or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › May yank my twins out of public school - thoughts? *BIG UPDATE #137*
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

May yank my twins out of public school - thoughts? *BIG UPDATE #137* - Page 3

post #41 of 161


That sucks.
You are being a fantastic advocate.
I'm in Portland too.
Most of the PS are not so good.
post #42 of 161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FancyPants View Post


That sucks.
You are being a fantastic advocate.
I'm in Portland too.
Most of the PS are not so good.
What stinks is we are not even 1/4 of a mile from the Clackamas County line.

I wish we had had a chance to find a home in the district (North Clackamas SD) that we wanted. But last year we had to move out of our home in Milwaukie to escape a maniac landlord (literally).

So here we are.. but we'll deal until we can afford to move again.

Thanks everyone.
post #43 of 161
I suspected my ds would have trouble adjusting to K so I spend time volunteering in the classroom. That way I get to know the teachers, they get to see that I am a concerned and involved parent, and I have a better understanding of my son's day. It allows me to reinforce expectations that might be different at school. It sounds like spending more time at their school will help you understand whether these issues can be rasolved. But I do know that schools these days are getting nasty about attendance so you will need to be especially proactive regarding their illnesses and immune system problems. Document things, get a letter from their doctor regarding this as well

Good luck.
post #44 of 161
Sorry you are having a tough time with this. Some of it sounds really weird - not being willing to find a date for the meeting that works for all of you and saying that DH doesn't need to be there. I used to be a public school kinder teacher, and we bent over backwards to accommodate parents, and were so happy to have TWO parents show up.

I would ask to switch your son to a new teacher. It actually happens pretty often, and really isn't that big of a deal (at least at schools I have worked at). It isn't reasonable to expect that all teachers and kids are going to get along - so, sometimes a change is needed. Also, if it looks like your guys will be missing a lot of school, you may want to do an IEP. Schools get money based on daily attendance, and often come down pretty hard on kids who are absent. Your guys are missing school for a good reason, but a lot of kids miss school for some pretty crazy reasons. I would clarify that - bring in medical documentation - right away. When I was teaching, if a child went out for medical reasons, the parent could pick up work and books and get put on some sort of short term home school contract (I can't remember what it was called - sorry). That way the school still gets funding and they know the parents are not being flakey.

Also, it sounds like one teacher has created a really negative vibe, so I can understand that you, and your kiddos, feel attacked, but try not to think of it as "5 of them vs 1 of me". Ideally, you are all working together for your kid’s best interest. I have been in a lot of these meetings, and I know emotions usually run high. Going into the wrong bathroom, talking in line, getting out of line – all of that is normal, expected kindergarten behavior. Given that they seem so negative towards the kids, and uncooperative with scheduling, it just seems like an unsupportive school environment. But, just to look at all sides … I mean this in the most gentle way, and I know it made be hard to think about, but maybe the teachers are seeing something specific that needs to be addressed if they are calling in 2 behavioral therapists. Most districts do not have extra resources (resource people) to deal with frivolous stuff like not lining up right.

Whatever is going on, it is really great that you are aware of how it is affecting your guys and advocating for them. They need to feel supported, not stressed, by and at school. Some teachers can really be on power trips, which is just so awful. Kindergarten can be such a fun year – I hope things turn around and they can experience it that way.
post #45 of 161
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I appreciate your response.

It's late but I wanted to touch on something - we've asked them continously what the point of the meeting is exactly and everyone avoids answering that question. I ask if something more is happening that I am not being made aware of and no, they are telling me everything (they say). I ask if they suspect a learning disability or similar? No. I am then told, "They are just missing so much school.." So that led me to ask if it was a meeting to setup IEP and no, it's not for that either. :/

The principal now tells me that the behavior therapists have Friday off and can't make it that day. So that's why I was told the 17th would no longer work.

Volunteering is difficult. I am not trying to make up excuses here, it's just what it is for us and our schedules (with a four year old DD). My MIL is volunteering or will be soon, she planned on it and applied for it before the year even started. I offered occasional volunteer time. I've went in early, stayed late, etc. to talk to teachers but they don't want to beyond the little negative spew.. then my three get antsy, so we leave.

