Thinking of switching from WMS to Kinsey.......
Posted by Patty O. (+227) 10 years ago
I am looking for some thoughts good or bad about transfering my child to Kinsey. I have been dealing with WMS for weeks to get help for my child. I feel as I am just beating my head on a wall. As nothing they told us would be done is getting done.

Who do I contact at the Kinsey school? Or Custer County that will actually help us advicate for our child instead of empty promises.

I know this will be an adjustment for him and will cause some rebelling....that to me is better than retaining him another year at this age.

He does have ADHD and does take medication. I feel they just don't want to deal with such children that may require more attention. I don't believe in over medicating him either so it's easier on the school. He's a typical kid who likes to have fun, play sports.

Any names, numbers or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Posted by Kelly (+2745) 10 years ago
Sent an email.
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Posted by cyndie (+347) 10 years ago
I also e-mailed you...
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Posted by JessicaLee (+150) 10 years ago
I actually am having the EXACT same problem with my son at WMS and have been considering finding other alternatives myself. If you would like to talk and discuss what you find out I would be interested in hearing. Let me know and I will give you my cell number. My son also has ADHD and is medicated and we are really struggling with that school.
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Posted by ST (+260) 10 years ago
I had a very similar situation. I called for several meetings with the staff. They expressed an interest in helping my child while talking to me face to face, but it was all lies. The teachers did not follow through. Even after calling the principal and counselor to these meetings, nothing changed. I even tried to get special services to make them follow through with the so called legal documents laying out the plans and steps that needed to be taken to help my child. Nothing happened, except the staff just continued to berate my child when I wasn't there and continued to disregard the help my child needed. (Not all the staff. There are 1 or 2 teachers that seem to actually care to take the time to individualize their teaching methods when needed.) But, in my opinion, it all comes back to the principal, and that man should be fired. He has no concept of positive reinforcement, social/emotional development of the young teen, and ....

Anyway, I could go on and on with my venting in regards to that school. Unfortunately, I don't think anything will change until better leadership is in place.

Keep advocating for your child. WMS sure won't. I actually had a staff member there tell me that it didn't matter how well my child did in middle school. They will pass kids on to high school even if they are getting F's, because nothing really counts until high school anyway. What an unbelievable attitude.

Sorry, I'm not able to add any first hand personal experiences regarding Kinsey.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 10 years ago
The rural schools love getting new kids, even if the ones that come out from town often do it because they were not getting along very well in the classroom that they were in for whatever reason.
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Posted by amydwright (+65) 10 years ago
Try getting an I E P set up. They can't go back on those
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Posted by RA (+643) 10 years ago
Kinsey School has some GOOD staff members! The school has Special Ed Paraeducators and has Big Country Coop come out during the week.
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Posted by JessicaLee (+150) 10 years ago
Does Kinsey School even have middle school classes? I was under the understanding that it was only elementry school through 6th grade? Thats great if they offer middle school, I may move my son there.
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Posted by RA (+643) 10 years ago
Kinsey School is K - 8th. The 8th grade graduates that wish to participate in the Spring Graduation Program with the other graduates of the Custer County rural schools.
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
The principal is well informed on learning disabilites as he is the parent of a former student who had disabilities. Before you overload Kinsey with a group of kids needing special attention, ask yourself rather you and your son are cooperating with the school? I have faith in the teachers. If your student is not cooperating, not behaving, or disrespectful, the child will receive negative comments. Why does he/she not get them when you are there? Because the child behaves when you are there! Ask the teacher is they would mind setting a video tape up in the classroom with your permission. They will behave and the teacher won't make "negative" comments to them, or you might see some behaviors your child indulges in you were not aware of. Sooner or later your student will be back in town for school. Why not work with the school now to fix the problem? If you truly think he is being ill treated go to Special Services across from Lincoln School and visit with them. If he has not been tested and an IEP developed, he is not entitled to any special considerations.
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Posted by perka (+24) 10 years ago
I have a cousin that dealt with bullying & stuff & when the schools here wouldn't do anything, his parents transferred him to Rosebud. They have a bus that picks them up & drops off at M&H. He now enjoys school. I also had a friend in highschool that did the same thing.
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Posted by Its Me (+184) 10 years ago
This probably won't help your situation, but quite a while ago, My sisters autistic child was being given crayons to color with while teachers worked with other children. After quite a fustrating period and some fights with DFS, He was placed in a group home in Glendive. The school district not only took him in, but he started and graduated in class with other non handicapped children. They worked well with him and his handicap, never gave my sister or her husband any problems.

