Author Topic: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do  (Read 5092 times)

PharmaStache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2017, 02:38:19 PM »
Sounds like a crazy situation! 

A Canadian perspective (but not ON- my province only has kindergarten the year kids turn 5, and only half days).  I've hear of parents putting their 3 year olds in jk in just half days or 3 days a week.  Just something to consider (but your school sounds crazy in general so....).  Now if your only option is to pull your child and put them in sk next year, don't worry.  They're spending those two years PLAYING.  And socializing.  And maybe doing some numbers and letters.  You know where else you can do those things?  At home!  At daycare!  At preschool!  Don't think your child is going to be left behind because you missed jk.  Heck my kid has no jk, gets half days of kindergarten then goes to grade 1...that's how I grew up (and I bet you did too).

okits

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2017, 11:39:15 PM »
I've been thinking about this more while I was out and about. I remember how distressing this was when my son was going through something similar with having a teacher who had all kinds of problems with him. You have my patience and understanding.

Why not start him in JK next year? I mean he only "missed that mark" by 3 weeks . . . why not start him off as one of the oldest kids in his class for the rest of his time in school. There are HUGE, HUGE advantages to this, especially in terms of maturity for learning, and especially if he is interested in playing sports.

Is there some law in Canada against this? In the US, parents pretty regularly do this. We had some neighbors have their twin girls repeat second grade (they moved schools so it wouldn't be weird for them) just to have them go from being the youngest to being the oldest in their grade.

In our province if you keep a kid out of JK they will not be started in JK the next year, they're moved to senior kindergarten.  There is no option to retake junior kindergarten.  Kinda messed up, but it is what it is.

Possibly this is your school's policy, but it's not provincial law.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-kindergarten-late-birthdays/article34229793/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Your son's age and response to JK suggest to me that he should be attending JK next year, when he is actually four.  It might take some lobbying on your part, but he just seems too young for what they're demanding of him.  It also sounds like the school's handling of the situation is shit.  Sorry you're experiencing this. :(

backandforth

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2017, 01:55:45 PM »
GuitarStv, sorry you have to go through this. Reading your post brought back a lot of memories, not my kids, but mine, even after 30+ years. I was the youngest in class (and grade) from age 3 till 18.

I still remember vividly how I was "misbehaving" and punished and shamed in front of the whole class in pre-K so harshly, and for so many times, but I wasn't able to tell my parents properly. The punishment somehow didn't stick, I guess that's the impulse control issue. My behavior was so "bad" the Pre-K teachers repeatedly told my parents to pull me out, they did and they got me to start actual school earlier through some back channeling favors. I was at the top of my class, but always got timeout because I constantly wanted to talk to my classmates when the teaching was ongoing, because I was bored. Elementary school went by OK but middle school was disastrous, I remember I was talking to a classmate, and being called out by the teacher, I smiled not knowing how to behave, and the teacher scolded me as "shameless" for smiling and boy did I tank that class, I couldn't focus when that teacher was a round, I was afraid and angry.

Growing up I was being told or overheard grownups talking that I was younger than the others, too immature, etc. So I allowed myself to behave like a little kid and without enough self discipline. That mindset stuck with me for a very long time. I didn't have a lot of friends till later on, I think partially because my classmates see me as "immature" too. 

Come to think of it. The only "gain", if you can call it that, is that I graduated and started working FT a bit earlier than most, but the downside was plentiful. I really wished I had an extra year, had more friends, could express things more clearly with more mature eyes and mindset, could exercise more self discipline.  It could have made a happier childhood to say the least.

Do whatever you need to and help him grow up right, and happily, don't ever let anyone plant the idea in his head that he is immature, or bad, or whatever than his peers. If it takes a year off, so be it. Reading your post brought back a lot of feelings I thought I had long forgot.

Freedomin5

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2017, 06:05:56 AM »

We will keep lil GuitarStv in school on the days prior to the meeting unless there is another instance of bad/violent behaviour.  I'm going to talk with people at work and head in later so that I can drop our son off about an hour later to shorten his day (currently he goes to daycare before and after school).  If we don't feel that the people from the school are responsive enough during the meeting, or if there is any further blow up of extreme behaviour we will immediately remove him from the school permanently.  We are currently scouting Montessori schools and day cares that take older kids to find a good place for our son in case things don't work out.  We are also looking for some kind of early childhood psychiatrist/counselor to determine if there are issues that need to be worked out on lil GuitarStv's end.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that focuses on diagnosis and dispensing medicines. A counsellor is likely masters level and typically not as well trained in diagnosis since counselors mostly focus on therapy. I would suggest looking for a child psychologist (in Ontario, they will be trained at a doctoral level). They can't prescribe medicine, but they are trained to look at the child holistically from a psycho-social-biological perspective.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2017, 08:59:46 AM »
This child is too young, should be back in daycare.
Hopefully his attitude towards the while school experience can be repaired. He is just not happy and is too young to be put in that situation.
It's better to miss a year of frustration than to have him start his school life with awful memories. When young children, who need a nap, are denied a nap, they do not have the ability to handle what this little boy is being forced to handle.
Just my opinion.

