Hello, I used to be a fixture on mothering but I think it's been a few years now. This was the only place I could think of for help, and in a timely manner.
My bff has had her kids in waldorf school their whole lives. One son has moved on to high school now but one daughter is starting 8th grade and her youngest son is starting 2nd grade. Her ex partner used to be a waldorf school teacher so they either got free tuition or tuition at a huge discount. Well her ex stopped being a teacher at the end of the school year but told her he would pay for the kids tuition so they could continue at Waldorf. Well, the kids start school tomorrow and 2 days ago he text my bff and told her that he can't afford tuition so she'll have to put them in public school.
The dd going into 8th grade already had her dress laid out to get ready for what I think they call the roses ceremony. She is now crying her eyes out about this.
Now beside this just being a sad story the real issue is the ds heading into second grade. He doesn't know how to read and by mainstream kind of standards he would most definitely be diagnosed with ADHD I think. My bff deosn't know what to do. Her ex said she has to take them to some placement center in the city where they will decide where to put them in to school.
I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or if you know of anyone or have any experience yourself of how to navigate having to put your kids into public school after waldorf. For the dd I guess it's just an issue of finding a place for her. She will be fine as far as testing at her grade level I'm sure.
I don't know if the ds will end up being put in special classes or what on earth may happen. My dd is in public school and is in special ed so I have lots of experience with the public school system but I have no experience with taking kids out of waldorf and putting them in public school and how the public school system reacts to that or whatever.
The only advice I have given her is to go to the placement center and talk to people and get an idea of what is going to happen before taking the kids there. They are going to be upset enough. I'm assuming they will put them through testing to see where they're at grade level wise.
I asked her if she could possibly consider homeschooling him for now but she is a single mom now and she has to work to support the kids, pay the mortgage, etc.
Although emotional support is nice I especially need some concrete advice. I will send my bff a link to this thread. She was on mothering a lot back in the day too :)
thanks in advance - Judy
(FYI: It will be the Minneapolis public schools)
No great advice, but could she talk to her Waldorf school's administration and ask them for help? Not sure if they would be able to, but it's worth a shot. Perhaps there are scholarships available or something?
Wife to 1 since 2000
Mom to 6 ('01), ('02), ('07), ('09), ('09), ('10)
I am sorry but this is downright cruelty to the kids. The 8th grade year is a culminating point in a Waldorf school. The 8th grader probably in great shape academically but she may have to get some tutoring about how to deal with standardized tests. Hopefully she is able to make friends easily because the cliques are pretty solid by 8th grade in most middle schools.
As for the 2nd grader, he is likely to be so far "behind" the other kids in reading that if the public school teachers aren't prepared to address this sensitively then some serious issues may arise. He may very well start to dislike school and think he is "stupid" if he doesn't just pick up reading quickly. Although its possible that things might just "click" for him given his foundations there is no denying that he is going to be in a different place right now as compared to kids who have been doing sight-words since Kindergarten. Obviously, the public school will test him and, most likely, the results will come back below grade level. If I were your friend I would then push for an IEP for the son because its important that this "delay" be assessed and dealt with in context. Hopefully, your friend will find a teacher or a support person who will understand that this is a case of a kid who has been walking now being expected to sprint. Working with him may require the teachers and reading support team to modify their general approach a bit. Its possible that he is above grade level in aspects of literacy that aren't decoding (ie "comprehension" and vocabulary). Placement tests can only tell you so much. He needs to continue to be nurtured through continued oral engagement with complex and moving stories. This may or may not be a current part of their "bag o tricks."
And as for this "ex"... What kind of responsible adult texts this kind of news 2 days before school starts???!!! The rising 2nd grader could have spent the summer working on getting more inline with MN state curriculum standards if it was known they would be going to public school in the fall. Completely irresponsible on the part of an adult who does know better.
Finally, how thoroughly has your friend tried to work with the school for tuition assistance? What about a longer-term payment plan? Although it will be very difficult for the 8th grader to leave, maybe the school is willing to keep the second grader just through this year until an appropriate transition can be made? I can understand that money may be tight all around but making such a last minute change of course right now could have very detrimental effects on the 2nd grader. The adults who can see this have an obligation to figure out a transition plan, even if the situation was not of their making. It may be more acceptable to the school to take little or no tuition if its only for one year, for the purposes of making a good transition for the child. I would say the same thing for the 8th grader too but the 2nd grader's situation is a bit more acute (academically, anyway.) Best of luck and please update! Jacquelin.
Thanks Jacquelin, A lot has happened over night with the dad going back and forth about what he can afford versus not doing it at all, etc.
Today the school told them that they would help them anyway that they could, but they have already offered them more tuition assistance than they have anyone else. The dad was a teacher at the school and decided to get a new job. He said that he would be making more money so he could pay the kids tuition. Apparently that is not the case.
The school is already paying more than half of the kids tuition and they do not offer scholarships.
Both kids went to school today and the 8th grader participated in the rose ceremony as if nothing was the matter (even though she knows about what's going on). The teacher wanted them to go on as if things were normal in hopes that they can work something out.
The dad is now saying that he will pay to keep the 2nd grader in school there. I hope this comes to pass and not just for a month or two.
The 8th grader told her mom that if they could afford to keep the 2nd grader in the waldorf school then she would go to public school since it is more important that he stay.
I'm hoping that things work out for both of them, but I think that the 2nd grader will end up staying and the 8th grader will go to public school. It truly sucks, but there's only so much you can do.
The school said they'll help them however they can since they have been in the school for 10 years, counting all the kids, but I guess time will tell what the school means when they say that they will help in whatever way they can.
thanks for your response & advice :)
Just saw your reply and it gave me the warm fuzzies because at least it seems that the adults are acknowledging what this transition might mean (for the 2nd grader especially). And, how awesome is the 8th grader for being willing to accept something she doesn't want if it means that her younger sibling gets what he needs??!! Whatever happens, that young lady is going to turn out just fine.
Oh my heart is breaking for them. I hope they can work it out. ITA, the little one will have a hard go of it. They will likely need him to do a year over in public at that age. I think it's also important the 8th grader stay, it's the culmination of all of those years.
So far both of them are staying. It is still unclear how the older one will be getting her tuition paid (as far as I know). Apparently the dad will be paying for the younger one to stay, thank god!
thanks for your concern :)