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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Report Card Update

I received an answer from Kayla's teacher on the question I had on her report card.

When I picked Kayla up yesterday she told me, "Her grades won't change on her report card because in her IEP you chose to put her in the regular classroom."


I think what she was trying to say (and what she's told me before) is something about her report card being graded on the same work the kids in the regular classroom are doing; that she wouldn't be getting a different report card or different grading system.

The only thing I could say was "ok" and we left. I've already tried talking to her twice about what my specific question was regarding the unsatisfactory; I just don't think she is understanding my concern or confusion with why it was graded that way.

I still don't agree with it though. If it said "consistent with Kindergarten capabilities" I would be ok with it, but it doesn't say that. It should be based on her capabilities. I understand it is subjective and teachers have a lot on their plates; so I'm just going to let it go. We'll just concentrate on her IEP and the progress she's making in meeting those goals.

Thanks to everyone who commented/emailed me on this subject; I really appreciate it! And sorry I haven't had a chance to respond individually - just wanted to post this update before I forgot :)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

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Tina said...

That doesn't seem fair at all. Since you've spoken to her teacher about this and you're not getting straight answers, who would you go to next?

I bet this is so frustrating for you - I'm sorry (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing an educator on the Oprah show years ago who was advocating for children who learned differently from the "norm". I'm sorry, I cannot remember his name. What I do remember is his passion to get the message across to everyone: no child learns the same way as another.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where a) we don't put money into our schools and educators and b) our society easily accepts the "norm", resisting new ideas for the education of the upcoming generation.

I think it will be wise to focus primarily on Kayla's IEP and to add your own "homeschooling" as much as possible. I plan to do that with Gabriel. He'll be in a public school but I will be as involved as I can to help him learn on his own path.

Tracey said...

Hmmmm. I think she may have seen your questions based more upon the fact that Kayla has DS, rather than the fact that Kayla is a KINDERGARTENER. I agree. The wording is off, but as long as you KNOW she is doing her personal best work, that's all that matters. The report cards aren't really that important, anyway. It's mostly what she walks away with from the whole experience.

andria said...

I taught spec. ed for years and nannied (is that how you spell it?) a girl with DS from 2-7 grade.

Every child with an IEP I taught whether mainstreamed or resource room had a modified report card. That IEP dictates (at least it did ten years ago) it to show how the child is progressing according to IEP goals and objectives. If her IEP states that she is doing nothing differently than the other children (no resource, no help, nothing) than, yeah, but she does go to resource right? The teacher is surely giving her extra attention in the areas she needs it.

If it were me (and it's not me, just my opinion) I'd request an IEP review meeting and state you want to go over with teacher, resource teacher, and whoever else what the next report card is going to tell you.

LauraJ said...

I agree with Andria! Time to ammend the IEP.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I can understand why you are confused by it. It doesn't make all that much sense.
I had a similar issue with my sons teacher (Kindergarten) last year. It's really frustrating when you aren't being understood.
HUGS to you. And I agree with Andria too.

Liz said...

My son is 11 and has Autism. He is very high functioning and in the AT program (talented). His IEP is geared/written to state that he has to perform at a certain level but doesn't have to meet the same level of work that his classmates do. He just has to learn what is necessary for him to stay in the AT program. In other words, he isn't required to do all of the fluff/busy work they bombard his class with because it is too much for him. We rarely have homework because he used to flip out at home. We determined that he had to be "on" at school and this was very stressful so when he got home he wanted to be himself and not be overworked. I never go to the teacher anymore with issues because they usually don't "get" it. I will email or call resource because they are the ones who will in turn deal with the teachers. I agree that you should at least talk to your resource teacher to see if they will talk to Kayla's teacher to educate her. If that doesn't work, I would definitely ask for a meeting to discuss her IEP to maybe tweak the wording or add necessary supports.

I'm still on the fence about putting my daughter, Lily (Ds), in Kindergarten next year (she will turn 6 Sept 2nd) or wait one more year because she is no where close developmentally to a typical 5 year old and I can't see her being ready next August. She needs to be pushed and I'm not sure they will be able to do that. I guess we shall see....

Sandra said...

That is just not right OR fair Michelle, can't you go to the principal maybe and discuss this with her? I'm not saying the teacher is intentionally being difficult but maybe she really isn't getting what you're saying and you need to speak to someone who is.

How frustrating.

Chris said...

I have no experience with the public schools, but I still think that based on the wording on the report card, Kayla is not being graded fairly. Will it be in her file that you had issue with the way she was graded?

You are handling this so well. I'd be so annoyed.

I'm sorry the teacher wasn't more understanding.

My name is Sarah said...

Hi Michelle, This is Joyce, Sarah's mom. I have been following your issue with the report card. I am sure this is so frustrating. In all of Sarah's elementary schooling she was in the "regular" classroom working on what all the other kiddos were working on with the support of specific IEP goals. She always had a modified report card that followed what was on her IEP. I sit on our districts' pupil services advisory committee and we have a meeting tomorrow with a lawyer who focuses on special education law. I am going to bring this up and see what the law reads today, as it does change frequently. At least this way you will have the legal knowledge. I will give you an update when I get back later in the evening.

Mom24 said...