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2017, 07:30:02 AM »
Just an update . . .

We did end up taking our son out of the school, after an unproductive meeting with the teacher and principal.  In the meeting I was told that the school would not communicate what type of punishment or strategies that the teacher was using to control behaviour in class, I was told that I could not see the report written by the SNA who observed our son for two days, I was told that I could not see the behaviour logging that the principal said they were logging for my son.  I was also not allowed to meet with the ECE in my son's class, the SNA who did the observation, and was only allowed to talk with the teacher for 30 minutes.  I was not allowed to bring to the meeting any ECEs from the daycare who had effective strategies for dealing with our son's misbehaviour.  The meeting was only allowed to happen before 8:00 am on a weekday.

We were unable to find a daycare for kids his age that we liked, but have placed him in a Montessori school that seems very good.  This school has a 7:1 teacher to student ratio, teachers who seem to be quite involved and good with kids, and does do a quiet time every day for an hour or so where the kids don't have to sleep but are able to if they need to.  Fingers crossed, but so far this seems to be a much better fit for lil GuitarStv.  We're still looking for a good child psychologist.

I ran a couple of the things that the school was doing past my mom (taught grades 1 - 4 for 30 years), and my dad (was a special ed teacher with this particular school board for twenty odd years) and they had some serious concerns with actions taken by the educators.  Both advised me to take my concerns with the actions of the principal and teacher to the superintendent, which I did.  The superintendent agreed with me that there were serious breaches of policy with how the school handled the whole situation.  She said that:
- My son's permanent record has been wiped clean of the safety plan, since it was developed improperly and without following school policy.  The safety plan is supposed to be developed as a last resort after developing all sorts of workarounds and strategies, and involving special ed, and trying to make special accommodations (like providing a quiet place for a nap for example).  None of this was even attempted at the school.
- I'm legally entitled to see the information that I asked for (the SNA report, the behaviour logs that the school had) and the superintendent will mail them to me.
- The school's refusal to meet with other professionals who have experience/strategies dealing with a student's misbehaviour is quite unusual, and contrary to school board policy.
- The school's refusal to communicate for weeks at a time was unacceptable and the superintendant is investigating further into what's happening at this school.
- Because of the irregularities that we've experienced dealing with this school, the superintendent said that she would help us find another school within the area to send our son to since we aren't comfortable sending our son back to the school in our neighbourhood.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 08:57:16 AM by GuitarStv »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2017, 08:20:53 AM »
thanks for the update -
My son really enjoyed Montessori when he was three and four.  They have some great activities for those kids with good spatial perception.  My son mastered the cube puzzle sequence thing so that by four he was doing the hardest one blind folded to the amazement of the teachers.  He did not ever advance to ironing though.  He was the also the resident repair person of the loose fridge handle (which is not a standard Montessori material) and anything else that needed a screw tightened.
I am hoping that your child will flourish in the new program. 
Great job escalating your concerns.
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pachnik

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2017, 08:29:33 AM »
Thanks very much for the update GuitarStv.

I don't have kids but had been reading along.  If there is one thing that I really dislike, it is watching little kids struggle.  My take on it was that it was just too much for a little guy and that there was nothing wrong with your boy.  I am really glad you and your wife found a new school for your little guy that sounds more realistic and that he won't have to go back to the previous school. 

That's great that you had the resources to look into the situation fully and that you let the school superintendent know about what had been going on.  You and your wife are very good parents.

Laura33

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2017, 09:45:35 AM »
Was wondering what happened -- thanks for the update, and really hope everything turns out well for the little guy.  My active kiddo did great at Montessori, so fingers crossed for yours.

So, so ragey about the school's response.  Very glad you have a reasonable and concerned superintendent who will help you find somewhere else next year, as in your place I'd be very concerned my kid and I would have been tagged as "troublemakers."
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okits

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2017, 11:16:32 AM »
I hope your son continues to do well at the new place!  Good for you for escalating your concerns.  I wouldn't want my kid returning to a school like that, either.

