Repeating high school courses where A's were earned? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The private school can only take my daughter, if we consent to her repeating some of her coursework. This is because she is just a freshman, but took Biology and Geometry at her last school, which are the freshmen courses. The freshmen actually all take biology, and some kids take algebra and the rest take honors geometry. My daughter earned a 98 in biology and a 92 in geometry. She actually would have had a 96 in geometry, but she was sick on a day she took a test and got a low grade. They let her retake it, but could only give her a maximum grade and she got almost 100 when she retook it. So if she had had the higher grade in there, her final grade would have been 96.

I am thinking retaking biology is no big deal as the school last year was a very small private Christian school and the biology class was really lacking, big time. The labs were just on video. Even the scope and sequence was missing major components of a usual high school biology course (mitosis, genetics, etc). If she retakes it, not only will she get all that, but it will be an honors course instead of regular so her grade will be worth more. Regular courses are the grade they get, but honors courses are on a weighted scale so an A becomes a 4.5 instead of a 4. So biology is fine.

The geometry is the only issue. But, again, if she retakes it, it will be honors course. I do not know how good the course at the private school was, but since I know the biology course was not the best, the geometry might not have been the best. Plus, since it is an honors course, she has the chance to greatly raise her GPA.

What do you think? Thanks!
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#2 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 01:26 PM
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My dd took Geometry in 8th grade, also. She would hate to have to repeat it!!

I'd be concerned about the overall rigor of the school if they can't offer 9th graders anything higher than Geometry.

Your dd should be in Algebra II/Trig now, and Pre-Calc next year. I'd look for a school that could offer that.

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#3 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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If they aren't satisfied with her report card marks, will the school admin. consider an assessment to determine the appropriate course level for her? A placement test, perhaps?

It would be a shame to waste her time and bore her if she's simply repeating a course. For biology, it sounds like there would be enough to keep her interested and challenged. I'd be concerned about the geometry, unless there's a lot of extension available.

What course level does your dd think she should do this year?
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#4 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If they aren't satisfied with her report card marks, will the school admin. consider an assessment to determine the appropriate course level for her? A placement test, perhaps?

It would be a shame to waste her time and bore her if she's simply repeating a course. For biology, it sounds like there would be enough to keep her interested and challenged. I'd be concerned about the geometry, unless there's a lot of extension available.

What course level does your dd think she should do this year?
They are happy with her grades, they just do not allow freshmen to take any math above geometry for 9th grade.
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#5 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd took Geometry in 8th grade, also. She would hate to have to repeat it!!

I'd be concerned about the overall rigor of the school if they can't offer 9th graders anything higher than Geometry.

Your dd should be in Algebra II/Trig now, and Pre-Calc next year. I'd look for a school that could offer that.
We have considered just having her wait another year and applying to other schools. All the application deadlines were months ago so we are out for any other school this fall. She would be stuck homeschooling or at that charter school that is no longer a magnet.

One other idea I had, DD was in EPGY which is Stanfords gifted youth program. They have algebra 2 (in fact, they have an entire distance learning program, an entire online high school). She could take algebra 2 through EPGY and just not have math at the private school. But my husband feels they will say no, and I think he is right. They seem very rigid about their rules, oddly rigid.
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#6 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I think you have to weigh your overall options and just go for what is the best choice you can make right now.

The biology sounds good because she didn't really get what she should have from the first course, but the geometry just sounds stupid. Really stupid.

None the less, the private school may be her best option for this year. I would make a request in writing to the head of the school to have her do something alternative, but in the end, I would go with the best overall option, even if one thing about it was stupid.

How does she feel about her options? She is old enough that her wishes should be carefully considered.

I think this school sounds like a PITA and would continue looking for other options for next year.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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They are happy with her grades, they just do not allow freshmen to take any math above geometry for 9th grade.
This would be a deal breaker for me. It sounds like your daughter is bright and good at math and science. With all of the unavoidable obstacles out there for girls and women who want to study or work in STEM fields, I would hesitate to discourage her abilities by sending her to a school where an adequate math education is not available to her.
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#8 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 02:59 PM
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What's the rational for their policy on geometry? If they're concerned that the course she took was insufficiently rigorous, or if your dd feels that despite her grade she's not entirely confident with the math, I would probably be OK with that.

However, kids who have some math talent are common enough (and private schools so often have calculus as a graduation requirement) that it would really surprise me if all their 9th graders *have* to take geometry. Notneb is absolutely right that students who want to go into STEM fields need to get in as much math as possible in hs, ideally earning good scores on both AP calculus exams (AB and BC). If the school is not prepared to put 9th graders in Trig or Algebra II, how well are they doing at getting students through calculus?
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#9 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 06:47 PM
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We have considered just having her wait another year and applying to other schools. All the application deadlines were months ago so we are out for any other school this fall. She would be stuck homeschooling or at that charter school that is no longer a magnet.

One other idea I had, DD was in EPGY which is Stanfords gifted youth program. They have algebra 2 (in fact, they have an entire distance learning program, an entire online high school). She could take algebra 2 through EPGY and just not have math at the private school. But my husband feels they will say no, and I think he is right. They seem very rigid about their rules, oddly rigid.
So no public school options?

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#10 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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They are happy with her grades, they just do not allow freshmen to take any math above geometry for 9th grade.
See, this is just crazy to me. My dd is a freshman and 99% of the freshmen either take Algebra I or Geometry. There is one class of basic math for the kids that are a little more behind, but for the most part, the school either slots them into the Algebra or the Geometry (or Geometry Honors.) However, there are one or two incoming freshman who were able to make arrangements last year to take Geometry at the high school as 8th graders, so this year, they are moving into Algebra II. It's not meant for freshman but really, where else would they put them? That's how they see it. And my dd is in a public school.
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#11 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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I would try to get a good look at what the geometry class actually entails. If it is a really well done class at the new school and it was average to poorly done at her old school, then it may really be worth repeating.

For example: It is very common in typical hs geometry classes for geometric proofs and formulas to be memorized by students. A good course though will teach formulating proofs for theorems that have not been seen by the student previously. In a really good class, the formula for determining the area of a triangle isn't simply memorized (1/2*base*height=area) as it would be in a typical class; instead the students look at how they can cut apart the triangle so that it covers 1/2 of a rectangle that has the same base and height.

If the class really is a repeat of what she did previously, then maybe she could do an independent study during geometry. Something outside the typical sequence, such as topography.

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#12 of 24 Old 08-21-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So no public school options?
no. The charter school is a public school. It was a public charter magnet school. I posted about what happened with that already. It is too late to get in elsewhere.

The local public school, my daughter was stalked by a boy and I was called a pervert for breastfeeding my 4 week old baby in the back of a classroom with no one else there except my own children, a half hour after school let out. The principal called me a pervert and said he did not want me or my child in his school. He set forth to make life hell for us.

After filing complaints, they did offer us an indistrict transfer to another school, but by the time we got there, they told us that certain classes my children needed were already full, such as ALL foreign language. My children would not be able to get in their foreign language (3 yrs same language) unless they start on it. They filled up last year so they booted all freshmen. My older one is a sophomore and my daughter is a freshman. My daughter wants to go to the math and science academy, the state one that is at the state university, which is 11th and 12th grade, and she must have 2 yrs of the foreign language done before she starts or she cannot be admitted. They were going to fill my children up with more stuff like Art 1. Last year, in the public school, my daughter took art, orchestra, and home ec as that was all they had openings in. They claim they are too broke to afford teachers, but they are paying someone to teach the electives that they stick the kids in to when they don't send those kids to required classes like foreign language. They instruct the kids to take classes outside of school, distance learning, that they have to pay for, to get all their requirements to graduate in time. I think that is nuts and do not want to burn my children out by having them in school all day and then face distance learning classes at the end of the day.

DH and I have been considering moving, but that is a difficult thing. So we thought it would be easier to just send them to private school. They got in to the private school, but then moved on to the charter magnet when they got in there. But only found out Thursday about the problems with the charter school (charter schools are public schools that are privately run). Now we are scrambling to figure out what to do next. I guess we could still move, but that won't happen before Monday.
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#13 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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Yikes, what a nightmare!

If it is a private school, I'd hope that they'd want your money enough that they would be more flexible. I'd see if you could get a meeting with the math teacher or GT coordinator if they have one and request that she do EPGY on a laptop with headphones during math or be subject accelerated to the 10th grade math class. I'm sure that they are worried about setting a precedent, but if you are willing to not send them there if they don't agree, you don't have much to lose if you tell them as much.

Are online high schools an option for a year? Stanford has OHS, but it is probably too late to apply for this year and it isn't cheap. Could she do a combo of homeschooling and taking classes at a community college?

eta: another thought if you could talk them into letting her do an online math class would be the Art of Problem Solving.
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#14 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 12:40 PM
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Are there any other in-district high schools to which you could transfer? Or any other high schools that are close enough to drive to, but in another district? Of course it would require explaining the entire situation to those principals in an effort to get your child in.

Just trying to help you brainstorm.

Also check if your state offers "electronic high school" classes.

