May yank my twins out of public school - thoughts? *BIG UPDATE #137* - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
But honestly, both of my children were meeting these expectations by the time they were 2 months into preschool as 3 year olds. Well, preschool didn't expect a complete understanding of hands to yourself. My 5 YO DD started K this year and those are all rules for her class.
Preschools often dedicate a very large part of the first few weeks to teaching lining up, using the right bathroom, etc, so it while it is easy for K student who previously attended preK for kids whos first school experience is K they probably need time to learn and practice.

I find myself wondering. if Miss mean, being younger, has mostly had experience with kids who went to preK and/or daycare, and Mrs Nice, being older, remembers back when children typically didn't start school till K.

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#62 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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I don't know that any of us are arguing that the expectations of lining up, not kissing other kids, etc., are unreasonable. I do realize that schools need to keep some semblance of order given the # of kids they are overseeing. I think that the issue is with the manner in which these rules are being enforced and the teacher turning it into some sort of behavioral anomoly rather than a typical young boy who gets lost, is adjusting to the new school routine, and has occassional issues with impulse control. I don't like to see children pathologized for being impulsive and lacking experience.
And that part I totally agree with!

And to the OP -- I agree that the way they are treating these incidents, most of which happened some time ago, and the fact that they aren't letting them go is absurd! Everyone deserves to be able to make these mistakes. I completely agree that it sounds like your child has a UA for a teacher and the administration is being silly beyond belief! I didn't mean to suggest otherwise, I was just responding to the one poster who seemed to suggest that the average 5 YO shouldn't be expected to manage these expectations or that your children weren't ready to manage these expectations.
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#63 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find myself wondering. if Miss mean, being younger, has mostly had experience with kids who went to preK and/or daycare, and Mrs Nice, being older, remembers back when children typically didn't start school till K.
And based on what I've been told, this is their experience:

Miss Mean aka Kyler's teacher has been a teacher for seven years, only teaching K (I'd estimate she's in her early 30's)

Miss Nice aka Cameron's teacher has been a teacher for many many more years (I'd estimate that she's in her mid-50's) and has taught almost every grade but she just left teaching high school to go back to K students a couple of years ago

I think that is what burns me up the most about this. They don't have the experience others do.. YET.. give them time, they may make a few mistakes as humans do, but they catch on pretty fast. We haven't had issues with talking, being in the wrong line, bathroom issues, etc. now. Doesn't that say something? They line up when the whistle is blown as well. I'm proud of them myself.
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#64 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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Can you do a quick check of the school's attendance rules, if any. Missing 3 weeks of school is usually a HUGE deal, often requiring kids in older classes to do summer school and/or special studies projects to catch up. Especially since it's barely October, it's not unreasonable that the school, who doesn't know your family as you're new there, is kind of alarmed to put it mildly. I think you should know, in advance of the meeting, what the specific minimum number of days is and how they're supposed to handle illness/absensces.
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#65 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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I don't have twins but I have dealt with a school and it's teachers who make a point of singling out students. Is sending them to school REALLY worth their self-esteem being dessimated? Your son had ONE good day when he felt good about himself AND school at the same time, out of how many school days?

I couldn't watch my children struggle with the negativity of school anymore. I had to pull them out. I was watching them slowly turn from happy well adjusted children who were always so open, to being children whose atitudes literally went in the toilet almost overnight.

The whole school structure is ALL about conformity and making sure that each and every child learns the same exact way as all the other students. Maybe some public or private mainstream schools welcome diverse personalities, but the school your guys are in doesn't sound like it and I haven't seen one yet.

I don't want to sound like a weirdo or anything...I am just really passionate about the individuality of children and how important it is for their ability to learn. I hate when a child is impacted so negatively because of a teacher...it is so wrong. They have way to much power over children to be able to do that.

I hope I don't sound too intense....I totally don't mean to.

