Advocating for Grade Acceleration - Input Please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 77 Old 03-30-2011, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first post - and I'm looking for some advice/suggestions from parents who've been done this path before!

 

DD just turned 6 and is in kindergarten. She started reading before age 3, not just sight words but actually reading. When she moved to a new daycare at 3y3m the director freaked out because she could read their internal memos, not just picture books. We had her IQ tested, WISC IV, at age 3y7m, and she had a score of 135. There were no resources in our area but we lucked into a preschool with great teachers who worked with her as much as they could.

 

We met with the principal before she started school to give her an indication of what was coming at her and to request that she put with the most appropriate kindy teacher. We did NOT ask for a specific teacher. Of course we got the "I'm sure your daughter is special, they all are" line which I'm betting you're all familiar with. Sure enough, two weeks into the school year we had a request to meet with her teacher. The first response was that she's ready for 3rd grade - I wasn't ready for that! What actually happened is she meets with a small group (4 students) of accelerated 2nd graders working on 3rd grade reading curriculum. They've also pulled together a small group of high functioning kindergartners to meet with one of the counselors once a week to work on enrichment activities. She also meets with another counselor with two other kindy students to deal with perfectionism issues.

 

So, while I think the school has done what they can for her I'm beginning to get concerned for next school year. She's just gone through the first phase of testing for the gifted program. She took the NNAT and received a perfect score. The next phase is is another IQ test but they wouldn't test until she turned 6. She's currently reading at a 5th grade level. When we broached last fall the possibility of acceleration to 2nd grade, her teacher wanted to take a wait and see approach.

 

I've been biding my time to see how she does on the upcoming IQ test because I wanted to go into any discussions armed with scores from their own assessments. However, they are giving 2nd graders at the school the Terra Nova assessment in the next couple of weeks and I think I'd like her to take that. If she scores well on that I'm not sure how they could deny acceleration.

 

I know that socialization is going to be a part of any acceleration discussion and I'm not concerned. Because she's been working with 2nd graders and participates in afterschool activities with other kids in that age group, I've seen her in action. I truly think she'll be fine.

 

What are your thoughts on advocating for acceleration? Help!

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#2 of 77 Old 03-30-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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I just want to throw out there that socialization often becomes more of an issue in the older grades. Take it from me: Being eleven and in Jr. High was very, very tough. Thank goodness my mother refused to let my school skip me 6th grade as well or I would have been ten cold.gif.

So socialization is a concern even if she appears to be doing fine now.
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#3 of 77 Old 03-30-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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My son is only 17 mo, but I was on a gifted advisory council in high school and am currently a high school teacher. I feel that socialization is very important for all kids, but esp for gifted kids. There are great programs for gifted kids that are not accelerating grade level; for example, in Washington state they have a program for middle/high school kids to attend UW in a cohort of kids the same age. I assume you've looked into the gifted ed programs in your area, but you may wish to look in a larger city if your immediate area doesn't have a good one. In Portland there is a separate gifted school that is embedded w/in a regular elem school. These programs are really the best of both worlds for gifted kids because they are socialized to kids their age while still being challenged (so many issues come up for gifted kids who are bored). I'm sure you already know all this- but I'm shocked by how many parents in our school district do not know all that is available. Also, it may help when you advocate for your child to know that gifted ed is typically classified as special ed, and as such school districts are legally obligated to serve your child in a way that meets her needs. You could theoretically sue the district if they are neglecting to meet your child's needs- if the administrators know you know this, you might have a lot of doors to programs/testing suddenly open for you.

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#4 of 77 Old 03-30-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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My eldest did a mid-year skip from K to 1st. She didn't have any test scores at the time but her achievement alone had the principal call me in and suggest moving her up. I admit, we've had it pretty easy in reguards to advocacy for both our kids.

 

I was going to ask how the current accomodations are going. Is she unhappy? Do you have reason to believe this accomodation won't work for next year? You said you asked for a skip earlier but was that before or after she'd been working with the 2nd graders? You might find them more willing to consider now that they've seen how she does with older kids. Frankly, I think you have a lot to be optomistic about. They school does seem to have stepped up to try and make a difference for your child. Be sure to acknowledge this. It'll buy you good will in the future. Since you said you asked for an acceleration to 2nd last fall, I'm assuming you are looking for a 2 year jump? If so, I'd reccomend doing a single jump first and see how it goes. You can always continue to advocate for additional subject accelerations in math and language arts if in class differentiation isn't enough.