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#15 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 12:43 PM
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With all of the unavoidable obstacles out there for girls and women who want to study or work in STEM fields,
Just wondering which obstacles are "unavoidable."

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#16 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 06:18 PM
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And think about it this way: If your dd is taking 8 classes and 2 of them are repeats, then 1/4th of your tuition is being wasted.

If there is another district within driving distance, I would go in person and speak to the principal about whether or not a "boundary exception" could be made for your dd because of all of the unusual circumstances. Start with her strengths--describe what an asset she would be to that school. (And of course you could do this with multiple high schools, if necessary, if there are multiple high schools w/i driving distance.)

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#17 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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And think about it this way: If your dd is taking 8 classes and 2 of them are repeats, then 1/4th of your tuition is being wasted.
I don't think the biology counts as a repeat. What she did in biology last year was less than my 7th grader did, so even though the course has the same title, it's not the same course. She hasn't covered the material.

The mom really doesn't know if the new geometry class is the same way or not.

From what has been said, there isn't a perfect option. So I don't think the real question is "is this a good a reasonable thing that they are requiring," but rather, "if this were the best option you could find for your kid, could you live with it?"

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#18 of 24 Old 08-22-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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What are her options after 9th grade geometry?

I remember my po-dunk Highschool you "maxed out" on math as a 9th grader taking geometry, but after that, you were able to take up to Trig II if you could test into it

I'm surprised they won't let her take a higher math with the upper class men. Even in my small small school, we had about 5 students who were taking more advanced math classes. Maybe you could ask to make an exception, or threghten to go to another school? (Even if there isn't anywhere to go )

And they only offered math, which annoyed me. I would have flipped for an advanced English, or music.

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#19 of 24 Old 08-23-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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As someone who has a child doing distance learning thru the CTY program at Johns Hopkins (same program as Stanford basically) I say GO FOR IT. My son loves it. If she qualifies for it, take full advantage of the opportunity. While I've only seen the lower grades, My son is just entering Algebra this year (10 yrs old) everything has been wonderful and the support is there if you need it.

If the school can not accomodate Math, that really makes me wonder what else they are not going to accomodate.

If your DD is willing, take this year at the Stanford program. Its an opportunity not many kids get.

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#20 of 24 Old 08-28-2010, 11:35 AM
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Any update?

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#21 of 24 Old 08-28-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any update?
Oh sorry!! I had another separate post.

Basically, I called the other school down in Dallas and they said they would see if they could get permission for her to still go there despite being late in the year. But after reading through people's responses, I am thinking that if this charter school continues to not work out, we will switch her to distance learning. She actually already was admitted to EPGY, just not the actual OHS. I am not sure if her admission to EPGY makes her admitted to OHS. We had picked Keystone as it was less expensive and we had read that a lot of people that found OHS too expensive were happy with Keystone. But now I have a friend who is at Connections and happy with it. If it were not for that dern'd teenage girl hormone thing, she would still be homeschooling. But by homeschooling, we were using a distance learning program for high school anyway.

I think we need more time to regroup. The school down in Dallas will likely call us back Monday or Tuesday. So she is staying at the charter until then. If they say no, we will go to the private school fair next month. I have a few ideas. Plus, we are back to thinking about relocating. I like both the districts just south of us and just north of us. DH would like to move out of state though. Moving in to the city will allow us better access to private schools as well as more available to homeschoolers.

I wish my post here were better, but you must know, my 6 yr old is literally running in circles...around me, while I type. So if my post seems a little confused, it is because I FEEL confused!!! I do not know why he runs circles, but he does. LOL..he says he is Luigi!!!
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#22 of 24 Old 08-28-2010, 11:02 PM
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Sounds like you have some options! That's good.

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#23 of 24 Old 08-31-2010, 07:31 AM
 
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Not sure if anybody asked this -- if she were to skip the Geometry and start at Algebra II or whatever the school has would she only then take 3 years of math? Would she then not have a math course her senior year? Or have to fill in with a college class? Is that something you want? In my high school some kids fit this category (or took only the 3 years of required math and skipped math senior year) and regretted it later. Starting out with College level math after having a year off turned out to be a big headache for some.

As the daughter and sister of 2 high school math teachers I'd say an 8th grade Geometry class would typically not be as rigorous as a high school class, especially not an honors class. And the honors class is where she's most likely to make connections with other kids she will take most honors classes with.
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#24 of 24 Old 08-31-2010, 07:49 AM
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Not sure if anybody asked this -- if she were to skip the Geometry and start at Algebra II or whatever the school has would she only then take 3 years of math? Would she then not have a math course her senior year?
That's really the point... a rigorous school would have Stats, or Math 1050, or something available for her math-wise Sr. year.

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