 

 

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#66 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you do a quick check of the school's attendance rules, if any. Missing 3 weeks of school is usually a HUGE deal, often requiring kids in older classes to do summer school and/or special studies projects to catch up. Especially since it's barely October, it's not unreasonable that the school, who doesn't know your family as you're new there, is kind of alarmed to put it mildly. I think you should know, in advance of the meeting, what the specific minimum number of days is and how they're supposed to handle illness/absensces.
The school won't tell me if there are a number of days they can miss before X happens. I've asked and the principal dances around the question. It is on my list of things to do to call the district and get the specific rules laid out from them (as they are apparently not online).

And sorry, I meant to say school started September 3rd, they aren't going into their sixth week quite yet.. I don't know why I said that. My boys have missed two total weeks of school (not consecutively).

My boys will be six in November. If we held them back, that of course means they'd be six going on seven in kindergarten next year (they'd be seven for the majority of the year). In Oregon, the cut off is September 1st (must be five). In all of my hours of reading, unless developmentally delayed, holding them back at the age they are could be detrimental in the long run (they'd have a much higher chance of dropping out later on, etc.).

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, I even spoke with a therapist this evening (a sort of friend) to get her take on it. I am determined to do what is in the best interest of my children, though I know the school doesn't think that is true. I sometimes have a small feeling they see me and assume I am just another young mother.. I am 25 but I look 19-20 (or so I am told by many people). But who knows.. they won't tell me anything, lol.
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#67 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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I know in Washington you lose credit after 10 unexcused absences. The definition of unexcused seems nebulous, but illness should be excused.

I tried to search for the law is Oregon and it seems to be the same. You might see if the school secretary knows, at all the schools I've been to the secretary did attendance and could answer questions like that from memory.
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#68 of 161 Old 10-07-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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**I'm replying based off the OP, haven't read the entire thread yet**

I'll start by saying I had a very sick little boy last year during the 6months of public school kindergarten he attended. He missed somewhere over 30 days in that time from the various gastro type illnesses that ripped through the class. However I was lucky in that his teacher was great and always reminded me that prep wasn't 'mandatory' , and thus it wasn't an issue.

I'd personally pull them (as I did with my son for a lot of reasons. Having a kindergarten teacher who is THAT negative is really going to encourage him to love learning and school? I pulled my son because obviously his immune system was being battered beyond belief.. took him 4 weeks to recover from the chicken pox when he got them just when I withdrew him! It sounds like your twins have medical issues that full time school makes very difficult to manage.. they aren't going to get as much out of school if they can't BE there, and if they are unwell, they shouldn't be there. ETA: The fact that they will NOT tell you how many excused/unexcused absences are allowed to still pass the grade is suspicious. I think I'd be giving the superintendent a ring and speaking to someone with a clue, and hopefully a bit more professionalism than the ppl running the school!

Regarding the meeting, I would flat out tell them that if they can't be flexible about the meeting date so that BOTH of you can be there, that there just wouldn't be a meeting. You are not a school employee and they do not get to dictate to you. Adults compromise, sounds like they need to learn that. I do not think it is unreasonable that both of you wish to be there, and be involved in your childrens educational process at all. Their comment that he doesn't NEED to be there is pretty da*n dismissive and rude. ETA: They won't TELL you what the PURPOSE of the meeting is AND there are going to be about 7 people there and just you with your 3 kid? I don't think so.. that is ridiculous IMO. Also, they are bringing in behavioral experts for silly simple incidents that happened about a month ago?? Way to waste taxpayer dollars there *rolleyes*

I would seriously put the foot down about when the meeting is.. the 'behavioral experts' can just have another bloody meeting some other time tyvm.

All that in mind, and I'm sure someone has said it Socialization is probably the last thing to be concerned about. There are hs groups and coops nearly everywhere. I'm actually concerned my kids are going to get TOO much socialization this term with all the activities planned

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#69 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Yeah that he had a good day! It sounds like he really needs a different teacher!