BAM

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #60 on: November 13, 2017, 12:46:24 PM »
Glad you were able to find a solution for your son.
Also glad you escalated your concerns. If your son was having trouble there, I'm sure other kids are too. Nice to know that it will be looked into.

calimom

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #61 on: November 13, 2017, 01:37:11 PM »
Good to read this update and glad you found a school that works with your needs right now. My kids did well with Montessori, it's a stimulating environment while also fostering independence and allowing kids to work at their own pace. If you think some additional help is needed (and it may or may not be), I highly recommend Play Therapy. Just did a quick check and looks like there is a Canadian association where you can find resources, if needed. Good luck with the new school!

mm1970

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2017, 01:48:06 PM »
Thanks for the update.  I'm glad you got him out of that situation, and that the district is looking into the issues with that school.

KBecks

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #63 on: November 13, 2017, 01:59:15 PM »
Short answer:  Find a better school for your child where he will be placed in a smaller group with 3 and 4 year olds.

It sounds like the big, older class is way too much for him, and I don't like them saying that they are not willing to communicate with you.  I can understand that a daily notebook may not work, but they do not seem committed to helping you help them.

Find a better school.  Good luck!  If the behavior does not improve, see your doc and then see someone like a neuropsych, but for now, just get him in a better environment with less commotion and stress.

Good luck!

Zamboni

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2017, 06:27:35 AM »
It sounds like you found an excellent solution. Well done!

elaine amj

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2017, 08:08:31 AM »
Good for you for pushing for solutions AND escalating it to the school superintendent! Sounds like you have found a much better fit for him and if you want to attempt to move him back to public school. the superintendent will work with you.
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TrMama

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2017, 11:40:14 AM »
I'm so glad to see this update. The school's refusal to be transparent with you as the parent is astounding. If any of the staff at our kid's school ever tried something like that DH and I would be absolutely furious.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #67 on: November 14, 2017, 11:48:36 AM »
Canada is weird, 3yo and whatever months is really young for jk/preK. Our 5yos will turn 6 the week they get out of kindergarten, they are nearly the youngest in their class.

Good for you Steve for getting him out of there. Montessori will cut your savings rate, no worries, you will still RE:)

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #68 on: November 15, 2017, 02:02:19 AM »
Great outcome, and thanks for involving the superintendent. It'll reduce the chance other children and parents will be treated the way you were.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2017, 07:50:26 AM »
Great outcome, and thanks for involving the superintendent. It'll reduce the chance other children and parents will be treated the way you were.

I'm really hoping that this is the case.  The responses we've had back from the school were very disappointing to us regarding this whole situation.  If the principal is still there when it's time to put our son in grade 1, we will need to find an alternative school and figure out transportation/registration with a school that's not near where we live - so, likely there will be future frustrations from this as well.

PoutineLover

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #70 on: November 15, 2017, 07:55:10 AM »
Great outcome, and thanks for involving the superintendent. It'll reduce the chance other children and parents will be treated the way you were.

I'm really hoping that this is the case.  The responses we've had back from the school were very disappointing to us regarding this whole situation.  If the principal is still there when it's time to put our son in grade 1, we will need to find an alternative school and figure out transportation/registration with a school that's not near where we live - so, likely there will be future frustrations from this as well.
You should consider french or french immersion for him. There may be a school nearby, and it's a great advantage to be bilingual.

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #71 on: November 15, 2017, 08:27:39 AM »
Great outcome, and thanks for involving the superintendent. It'll reduce the chance other children and parents will be treated the way you were.

I'm really hoping that this is the case.  The responses we've had back from the school were very disappointing to us regarding this whole situation.  If the principal is still there when it's time to put our son in grade 1, we will need to find an alternative school and figure out transportation/registration with a school that's not near where we live - so, likely there will be future frustrations from this as well.
You should consider french or french immersion for him. There may be a school nearby, and it's a great advantage to be bilingual.

There is great advantage to bilingualism.  My wife and I looked closely into french immersion.  There are a variety of problems associated with enrolling our son in one of these programs though.

- First and foremost, neither my wife nor I are bilingual.  I have very rudimentary spoken/written french and my wife has none at all.  If my son has trouble with what he's learning, we will not be able to help him.
- The French immersion schools in Ontario have far fewer special education resources available to deal with learning disabilities and behavior problems.
- Due to hiring difficulties finding qualified bilingual teachers, the school is often not able to offer additional assistance if your child needs it - you will have to pay for private tutoring.
- Drop out rates in French immersion schools are very high (around 50% by grade 8), and rates are higher for boys than girls.
- Much of the French immersion curriculum in Ontario is based upon rote learning/memorization . . . the children who seem to do best at it are the ones who are naturally good at sitting still and concentrating for long periods of time - which doesn't really describe our son.
- Logistically, it's very difficult to get into a French immersion school as there is significant competition around them.  I've read multiple accounts of people needing to take two or three days off work to stand around in line prior to admissions.

