OP here. Thanks for the responses. I'll try to answer some questions, and supply more information.
I think part of the problem is that I don't know exactly what I want. I'm bothered that I didn't ask what the goals for her would be once she had clearly met the standards so early in the year. I think the problem was that we were all more focused on her behavior, waiting for issues that in the end never materialized. Her kindergarten year was very difficult with multiple trips to the office because of tantrums, twice dh and I were called to pick her up and take her home. Over last summer we started taking dd to a therapist for her anxiety as well as working again with an ot for some sensory issues that were contributing to her anxiety and behavior issues We didn't know if the behavior stuff would happen this year. But at the start of the year I was trying to coordinate recommendations from the ot and the therapist with dd's teacher. On top of that, because dd has several severe, life threatening allergies, I had to ask the school for extra help in keeping her safe. And by that point I think I felt like we were already so much trouble, that I would really be pushing my luck with asking for any more accommodations. In addition to not wanting to ask for too much, I also feel like its hard to gauge what is actually happening at school academically. For example with math, she got 100% on her end of year math assessment. The math fact test wasn't included in that assessment. And honestly she isn't actually behind in memorizing the math facts. She recalls them plenty quickly in real life situations, but because of her anxiety disorder she shuts down during the timed tests. I don't want teachers to wait for her do better on timed tests though before offering more challenging work in math though you know. There are other math activities offered besides rote memorization, but I still feel the work moves too slowly and is too repetitive to hold her interest. When she is given appropriate challenges she loves math, but she gets bored when it is something she already knows how to do. The math curriculum they use is a spiral curriculum so I think the idea is that most kids won't have grasped the concept completely the first time through, but dd always does. Also because I worked all last year, I've never been able to watch a class in session, so I don't know if she's being challenged in other areas or not. And since the only homework they gave was math homework, that's really the only subject I was able to observe directly. Well, that and reading. She reads a lot at home, and I was able to watch her reading skill develop right before my eyes. It was interesting because she went from only reading bob books, to reading books like the Secret Garden in a matter of a few months. Reading is differentiated but there are only three levels, there is group for the kids who are ahead and one for for kids working at grade level and the other group is for English language learners. But really that means there are only two groups for English only kids. And since they have to make those groups equal in size it's likely that she is far ahead of many of the kids in the group she's in. The reading groups are also very big. Basically the three 1st grade classes were all combined and then split up into three equal groups by ability, but that means that they're still working in a huge group of 24 kids rather than in small, more individualized reading groups. My understanding is there is very little differentiation done except for kids who are working below grade level. That seems to be the schools main focus, bringing up scores for the lowest performing kids. I do think the teacher recognized that dd was ahead, but I think for her that just meant being able to focus more on the other kids who needed more help. It's not that I don't talk to the teacher, but I think she's reluctant to clearly state that dd needs more, when the extra work to make that happen would fall squarely onto her already overworked shoulders. There is also a precedent of punitive action being taken on teachers who request extra help from the administration to meet student needs. (It's a long story which I can go into of necessary, but I'd rather not get into it at the moment). I guess I feel like realistically the school isn't set up to deal with gifted students and that they don't really have the resources to change. And while I feel like right now that's not a problem for dd, that in the long run I'm short changing her, by not insisting the school challenge her appropriately. My biggest concern is that she'll be so used to skating through, that when she finally encounters a real challenge she'll just give up. This is definitely what happened to me as a kid.
As far as ds and the speech issue, I applied to have him evaluated for speech through the district back in September. His teacher this year, and his teacher from the previous year both felt that he needed speech help, but the evaluator said he was too high functioning to qualify. In our district you have to be in the bottom 5% to qualify for services. Also because he's young for his grade level he isn't being compared to other kids who will be entering kindergarten, only to other kids his age, which in many cases will be staying back in preschool another year. If we could afford it I would definitely go the private route, but we're already completely in debt from paying for dd's therapy and paying for Ot for both kids over the past year. Any way I think my concern for ds also comes from the fact that we know two kids who were early readers like him that were redshirted because there parents felt they weren't emotionally ready, and when they finally started kindergarten they were so far ahead they ended up being skipped up to first grade half way through the year, and I'd rather not have that happen to ds.
Thank you everyone for the advice. I think over the summer I will really think about what I want from the school so that when we start in August I can start the conversation with them right away.
Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson