Mad at the School
Monday, April 02, 2007

Mr. R. got his report card. In first grade around here, there are no ABC's, but rather 1, 2, and 3's. A 3 means the student is exceeding the standards for his grade, 2 means he is meeting them, 1 means he is below grade level. The only letter grades they get are U's, N's, and S's on the social skills (Unsatisfactory, Needs improvement, and Satisfactory.)

There is also some kind of literacy standard called DIBELS, and a score given as a fraction over the minimum standard. Mr. P's DIBEL was 80/32 (yeah. He's MY son!) and Mr. R's was 40/32.

Mr. R's report card was a straight line of 2's. Seems good. His IEP (Individual Education Plan, which is what specifically the school is going to do for him in special ed.) behavior sheet was mostly 90-100%. He gets a score every day, which I have to sign, on 10 different behavior aspects such as "Respects other's property", "Focus on Teacher", "Bus Behavior", etc. He got a 78% on "Focus on Teacher", because pretending his pencil is a rocketship and designing robots are more interesting than CVC drills. It seemed he was doing great!

He even was awarded Student of the Month for December and March, and won an art contest.

So I flip through his IEP goals (he's got 5 official ones) and 4 are marked "Will Meet Goal By End of Year", with a commentary. The fifth one did not have any information at all and appeared to have been overlooked.

The commentary, however, was dire. "Lacks focus". "Attention deficit problems are interfering..." "Unable to use correct punctuation" (To be fair, the boy could not even read in September. I'm not real worried about the way he ends sentences at this point.) Over and over again, in the IEP summary, the words "Attention Deficit Problem" were used as Mr. R's inability to, apparently, even minimally interact with students, teachers, or to learn was described.

Mr. R does not have ADD or ADHD. It is not part of his IEP. It is not an official diagnosis. He has never been treated or on medication for it. In October, his teacher completed a 3 page questionnaire on the matter for Mr. R's doctor - and rated him as "Never" or "Rarely" exhibiting ADD behaviors. The parent report also indicated a low occurrence of ADD behaviors, and I ended firing his pdoc after he insisted that I should give Mr. R meth Ritalin, despite not meeting the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis. (I also had his pediatrician evaluate him in the past - and results were negative).

Of course I wrote back, asking for a parent teacher conference. I had actually requested one LAST quarter, but after much phone tag, forgot about it. (Ok. I'm a bad mom. My kids ride the school bus too. Lynch me later.)

A sentence in the lengthy teacher note back..."As you know, this is so important for children with attention deficit disorder...."

So, despite being on grade level, receiving good behavior reports, and on track to meet all educational goals, Mr. R is apparently not learning, disrupting the classroom, and unable to complete his work. I'm a little confused. Even more disturbing, despite getting a note on his behavior Every. Single. Day. , this is the first I've heard of it! No note. No phone call. No mention from his guidance counselor, special ed. teacher, or regular teacher.

Highly unacceptable.

What I need to know is, what, exactly, are the behaviors? Why are they not marked on the sheet? When are they occuring (he eats school lunch, and I have not even attempted to enforce the no artificial colors/preservatives rule, although I did give the teachers a written, brief overview along with a typed list of foods likely to cause a problem. And yes, that's part of the IEP so legally, they are bound to follow it. I've just sort of let it go, since Mr. R has not had any problems. Not anymore!) He started going to a mainstream classroom in December - is this when the problem started? Did it start when they came back from winter break? Did it start after husband dear split his rib and is unable to work? Did it start after he had trouble with a class bully, after he was out with pink eye, or after he developed a crush on a girl in the mainstream class?

Must. Have. Conference. Now!

Labels: , , ,

posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/02/2007 01:32:00 PM | Permalink | |