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Old 08-02-2016, 10:29 AM
 
82 posts, read 49,637 times
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I am trying to say my daughter was promoted to the seventh grade while we were in Indiana. The education she demonstrates at home versus school completely contradict each other. When I went to register her for school I was told they do not retain kids at the six grade level, especially when they have been promoted. My husband and I both feel strongly that she should repeat the six grade due to the amount of struggles we had with her last year.

A little background:
She missed a lot of school due to doctors appointments and surgeries. She had a letter of incapacitation on file. She has ADHD and PTSD from a traumatic event that occured while and the first grade. That has led to the amount of surgeries and doctors appointments for the emotional distress it left on her. She had many struggles in the six grade with defiance doing her homework as well as with the school teachers. The level of defiance has been disruptive to the family as a whole. She has been tutored for the past two years I feel as if I have done a lot to help with her success in school, at the same time I feel I have also done her a disservice. Her teachers may have also played a part in this disservice as well. They did allow special circumstances for her to continually turn in late work as well as redo work that she had failed. She also had a 504 plan in place that allowed her extra time on tests as well as extra time on state tests. It also allowed administrators to verbalize the instructions to her.

I am taking her records to the principal for her to review, but I have a very strong feeling they are going to try to put up a roadblock. Does anyone have recommendations on how I should proceed? Do they have student liaisons around here? If you have any other recommendations I am all ears.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
3,558 posts, read 3,664,222 times
Reputation: 3326
A couple of things here:

I can't comment based on experience on the retention issue, as I don't ever recall hearing of a student retained above elementary school. There will be a lot of resistance to this due to concerns about social development. As a result of this mindset there are a number of students who are promoted at this age who really need to be retained in order for them to be successful academically. As a former professional educator, I don't agree with this, which is known as "social promotion". I think it sets up the student for failure, personally.

I understand that you have a 504 plan for the student, but have you considered talking to their health care providers about a diagnosis? Or is there a PTSD diagnosis? I ask because this could be the basis for a full blown IEP, meaning you could use it for retention purposes. I'm not sure that's totally possible, but I could see it being used as a tool to do so, or at least be able to stagger the student's academic work so they could continue on in areas where they're competent and get remediation in areas where they're not. This might be the easiest way to accomplish what you're trying to do (I think.)

Now for the tough part:

Advocate for your child! (You are, just hear me out.)

Learn everything you can as far as their (your) rights in the process. DO NOT engage the District's liaisons! Remember who they work for - it's like going to the bar association to settle a dispute with an attorney - who's side do you think they'll be on?

Go into your planning meeting with a clear cut expectation of what you want to accomplish with your child, and how it should be done. Don't expect to be hard and fast across the board - you may have to compromise slightly in some places due to the resources or personnel available - but stick to the main thrust and don't let the District personnel redirect you or make you settle for less. Understand that they have an agenda as well, although most of my former associates are really great people who truly care for their students, there is a great deal of pressure for them to do "more with less" if you know what I mean.

You have very clearly defined rights as a parent/student with disabilities. Exercise those rights as required. Do not let yourself be pushed around. If you're fair and realistic it shouldn't be a problem. Just don't be "that parent" who has unrealistic expectations and is a total tyrant with the staff and administration - doors will close before you ever show up.

Good luck,

RM
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