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Old 07-26-2012, 07:54 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,624,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequon View Post
I was trying to be calm and neutral and if everything worked as it should, it would have been totally possible, but what happened was difficult for me to stay calm. Would you still throw stones at me? Do you think I deserve to hear that 'Oh, this area is already too crowded, you are welcome to leave?' Come on, people...

At least please don't think that your impersonal explanation didn't work. It did.
Your paraphrasing misses the point. Fairfax County has over a million people. The school system is the 11th largest in the country, according to recent reports. The upside is that it has good teachers, offers many challenging courses to students, and has enough resources to translate materials for parents into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Farsi and Spanish. The downside is that it's quite bureaucratic, and the student population is growing, not shrinking, so there's no reason to think that office workers are going to get friendlier over the next few years. If you're expecting a system where administrators will toss aside their standard procedures, and exercise what you may consider common sense, you've probably come to the wrong place and might fare better in a smaller, less crowded system.

Now looking back at your first post, it seems you've already signed a lease in the county, so perhaps your hands are tied in the short term. But some people prefer smaller school systems like the City of Falls Church over Fairfax County, even though it may not have the same breadth of opportunities as the county schools, because it is less bureaucratic, but still has plenty to offer. It's something to at least keep in mind down the road, particularly if you still find yourself unhappy even after you have settled in.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,556 posts, read 12,638,406 times
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I'll weigh in with a little anecdote. We are currently in a small school district, after moving away from Fairfax County 6 months ago. We have befriended a German family who has lived in several countries. The mom went to register her children at the beginning of the last school year and was asked a similar question about language. Her daughter was born and had only been educated in Toronto, Canada prior to moving to NC. But the mom wrote on the registration form that she is also German speaking as that is what they speak at home.

She told me she could kick herself for doing that because her daughter (and her son) had to take a test at the beginning of the year regarding English language ability and they had to take one at the end of the year also. (I don't recall if there were any others.) It's just one more test, one more thing to do, etc. that they didn't need on their schedule. The daughter's English is perfect with no detectable accent. I would never guess that German is her 'first' language.

Moral of the story is, it happens in small school districts, too. If you don't want to go through the hassle of being evaluated for ESL, then don't mention another language at all, if you are confident in your child's English.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:28 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,758,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequon View Post

In fact, the school secretary wasn't terribly rude, but the message was clear---while she was idling, she told me to go there and 'get in line and wait'--you know, this wasn't really what she said, but that was basically her message. I am actually not sure what I am dealing with. If it is simply rudeness of a clueless employee, as JEB77 suggested, it should be nothing to worry about. But it seems more than that, and I'm not exactly sure.

.
I've heard of people waiting literally all day at central registration. I wouldn't blame you for not doing it.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:04 AM
 
371 posts, read 731,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
That is ridiculous. ESOL programs cost money, they don't make money. Counties do everything possible to keep kids out of esol and spec ed because they can't afford it. The rules are very strict and only those who clearly need help can get it, and sometimes not even those. If a school pushed for a child to be in esol, then you can bet that child needed it. And anyway, parents have the right to refuse, so no one can force anything. That kind of ignorant information is what causes some parents to refuse services when their children really need them.
Actually, they do get additional money from the state and federal government for each ESL student they have, which you can see from the links below. These were found on the virginia doe website, which is not easy to navigate. The second link is a little old, but it does show the state gives extra money dependant on how many ESL students there are.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administ...11/309-11a.pdf
2004-2006 Biennial Budget as Introducedby Governor Warner

My friend's child was entering Kindergarten and they made her go to the central office and take a test. The child could read fairly well (better than at least 90% of all other students entering kindergarten), but missed two of the six things they asked her to read so they told her she needed ESL (nevermind that many kindergarten students with American born parents don't even know all their ABCs entering Kindergarten let alone can read). My friend smartly said no she didn't want her kid in ESL and they kept pressuring her. When she still refused they had her sign a form, but told her the child would need to be tested again next year. And all this is from the central office, not some school secretary.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:03 PM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,758,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spleuchan View Post
Actually, they do get additional money from the state and federal government for each ESL student they have, which you can see from the links below. These were found on the virginia doe website, which is not easy to navigate. The second link is a little old, but it does show the state gives extra money dependant on how many ESL students there are.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administ...11/309-11a.pdf
2004-2006 Biennial Budget as Introducedby Governor Warner

My friend's child was entering Kindergarten and they made her go to the central office and take a test. The child could read fairly well (better than at least 90% of all other students entering kindergarten), but missed two of the six things they asked her to read so they told her she needed ESL (nevermind that many kindergarten students with American born parents don't even know all their ABCs entering Kindergarten let alone can read). My friend smartly said no she didn't want her kid in ESL and they kept pressuring her. When she still refused they had her sign a form, but told her the child would need to be tested again next year. And all this is from the central office, not some school secretary.
As for your friend...let's see, you're not a teacher, you don't understand thing one about esl students or esl assessments, you have no personal knowledge of your friend's child's actual proficiency levels and no personal understanding of the average level of kindergarteners, and weren't there when the assessment took place and actually didn't witness any of that first hand even if you had any understanding of what was going on. Which you don't. I can't think of less reliable anecdotal evidence. You've proven my point. And I'm done with this thread.

Moderator Cut

Last edited by FindingZen; 07-26-2012 at 05:38 PM.. Reason: personal attack
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:41 PM
 
371 posts, read 731,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
As for your friend...let's see, you're not a teacher, you don't understand thing one about esl students or esl assessments, you have no personal knowledge of your friend's child's actual proficiency levels and no personal understanding of the average level of kindergarteners, and weren't there when the assessment took place and actually didn't witness any of that first hand even if you had any understanding of what was going on. Which you don't. I can't think of less reliable anecdotal evidence. You've proven my point. And I'm done with this thread.
Not sure why the personal attacks, but oh well. This happened and you can believe it or not. I have a child that just finished kindergarten, and I know from her classmates/friends/cirriculum/talking with her teacher, what is expected for a kindergartener and what an average kindergartner knows. I can tell you my friend's child is well above average in reading and in no way needs ESL.

Last edited by spleuchan; 07-26-2012 at 01:52 PM..
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:52 PM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,588,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spleuchan View Post
Not sure why the personal attacks, but oh well. This happened and you can believe it or not. I have a child that just finished kindergarten, and I know from her classmates/friends/cirriculum/talking with her teacher, what is expected for a kindergartener and what an average kindergartner knows. I can tell you my friend's child is well above average in reading and in no way needs ESL.
I have no doubt from your description that the child does not need ESL services, but need to explain why a child like that, or the other one mentioned with German in their background still has to be tested yearly. It is due to NCLB and the federal mandate to assess all ELL students, and that includes those ELL students who are considered on monitoring basis. They would be on monitoring for two years then if scored high enough, and most likely they would, they would no longer need to be assessed yearly. Even if a parent refuses ELL services they still need to be assessed. A kindergartener has not been around long enough to have two years of monitoring, so we end up doing a lot of assessments on monitoring level kindergarteners and first graders each year. Yes, it is time out of class. The assessment has four components, which include a one on one language one so it takes more than one session. Needless to say it is also not a favorite of the classroom teacher either. But, thanks to the laws, it has to be done. I now will stop before I get into NCLB and testing....

This is all a moot point for you as you have already figured out how to avoid it by knowing what to put on the Home Language Survey. BTW, welcome to FCPS, despite the bureaucracy, it can be a nice place for a wonderful education.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:07 PM
 
371 posts, read 731,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choff5 View Post
It is due to NCLB and the federal mandate to assess all ELL students, and that includes those ELL students who are considered on monitoring basis.
Maybe a misinterpretation of NCLB? From what the OP and others posted, this doesn't happen in every school system in the country. My mom is a kindergarten aide in another state and knowing the child, thought it was absurd. It may be interpreted wrong in some districts, but doesn't appear to be a nationwide issue.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,317,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spleuchan View Post
From what the OP and others posted, this doesn't happen in every school system in the country.
Not all states are part of the WIDA consortium. The Commonwealth of Virginia is a member and therefore follows the WIDA standards.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:03 PM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,588,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeFish View Post
Not all states are part of the WIDA consortium. The Commonwealth of Virginia is a member and therefore follows the WIDA standards.

You are correct, but all states have to report to the Feds how they are assessing ELL students. Virginia tried to use another assessment years ago and the Feds would not accept it. That's why we are part of WIDA. Everyone has to do something.
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