I don't feel it's five against one so much, it's that they won't give me an idea of the goal of the meeting. It's that they are so very okay with DH not being there, which just seems so very odd to me (and everyone else that hears about it). I have a list going of points I want to touch on, but it's difficult when I don't know what the meeting is about really.. :/

Thank you all again. Hopefully today is a better day.
post #46 of 161
It sounds like you have wonderful,happy ,active,normal, BOYS! If I was in your shoes I'd listen to my gut and get the heck out of there asap! Hs is wonderful,it works,your children will be normal well adjusted and healthy.
There's tons of free cirriculum on the web. www.homeschoolshare.com comes to mind.

Sorry,but just the mention of behaviour therapist makes me want to run the other way.If they really had issues you and your dh would have known it before now.Parents are the real "professionals" when it comes to their children.Anyone who tries to tell you any different is a liar!
post #47 of 161
Could you request that your other ds' teacher be present as well? She might have some added beneficial input being a more seasoned teacher, b/c she has the other "half" of your twin set, b/c she observes both boys at school as well, and b/c it sounds like you have a better relationship with her.
post #48 of 161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post
Could you request that your other ds' teacher be present as well? She might have some added beneficial input being a more seasoned teacher, b/c she has the other "half" of your twin set, b/c she observes both boys at school as well, and b/c it sounds like you have a better relationship with her.
Both teachers, principal, two behavior specialists and now I am being told 1-2 other staff members may be there. So yes, everyone and then some will be there!
post #49 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by UberMama View Post
Both teachers, principal, two behavior specialists and now I am being told 1-2 other staff members may be there. So yes, everyone and then some will be there!

I would phone the principal and ask flatly what is going on - that on the one hand, whatever the issue is can wait 2 weeks to discuss, but is so serious that it requires a convening of a miniature-UN. If she doesn't answer this, I would go to the board/district and ask what you can do to resolve this more reaonably. You could also go to the PAC/PTA to see if there's an experienced parent there who can help guide you through a hugely, overly bureaucratic process.

I don't remember if you said it upthread, but have you provided them with a doctor's note explaining the twins' medical situation?
post #50 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
You could also go to the PAC/PTA to see if there's an experienced parent there who can help guide you through a hugely, overly bureaucratic process.
:
I believe that some districts have a parent advocate as well. I'd check with both the PTO and the district to see if there is someone of this sort who can accompany you. Also, at the meeting if they have a specific plan, ask for their recommendations in writing.
post #51 of 161
I would definitely take someone else with you -- good friend, pastor, someone to support you and to serve as an impartial observer. When you are finished, that person might be useful to help separate what you heard vs. what they might have said, because when things get emotional (and I can't see how they couldn't), sometimes we miss things. And if nothing else, you are going to need someone just so you don't feel so ganged up on! Even if your DH can be there, find someone else to help you process it all.

Do you know any other parents of children in your child's class (with the mean teacher)? Ask them if they are finding the same sorts of behavior. Heck, even if you don't know them, if there is a class phone list, call a few others and see how their year is going. Maybe host a mom's coffee between now and the meeting just to get to know people and compare notes? Maybe you are only 1 in 10 who are having these sorts of things happen and if you knew you weren't the only one it would help?

As a side note, most schools now have rules against physical contact between children, especially if it could be construed as "sexual" if it were two adults (e.g. hugging and kissing). Its stupid, silly, assinine to the extreme, but they are so worried about being sued for sexual harrassment. Unfortunately, there are a few cases out there that prove that they are right to be worried because it does happen and it can cost the school, teachers, and staff a ton of money. It makes no sense, but its not uncommon. Kids have been expelled for it in other places. One more thing to blame people who would rather sue than think. Of course, that doesn't excuse them from being rude about it, but it isn't directed just at your child. Our school has a "no hugging, no touching" rule too and I hate it.

