My 8yo son is gifted. Last year I dropped the ball dealing with the school and he spent the whole year doing review to things he already knew and were very simple to him or reading the same book 6 times in one day. I do not want a repeat of last year as he is getting very bored. There is not a gifted program at this point in our small town school district. What are the laws regarding them having to meet his educational needs? How do I approach the teacher so that we can work together to keep him engaged and challenged. Ds was tested for reading 3 times last year he scored the highest the test would go all three times. ( which put him at a 7th grade reading level I believe). They did some placement testing the first week of school and he again got a perfect score so I know the teacher must be somewhat aware,
Do I schedule a meeting to express my concerns and how do I follow up? What do I say? Are the schools responsible for testing him?
They are supposed to identify special needs learners, but if they don't have resources available, they have a way of sometimes "forgetting" to identify.
Call the guidance counselor and ask to come in and chat about it. Based on that caht, you can decide to move forward with a formal eval.
There is not a gifted program at this point in our small town school district. What are the laws regarding them having to meet his educational needs?
Depends on your state Check this link for laws by state pertaining to Gifted Education:
How do I approach the teacher so that we can work together to keep him engaged and challenged. Ds was tested for reading 3 times last year he scored the highest the test would go all three times. ( which put him at a 7th grade reading level I believe). They did some placement testing the first week of school and he again got a perfect score so I know the teacher must be somewhat aware, Do I schedule a meeting to express my concerns and how do I follow up? What do I say?
I would approach the teacher and ask for a meeting. Ask her what the plan is to differentiate for your son.Keep it open, not demanding or stating your kiddo is bored (which he may well be, but that could make the teacher defensive. New year, new teacher). See what material they have available.Then ask when you can meet again.
Are the schools responsible for testing him?
Depends on your state and laws. They may only have to see if he can do the minimum for that grade level and/or standardized tests. Or some states do screening/identification for GT kiddos. The school, district, and even at the state level- can vary so widely.
I agree with this. Advocating for your child can be a little tricky. You want to approach it as a collaboration with the teacher to get your son the most appropriate education (this was a huge buzz word for us when dealing with the schools for my middle DD). Approaching your son's teacher asking about how she is planning to differentiate for him opens the door for discussion, without (hopefully) making her feel like you are criticizing her.
Not perfect, Just amazing!
Laws depend on the state you live in. What your school offers depends on the school.
How far into the school year are you? I usually reccomend waiting a full 2 or 3 weeks before approaching the teacher. When you do, schedule a conference, don't just try to catch her afterschool. At the conference, bring work samples from home... a book list, anything he's written, if he's done any advanced curriculum at home, ect. Be careful your wording. Don't use the "B" word ("bored" lol.) This puts teachers on the defensive and really, it's not a good description. Stay positive. Come with ideas you think might help him (personalized spelling lists, individual reading material, ect.) Be prepared to listen too. If she wants to try something you aren't crazy about, consider giving it a try. If it doesn't work, then you'll both know it and she'll be more receptive to your ideas. Certainly, share last years experience but be careful not to demonize the teacher. Something that has always worked for us is to start with the emotional angle. It's not "my child is bored" and "the work is too easy." It's "my child is frustrated, sad about school, feels disconnected" ect.
As others have said, wait a few weeks to give the teacher a chance to get her feet off of the ground and to get to know your child a bit. Then come at it from a collaborative approach. Start out just asking her what she sees and what she anticipates being needs. Ask her how you can help.
My son gets a bit disruptive if the material isn't at his level and I will often approach it as us working together to keep him engaged and on task.
The first testing last year DS could spell words like atmosphere and then tell you what it means. The spelling words he has this year so far are words like trip and when and what. I like idea of a different spelling list and glad to know that is possible.
Would a full year promotion be a possiblity? I only ask because you say he is 8 and only in 2nd grade. Here, if he was already 8 in August he would be generally in 3rd grade. If he is evenly advanced, that may be a possible fix in a district without gifted programming.
He may not be young for grade depending on the trends where they live. My son is 8. He's in 4th due to a grade skip. However, it ended up putting him in a grade with the majority of kids 2 years older than him not just one as it is almost unheard of to send boys to K at 5 in my area. Every single other 8 year old I know is in 2nd grade. I'm not talking kids who just missed the b-day cutoff either. Most boys in my town are fully 6 before starting Kindergarten.
Obviously, I'm not adverse to grade advancement. If he's ahead in other areas it might be an appropriate option to consider.
We started him when he was six due to fact that my mom is a kindergarten teacher and advised us as such. I have thought of it but I do not feel he is mature enough he has a solid group of friends and do not want to do that to him.
Subject acceleration is when a child moves up a grade in only a subject or two. For example, if your second graders strongest area is math, he would go to the 3rd grade class only during math time but return to second for everything else. It does require teachers to sync their academic schedules but it can improve things for the child at no extra cost to the school.
i think that sounds great. I am going to schedule a meeting with the guidance counselor this week. They do have an AR reading program that he will be a part of and a extra program after school starting in January I have learned about recently. I just don't want ds to be treading water.
Teacher called today. Not a great response. She said is it not a little early? Kids started school Aug 18. I said well no I don't think so. Well should we not wait for testing? I asked well what about last years testing>? And told her how Keagan was reading at least at a 6 th grade level at beginning of first grade and can add three double digit numbers and two double digit numbers in his head. She said oh. I said I just wanted to be on the ball and involved in his education and see what options there are. She is going to talk to his last year and kindergarten teacher.... I hope this goes well. I am sending his test results from last year to her. Why would she not already have these?
The teachers don't usually get the test results from last year unless they look them up. Unless he's got a special designation as TAG/GATE (or whatever your district calls gifted and talented), there might not be a reason for the teacher to know. Practically speaking, it can be good for teachers not to know a student's level so that they don't slot them in as a 'low achiever'. Teacher perception of what they think the child can achieve plays a big role.
I hope that they do right by your son. I've got a new 2nd grader too, and already at the beginning of week 2 (we start 'late' here), I'm afraid I'm going to have to do a lot of advocating for her.
I sent ds's reading test results from last year where he maxed out the test at a going into 6th grade level all three testing times starting from the begining of the school year.
xh is on board and glad I approached teacher and would like to be involved in meeting so that is good.
I am swamped with work and stressed out on a million levels but do not want to drop the ball on this. It is so important ds does not just do review. 2 years in a row. I am hopeful the teacher will be excited about him and what he could achieve.
Emilie, This sounds like it could have been written by me. :) I also have an 8yo son in the 2nd grade. I met with his teacher last year a few times, but nothing got accomplished and I feel like I dropped the ball on advocating for him. This year I am determined that I will be different. We have a meeting scheduled with his teacher next week, and I'm scouring the web for resources on what to do. In the two informal "meet and greets" with his teacher, I haven't been reassured yet that this year will be different. She clearly stated in the parent open house that all students must read from the 2nd grade basal as this is where all the 2nd grade reading tests are pulled from. I've also received his homework the last two weeks, and it has all been phonics based work. With my son reading on at least a 6th grade reading level, and already identified as gifted (97th percentile according to the school screening), this is obviously not where he is. As of right now, we are planning on going in asking what her plans on to meet his needs (specific plans) and what are the options on subject acceleration. Did you schedule your meeting yet? If so, maybe we can compare notes? :)
I have not heard back from the teacher. She told me she would be back to me last Friday.... no such luck. So I will call this Friday.
But GOOD NEWS!
The assistant principal pulled Keagan out of class and did some testing with him! They covered math. Keagan was asked to multiply divide and subtract. And according to him he did a good job. ( 75 % on dividing- I had no idea he knew how to divide so that was all just what he knows somehow and 100% on subtraction.) They are pulling him out again today he said. So Hopefully this means my call to teacher actually put something in action.
This principal knows me and our family so I am glad it is him doing it.... he knows me as one of those wonderful I am going to not stop till you do what I think is best for my kids mom. lol But we have a good relationship. Just glad he is involved.