 

I also wanted to throw out there that it's not an automatic that accelerated kids will struggle in middle and high school socially. My DD started middle school at 10 and actually enjoyed her middle school experience. She started high school at 13 and still no problems. My DS will start middle school at 10 in the fall. Personally, I started middle at 11.5 and my experience was hellish. There are a lot of factors to how a child does in middle school. It shouldn't be assumed that age is the most important of them.


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#5 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Disclaimer: I'm not trying to argue with you about what is best for your child. I'm trying to help you come up with arguments that will help you get where you want to be.

 

There was a recent thread on acceleration:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1299700/grade-skipping-came-up-but

 

My kids are middle and high school aged now, and from what I've seen, some kids do OK being younger, and some kids just don't. Just because your DD does fine with kids a little older than her right now, it doesn't follow that she'll be fine with it in middle school while going through puberty. Owning the fact that this blows up in some kids faces and that the teachers and administration have watched it go wrong for some children seem like a positive step to persuading others that this is best for your child.

 

I don't know what all the factors are that make a difference, but I believe that the parent's willingness to let the kid have the same rules as their peer group is one of the factors. I think that if your child is 9 or 10 and in middle school, they should get to see the same movies, listen to the same music, have the same internet access etc that their *peer* group does, and now their peer group is kids 11-14. I'm sure there are other factors as well, this is just the one I've watched. 

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of acceleration, and both my kids are gifted. I feel it chops a year out of their childhood. I know that for some kids, it really is the best option, though. I feel it's preferable to meet a child's needs without acceleration if possible. We are fortunate in our alternative school that teaches all students at their appropriate level, and many cities don't have anything like it.

 

I understand that for some kids there isn't a better option than putting them with older kids but I see the downside.

 

In your post, you list several things that the school is doing to meet your child's needs. Reading it, it sounds like things are going quite well. I didn't feel you made a case for acceleration.  

 

Why do you want to accelerate her? Just because she could do the work, it doesn't follow *to me* that it means that it is really best for her to accelerate. (again -- I'm not trying to argue with you about what is best for your child, I'm just help you come up with arguments that will hold with the people you will be talking to. )


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#6 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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It's interesting to me to see this thread going this direction--I feel like normally this forum is very pro-skip. Maybe because you are discussing a double skip?

My daughter has similar scores to yours and was at a similar reading level in K. We never considered a skip--mainly because she is emotionally young. She is now in first and easily working at a 3rd grade level or above in all subjects, but I am not sure how she would look on the ground in a 3rd grade classroom. I have to agree that it sounds like your school has done a fair bit for your DD. We received no accommodations at all in K and very few in 1st. She is actually moving to a gifted school, but in your shoes I would have felt a lot happier keeping her where she was, since it sounds like the school is paying attention and working to meet her where she is. I agree that it would help to know more about how she feels about school and why you want the skip.

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#7 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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This is going to be short since Im in a hurry but just because she can keep up academically can she keep up physically. 3rd grade has more writing than 1st grade. PE and Art classes have different expectations etc.  An in class project done by a 6 yr old looks different than one done by an 8-9 yr old?

Also what happens when your 6 yr old likes all things rainbows and puppies and the 8-9 yr old 'love' justin beiber and hannah montana etc YKWIM


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#8 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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First just a question - are you saying she was given the regular WISC rather than the preschool WISC (WPPSI)? I would be sure after she's six to get IQ testing as it sounds like she's very likely in the highly or profoundly gifted range.

I'm not sure how much research you've done about acceleration but I will share a couple of resources that you may find helpful. The Nation Deceived Report looked carefully at research on acceleration and contrary to the doom and gloom stories people seem to love to repeat, it actually tends to be a positive thing. http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/nation_deceived/ You may also want to look at the Iowa scale: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/iowa_accel_scale.htm

Our experience with acceleration is a bit different as the path was homeschooling to early college entrance. It has been a 100% positive thing here.
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#9 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Also what happens when your 6 yr old likes all things rainbows and puppies and the 8-9 yr old 'love' justin beiber and hannah montana etc YKWIM

My 2.5 year old loves rocking out to Justin B and Hannah M when they come on the radio when she turns it on. Our 12 year old friend has a unicorn hat and is getting a couple rats soon as pets, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that she couldn't name a song by either J B or H M.

 

At age 8 (and 9-17), I was into rainbows and puppies and had no idea who the current popular singers were, and it made no difference to my life.

 

The writing is a concern, but one that can easily be worked around.
 

If she's going to end two levels up at some point, it'd be better sooner so that everyone involved can get used to it and over it more quickly.

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#10 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 03:13 PM
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This was the situation we were in last year, but without all the enrichment that your school is doing.  We had also had her IQ tested before Kindergarten and she came in a point below the profoundly gifted range (with the testers saying that they were confident she had underscored).  She was also reading at around a 5th grade level in K, had figured out multiplication and division on her own (actually explained the concept of division better than I was able when asked by another kid), etc.  We had a long, hard road of advocating in kindergarten, but we were, eventually successful and we skipped 1st grade.  She is now 7 years old, and in 2nd.  She is in a multi-age 2nd/3rd grade class, and is doing the curriculum of the 3rd graders.  This is the best of all worlds because she gets to keep up academically at a pace she enjoys, is exposed to new concepts and is able to develop some study skills, while still being with kids that are near her age (she has a late fall birthday, so was one of the oldest kids in her kindy class).  This year has been such a wonderful experience for her.  She is a very social child, who gets along with a very wide range of ages. 

 

I am not concerned about future socialization issues.  We will deal with them as they come up.  She was already having social problems by being so far advanced from her classmates when she was in kindergarten, and those have disappeared.  I think there are always difficulties in any situation, so I am just doing the best I can with her as we go.


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#11 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow - what a lot of great input!!

 

I think I may not have been clear in my original brain-dump post. We're considering skipping first grade, she'll finish out her kindergarten year. One reason is she has an absolutely wonderful teacher who really has tried to accommodate her to the best of her ability. Even with all the enrichment opportunities provided it still is only a total of 2 hours a week. While I'm not necessarily opposed to her going on to 3rd grade if the situation warrants it - that seems like a really big jump to me right now. I'm hopeful she can continue with the reading cohort she's working with now; they'll be in 3rd grade and working on 4th-5th grade work.

 

Socialization...I have read The Nation Deceived report which is one reason I'm not as concerned as just about everyone else I've talked with is. Which is one of the reasons this forum is refreshing! I completely respect and appreciate those that caution about being young in middle school/jr. high. Honestly, I think that time in a person's life is a crapshoot anyway. It just seems to a tough time for a lot of folks regardless of acceleration. And since I don't know what the future holds I'm focusing on the here and now. Talk to me in 5 or six years - I may have to eat these words.

 

She did take the WISC IV when she was 3. We just found out today that she'll take it again this weekend for early admission to our district's gifted program. Which is a one day a week pull out program. We'll see how the test goes.

 

One other question - our district doesn't have a 'gifted' school but there are a couple of elementary schools that have International Baccalaureate Primary Years program. Admission isn't competitive, the only way to get in is to live in the neighborhood or to request a transfer, so no guarantee. Curious if anyone has experience with the IB program.

 

Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

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#12 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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No personal experience with IB but have many friends with gifted children who have spoke favorably about it for the high school years. My youngest is in a tri-lingual immersion school and I know that while not an IB school, shares a lot of similar approaches. It's been fantastic for my DS. I would be hesistant to pull her out of a school already willing to work with her though. 

 

I also wanted to say that it's also not impossible to have a good experience without a gifted program. Frankly, I feel my DD was much better accomodated when there was program. There was no one to push DD off on. The staff had to be involved and creative themselves. She's in high school now and actually in a highly gifted class for the first time and it's nothing compared to the hands-on, individualized education she was getting last year in middle school.