I am so shocked that they won't tell you how many times a child can be absent! It is pretty hard to adhere to the policy if you don't know what it is... Maybe you can get clarification at the district office, not jut on the attendance policy, but also the communication policy!

Your initial question about taking them out of school to homeschool really got me thinking as my DS will be kindergarten age next fall, and we aren't sure what we are going to do for school. Just my thoughts... but if they are enjoying school (or one is and one has the potential to enjoy school) and you like having them in school (in a good situation), the maybe change teachers, schools, even districts.
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#70 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE

Principal calls me just now. I'm expecting something bad but no, not exactly. She asks if DH got the 15th off for vacation. I said not that I knew of and that I told him over last weekend to take the 15th off, so I was unsure if he submitted the paperwork yet or not. She says, "Well, would the 28th work better?" and I was like Huh?? I told her I'd have to talk to him and see if he submitted the paperwork or what. She goes, "Well, I can call (DH's name) if you like" and I said, "No, that's okay. He's sleeping right now which is why I can't ask him" (he works swing shift).

So I am thinking the 28th is just put out there as an option so DH can be there, right? Wrong. She then says that the 28th would work better for them as there'd be two more specialists available that day that know Kyler. What? I wanted to ask who specifically, why, etc. but I was getting pissed at this point and getting irritated with her way of talking to me (condescending). So I just said I'd talk to DH and see what was going on with the vacation stuff and get back to her.

So they want to push it off almost another two full weeks? If this stuff is so important, whatever the goal is of this meeting, why not be meeting today? This week?
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#71 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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This entire post makes me scream for your boys. They are being battered by the system. I would pull them out and stories like this reminds me why I think I will homeschool or private school my kids. As a former teacher, Ms. Mean should not be allowed near children, especially vulnerable ones.

I hope everything works out in the end with a solution that works for you and your family. Stay strong and keep fighting for your kids.

Mom of two boys (7/05 and 2/09)
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#72 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 02:42 PM
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I will homeschool or private school my kids. .

Private doesn't mean better all the time. I pulled my daughter from private do to issues they couldn't or wouldn't address. I was told she was lazy, too young, attention seeker, etc. She was none of them. She has food sensitivities. Took gluten out of her diet, and I had a new child.
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#73 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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I could see just living with the current situation till the 15th, but all the way till the 28th. Considering how unhappy he is I would ask that they move him now.

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#74 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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UPDATE

Principal calls me just now. I'm expecting something bad but no, not exactly. She asks if DH got the 15th off for vacation. I said not that I knew of and that I told him over last weekend to take the 15th off, so I was unsure if he submitted the paperwork yet or not. She says, "Well, would the 28th work better?" and I was like Huh?? I told her I'd have to talk to him and see if he submitted the paperwork or what. She goes, "Well, I can call (DH's name) if you like" and I said, "No, that's okay. He's sleeping right now which is why I can't ask him" (he works swing shift).

So I am thinking the 28th is just put out there as an option so DH can be there, right? Wrong. She then says that the 28th would work better for them as there'd be two more specialists available that day that know Kyler. What? I wanted to ask who specifically, why, etc. but I was getting pissed at this point and getting irritated with her way of talking to me (condescending). So I just said I'd talk to DH and see what was going on with the vacation stuff and get back to her.

So they want to push it off almost another two full weeks? If this stuff is so important, whatever the goal is of this meeting, why not be meeting today? This week?
Why do you not know which specialists? Please just ASK. Who will be there and why. You have a right to know who is going to be there.

Also... just, I don't know, this is going to come off wrong, but at this point I almost worry the school has a pretty negative impression of your commitment to education given the kids have missed 3 weeks of school and it's only October 7th and saying things like "my husband is asleep"... just.... step it up a notch or two in your professionalism - it's none of their business what your dh is doing, and I'd start thinking of it less like a "oh they're keeping me in the dark" thing and more like a manager who is attending an important client meeting and goddamnit you need to know what the meeting is about - what is the agenda SPECIFICALLY - and who the attendees will be and what they're bringing to the table.