Good luck with all of this -- it sounds really stressful!
post #52 of 161
Good grief! Based on the things your boys have done I think my DD would have been expelled by now if she were attending that school! Seriously, she has some difficulties with behavior at school and her teacher has been awesome with her! She and I emailed a few times at the beginning of the school year b/c I was getting some negative feedback from my DD and the teacher completely put my mind at ease. Basically it was just my DD learning the routine and having some difficulties transitioning. The teacher said she didn't mention it to me b/c it really wasn't a big deal, quite a few classmates were also having a rough time transitioning to school. There have been some other issues but the teacher has spoken with her about them and encouraged her to make different choices next time. Examples of her behavior:
-Wandering the halls and getting lost b/c the first bathroom had a line
-Hugging/not keeping hands to self (she can be disrespectful of other ppl's personal space sometimes)
-Making silly faces to make other children laugh when it's storytime or the teacher's turn to talk

So, very similar stuff to what you describe with your sons. I think she's gotten in the wrong line a few times too and somehow she hasn't heard the bell to line up from playground a few times. Her teacher has taught K for 18 years so while I was stressed out that maybe my DD wasn't ready for K and she reassured me that it takes time for children to adjust to school and that this was all normal, developmentally appropriate things that she is doing.

Oh, and FYI, my DD is a Dec 02 kid, so around the same age as your boys.

One last thing, I would definitely push for a "purpose" for the meeting. If needed send the principal a certified letter asking for clarification about the meeting. Document everything. Keep a notepad in your car and jot down every single thing Miss Mean says about your son (make notes of what Mrs. Nice says too!) and keep detailed notes on every conversation that you have with the principal or other staff members over the phone. I'd walk into the meeting with a stack of notes all typed up, printed, and chronologically organized into a small binder. Not in a huffy or mean way, just to keep stuff straight.

I think it's very suspicious that they 1) don't care if your DH attends the meeting, 2) won't tell you what the meeting is about, and 3) have so many people coming to this meeting - esp the 2 behavioral psychologists. Not that I'm trying to be all conspiracy theory over here but it sounds like they are setting you up... but wtf would be the purpose in that?

GL,
Beth
post #53 of 161
I would press them on the purpose as well, and perhaps ask that they circulate an agenda and list of those attending.

It is important that you know ahead of time whether you are all meeting to discuss how the school can meet your children's needs, whether they want to discuss testing or therapy of some kind, or whether they have 'truancy' concerns or concerns of some other nature.
post #54 of 161
You may get a better response in the homeschool forum.

I have homeschooled mostly throughout my kids school years, but for 2 years they did go to a private school. We are now back to homeschooling and hopefully it's for the long haul.

