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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My kids go to a small private school. My daughter is 7 and in grade 2 and is completely bored out of her mind. I have been talking to the teacher about this for a year and a half (it's a split class so she's had the same teacher) and they are just not challenging her at all. She is doing reading/spelling/language arts at a grade 5 or higher level and she is doing math at a solid grade 4 level. She does multiplication tables in her spare time for fun (and no one ever taught them to her). We thought the school didn't do skipping but an acquaintance just told me this morning they are skipping her daughter so now I am seeing red. I am calling the school tomorrow to request a meeting with the principal and to let them know I want Olivia skipped. I am not willing to let her fall through the cracks because they can't be bothered to challenge her.
So how do I go about this?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
...We thought the school didn't do skipping but an acquaintance just told me this morning they are skipping her daughter so now I am seeing red.

Why are you seeing red? It sounds like you haven't even asked yet...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
Why are you seeing red? It sounds like you haven't even asked yet...?
I have been asking them to accelerate her learning for a year and a half and they have not been willing to accomodate that.
 

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I'm kinda anti-grade-skipping so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Why not let her stay in her grade so she is with her peers (since usually children who are gifted academically are grade level or behind in social situations) and request that she be allowed to do higher level work. As in, have the teacher accommodate her (since that is actually her job) by modifying her assignments to the level that will challenge her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I'm kinda anti-grade-skipping so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Why not let her stay in her grade so she is with her peers (since usually children who are gifted academically are grade level or behind in social situations) and request that she be allowed to do higher level work. As in, have the teacher accommodate her (since that is actually her job) by modifying her assignments to the level that will challenge her.
We have been requesting this for over a year and it is not happening. She is crying because she is so bored in school and starting to not even care about it any more. I don't really know what else to do.
 

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You mentioned that you have been working with the teacher. What have your interactions with the principle been?

My son skipped 1st grade and is in 2nd this year. Our very first step was a meeting with the principle. We took with us to the meeting a list of the district standards for both 1st grade and 2nd grade, his report card showing above average proficiency in our areas of concern, and some samples of work he was doing at home that showed his approximate ability level.

We went into that meeting basically asking for information on what they would be willing to do if we left him with his age mates (a written differentiation plan, placement with a teacher skilled at differentiation, pull-out options, etc.). We asked how we would go about deciding and acting on the decision to do a grade skip. We also asked about single or multiple subject acceleration instead of a full grade skip. And most importantly we asked that the district evaluate him to aid us all in making that decision.

I'll admit that that meeting didn't get me very far and we ended up having to involve others in the decision making process before it happened. But I would meet with the principle and see how that goes before deciding on the next step.

I would strongly recommend that you and the school fill out the Iowa Acceleration Scale. It is a good tool for the school and you to decide weather or not a grade skip is the best option.

If you would like to know more about our particular path to a full grade skip feel free to read the threads I had about this subject last year - here .
However my experience will, of course, be of limited use to you as each persons situation is different.
 

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Does the school have a gifted program. I think that is probably a better alternative for her than skipping a grade. And it sounds like you need to really file a complaint about that teacher. I'm a teacher myself and it doesnt take that much effort to differentiate instruction or provide additional lessons to ramp things up. Can you go to the board of directors if the principal won't listen to you? Your case is no less serious than a child who is failing and parents have asked for help for a year and a half and nothing has happened. Stick to your guns and start addressing supervisors and directors from here on out about this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
(since usually children who are gifted academically are grade level or behind in social situations)
Wow, where did you get this gem? Any research you could cite to back this up? I've read a lot about acceleration and I haven't come across this.

Certainly not all gifted kids fit in well with older peers socially, but I've never seen anything that says they usually don't. In fact the research I've read indicates that most accelerated gifted kids find a better social fit as well as an academic one with the older grade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by mom2ponygirl View Post
Wow, where did you get this gem? Any research you could cite to back this up? I've read a lot about acceleration and I haven't come across this.

Certainly not all gifted kids fit in well with older peers socially, but I've never seen anything that says they usually don't. In fact the research I've read indicates that most accelerated gifted kids find a better social fit as well as an academic one with the older grade.
Definitely not true for my daughter. Her and her brother (21 months older) have basically been raised like twins since birth and she seems socially at or above his level. I do not worry at all that she would have a problem socially.
 

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Quote:
Why not let her stay in her grade so she is with her peers (since usually children who are gifted academically are grade level or behind in social situations)
This is often a myth (at least in my opinion, since I haven't seen research to back it up) that the education faculties in most universities perpetuate. I know one of my profs tried to tell me that.

Perhaps gifteds appear to be behind, but it is more that they are a "misfit". After all, I can remember in grade six when all the other girls were talking about lip gloss and some hot celebrity, I was attempting to discuss the merits of the major World Religions. Needless to say, I wasn't really popular, although my friends that were in high school and junior high didn't seem to find me boring.

I guess it is a good skill for some kids to learn how to "dumb down" so that they can fit in... but I don't think that skill needs to be learned in school.

*Edit*
I want to say that I do agree with hollytheteacher in some ways... some gifted students don't need to grade skip (and thus shouldn't) and for some gifted students acceleration is a terrible choice. However, when a student is extremely bored academically to the point of learned helplessness or depression and that student also has no problem getting along with older students I am completely supportive of the idea.
 

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A couple of questions:

Could they be worried that they're moving her too 'close' to her brother's grade? (My mom skipped a grade and was in the same class as her older brother; it was problematic at times.)

Is this school ever going to be able to meet her needs? Given what you described, a single grade skip isn't going to help that much. Is there any other school in the area that would meet her needs?

Do they know what she can do? If she's not caring anymore at school, maybe they don't see what she's capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
A couple of questions:

Could they be worried that they're moving her too 'close' to her brother's grade? (My mom skipped a grade and was in the same class as her older brother; it was problematic at times.)

Is this school ever going to be able to meet her needs? Given what you described, a single grade skip isn't going to help that much. Is there any other school in the area that would meet her needs?

Do they know what she can do? If she's not caring anymore at school, maybe they don't see what she's capable of.
She would actually be in her brother's class. She's a November birthday (before the cutoff) and he's a January (after the cutoff) so they are already only a grade apart. That concerns us as well but I talked to him about it and he said it wouldn't upset him. They have always been in the same groups for everything (we used to homeschool) and last year they were in a split class and they loved being together. Also he is special needs so it's a bit of a different situation for him. Having her there is a comfort to him.
I don't know if the school will be able to fully meet her needs. That is definitely a concern of ours. Unfortunately the public school in our district isn't very good and they definitely wouldn't be able to meet her needs. So we are kind of in a bad situation whichever way we look at it. I am hoping that a grade skip would at least allow her to be challenged somewhat.
I am not sure if they are fully aware of what she can do. I have talked to the teacher multiple times about her spelling and reading and they haven't changed a thing. She gets A+ in everything with absolutely no effort and I don't think that is a good thing. Yesterday I asked her a hard question and when she didn't know the answer right away she was upset because she is so used to having to put no effort forth. That is not something I want ingrained in her.
I was a gifted child in school who wasn't allowed to reach my full potential and I still remember how horribly bored I was in school. I don't want my daughter to go through that.
 

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Have you asked the other mom what the process was to get her child skipped? Like others have suggested, I'd try to get an Iowa Acceleration Scale filled out ASAP. There is a version 3 out now, but when dd#1 was skipped a year and half ago, we had version 2 to use. If I recall correctly, there were certain things that, if you checked "yes" on them would automatically rule out considering a grade skip and one of them (I think!) was that the skip would place the child into the same grade as a sibling. I can't say that I agree with this, but I wonder if that might be a reason for the school to be less accommodating in this area.
 

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Quote:
I am not sure if they are fully aware of what she can do.
I would say that this is your problem. If they have not seen proof that she needs higher level work, then why would they skip?
Has she done any achievement or IQ testing? If not then I would say this should be your first step.
If you have already tested, and she is showing above grade level across the board, then you need to schedule an appointment with the principal and come up with a plan to meet her needs.
I wouldn't push for a skip this late into the year (my opinion) My DD would have a hard time switching in the middle of the year.

I will also note that skipping is sometimes, but not always, necessary. My DD is also 7 and in second grade. She is also multiple grade levels above her peers.
At the beginning of the year we have a meeting with our principal, teacher, and gifted counselor and set up a "specific detailed" plan for how her needs are to be met within the classroom and gifted program.

I wish you luck with your quest.
No matter what the verdict, make sure you advocate for a very specific detailed plan of what they are going to do, within the classroom, to meet her needs. Many gifted kids still get bored, even after being skipped, because of the slow pace & repetition that happens in a regular class.
 

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Any chance you're in a position to pull her out? Because I bet if you can tell them that their choices are between having her for one less year and losing the tuition entirely they'll magically be able to accommodate moving her up.
 

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I was in a very similar situation with my son. He was in a split class, and when the second year of that class came around, he was bored out of his mind. He was literally doing the same stuff he did the year before because he was allowed to work ahead the year before. I had discussed skipping him at the end of that first year, but the teacher was very resistant. As much as I loved his teacher, I think it was more a matter of opinion on her part and I disagreed with that opinion.

I also saw red when I realized that the school had in fact skipped kids in the past. In our situation I really think it was just the teacher's personal opinions on skipping that kept us from doing it.

That second year was a big problem and I did eventually take it up with the principal. He suggested letting my son do a trial run in the grade up, so we did and it all worked out. He did skip that year after the holidays. I was still a little irritated that it happened in the middle of the year, which drew attention to him (his old friends didn't understand, and the new classmates knew he was coming up from a lower grade). He did do the state test that year and got the only advanced scores in his new grade- skipping was definitely called for.

About social issues. I can't lie and tell you there weren't any. He is uniquely smart and thus different from the other boys- the boys are very athletic in a way that he isn't, so he does struggle to fit in. He is also smaller, of course, and not the most outgoing kid. But the social issues aren't about maturity- he is way more mature than his male peers. His teacher this year didn't know that he had skipped a grade until we told her and she even said he was more mature than his peers.

I don't think skipping is perfect, but in our case it was necessary. I would bring it to the principal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We have a meeting with the principal on Tuesday at 3:30pm so hopefully it goes well. We still aren't 100% decided that we will push for skipping but we definitely need something to change for our daughter before she starts to hate school.
 
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