Let me put it another way - I think you're actually in pretty dangerous territory with regard to risk of CPS being called in (a la "their son French kisses girls, goes into the wrong bathroom repeatedly, and not only do the parents not even send their kids to school or bother to make the time to meet with us, but they apparently sleep all day"). Put yourself in the principal's shoes QUICK and start taking control of this thing - it sounds like a runaway train and I would hate to see you blindsided on the 15th or 28th or whatever.
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#75 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do ask. They tell me "behavior specialists."

The boys have missed two weeks in full (not consecutively).

She asked if she should call my husband right then. He was sleeping. Why tell her to call him if he's sleeping and it will go to voicemail? They KNOW he works swing shift. I've told them this in the past, so they understood why it was me bringing the boys to school and picking them up. I explained it again when they wanted a meeting at 3pm, because that would mean my husband taking a vacation day (which we are fine with, whatever..).

THEY wanted the meeting to be on the 17th initially. DH put in for vacation, it was approved. THEN the school wanted the 15th. Well, DH's work makes it a pain to change things like that.. so changing from the 17th to the 15th would be difficult but he'd do his best! NOW they want the 28th!

I've asked them previously what the point of the meeting is. "To talk about Kyler's behavior" and similar is what I am told. What is the goal of the meeting? "To get Kyler on a better track."

Cameron went into the wrong bathroom one time, backed out immediately and apologized to his teacher because he didn't realize it until he got in there (no one was in there). HIS teacher wasn't even the one to tell me about this, it was Kyler's teacher. No one else made mention of it again.

I know I've replied to this thread a lot and have long replies, but read some of my replies. I am willing to work with them, of course. If it has to be just myself attending the meeting, FINE. If the meeting had to be today after school and I had no childcare, FINE. If they wanted the meeting at 3am, FINE.

If they want to call CPS on me, bring it on. I've dealt with them once before because MIL was mad at us for not giving all vaxes, so she called and made some things up and mentioned how they weren't circ'd (seriously). We dealt with them back then and will again if need be. Not fun, not what I want to do and I don't see what this school has to call them on us about.. but they can if they want and CPS can come out, inspect our kids, our house and then they can see the detailed notes I've kept about their school, their illnesses (dr's notes, receipts, medications, detailed notes about their temps, when meds were given, etc. etc. etc.) and much more.
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#76 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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I have read everything you wrote (including that you said it was 3 weeks of school missed though I see you later changed that to 2) and my post is just a wake-up call even if entirely unwanted to look at it from THEIR point of view. This is not me saying you are doing anything wrong, just that I am seeing a number of red flags here (beyond what is actually occuring in the school, which is bad enough) that you're freefalling down a slippery slope and do not currently have the school's trust or respect, and a suggestion that you deal with the discomfort of the phone call and ask some questions. Who are the behavior specialists, how many, why, have they met with my son, has he been evaluated, what is their specialty, what is their NAME and whom do they work for, etc. etc. ETC.
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#77 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today was the only day in which I spoke to the principal and didn't ask questions because I was irritated. Okay, I failed by not asking what I was wanting to ask right then.. I get that.

I have asked similar questions numerous times before. I am told over and over it's behavior specialists. Well, what kind? Behavior specialists. Why? Kyler needs to be talked about. Why? Kyler is having issues. What issues? He talked in line once, he didn't line up after recess once, etc. Who are the specialists? They work for the SD.

If I ask too many questions, which I KNOW I have the right to do, they get nasty with me and I was told one time to "just wait for the meeting!"

I am doing everything and then some or so I feel. I am still very willing to work with them, of course. This isn't about them, myself or whatever, it's about my children! I will not lose sight of that and don't feel that I have.

