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13 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

I mean, are we surprised at this point?

I think he kind of got screwed because of the available data they had to make a decision. By this point, he had not been in school for 2 months, and they had to make a placement for next year. So they used the data from his last IEP progress report and the FBA initiation. I mean, I get it, they want to use data and not feelings. But now I'm going to expect them to use data, so they better get the data.

They should have it if they have been back in person--especially in a self-contained classroom where are you do is gather data. 

12 hours ago, Cerina said:

That's exactly what our district did on Noah's test. The composite came out "average" because his index scores seriously ran the gamut from like barely functioning (10th percentile) to highly gifted (99th percentile). 

I can't even again today.  The Harris County website says:

It is important to note and remember from the definition that a child may show gifted capabilities in one specific area. This means that a child may not show high achievement in areas outside of their recognized of giftedness.

Yet eligibility is determined by...

As practiced in Harris County in accordance with SBOE Rule 1160-4-2-.38, initial eligibility may be determined in one of two ways:

  • A student must (a) score at the 99th %ile (grades K-2) or in the 96th %ile (grades 3-12) on the composite of full scale score of a standardized mental ability test, AND (b) meet one of the achievement criteria - score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile (%ile) by age or grade on -total Reading, total Math, or total Battery OR score greater than or equal to 90 on a scale of 1-100 as evaluated by a panel of 3 or more qualified evaluators.

And yet it cites NAGC as its reference and NAGC clearly states:

Use of the Full Scale IQ scoreof the WISC-V for admission to gifted programs undermines the identification of many gifted students. Because gifted children—including those who are highly gifted,culturally diverse, bilingual,or twice exceptional—often show significant score discrepancies on multi-scale cognitive tests, the Full Scale score may not be an interpretable unitary construct. Reliance on this singular score, even when statistically uninterpretable,can exclude otherwise eligible gifted children from needed services. Only when the Full Scale score is not required,and assessment is broadened to include WISC-V expanded index scores, can a more accurate picture of the child’s potential and needs emerge.Especially with twice exceptional children, the ability to document strengths and weaknesses separately is crucial for both gifted identification and acquisition of services for disabilities.

My hypothesis is the majority of teachers that want to do gifted education want a little classroom of quirky high achievers and feel that 2e students are too disruptive or whatever.  I say this as a former administrator of a district's elementary self-contained gifted gifted program. 

Both WA and TX mention specific gifted identification (math, literacy, etc) so I would ONLY look at the quantitative score on the CogAT and the math score on iReady reading assessment.  If I am looking for a math qualification, why would I use a verbal CogAT score for a math identification?  Just because a student is not gifted in literacy does not deny sje is gifted in math.  What if it was flipped for special education.  "You don't qualify for reading intervention because you don't also qualify for a math intervention". 

Holy shit im so pissed. 

I am happy to be where I am so I can do what I want to meet the needs of ALL of our students. 

 

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On 5/21/2021 at 1:56 PM, Darth Krawlie said:

Lyra has become permanently attached to us, physically. If we type anything on our phone, she practically sprints to read over our shoulders

it took me 45 minutes to be able to finish writing this 

Huge patio restaurant. Plenty of space. Kids running around. Have their own table to eat at. Lyra still won’t get off me long enough to finish a single fucking adult conversation sentence.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, my son's teachers and paraeducators got left out of the yearbook. I had a bad feeling this was going to happen, because when I placed the order, my son's teacher was not listed. I contacted the PTA (they are the ones who do the yearbook) and they said they had last year's teacher list, that was why. They also did not include the 3-5 self-contained classroom teacher or the transitional Kindergarten teachers.

Yes, I made a stink. They are going to create a special insert for those classrooms. Doesn't help much.

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Yeah, they're a student aid/teacher aid for kids with special needs. Sometimes they are assigned 1:1 to a child, our district always assigns 2 to a self-contained classroom, which is usually maxed out at 10 kids, and my son usually only has 7-8 kids in his class. Because of COVID, 3 of the 4 paraeducators wanted to be in-person and one wanted to stay remote. So they moved a few 2nd graders to the remote classroom and gave them 1 paraeducator, and the other 3 returned to help the teacher with 9 kids and she had to take on grades 1-5 (6 kids in grades 1-2 came in 2 days,3 kids in 3-5 came in the other 2 days). His teacher really got screwed and the guy who wanted to stay remote got a good deal.

This is really shitty of me to say, but my experience is that most of them are unqualified, have no training, and are pretty much there to collect a paycheck. I hear there are amazing ones out there, but they seem to be assigned to kids 1:1 instead of grouped in a classroom like we encounter. I haven't been impressed so far.