 

 

 


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#13 of 77 Old 03-31-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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My dd tested gifted in her public K but there wasn't really a school program until 2nd grade. She was reading at 3rd grade level at that time. We changed to a charter school for 1st and she was in a 1/2 grade blend. This was a great class and she did so well that I asked about skipping 2nd (would have been a repeat of teacher and curriculum) and going into the 3/4/5 class. She has been doing great and recently easily exceeded the state test levels for 3rd grade. In class she is able to work with kids up to 11 years old. The school is K-12 so many activities are multi-age. This is a democratic style public charter so the kids design a lot of the work and projects themselves. This autonomy and age mix has worked well for dd; she loves school. She is quite small physically and tends to be sensitive, but she has recently successfully negotiated sleep overs and other dramas. I was most worried about the social aspects, but so far that hasn't been an issue. I hope that is the case as she enters high school at 13. She is an only child and we have tended to baby her a bit. I think as long as you are aware of your own child's needs, you can successfully navigate a grade skip. There's no rush; depending on the grade structure of your school, later may be better.

 

I find these posts to be so helpful. I am glad I have experienced MDC mamas to give input! I probably wouldn't have advocated for a skip without the positive support here. It turned out to be easy and the best thing (so far) for dd. Thanks mamas! and papas too!


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#14 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 04:56 AM
 
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I firmly believe that you keep the future in view but focus on the now.  I don't relate to the "hold them back in elementary so they will fit in socially in high school" philosophy at all.

 

I make decisions that are aimed at preparing my child for both life and the possiblity of university admissions.  Yes I think teens should have teen friends, date if they're interested in that, etc.  I fail to see how that only happens inside an age lockstep high school program.

 

The next 10 years of education in the US are going to see such a rise in the number of kids outside lock step grade leveled school programs that I think the options will become more obvious and plentiful.  But even if it didn't, I think we have to do what is best for our kids now, as long as it doesn't forclose an option that might be good for them later.  If it's right to move her up now, move her up.  If some aspect of it no longer fits when she's 13 you could always register her as a home schooler and do a bridge year of independent study, volunteering, etc. and then enroll in high school at 14 with the other 9th graders.

 

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#15 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzine View Post

 

She did take the WISC IV when she was 3. We just found out today that she'll take it again this weekend for early admission to our district's gifted program. Which is a one day a week pull out program. We'll see how the test goes.

 

One other question - our district doesn't have a 'gifted' school but there are a couple of elementary schools that have International Baccalaureate Primary Years program. Admission isn't competitive, the only way to get in is to live in the neighborhood or to request a transfer, so no guarantee. Curious if anyone has experience with the IB program.

 

 

They used the WISC IV for her when she was 3, and not the WPPSI? The WISC IV usually isn't administered until after age 7, so it sounds like she must be many years ahead of her peers at this time. If you decide to go ahead with a grade acceleration (or even 2), then I would want to ensure that the school understands that it is a very simplistic answer to your dd's situation. Just bumping her up a grade or 2 will be completely insufficient to address her needs. You should also get a full IEP developed for ongoing accommodations, since she will still be waaay ahead of her classmates even with the skip.

 

I don't have personal experience with IB programs, but I know students who benefitted from the Primary Years program. They enjoyed it and found it stimulating. OTOH, the students who left full-time gifted elementary programs and started IB in the High School years were less enthusiastic about it. They found that there was a huge amount of homework and the expectations were fairly high, but a lot of the instruction, classwork and assignments weren't particularly interesting, engaging or suited to their divergent thinking. To me, it sounds like it's a good program for the bright overachiever, but not necessarily for a gifted student. That's based on complete hearsay, though (although I trust the gifted students who have complained to me about it). 

 

 

 

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#16 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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when you go into a meeting with school administrators, you'll be sitting across from the table from people who've watched kids have problems after being accelerated. You can say that you aren't worried about middle school or high school all you want, but the people across the table from you HAVE to be, partly because if this goes badly for your child later, they will be blamed for it.

 

"I'm not worried about it because I read a book and I want to do what works for now" isn't much of an argument. 

 

 


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#17 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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In the REAL world this won't really matter at all----very few people end up working strictly within their peer group.

 

The real world you must learn to deal with all ages at all times-some people never leave high school mentality socially but others do.

 

Preparing even at a young age to deal will all age groups I only see as a plus, not a doom and gloom as some do.