I would be really frustrated too. There's not much worse than feeling like you have a legitimate issue and not getting it answered satisfactorily. I hope she still has a good year.

annie said...

They gave izzy a kindergarten report card last week too. . . I tried to understand it but just put it back in the folder :). Oh well.

Finding Normal said...

I continue to respectfully disagree with Kayla's teacher. I have 4 kids with various special needs in my classroom, and their grades (which really are grades by 4th grade, not just U, I, O, whatever) reflect the modifications I make to the work, tests, and homework. If I were to grade them based on 4th grade material and expectations, none would be passing. That's why they've been identified as having special needs. I think her report card needs to reflect her progress towards her IEP goals, or the work as modified for her. Kayla should not be penalized for being in a regular classroom (which I think is awesome and I hope hope hope we'll be there someday!), which is how her response kind of sounds.
While I know you don't want to cause drama, I do think it's important to get a clear answer to this. Perhaps the LRC teacher can explain it more clearly.

Omaha Mama said...

I think it would still be based on her instructional needs and modifications section too in her IEP. Unsatisfactory would be a mark for someone who is not giving effort or who has not made gains, but that's just my opinion.

Tricia said...

I agree with you that the wording is TOTALLY wrong. They need to clarify that if they are going to grade on it! To tell you the truth though, (and I know it's frustrating), I think I would just say "Ah, forget it."

This time.

This time.

Anonymous said...

Don't you have a Case Manager to help you negotiate this systems issue. I personally don't mind if they don't modify the report card, just explain it would be good and in more enlightened and less stigmatizing language!

Laura said...

Not sure that was really an answer, or a cop out. I know that their are lot of kids per teacher, but each one is different. Where is the curve?? My Amanda has dyslexia and school grading was the pits even with her IEP, partly why we homeschool. We live in a small town, Tenneesee, and a sad school system for the disable.

Kayla is bright, she has fantastic parents who support, love and encourage her...I know she will do awesome :)

Michelle said...

I was a regular ed teacher, with many kids in my classes who had IEPs. The kids were graded on the work, which, if needed was adapted to their capabilities.

I still think your previous post is 100% correct - if Kayla is working to the best of her abilities, that is NOT unsatisfactory.

Even with her in the 'regular' kindergarten class, she should have goals specific to Kayla - kindergarten, appropriate goals.

I'd ask for an IEP review, personally.

Then again, I might let it go, and hope she gets a more understanding teacher next year - because really, what does a report card mean in kindergarten? Not much, in the grand scheme of things!

Jeanette said...

I guess my question is "How is this basis for 'grading' Kayla helpful to you as a parent?" If she will always be unsatisfactory, then you are not getting useful feedback, which is what a report card is for. This just wreaks of CYA on the school's part and not education, which my understanding is the goal of school. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be with all of this. Frankly, I was frustrated just reading it. I wish I had a shred of advice.

Beck said...

I know that marking is hard for teachers, but I do think that the way that was written on the report card was really clear that it was supposed to be whether the individual STUDENT was working up to their abilities - and her response wasn't adequate in that case. She should either change the wording on the report card or change Kayla's mark.

Shawndi84 said...

UGH! This is frustrating! It sounds like this teacher thinks you want special treatment for Kayla or something...Which I know is the last thing any of us want for our children!! You are totally right, if it said based on Kindergarten capabilities it would be totally different!
I'm getting nervous for school! She turns 3 in two weeks... so it's right around the corner!

*BTW- We tagged you!! Check it out!

Mary said...

Hmmm. I see your point. I'm very interested in seeing what information Joyce comes back with. I can honestly say that I do not look forward to this in the next few years!

Nicki said...

That doesn't make sense to me! I am studying special ed teaching right now, and we've learned about things like this. My understanding has always been that if the child qualifies for an IEP AT ALL then her goals and what she is graded on should be individualized, regardless of whether she is in a regular classroom or in a self-contained special classroom or whatever. Even her assignments can be modified. That might not apply right now while she is so young, but lets say she's in a regular eighth grade class someday and the kids are learning the constitution... she should be learning the constitution too, but have her tests and assignments modified to whatever her ability level is at that time.

Sue said...

I don't like the tone of the teacher personally. I'm sorry - but none of those other kids are on the same identical level with each other either. It's ridiculous that they would judge any child so narrowly. ALL children need to be judged and taught according to their own abilities.

I also agree with Andria.

rickismom said...

Try not to let it get you down too much. If she is learning and progressing, that is the main thing! Again, the going towards the IEP goals is the real marker for her. PS. Your daughter looks absolutely adorable!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Her grades won't change on her report card because in her IEP you chose to put her in the regular classroom."

I teach Special Needs in Florida and can only comment on what our law says... In Florida special needs students are graded based on their ability to attain grade level benchmarks. This is true whether they are in regular or special needs classes. I don;t agree with it, but the theory is that special needs students are to be held to the same standards as regular students. A seperate progress note goes home to give progress on the IEP goals.

As far as the "working at her capability" grade she should have been graded at her level, but it is probably a gray area. Personally I would continue to question it....

Theresa said...

Today I learned the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan. Even though Amanda does not have a diagnosis, the school is going to 'accomodate' her.

I look to your blog for guidance and wisdom.

Even though Ds and ADD are not similar, I think your patience will teach me a lot. Did I say that right?

Love T