PoutineLover

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #72 on: November 15, 2017, 09:21:51 AM »
Great outcome, and thanks for involving the superintendent. It'll reduce the chance other children and parents will be treated the way you were.

I'm really hoping that this is the case.  The responses we've had back from the school were very disappointing to us regarding this whole situation.  If the principal is still there when it's time to put our son in grade 1, we will need to find an alternative school and figure out transportation/registration with a school that's not near where we live - so, likely there will be future frustrations from this as well.
You should consider french or french immersion for him. There may be a school nearby, and it's a great advantage to be bilingual.

There is great advantage to bilingualism.  My wife and I looked closely into french immersion.  There are a variety of problems associated with enrolling our son in one of these programs though.

- First and foremost, neither my wife nor I are bilingual.  I have very rudimentary spoken/written french and my wife has none at all.  If my son has trouble with what he's learning, we will not be able to help him.
- The French immersion schools in Ontario have far fewer special education resources available to deal with learning disabilities and behavior problems.
- Due to hiring difficulties finding qualified bilingual teachers, the school is often not able to offer additional assistance if your child needs it - you will have to pay for private tutoring.
- Drop out rates in French immersion schools are very high (around 50% by grade 8), and rates are higher for boys than girls.
- Much of the French immersion curriculum in Ontario is based upon rote learning/memorization . . . the children who seem to do best at it are the ones who are naturally good at sitting still and concentrating for long periods of time - which doesn't really describe our son.
- Logistically, it's very difficult to get into a French immersion school as there is significant competition around them.  I've read multiple accounts of people needing to take two or three days off work to stand around in line prior to admissions.
I can only speak to the student perspective and I entered the school system 20 years ago, maybe stuff has changed since I went to school.
My parents are not bilingual and they never had issues communicating with my teachers or the school, or any problems helping me with homework, although I was always pretty independent and didn't ask for much help.
There was no wait to get into my school, and I started out in immersion and switched to full in grade four. Full is better than immersion, it leads to much better fluency and the teachers are bilingual so they can still do parent-teacher meetings in english.
My cousins are currently in Toronto in french immersion, I don't think their parents had to wait in line for 3 days to get them in though, maybe demand has increased over the past couple years.
I didn't find that the curriculum was based on memorization, it was very much conversational, but I think that depends on the teacher and school as well. Given the recent issues with math testing in Ontario, I'd say that rote memorization is probably better than "discovery learning" anyway.
Plenty of kids in my classes had IEP and special help, I'm pretty sure that those are available to any kids with diagnosed learning disabilities in the Ontario system. I got speech therapy at school when I needed it.
All that to say, my experience in the french system was good and has given me lasting benefits, but maybe the specific circumstances for your kid makes it a less good choice for you. Just thought it was something to consider if you wanted to stay in your neighborhood.

TrMama

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #73 on: November 15, 2017, 10:55:48 AM »
- The French immersion schools in Ontario have far fewer special education resources available to deal with learning disabilities and behavior problems.
- Due to hiring difficulties finding qualified bilingual teachers, the school is often not able to offer additional assistance if your child needs it - you will have to pay for private tutoring.
- Drop out rates in French immersion schools are very high (around 50% by grade 8), and rates are higher for boys than girls.
- Much of the French immersion curriculum in Ontario is based upon rote learning/memorization . . . the children who seem to do best at it are the ones who are naturally good at sitting still and concentrating for long periods of time - which doesn't really describe our son.

In your case, these are very valid reasons to not put your son in French Immersion. My kids attend early immersion in BC (where it sounds like access is less of a concern) and it's been fine for my youngest, but a disaster for my oldest. Turns out my oldest has ADD and dyslexia. Neither of these can be reliably diagnosed until the child is 5-7 years old, AKA after they start school.

If I had a crystal ball I'd have just done regular English school until grade 5. If the child was doing really well and seemed like he or she needed more challenging work, then sign them up for late immersion in grade 6. This was the path I took myself and it worked out great because I was the kid who had an easy time academically and could handle more challenging work without extra help. However, asking a child who needs extra interventions to function within a system that's not capable of doing that is a horrible thing to ask of them.

When you start looking at schools again, try to find one that has a good track record with kids who have behaviour challenges and get extra help. Even within the fairly homogeneous Canadian school system, some schools are better at this than others.