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11 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

Yeah, they're a student aid/teacher aid for kids with special needs. Sometimes they are assigned 1:1 to a child, our district always assigns 2 to a self-contained classroom, which is usually maxed out at 10 kids, and my son usually only has 7-8 kids in his class. Because of COVID, 3 of the 4 paraeducators wanted to be in-person and one wanted to stay remote. So they moved a few 2nd graders to the remote classroom and gave them 1 paraeducator, and the other 3 returned to help the teacher with 9 kids and she had to take on grades 1-5 (6 kids in grades 1-2 came in 2 days,3 kids in 3-5 came in the other 2 days). His teacher really got screwed and the guy who wanted to stay remote got a good deal.

This is really shitty of me to say, but my experience is that most of them are unqualified, have no training, and are pretty much there to collect a paycheck. I hear there are amazing ones out there, but they seem to be assigned to kids 1:1 instead of grouped in a classroom like we encounter. I haven't been impressed so far.

The ones we've seen have been really well intentioned, but not great. The first one, in kindergarten, really needed to help Louis more socially, but instead she would have him walk around with her at recess and called him her best friend. Which is really sweet, and probably helped him in some way, but it wasn't the type of help that a 5 year old needs when he's having trouble joining in with play.  I mean, a couple times, sure. But it was most of the year, and she was an adult giving him special attention, to the point where it almost seemed like grooming. And all it did was further alienate him. Of course his kindergarten teacher was also a first year kindergarten teacher who had taught first grade for years, but kindergarten is completely different and looking back, she did a bad job. She's still teaching in the school, but she's a reading teacher now. 

First grade was a completely different experience, though. New teacher who is young and energetic, but had five years of teaching first grade in a different school. Paraeducator who helped but had good boundaries. Then COVID came and stole the end of the school year, and since the early school year was up in the air as to whether we would be in person, online, or a hybrid, we homeschooled, so I guess the paraeducator was our two year old, and boy did she do a bad job. Always distracting kids with wanting to play, or demanding the teacher's time. She's definitely not being offered the job next year.

I'm excited for next year for our kids, but it's also scary. Louis needs extra help, and he's really benefited from some aspects of homeschooling, like being able to take breaks between subjects. But for the sake of everyone, we think it's best for him to go back to school, and Eliza definitely needs school for the social aspects if nothing else.

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I would think that if paraeducators/teacher's aides were as well trained as teachers, they would be teachers.  At least in my brother's teaching experience, teacher's aides (that is what they are called in AZ), are mostly retired grandmas that want to volunteer their time or are people willing to work for minimal pay, just so they can be around kids.  I wouldn't expect top-tier treatment from someone working at minimum wage, or even free in some cases. 

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They're definitely not volunteering here, and they're people who have been doing it as a career. We're talking people who have been doing it for longer than the teachers they're working with in some cases.  And in our case, when you're paying thousands of dollars in tuition, you expect people who aren't going to make things worse for your child.

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35 minutes ago, Fozzie said:

They're definitely not volunteering here, and they're people who have been doing it as a career. We're talking people who have been doing it for longer than the teachers they're working with in some cases.  And in our case, when you're paying thousands of dollars in tuition, you expect people who aren't going to make things worse for your child.

Well, i should qualify in AZ, that is how it is done.  I literally asked my brother last night if he had heard of a paraeducator, and he said no. And he has taught for 20 years.  Then again, we all know that AZ consistently ranks in the bottom 40s when it comes to education. 

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12 minutes ago, Zathras said:

Well, i should qualify in AZ, that is how it is done.  I literally asked my brother last night if he had heard of a paraeducator, and he said no. And he has taught for 20 years.  Then again, we all know that AZ consistently ranks in the bottom 40s when it comes to education. 

I’m sure it’s similar in different areas of Ohio, but ours is different because we’re in a private school.

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Just to add a little light:

Para educators (para for short)/ teacher's aides/ educational assistant (same thing) generally only require a high school diploma and are generally paid little more than minimum wage.  There may be some differentiation, such as having an instructional aide which can lead instruction under a teacher.  They usually have a lot of supervision duties (lunch and recess) and have very little training.  Most of their training is on the job.    They are insanely difficult to hire for and a good para is worth their weight in gold. 

I hired two para educators this month--I hired two people that are currently in masters programs to be teachers and want to teach at the school in the future so I am pretty excited.  I landed them because I pay $2/ hour more than the district.  If I were in a district school I could only offer the district pay and I would be competing against every other school in the district offering the same low wage. 

I am more excited about hiring two good paras than hiring my teachers...not because the teachers I hired I don't like, but it is sooooo hard to find good paras.

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I'm sure it is super hard to find good ones, for the exact reason you cite. For some reason, I've known a few people desperate to land paraeducator jobs who have claimed its so difficult. But it seems like they are always hiring them out here. It really makes me upset that they give them zero training and expect them to work with some of the most fragile kids. I've tried to advocate for offering training grants through our SpEd PTSA, but its an uphill battle.

The latest is this morning I was told my son did not qualify for recovery services despite getting a bunch of emails about dates of service and an email the day before saying I would receive an email that day with the schedule. I lost it. I moved our vacation to Florida to accomodate the schedule and paid over $300 in change fees. I don't know who these idiots are running special services but I am done. We will be working on buying a new home this summer. I'm sure all of the feelings are mutual. Now they are saying they will squeeze him in.

