look into the programs at the university. If money is an issue, apply for a scholarship.

Bolded part:  I bet that is part of what is going on.  But as an update:

 

To finalize DD going to HS for Physics, I needed to wait until state testing was done.  After it was, I contacted her counselor, who told me the principal would be contacting me to discuss the issue of science class for DD next year.  Her MS principal let me know as it stands now, DD won't be able to go to the HS for science next year.  Apparently it comes down to the HS principal choice/discretion whether or not to allow this, and he will not.  He told the MS principal that he does not/ cannot allot HS class spaces to MS students; I believe part of his concern that if he allows DD to come for this, that it will open the floodgates and that too many more students will want to do it.  (Mind you, her MS principal stated that in her 9 years at this school, she has never once had a student that needed/requested this  shrug.gif)  In his defense, his school's enrollment is HUGE to the point of being overcrowded.

 

So the MS principal laid out her tentative plan:  for DD to repeat 8th grade science, with the same teacher.  The first semester's content would be a repeat for her, so she is suggesting a combo of things to deal with it: have DD take another science based elective for that 1st semester, AND at some point in the year, do an independent study project (yet to be fleshed out) under the direction of the science teacher and the gifted liaison (an 8th grade English teacher).  I asked a couple of pointed questions at this point:  has this teacher ever mentored a student in such a project (answer: no), and is there a HS science teacher that could serve as a mentor to the teacher and DD.  (answer: unknown)

 

I stated my concerns:  repeated curricula/concepts already mastered FRUSTRATES!  DD, and doing extra work on top of expected work would not go over well either.  (Other unstated concerns are:  while DD may learn some things, will it be enough to keep her engaged and challenged?  Will it help her advance her learning in a meaningful way?)

 

The principal wants to model this project after something that is done the senior year at the specialty HS DD wants to attend; she brainstormed that the science teacher(s) there might be able help mentor DD and her science teacher; however, this is the first year with a senior class for this program, and so the framework for this isn't completely done yet.  And the seniors probably won't do it until 2nd semester.  So that would mean that DD would be in 8th grade science class for the physics unit she missed (to be covered 2nd semester), and would have to take extra time to work on her independent study - not cool in DD's eyes!  

 

A couple more interested things came from the conversation:  she basically told me that I could contact the HS principal to state our case to see if we could get him to change his mind, but also to keep in mind that if he did, there was no guarantee who DD would get for a teacher (and could get one that wouldn't be a good fit).  She also warned me that instruction of classes (specifically science and math) are pretty different at that level - not necessarily very interactive or hands-on, and that could be a big wake up call for her.

 

I also brought up, towards the end of our conversation, whether or not it made sense to bring the Director of Gifted Services into the conversation.  In the past, the director has been very sympathetic and helpful in finding a good fit for DD.  She agreed it was a good idea as is going to call her to discuss this (as well as the idea in the next paragraph).

 

The principal, at the end of the conversation, threw out the idea to look into just flat out accelerating her to 9th grade at the specialty HS.  DD is interested in the Engineering track - and instead of taking the 2nd 1/2 of the engineering electives at MS, she could do the HS level class doing similar work, as well as getting her HS science and math too.  I'm not necessarily opposed to this, but a lot of research into this will need to happen. 

 

So, in a nutshell, it appears that we have three avenues to research/further discuss:  making a repeat of 8th grade science work, with a combo of classtime and independent study; lobbying the HS principal to let DD attend his school for Honors Conceptual Physics; and just accelerating her to 9th grade at the specialty school.  Thoughts?  Experience?  Suggestions?

post #20 of 35

Ugh, what a mess.

 

So you're being blocked by an idiot HS principal from the solution that everyone else agrees is the right solution?  I would definitely bring in the director of gifted services and ask that person to start batting heavy for you.  Your daughter needs to be in the appropriate science class to meet her needs.  It sounds like you are effectively retaining a high-performing, high-ability child in an area of her passion.  What a way to kill her love for science.

 

You need the director of gifted services, together with the MS principal and 8th grade science teacher to make the case in appropriate education lingo to the principal.  Her GAI and achievement testing indicate that she's in a class of her own, and that there is no evidence of so-called flood gates.  Did you ever apply to Davidson?  If you did, now's the time to bring them in.  If not, time to call that educational advocate whose contact info you have.

 

The various 8th grade science solutions are not solutions.  I would not consent in your situation.

 

These special projects plans don't work in my experience.  Teachers are really busy, and finding the time to ensure she's consistently engaged will be a lot of work, and it won't happen.  If this is the plan you arrive at, I would get an agreement in writing as to how much work your DD needs to repeat, and clearly specified goals, criteria, and mode of working on the project during class time.  DD started this year with the teacher enthusiastically suggesting a "science discussion lunch" for DD weekly to give her the scratch to the curiosity itch.  It got cancelled more than it happened, not because of the teacher's lack of enthusiasm (a teacher whose enthusiasm DD describes as "unsettling" and energy DD describes as "a little scary")

 

For the grade acceleration, it sounds like she's doing well across the board.  Have the school go through the Iowa Acceleration Scale.    How would your DD feel about the acceleration?  How are her organization skills?  How about making friends skills?  Even if you don't skip her, having the IAS score to be presenting to Mr SpeedBump Principal can hopefully establish the extreme nature of this situation.

 

Finally, is this the only high school that would work for the physics class?

 

Another idea, going back to the science mentor idea:  Could you give her an extra study hall instead of science, and agree upon a manner in which to give her access to high school physics either during that study hall or as a single-subject home school?  For a kid with a lot of motivation and extraordinary executive skills, something like this could work.  You would need some formal agreement that she wouldn't have to repeat that content in high school, even if she doesn't get formal credit for it.

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