So....another update, and it's good too!
So....after a little ball dropping by the MS principal (has been trying to straddle between this job and her new one), we finally got the okay for the skip from the AS of the district on Monday. We've been nervously waiting (mind you, the school year ended Thursday). The was the MS principal put it, the AS didn't so much as say an official "yes" for the skip, he did say it was okay for her to apply to the specialty HS program - essentially giving his tacit approval - whatever! I guess in his position, you have to be careful in how you play your politics!
So Tuesday (and Wednesday), I called the head of the specialty HS and left a message. The MS principal said that she was going to call him too, and essentially tell him to "get her in", administrator to administrator. From other parents of kids going to this school, I had heard that the Engineering track was filled, so we were worried about there being space.
DD had a good freak out session on Wednesday evening about leaving MS and going to HS - she was writing thank you notes to her teachers, had begun telling her friends that she probably wouldn't be in MS next year, so the reality of the situation was sinking in, and she was beginning to deal with her conflicting emotions. We talked it out, telling DD that we will support her in whatever she wanted to do - if she wanted to stay in MS, she could and we would do our best to make it work. She said she knew that HS was really where she wanted/needed to be, but was sad to leave her friends behind.
On Thursday morning (last day of school!), the head of the program called me back. We had a good chat. He confirmed that there was space in the program, and that DD came with excellent references from the "district administration" - the MS principal for sure, and I'm guessing the Director of Gifted Services too.
There also was an application for the specialty HS program that she needed to complete in short order, which was adding stress to the situation. For those applying in the normal time frame, they had months to compose their resume, essay, and get their references - we had *A LOT* less time, lol. But she got it done, got the references from her teachers, and we turned the application in on Friday AM. Her Algebra teacher wrote one of the references, and as he handed it to DD, he jokingly said, "I don't really think you'll need this. I heard that you are already in!" The 8th grade science teacher wrote a great letter to go with the evaluation/reference form - it should weight heavily in her favor during the evaluation process.
I discussed the stress and the freaking out with the head of the program, and we had a good talk about the possibility of DD hitting some bumps emotionally attending HS early - they have a girl currently in the engineering program, who started early, and she did hit some bumps, but worked them out. I hope with my background, keeping aware of what is going on, and keeping in touch with the counselors, we can avoid or minimize issues.
I also asked the head of the program if there was anyway we could bring DD by to see the building and classrooms/labs. I figure it will help DD wrap her head around what she is going to, rather on focusing on what she was leaving. So we set up a time this Tuesday to meet with him and get a tour. She got a peek of the rooms, and met the teacher who is heading the engineering program there, so that calmed her down a bit, and got her more excited than sad.
All in all, in the end, this process has gone better than I would have expected. But if I had known back in February that it would be such an ordeal to figure this out, I would have not waited like a good little parent for it to be most convenient time for the schools to come up with a plan. Heck, I guess in hindsight, I should have been looking for a skip to begin with? !?
So, I hope that we get the decision soon - I would hate to have to go most of summer break in limbo about where she'll be next year. Wish us luck!