The summer is not going well. My son has not had an accident in months, and did not have a single one at school all year. He has had one at least every day since school (in-person) let out, one day as many as 3. I am about ready to take a leave of absence until August or just burn all my vacation and sick time. I also think I need to put my daughter in some sort of summer camp because being home is making her surly.

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On 6/24/2021 at 8:06 PM, Destiny Skywalker said:

I'm sure it is super hard to find good ones, for the exact reason you cite. For some reason, I've known a few people desperate to land paraeducator jobs who have claimed its so difficult. But it seems like they are always hiring them out here. It really makes me upset that they give them zero training and expect them to work with some of the most fragile kids. I've tried to advocate for offering training grants through our SpEd PTSA, but its an uphill battle.

The latest is this morning I was told my son did not qualify for recovery services despite getting a bunch of emails about dates of service and an email the day before saying I would receive an email that day with the schedule. I lost it. I moved our vacation to Florida to accomodate the schedule and paid over $300 in change fees. I don't know who these idiots are running special services but I am done. We will be working on buying a new home this summer. I'm sure all of the feelings are mutual. Now they are saying they will squeeze him in.

The summer is not going well. My son has not had an accident in months, and did not have a single one at school all year. He has had one at least every day since school (in-person) let out, one day as many as 3. I am about ready to take a leave of absence until August or just burn all my vacation and sick time. I also think I need to put my daughter in some sort of summer camp because being home is making her surly.

That is insane and is shitty way to treat people.  Is ESY marked yes on the IEP?

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ESY is different than recovery services, so we've talked about how academically he is fine (although I am becoming concerned that his last 3 iReady assessments have been completely flat, showing no progress since June 2020. He went from being a year ahead to just barely being on grade level.)  But I got several emails about recovery services and how more info was coming, the school psychologist blew me off and had nothing to do with his IEP meeting. So I assumed he was getting it because of these emails I was getting for parents whose children would receive recovery services. I now have a feeling they just mass emailed anyone whose child receives special services.

The school is doing a "jump start" for gen ed kids in grades K-2 and when I inquired about that, got no response. But it interfered with the dates for recovery services so I assumed they intended for him to go there. Really for me it is that he is going to need to adjust to routine all over again at the end of summer, and the current lack of routine is not very desirable. I've tried to set aside some time every day to work on handwriting and reading, but my meeting schedule is all over the place so its not a set time of day.

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  • 1 month later...

Had some good news today. Day 1 of recovery services went well, and he had such a good time. He said he made a new friend but can't remember his name.

He has finally fallen into a really good pattern lately. No more accidents in probably 3 or 4 weeks. He is playing nicely with his sister and not obsessing too much about tablets and TV. Maybe it was some sort of developmental growth spurt? Either way, he is a little more amenable to suggestions. Still hyperactive and unfocused in the evenings, but hoping his evaluation will go well in the fall.

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My daughter does too. My oldest has like a semester or something of college before he’s done there. Meanwhile my two youngest are still in Elementary school. I might have done this wrong, y’all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm registering my son for his new school district today. This is honestly terrifying for me. I hate taking him away from his current teacher but I know long term this is the right decision. I'm anxious about contacting the school psychologist and requesting services.

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Well, pleased with what I've seen so far. I asked if we could start on the first day instead of waiting for 9/21 when we close. They said yeah sure. I mentioned that I wanted to get in touch with the school psychologist to talk about IEP and placement and they said oh no one will be here until 8/31. A few hours later the principal called me to say hey how can we help? Asked for last evaluation and IEP because he wants to make sure my son is in the right program at the right school on day 1 instead of jerking us around. I know they have a program for kids with ASD and social communication and sensory issues and its at a nearby school, not his home school. He is giving the info to special services so they can get started now instead of waiting for 8/31.

Also turns out the house we bought belonged to a 1st grade teacher at the school.

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After reviewing his evaluation and IEP, they agreed with the placement in the social/sensory program, and he will be 90% general education and 10% social skills and OT. This means he won't be attending his home school but will be at a nearby school, and probably even in the same class as one of his occupational therapy friends. New school psychologist should be reaching out soon. My friend whose son attends assures me the psychologist is great.

I broke down and cried when I got the news. I have not had to fight for anything whatsoever and I think they are doing right by him. This is such a refreshing change. I think we made absolutely the right decision.

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1 hour ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

After reviewing his evaluation and IEP, they agreed with the placement in the social/sensory program, and he will be 90% general education and 10% social skills and OT. This means he won't be attending his home school but will be at a nearby school, and probably even in the same class as one of his occupational therapy friends. New school psychologist should be reaching out soon. My friend whose son attends assures me the psychologist is great.

I broke down and cried when I got the news. I have not had to fight for anything whatsoever and I think they are doing right by him. This is such a refreshing change. I think we made absolutely the right decision.

Hell yes!

 

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