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Old 09-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #41
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Re: I need help understanding modern schooling

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IOh, and I'm sure you know, but education doesn't stop when they get on the bus to go home. My dd isn't "challenged" at school. I'm not sure college would challenge her. The main reason she is in school, in her peer age group (she was ahead, we put her back in her age group) is so she can be around a multitude of different kids, get exposed to a lot of environments, different adults teaching her in a variety of ways and expecting different things from her and so on. Not really for the education. She gets the basics at school, and we supplement at home. I think it is pretty difficult for a child with average or above intelligence and academic abilities to really fall through the cracks when they have involved parents at home.
I am going to say it again. OP, I highly recommend you looking through the stats on your school. Look at test scores (these usually don't start being published until 3rd grade and up) and then look at the various groups. Pay close attention to the categories your child falls into and you will have a good idea as to whether or not the school will fail him.

And make some calls to find out what the "behavior kids" are (how have they been identified, etc.) and how it is handled post kindergarten. Meet with the principal and ask questions. And for heaven's sake, avoid phrases like "dump" and "weed" when talking about children that don't fit into the "normal" category.

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:32 PM   #42
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Re: I need help understanding modern schooling

This is exactly how it is in our school system here. Are you in my city? Ours is the physical handicap/MR elementary in the city, but it sounds like you are in our district! We did public pre-k, but are homeschooling now! The "extra" hands work with all of the kids, not just the behavioral ones, but they are specifically responsible for those kids. So, for instance, the class is doing an art project... The "extra" adult will be going around helping out, but if one of the behavioral kids has a specific need related to their behavior, that adult will be the one to handle it. Make sense? But yeah, get your kid out of there, and fast - or else his childhood will be toiled away doing worksheets and "being educated".
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #43
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Re: I need help understanding modern schooling

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You never know why the kids are on an IEP. IEP's even cover just minor speech articulation issues, do you think those kids are going to take a lot of extra time for the teacher? My son is a different story since his overall disability is considered severe. He has a 50% + or - delay in most areas except for cognitive. He has some sort of a learning disability, even though he is quite intelligent. His working memory doesn't work. He has Tourette's, possibly a thought disorder) but his working diagnosis is autism until he gets older and we ferret everything out. We've been told he's an n of one and needs his own case study. No one has seen what he has before. But the name doesn't matter, he has a neurological disability.

Maybe your state has school choice, and you can send your child to a district with students you want your child exposed to. From your posts, it sounds like you have a larger portion of lower income and ESL students, and if that isn't the population you want your child around, then look around and see what your rights are, or see if you can move to a district with demographics you like. Most people when they buy a house are picky about the quality of the school, we were. But since nearly everything can be covered by an IEP from ADHD to speech to even (correct me if I'm wrong, it might be a 504) asthma allergies and diabetes, you may end up having a lot of kids with "stuff" on their record anyway. They are not bad kids, just kids that have something the school needs to be aware of. Maybe your school puts all kids who are ESL on an IEP, and maybe your teacher doesn't like the ESL kids so she labels them all as bad kids, when they are not. Who knows?

25 kids and 2 teachers sounds about right for schools these days. They are horribly underfunded as it is, and thanks to the recession it is not getting better. Texas cut over a billion from the school budget, and our school found out one week before classes started that they were losing one teacher per grade, so instead of 3 classes per grade now there are 2. If schools were funded better, class sizes would be smaller. And that's even more apparent in neighborhoods that have houses that collect less in property taxes, as well.
Hey mama, I didn't read all of your posts, but I want to let you know this - I am homeschooling my kids for several reasons, but NONE of them are the so-called "different" or "behavioral" or "MR" kids in our public schools. The two kids in my DS' public pre-k class with special needs were two of the best things that happened to him last year - he ADORED those kids, stuck up for them, helped them out, was their absolute best friend, and they truly brightened his day. I teach my kids tolerance - not because it is simply the right thing to do, but because we are ALL different, and we ALL have special needs. Some kids are labeled by the system as being different because they do not conform to the social "norm" of the public school system's ideal student. They are the square pegs in the round hole... And THAT is one of the greatest reasons for homeschooling - because my children are, in so many ways, NOT the round pegs - and I don't EVER want them to be! They are unique, different, awesome, bright, colorful, energetic beings, and I don't ever want them to be "perfect model students" in the realm of social normalcy or public education. I want them to constantly explore every tidbit of information and knowledge they encounter, to ask questions ad nauseam, and to co-exist and befriend people of all personalities and cultures because that is what keeps our world colorful. The true intolerance in this world is, in my opinion, propagated within the public school system - we teach our children that there is "normal" and "abnormal" and if you are "abnormal" you are a problem. We teach them that they must be a conformist or else they will be an outcast, and nobody wants to be an outcast, right? I refuse to let my children be brainwashed by such intolerance.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #44
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Re: I need help understanding modern schooling

I want to thank everyone, esp. Minibees, for their kind responses so often this type of thread goes down in flames and no one learns anything. I am sorry for anyone who was offended but this has been very helpful. Our school tests v.poorly(even for my demographic) so I am trying to parse all of the information available.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:18 AM   #45
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I just wanted to chime in and say I was a "therapeutic day treatment counselor" in the schools. I worked with the "at risk" children in a head start program (3-5 year olds already at risk) and elementary school (k-4). The children with behavior problems are at risk for failure in the school system either by falling through the cracks, acting up/out, their parents might not be responsible enough to send them, or a mental health concern or learning disability. The majority of the problem behaviors of these children stem from mental health diagnosis ranging from ADHD and autism to PTSD (from trauma or abuse) and attachment disorders just to name a few. They were deemed bad kids, or kids with behavioral problems.
Most of the time I was free to interact with the whole class, but my focus was to ensure the "behavior" kids were interacting properly, following directions, controlling impulses, and able to keep up with the pace of the class. I spoke with and helped any child that needed help, they saw me as another teacher but also knew what kids I was there for.
I had one little boy who needed to me to just take him for a walk down the halls if the class had free time because the increased noise and activity level would cause him to panic.
another child I had, my roll was really only to make sure the teacher understood her and didn't get frustrated. She Was mute due to trauma. I can't tell you ow many times I saw a wonderful teacher almost lose it because she couldn't',t communicate with the little girl the way she wanted her to. I recall being out on maternity leave and getting a call because the teacher refused to have her in class because she wasn't listening.
It's not that these kids are necessarily bad, although some can be a handful let me tell you, but mostly they just need more 1 on 1 attention to be successful and ensure that school turns out to be a positive experience and that they make it. I had one that would throw chairs if I wasn't there to see the warning signs and defuse him in time.
Most of these kids shouldn't be excluded from a normal classroom, especially when simply adding another person can make sure they get a fair shot at the same education as their peers. It's better to have someone else in there to redirect a few children's attention than to deem them learning disabled or have the teacher be yelling and at her wits end because Johnny doesn't sit still during calendar. Instead of teacher yelling, or making a big deal I can lean over and say "it's time for..." or "come help me do something over here."
I hope you have a successful school year. There probably isn't going to get much information you can get on the children or their specific behaviors due to confidentiality, but in time I'm sure your son will be ale to report back ;-)
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