Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oops, I did it again

I'm reading: Oops, I did it againTweet this!

It starts as an innocent bit of tossing and turning around 3:00 am. I take a deep breath and then before I know it, a thought has sneaked into my brain. About school. And what we should do next year.

Though I don't get many comments on this blog, I've had a few readers e-mail me lately to say how wonderful it is that my boys are at the expensive and logistically challenging gifted school. Another friend, a former teacher at a tony North Shore public school, reminded me of the grim realities of public ed and how unlikely my boys, who are are the far leading edge of the bell curve, are to have their needs met.

Is it all that bleak? Am I just speaking to the wrong choir?

I shared our concerns about the limited social options (no sports or clubs) in the GA's Upper School and the challenge of going from a junior high graduation class of 10 to a high school class of 800 with a dad who kept his oldest son at the Gifted Academy through 8th grade and is doing the same with his younger son. He told me that he thinks that most public junior highs are like minimum security prisons. He thinks letting one's children mature emotionally and grow academically during the awkward junior high years is a Very Good Thing.

Our public school has finally hired some gifted coordinators. I've played phone tag with one. Quite frankly, I'm avoiding a conversation. I remember all to well the false assurances the public school administrators gave me four years ago. Don't worry. He'll be fine. We can meet his needs. While the school psychologist whispered in my ear, Your son is rather exceptional. We only see a child like him every couple of years.

Oh yeah, and this district failed to make their No Child Left Behind Annual Yearly Progress for the first time this past year. How could I even dip my toes in that water?

Which leaves more years of private school. DH is set against this.

Or moving in with my parents because their public school has more gifted services. A) I'm not sure we're welcome, B) Does this sound like a good idea to you?

Or moving into an expensive house with high taxes in a wealthier, whiter suburb with "better" schools (see this related comment).

I think I'll just go back upstairs and cry myself to sleep.


Jen said...

Lordy, we're not there (yet) Thank GOD. And maybe won't be. If the Davidson Institute is best, go for it. I'm from Skokie originally, so I know there's not a whole lot there for the exceptionally gifted. The bright, certainly, but not more than that. Colorado is slowly starting to wake up to needing gifted ed, but we're not there yet. It's hard and it's heartbreaking.

TooBusyToNotice said...

My son is 5 and he goes to what is called a Magnet School. It's still a public school but it's taught like a private school. My son also has ADHD and is not very challenged by the tasks put before him in his kindergarten class. I'm told that it will get better as the year progresses. There isn't much left of the school year and still he's having issues because he's simply not being challenged. It's a struggle, but you have to have constant communication with the school and the teachers. Don't be afraid to tell them what you want them to do for you child. It's your right as a parent. The teachers are there to help that child grow, not hinder them because of unnecessary boredom.

Michelle Hix said...
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