The principal simply asked today if DH could get the 28th off. I don't know how much vacation he has and being he was sick this morning, I didn't want to wake him as he was desperately in need of sleep. So she asked and I said I'd ask him today and get back to her asap. She seemed fine with that response.

ETA: I forgot to mention I'm planning on going into the school early today (before pickup) to find out if the boys have been evaluated, how the two specialists know the boys, etc.
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#78 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Not to add to the negative vibe here, but I too get a really bad feeling about this. I agree w/pp that you need to find out exact details of whom is attending this meeting. I would call the principal and write up a list. Ask her to start listing people, write down the first name and then say "and what role does she/he have in this?", "has she/he evaluated or observed Kyler?" etc. Then move on to the next person. It just sounds like they are setting you up. And I know you said you've dealt with CPS before but I've heard stories of overzealous CPS workers taking kids away from their parents for stuff like this while they investigate.

Also, I would suggest calling your doctor TODAY. Explain that the school is giving you a lot of grief about the kids and ask if he/she would write a detailed letter (for each kid) about the immune system issues and the various illnesses that they've had since school started, just in case.

Again, good luck. This seriously sounds bad.

Beth
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#79 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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ETA: I forgot to mention I'm planning on going into the school early today (before pickup) to find out if the boys have been evaluated, how the two specialists know the boys, etc.
Great. I would definitely try to get Kyler moved to Mrs. Nice class now. I would not want to wait for the meeting if they are going to be moving it back.

I don't get a CPS vibe off hand, though since you seem to live in Oregon where I have heard of the most rediculous overzealous action from CPS workers, it never hurts to be warry.

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#80 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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Ah, mama.....

I need to go back and read this thread (I have read bits and pieces) - but I would:

-ask for a transfer to a different teacher.

-if that is not do-able, I would pull him from school. K wil be a really long, sad, stressfull year if he stays with ms. mean. I sincerely doubt she will change. Who needs that?

-I am not even sure I would go to the meeting. What is the point? It seems way too early in the game for "behaviourists" and I am not a fan of being ambushed (I have known 3, yup 3, families who were ambushed...they went in for a simple meeting only to have many specialists there . The meeting were quite traumatic for the parents - and I do not think accomplished much)

I often communicate in email. I always make it long like I am a reasonable, proactive, etc

"Ms. so an so,

Thank you for arranging the meeting. DH has rearranged his scheduel, and we will be there on the ____th.

In order for us to come to the meeting fully informed and prepared, I would like to know what the purpose of the meeting is, and who will be there ?(their names please). Have these people met my son or evaluated him?

Thanks in advance."

Once they send you this info, I would make a copy and bring it to the meeting (should you go).

Good luck!

Kathy
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#81 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are and actually have been getting a bad vibe from this for just over a week now. The feeling is increasing each and everyday. For my MIL to suggest we HS the boys, you know it's bad (she's very soggy and not crunchy in the least!).

I called the doctor and the nurse is having the dr (not just the nurse) type up a letter with details of their prematurity, immune system, how sick they were (and how Kyler was almost admitted into the hosp that night), etc. I am then making copies of it, the receipts from the copays for urgent care from that night, the prescription forms (with numbers blacked out) and anything else and I'll show them to the principal. I know how she'll respond, "You didn't have to do this, we believe you" but from how they act, they don't believe me. :/
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#82 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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I think this is sounding worse and worse too. And its not because of anything you or your children are doing. Unfortunately, the burden to deal with this is going to fall on you anyway. At this point, I would call the district office. First, ask if there is any sort of parent advocate or ombudsman available to help you. If so, speak with them and get their help. If not, then ask about attendence policy. Ask what the policy is about having your child evaluated without your consent. Ask about policy in setting up the sort of meeting you are anticipating. Get all of the info you can from the district. If possible, do this without giving a lot of information about the situation. Avoid giving school, name, teacher any of that. You are simply researching district policies. Write everything down. Ask if this is on the website anywhere (so you can get it in writing in their exact language -- they won't be able to argue with things printed from thew website). This will give you some amunition should you need it. The better armed you go into this meeting the better off you are going to be.
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#83 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Done! I called the school district and had to leave a message (you would think anyone could tell me what I need to know?!). So hopefully they will call me back tomorrow and answer my questions in detail.

I scoured the web site and found nothing about attendance policies and such (well, beyond the usual wording, but nothing specific at all!). But I will ask if there's anything in writing that I can obtain about this. Something factual that comes from them.

Thanks!!
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#84 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Someone stated earlier that school was not mandatory in your state until age 8. If that is the case, then there can be no compulsory or mandatory number of days your children have to attend school before age 8.
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#85 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by HeatherHeather View Post
Someone stated earlier that school was not mandatory in your state until age 8. If that is the case, then there can be no compulsory or mandatory number of days your children have to attend school before age 8.
That's good to know. From what I read last night, Oregon is age seven. But either way, they aren't even six yet, of course.

Thanks!
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#86 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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The school is supposed to give you at least the official titles of the personnel that have or will be evaluating your DS. In writing. They're not supposed to have evaluated your child without your knowledge. Yes, they can do a screening and figure out what needs to be assessed, but they are not supposed to go through with the full evaluation unless you know about it.

Something isn't adding up in this equation. This upcoming meeting sounds very shady. Bring a tape recorder, and if you can, another friend or neighbor that can be an extra set of ears for you.

I would also put in a written request for the names and titles/specialties of everyone that is slated to attend the meeting IN WRITING. Don't hesitate on this one and get it in to the principal ASAP (actually, send it via certified mail to make sure that the principal gets it), and give a date in which you are expecting a reply. This will decrease the chances of an ambush and you'll get a clearer picture on who will be there, which is very very important.

Don't let them push you around, mama. They're giving you the run around and not being forthright, and it all smells fishy to me. Call them on it!!

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#87 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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OK, so this all got me really curious and I went exploring. Assuming you are in the Portland school district, I found the attendence policy in a downloadable handbook on discipline. Unfortunately, now I can't remember what page I was on when I found it. But the policy says that a student will be withdrawn for 10 CONSECUTIVE days of absence, but nothing other than that, other than the usual notification policy. I didn't see much else in there that would get you to this sort of meeting, honestly.

Unfortunately, I didn't see any sort of parent advocate office either. I was really hoping they would have someone that was automatically on your side and within the system.

I agree with kidspiration that you should make a written request for the names and titles of each person they expect to attend the meeting. Make the deadline about a week before the meeting. If you don't get it, send a copy of your original letter to othe district superintendent (or vice super if they have those) and ask for their help in getting this information.

Of course, all of this assumes that you still want to keep your children at the school. If not, then just blow the whole thing off and withdraw. I will admit though, my personality would push for me to go into this meeting (very well armed) just to see what they had to say!
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#88 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Evan&Anna's Mom - Thanks! I found that same thing a few days ago, I think. It didn't have much info! And they haven't missed 10+ consecutive days, of course.

Thank you both. I'd love to know what the principal meant by saying those two people know Kyler. I didn't think to ask (otherwise, YES I WOULD HAVE) right then. :/
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#89 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Goodness, I'm a teacher, and even I would withdraw my kids if I had the ability to homeschool and was getting this much trouble from the school. *hugs*

Good luck on whatever you decide to do!

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#90 of 161 Old 10-08-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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UberMama,
I would've have pulled the boys by now. I wouldn't put up with this much cr.p, but that's just me. Do you have citizens advice centres where you live? Or someone with legal knowledge who could advocate on your behalf. I find that often just having a third person in some sort of official capacity helps authorities (or other agencies) change their attitude and do what they're supposed to do. Such as answer questions or take your words seriously. It also takes the stress off you a bit, if it's not you who has to do all the legwork.
Good luck!
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