The answer depends on the rules of your local school district, and the laws in your state, unfortunately. Worst case, they're not required to do anything.
I'm not sure about the cutoffs where you are, but an 8 year old would be in grade 3 in my jurisdiction. Did you redshirt him? If so, could you look at a grade correction skip?
Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.
I agree with this, he really should be in 3rd grade at least so that he's doing more challenging work for his age level. Depending on his birthday he could even be in 4th grade.
Yes, I would look in to a grade acceleration or a combo class if available (2/3 or 3/4 split)
An 8 yr old here would be in 3rd for sure. An 8 yr old with a fall Birthday would be in 4th when school starts.
My kiddos are 5 and in 1st (they will turn six next month) so when they will be 6 -turning 7 next year in 2nd and 7 turning 8 in 3rd. 8 turning 9 in 4th...etc.
Check your state laws. Some states mandate GT ed and some do not. Hopefully yours does! What is mandated by your state will decide if they are responsible for testing or not. If they get funds for GT programming then yes, they have to identify GT students, but it can be testing with a wide variety of measures (some use group IQ, some use individual IQ, some use achievement testing, etc). If they do not offer GT programming, then no-- they do not have to test him.
In my state, you have to be the age of 5 by the start date of school to enroll in Kindergarten. My son's birthday isn't until mid-September. Therefore, he couldn't start until the following year. In hindsight I wish I had sent him to a private kindergarten the first year, then he could have started 1st at 5.
I just want to reiterate what everyone else says. Keep being the squeaky wheel. My son is about 2 months older than yours, but he's in 3rd grade because he made the cut-off here.
We started discussions with his 2nd grade teacher last year - she ended up giving him advanced math packets but nothing more. We moved conversations to the principal near the end of the year, and she put him down for testing this year. After consultations, testing, and seeing how he did on the 4th grade beginning of the year assessment (better than the 4th graders), they moved him up to 4th grade math. He' was put in a 3/4 split class, in part because they knew this was a possibility, and it's made the logistics easier.
The point here is that I started the ball rolling on this whole "move him up!" in the middle of last year, and we're finally there. So make sure you/they follow through with everything. Hopefully your son will end up in a better situation for him (and it won't take quite so long).
Thank you for your replies. We were in the middle of a custody battle when he turned 5 in June... cut off was sept. my mom is a or was a kindergarten teacher and reccomended we not put him into school with all the upheaval going on. I Will be calling again on Monday to touch base...
I wish I could homeschool him someday.
Emilie, I completely understand you wish to homeschool. :) My husband and I are both teachers, and I am leaning more and more into that idea. I just don't think that right now we can financially afford it. I will be asking questions about him moving up a grade though when I meet with his teacher. Dh isn't completely on board with the idea yet (as my son is not as strong in math), but I feel like his math skills would be on par with the typical 3rd grader. His reading skills are definitely above that. With his overall intelligence level, I think he could easily catch up on the math-- it may just be that he hasn't been exposed to it yet.
My dd2 is 8 next month and is a bright 2nd grader and that's where she needs to be. She was not redshirted, but in our state the kids in second grade are all 7 and 8. You have to be 5 by Aug 1 to start K, 6 by Aug 1 to start 1st, 7 by Aug 1 to start 2nd. Since she is 7 now with a fall b-day, she will be 8 most of 2nd grade. She's at about a 2.5 - 2.7 level, though. All the beginning of this year has been really easy for her, but they are doing some differentiation in reading now at least and she's enjoying that. I need to see if she can get some harder math, but I don't think the curriculum they're using lends itself to that unfortunately.
Since you did redshirt him (for good reasons) for K, you might look into grade-skipping. It sounds like he could hang with the 3rd graders. It's my understanding that 2nd grade is a lot of review anyway and making sure that kids are up to speed on reading and addition and subtraction so now would probably be an optimal year for skipping. It might be hard to leave his friends, but kids do it all the time and he could still see them other times.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie