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Old 09-24-2010, 11:01 AM
38 posts, read 139,579 times
Reputation: 16


Hello! Thank you for reading this.

My daughter is currently a Junior at Highland Park High School. We have tried, however the academic rigor and the social pressure is just too much for her. She does have mild learning differences in math and trouble with "executive functioning" (this is just bad enough for her to feel "retarded" as she says). She is bright and getting good grades generally, but has had trouble with depression also. The girls are passive aggressive in their put downs and we just need to go. She does hours and hours of homework, but often has missed the directions. Primarily she is an oral learner, but both really. They have been wonderful and worked very hard with her, but it is time to go elsewhere.

She has many interests but is shy and needs a smaller environment or if not smaller, just less stress.

I am looking at Rowlett High, JJ Pearce, and possibly the Dallas Learning Center as she does learn best with individual instruction. She doesn't feel Shelton or Winston is right for her.

Finances are an issue and I would prefer a public school. A school that is nice. Nice kids, less stress....
Thanks so much for anyone who responds here..:.


Last edited by Elyse33; 09-24-2010 at 11:04 AM.. Reason: extraneous info
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:25 AM
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 22,680,864 times
Reputation: 7297
Have you discussed this with her school counselor? They may have some useful or creative ideas. Perhaps finding a home schooling network and joining a variety of clubs or groups that interest her?
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Location: The Big D
14,862 posts, read 42,861,660 times
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I sent you a pm.

Good luck w/ your decision and your daughter. She deserves to have a better experience in high school.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:42 AM
13,194 posts, read 28,285,464 times
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That's interesting because WINSTON or SHELTON are exactly the two schools I would recommend. They're not for "retarded" kids if that's her impression. They are experts in teaching in the right methods for each student. The kids there are perfectly "normal" (ie, they do the same things as any other high school kid).

I would be very wary of big districts. My best friend teaches in Plano and basically there are almost no "specialized" learning teachers left. The main teachers are supposed to know how to teach 5 different ways and have the time to do it. Haha!! In McKinney, I have heard there is 1 sp'ed teacher for like 4,000 students (ranging from dyslexic or oral learners like your daughter to down syndrome and severe autism or Aspberger's Syndrome)....in other words, a complete JOKE that one person could meet your needs.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:04 PM
38 posts, read 139,579 times
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Yes, HPHS has been outstanding regarding testing her and giving her two team meetings in a year etc. We were so touched by how much they care. All smart good people. The VP attended both these meetings. It was incredible really. They brought her up, through algebra to geometry from way way behind.

Yes I have a call into them. We have all known it would probably not be worth the agony for her to stay. But it was hard to leave a situation with so much help.

She will have more choice in another school regarding an easier math class and science. That is the hope at least, but maybe Winston or Shelton is what we need to do, somehow. How much is the tuitiion?
Thank You!
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:01 PM
13,194 posts, read 28,285,464 times
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Google is your friend....according to the schools' websites, Shelton is a little over $20k for high school tuition. Winston is $25k.

I'm assuming she's a sophomore or junior based on her classes. I would REALLY think twice before moving your daughter to another huge high school (a la Pearce, Berkner, etc) with only 2ish years left until graduation. I think that's asking her to make a huge transition that may disrupt her learning and social life even more.

I would explore private school options- they are more used to kids coming in later in the game and with graduating class sizes between 20-100 kids (vs 600+ at a RISD school), easier for her to navigate the "friend groups" and get acclimated. If not Winston or Shelton, many other good private schools that are less rigorous than HP (First Baptist Academy downtown, Trinity Christian in Addison, several more in East Dallas/Lakewood like Lakehill, Bishop Lynch, Dallas Academy, etc). Most private schools are very good with LD's, especially when they're mild as you are describing.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:29 PM
38 posts, read 139,579 times
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Holy Cow! Yes, I was going to check was hoping it was still closer to 10K...

Believe me we've thought...even she says...just two years left...but no, we need to find a different environment.

I'm going to look at the other schools you mentioned. My soon to be ex isn't keen on private schools. Unfortunately money is an issue.

If I could find a very small High School....maybe we should move to the Salado or Dripping Springs!! ...I'd sure be happier there...Ha! If it were not for her dad, I really would consider that.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:37 PM
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 22,680,864 times
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The Oakridge School is a very nice place but its waaaay too far west for you.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:49 PM
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,884,555 times
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I too think you should at least take your daughter to both the Shelton school and the winston school. Have her tour around and you speak with admins etc... I have heard nothing but wonderful things aobut both for "different learners".
also since finances are an issue (I hear ya!) ALL private schools WILL have scholarship funds avail. It never hurts to try all they can say is no. But who knows you may get 1/2 scholarship etc...

I agree with you that she does need a new environment, I also know what you mean by the "passive agressive" teen girls..no one is out and mean etc... but they are not good hang out with ya friends either. She needs to be happy and when you feel "stupid, dumb" etc... it just adds to the rest of the emotional whirlwind that she is going around in everyday. It sounds like she too wants a change...so GO FOR IT!!

Definately check out the smaller private schools that aren't super competitve but will offer more 1 on 1 instruction.
I agree that changing to another HS that will be bigger than HP is not the anwser, she will feel more lost etc... (HP is a pretty small HS ofr this area)
Sunnyvale, Ponder, Wylie? they might be worth looking into.

We've been here almost 3 years and I am amazed at how competitive the HS are here (and BIG) the pressure to take all AP classes and be in the "top 10" is all comsuming to some. My eldest is a junior and she has dropped her AP class load ALOT this year. Varsity sports, job, Student council and just LIFE takes up alot of time...staying up till 12 - 1am doing HW takes it's toll!

Keep searching and visiting schools etc... you will find something soon!!
Good Luck and I wish the best for your daughter!
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:44 PM
6,578 posts, read 25,458,087 times
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When were you planning to move her? It's hard to get into private school as a senior or mid year any time, but if it's possible, you might look at Lutheran High School or First Baptist downtown (which actually has a specific program for mild LD's). I think they are cheaper than Winston and Shelton. Shelton, I'm pretty sure, doesn't take new students at 11th or 12th grades.

For nearby public high, I would look at Richardson High School. Kids actually transfer from Pearce to Richardson to get away from some pressures - materialism especially. Richardson High is more like the United Nations - kids from all over the world - and the school has a strong sense of history and tradition.

Compared to Highland Park High I think you will find less pressure at any other public school you go to except for Flower Mound, Carroll, Coppell, and the 3 Plano senior highs.
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