 

In the end if it doesn't work out doing a grade or two skip--change it and adapt and stop the needless worry over the mid and high school years. Nothing is set in stone that can't be undone.

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#18 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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We haven't found this the case at all. Very few teachers and administrators actually have experience with grade acceleration because it's not done often. We found that while our DD's school wanted to accelerate her they also had all sorts of notions based on no actual personal experience. They had "there was a girl when I was in school who skipped" and "A friend's cousin skipped" but of course, their knowledge of the situation took whatever spin age or outside perspective wanted to put on it. The only one with any experience was the principal who's own daughter had entered kindergarten early 30 years prior. She was the one who suggested the skip to begin with. DD was the first in decades to skip in our district. Once they actually experienced a grade skip, they became far more positive about it and I know that at least 2 children have successfully skipped since DD had hers (and are now happy middle schoolers.) They've also started to allow grade corrections (kids who were red-shirted but then moved to their correct grade when it was clear that the younger grade was not appropriate academically or socially.)

 

I'm not saying acceleration is for all by any means but lets not say that administrators have any sort of routine personal experience with grade acceleration. In our district, none had experienced it first hand (and they did contact the entire district staff to find experienced voices.)

 

 

Quote:
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when you go into a meeting with school administrators, you'll be sitting across from the table from people who've watched kids have problems after being accelerated. You can say that you aren't worried about middle school or high school all you want, but the people across the table from you HAVE to be, partly because if this goes badly for your child later, they will be blamed for it.

 

"I'm not worried about it because I read a book and I want to do what works for now" isn't much of an argument. 

 

 



 


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#19 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Quote:
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OTOH, the students who left full-time gifted elementary programs and started IB in the High School years were less enthusiastic about it. They found that there was a huge amount of homework and the expectations were fairly high, but a lot of the instruction, classwork and assignments weren't particularly interesting, engaging or suited to their divergent thinking. To me, it sounds like it's a good program for the bright overachiever, but not necessarily for a gifted student.

 

 

Again, this is hearsay and second-hand experience, but my impression has been the same. And a good proportion of the bright over-achievers I know who did IB programs during high school found that the workload forced them to cut way back on other interests such that they ended up more narrowly focused on academics than they really thought was optimal for them.

 

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#20 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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Again, this is hearsay and second-hand experience, but my impression has been the same. And a good proportion of the bright over-achievers I know who did IB programs during high school found that the workload forced them to cut way back on other interests such that they ended up more narrowly focused on academics than they really thought was optimal for them.

 

Miranda
 

 



I agree - this is my impression as well from the various IB programs I know of.  It is a very high workload.

 

OP, I think your DD sounds like a good candidate for grade acceleration, and it sounds like you feel confident.  If it's not the right fit later on, there are ways to change it.  If you think the school administration is going to balk, I would recommend buying the Iowa Acceleration Scale from Amazon and completing it with them as it's a methodical tool for analysis.

 

I wonder how they would have scored a WISC IV with a 3 year old as I don't believe there are age norms availalbe for that combination of age-child-test.

 


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#21 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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 She may be fine, but there will be kids that are HG, EG, and PG that didn't grade skip. She might skip and just be an average student or she may excel. It's so hard to predict. I hope this chart helps with understanding the different levels. : )

 

Level of Giftedness Full Scale IQ score WISC-IV, WPPSI-III
source: Assessment of Children
Extended IQ score WISC-IV
source: Technical Report #7 WISC–IV Extended Norms and publisher's 2008 NAGC presentation
Full Scale IQ score SB-5
source: Ruf Estimates of Levels of Giftedness
Full Scale IQ score WISC-III, WPPSI-R, SB-4, SB L-M
gifted or moderately gifted (G or MG) 130-138 130-145 120-129 130 - 145 (132-148 SB-4)
highly gifted (HG) 138-145 145-160 125-135 145 - 160 (148-164 SB-4)
exceptionally gifted (EG) 145-152 160+ 130-140 160 - 180 (SB L-M only)
profoundly gifted (PG) 152-160 175+ 135-141+ 180 and above (SB L-M only)

 

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#22 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I'm not saying acceleration is for all by any means but lets not say that administrators have any sort of routine personal experience with grade acceleration. In our district, none had experienced it first hand (and they did contact the entire district staff to find experienced voices.)