It looks like your boys were born in November so they will be 6 this year right? I'd probably take them out and either wait another year to start them in kindergarten again or homeschool them. Either way, the school sounds *very* unreasonable. Their expectations sound very high. And is it possible for you to get notes from your doctor to help with the absences? That's truly the only area I can see that they should have a concern, but all the other stuff sounds silly and petty to me. But then again, I homeschool my children.
post #55 of 161
Oh and I wouldn't take what they say in the meeting they have planned very seriously. I mean come on, your kids are 5 years old. I think most schools these days expect way too much from children. They've only been in the world for 5 years! I really wouldn't let what they tell me effect how I view my children if I were you. You know your children best. Do what you feel is right. They can't tell you anything you don't already know since you've known them your whole life. Good luck with whatever decision you make. Hope to see you on the other side!
post #56 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
It looks like your boys were born in November so they will be 6 this year right? I'd probably take them out and either wait another year to start them in kindergarten again or homeschool them. Either way, the school sounds *very* unreasonable. Their expectations sound very high.
I agree that their expectations for never doing any of the things that have been mentioned would be completely unreasonable. Kids do need time to learn and will make mistakes. But by a couple of months into school, I don't think its unreasonable to expect a 6 YO to use the correct restroom, line up at the bell, find the right line, keep hands/legs/lips to yourself and walk quietly in line. Again, not without being told those were the expectations. And definitely not without expecting to issue the instructions a time or two before making it a discipline issue. But honestly, both of my children were meeting these expectations by the time they were 2 months into preschool as 3 year olds. Well, preschool didn't expect a complete understanding of hands to yourself. My 5 YO DD started K this year and those are all rules for her class. While her school has very high expectations for student behavior, I don't think these are unreasonable rules. And most children remember them with an occasional gentle reminder (especially on the hands to yourself issue). All of those things are necessary, I think, to keep order in a school and classroom and make sure all children in the room are respected. Of course, if you think they are unreasonable expectations, than homeschooling probably is the best choice.
post #57 of 161
I don't know that any of us are arguing that the expectations of lining up, not kissing other kids, etc., are unreasonable. I do realize that schools need to keep some semblance of order given the # of kids they are overseeing. I think that the issue is with the manner in which these rules are being enforced and the teacher turning it into some sort of behavioral anomoly rather than a typical young boy who gets lost, is adjusting to the new school routine, and has occassional issues with impulse control. I don't like to see children pathologized for being impulsive and lacking experience.
post #58 of 161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
I agree that their expectations for never doing any of the things that have been mentioned would be completely unreasonable. Kids do need time to learn and will make mistakes. But by a couple of months into school, I don't think its unreasonable to expect a 6 YO to use the correct restroom, line up at the bell, find the right line, keep hands/legs/lips to yourself and walk quietly in line. Again, not without being told those were the expectations. And definitely not without expecting to issue the instructions a time or two before making it a discipline issue. But honestly, both of my children were meeting these expectations by the time they were 2 months into preschool as 3 year olds. Well, preschool didn't expect a complete understanding of hands to yourself. My 5 YO DD started K this year and those are all rules for her class. While her school has very high expectations for student behavior, I don't think these are unreasonable rules. And most children remember them with an occasional gentle reminder (especially on the hands to yourself issue). All of those things are necessary, I think, to keep order in a school and classroom and make sure all children in the room are respected. Of course, if you think they are unreasonable expectations, than homeschooling probably is the best choice.
But as has been stated, the boys have missed a lot of school due to illness. So while every other child (for the most part) is going on six weeks into school, my boys are going on their third week.

The bathroom incident happened 1.5 weeks into school. The not getting into line incident happened two weeks into school. The talking in line happened 1.5 weeks into school.

I don't think they are unreasonable expectations. As I've stated numerous times, they've missed a lot of school for a very legit reason. Yet 1.5 weeks into school, my son goes into the wrong bathroom for a couple of seconds at most and backs out in embarrassment over what he's done. The bathrooms are NOT marked well at all!

I won't go over the other incidents again, I've already gone over them enough in this thread. :/ I will say that I've witnessed others talking in line when they shouldn't, I saw another little girl line with the wrong class another day.. first child was told to quiet down, little girl was ushered back into her line. I saw the little girl picked up that day, Kyler's teacher said (and I quote, 'cause I remember this quite well), "X (her name) had a great day. She's doing perfect!" (K's teacher is a fan of the word "perfect.")

And yes, I provided a doctor note after the second illness. I will be bringing in more documentation and more letters from the dr stating why this has happened, etc.

What I was coming to update this thread with.. Today was a good day for BOTH boys!

And guess what? Kyler's teacher, Ms. Negative Nelly, wasn't there. There was a sub and she praised Kyler for having such a good day and what a sweet little boy he was. He came out of the classroom and his ego was obviously 10x larger than usual. The whole way to the van he was talking about what a good day he had and how nice the sub was.

Interesting, eh?
post #59 of 161
some teachers are a bad fit for some students-i would see if you can switch the teacher issue-you may solve or greatly improve your school issues if you can!
post #60 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post
some teachers are a bad fit for some students-i would see if you can switch the teacher issue-you may solve or greatly improve your school issues if you can!
:

My oldest sons 2nd grade teacher was like that. She nitpicked him about everything. It was very discouraging to constantly get bad reports. Third grade was much better.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › May yank my twins out of public school - thoughts? *BIG UPDATE #137*