Our district was open to acceleration, so they had experience with it. There were also students who had gone to private schools and either started early or skipped a grade (private schools are more flexible than public), so by middle school there were several students who were in the place a year ahead. The 6th grade teachers were the most opposed to acceleration. They felt that combined with the tendency to red shirt and retention, they were presented with too large of an age span at a point where kids are going through a lot -- the transition to middle combined with puberty. (our district tried to avoid red shirting and retention, but because we lived in an Air Force Base, we had a constant in-flex of kids who were ended up in their grade because of another districts policies. Instead of a 6th grade class being 11 and 12 year olds, they consisted of 10 - 13 year olds. We had one 14 year old 6th grader (transfer from another district) and one 9 year old 6th grader (transfer from private school).

 

And because all afterschool activities were grade 6-8, their friend base included many 13, 14 and even 15 year olds.

 

I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this.

 

I don't know why it goes fine for some kids and not fine for others, but I would think that rather than ignoring the fact that *sometimes* it goes badly, a parent with who has either already accelerated their child or is considering it, would want to figure that out. Waiting until your child is extremely unhappy and acting out in VERY inappropriate ways in an attempt to fit in with older kids seems too late to me.

 

Whatever -- I don't have a reason to debate this.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#23 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 10:50 AM
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Honestly, I think these are the reasons why every parent/teacher/administrator has to approach the prospect of accelerating a child based on that particular situation.  Our experience was that we ran into a roadblock because the district had a blanket policy of NEVER accelerating anyone, ever.  They were very unwilling to look at individual circumstances.  For the daughter that skipped 1st grade, it seemed a very clear choice.  My youngest is nearing the same level of academic proficiency as my middle child, and the abstract thinking, connections and overall behavior make me think she is near the same level intellectually as the child that skipped, yet, I would not consider a grade skip for her at this time.  She is simply a different child, with different needs.  Her needs will most likely be met in Kindergarten, where it was an abysmal failure for my middle child.  I do not consider that this grade skip is the answer to her educational needs.  I do think it has been a good tool for us to get those needs met.  Socially, she has thrived, so far.  I truly believe that she would have been miserable if she had been made to stay in 1st grade. 

 

The problem comes with how do we treat fringe kids.  My first child is on the other end of the spectrum (there may be some 2E issues, but her giftedness is only recognized my me so far.winky.gif).  She has many special education opportunities.  On a daily basis they are working with her, to get her educational needs met.  There is structure, expertise and compassion in the educators working with her.  I don't think there is that same understanding with [i]what[/i] to do with a gifted kid.  There is not the realization that giftedness can have as many different faces as kids.  They seem to get this with learning disabilities, but not so much the other way.  I know that the gifted education in my area is particularly bad, but I wish there was at least a flexibility within the structure of these schools that would allow for better educational plans for our gifted kids.


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#24 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzine View Post

 

One other question - our district doesn't have a 'gifted' school but there are a couple of elementary schools that have International Baccalaureate Primary Years program. Admission isn't competitive, the only way to get in is to live in the neighborhood or to request a transfer, so no guarantee. Curious if anyone has experience with the IB program.


My first grade dd is in (and has been since K)  an elementary school that has an IB PYP program, and I think it's great!  This school also happens to be a gifted public school, and the students have to test into the school, so the dynamics of this school are perhaps different from the IB schools you are looking at. 

 

However, the IB elementary schools are NOTHING at all like the IB high schools.  An oversimplistic way to put it, but at IB high schools, you have high school students who have to work their butt off to learn courses that are freshman  college level, so it's all about academics.  IB for the little kids is a totally different premise, and it's kind of fluffy and fuzzy feeling.  The children learn about these personal character traits that they try do develop.  Some of them include: principled, inquiry-based thinking, risk-taking, balanced living, open mindedness, etc.  So, instead of telling the children not to fight, the children are told exactly which character trait the teacher wants to see them exhibit.  And instead of dressing up for some random thing for Halloween, the school had an IB parade, where you have to dress up as a character from a children's book that exhibits one of the IB character traits.  (Somehow, the children were able to do this and at the same time dress up as Spiderman.  :D) Also, in addition to the 3 Rs, the children learn IB units.  The entire school cycles through the same theme.  For example, for a couple weeks, all the children concentrate on the question Where am I, but it is stratified by grade level.  The Ks learn the very beginning about maps, the second graders start to learn a little bit about other countries and culture, and the fifth graders learn how the geographical features of the terrain of a country affects how the people in the society act.  On top of the lessons around the IB theme, they have projects every few weeks, some at school, and some to be done at home with a lot of parent help, that reinforce the theme. For example, during the IB unit about nutrition, my dd had to make up and sing a jingle about a healthy food, so she made up a song about an apple.  So the IB PYP is not about acceleration of learning the content material.

 

So I think the IB program is pretty neat because it gives children a big picture about learning and ties together the skills that they are supposed to be learning as a regular part of school.  I actually don't think that IB for little kids should be just for gifted children.  If I were education tsar and I had unlimited resources to work with, I think all children should have access to education like this. (So I think that it's great that the schools in your district do not require testing to get into their IB schools.) However, where we live, you have to be tested as gifted to have this kind of education, so test into this school my dd did.

 

I'm doing a very poor job of explaining the IB PYP idea.  This link

might help? Even better, I highly recommend that you call up the principal and ask for a tour of their school so that he/she can explain the IB PYP program to you. 

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#25 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 04:09 PM
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The grade-skip we did for my dd was the best thing for her.  (She skipped 1st and is in 9th now, so we've had  awhile to see the results.)   And don't worry about "socialization."  It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.
 

 


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#26 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

The grade-skip we did for my dd was the best thing for her.  (She skipped 1st and is in 9th now, so we've had  awhile to see the results.)   And don't worry about "socialization."  It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.
 

 


Its not simply a matter of being able to make friends, but instead being put into situations that require emotional precociousness. Or facing premature sexual pressure or expectations. These things are important considerations I think (I know!). I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids? Because I don't think all the ramifications are going to be apparent as they happen, or at least not fully interpretable by the accelerated child (who is probably going to believe that they are ready for everything before they really are) at the time.
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#27 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids?

I don't see this as valid statement to make.

 

 

I didn't have the option.

My mother was skipped and my DD was.

 

I have a DS, does that mean since I am not a male that as a parent I can't make the right, correct, etc choice because of I am not the exact same? Because the same things can not happen my DS as has happened to me?

 

I hardly think so.

 

 

 

 


 

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#28 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids? Because I don't think all the ramifications are going to be apparent as they happen, or at least not fully interpretable by the accelerated child (who is probably going to believe that they are ready for everything before they really are) at the time.

It sort of seems like you are suggesting the only or best source of information would be some kind of informal poll of random people who show up on a message board saying they have a specific experience. Personally, I'm far more impressed by a careful reading of the research combined with looking carefully at my actual child in consultation with people who actually know the child.

As I understand it, this is a gifted support forum. Of course that doesn't mean we need to have a single mind on grade skipping or acceleration, but I don't think this is a place for scare tactics. We got a lot of that nonsense as we were making educational decisions and it was not at all helpful.
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#29 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this

And, I'm sure most of us can think of kids we know who should have been grade skipped and weren't and how it went very, very badly for. Disciplinary problems from acting out, misdiagnosis of ODD because the kid is so bored, and of course there's always just total apathy.

It is scary when things don't go well for kids but that can happen both with and without acceleration.
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#30 of 77 Old 04-01-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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As I understand it, this is a gifted support forum. Of course that doesn't mean we need to have a single mind on grade skipping or acceleration, but I don't think this is a place for scare tactics. We got a lot of that nonsense as we were making educational decisions and it was not at all helpful.

right

 

It should be about support- and if it doesn't work out, change it.

it's not the end of the world-is it?

 

No one should be made to feel guilty but it comes across like that. Wow

 

There is no way to predict the outcome of doing a grade skip, as many have stated, each child and situation is different, so will be the outcome.

 

It should be remembered grade skipping use to be far more common (early education in the country, even up until the 1950 and early 60's) and it only now starting to come back in someplace here in the US.

 


 

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