In my opinion Glendive has a well run program
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Posted by Patty O. (+227) 10 years ago
Mrs. M, my child may not be perfect, but he is not a behavioral problem. He is a child with ADHD who is easily distracted and has a hard time staying on task. It has been discussed with his teachers and Mr. Plowman as a group and individually with me to seperate him from those he likes to visit with. As of last Friday he is still sitting next to these kids.
Also we discussed with counsler and teachers to get a list of homework needing to be completed and make arrangements to stay after. This was no problem for them at our meetings, as of Friday I have yet to recieve a phone call saying he would be staying after with any teacher.
I how ever get calls if he is a few minutes late to class, as well as him getting detentions because he's late or not focusing in the class room. Yes, he takes medication, but I am not going to over medicate him so he is a bump on a log...so to speak.
I understand everyone has different experiences at WMS as every child is different. I am asking for help for MY child. I am not only his mother, but his advicate to make sure he gets the education he deserves.
It is interesting to me how many other parents are dealing with the same issues with a child with ADHD not only in WMS, but all the schools. Their answer is always increase the medication. Why? So they don't have to deal with the child. I know from personal experience as many of his teachers have made this suggestion. Maybe the teachers need more training in how to educate these children that suffer from ADHD?
I am just a concerned parent wanting to help my child.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
Have you considered homeschooling? Our son is ADHD as well, and this is the route we took. If it works, it's great, but I can understand if it doesn't - it essentially requires one full-time stay-at-home parent, which isn't always feasible.
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
Junior High is a tough transition for some children. How many ADHD youth is a teacher dealing with in one classroom each hour, besides the autistic children which seem to be multiplying? Bless their hearts all of them, but I could tell within fifteen minutes to a half an hour which child had forgotten their meds. Some parents actually medicated for the home hours but not the school hours so they could handle them. I know the impulsivity and other symtoms but I say a rigid routine and consistent re-enforcement from home are two of the keys. Why are you expecting the teachers to hold him after school? There is probably a long line of them needing his time. Where does your son's and your responsibity begin? He really needs to be held accountable by you....it is only going to get tougher if you don't work together as parent and child. Do you have a consistent study table at home for at least an hour, probably an hour and a half as he will need frequent breaks? When students begin to move from class to class dealing with multiple teachers if they haven't developed that habit, they need to. If they say they don't have any work, tell them to bring their soc. studies or science home to reread. No excuses, they spend that time on their homework or studying somthing or reading a book. Pretty soon they get the point, I have to spend the time anyway so I might as well do the work and not get grief at school as well. Be sure to work as a team and give lots of positive re-enforcements. He has a mandatory planner doesn't he? It's going to be the family and student who will be consistently together through the school years. Teacher will change as will the schools. These are job and life skills he will need to develop. Most employers won't care what his disabities are, they want someone to show up on time, follow directions, and stay on task. Who is going to teach himm those skills if the school is supposed to ignore or make adaptions for him? I guess that leaves it to his family. Let's concentrate on getting him ready for life! If he isn't an A student but is a great worker there will always be a place for him.
Having taught sixth grade for years, I have found these ideas to be helpful,and I hope they are for you.
If you need help or have questions I will be more than happy to assist you. Hang tough, you can do this!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
TBH, I can't think of a greater recipe for misery than the above for my particular ADHD kid. YMMV of course.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 10 years ago
Most employers won't care what his disabities are, they want someone to show up on time, follow directions, and stay on task. Who is going to teach himm those skills if the school is supposed to ignore or make adaptions for him?


You can't possibly be a teacher.
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
I'm curious. If a classroom has 4 kids with ADHD, and the teacher gives each of those 4 the individualized attention they need, what happens to the other 16 or more students?
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
The ignorance runs thick in this thread.

Special needs students need special attention. And most employers WILL care what your disability is, if they care about the ADA.

I would force WMS to get on line if there are truly issues with providing an appropriate and adequate education to your child.

Failing special needs students is not the answer.
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Posted by Mindy B (+76) 10 years ago
What Former said.

Mrs. M, if the school met with the parent and agreed to the after school time, they need to stick with their promise. I would hope they would not agree to something they can't do. This is why parents, like Patty, feel like they are banging their heads against a wall, they try and work with the school but the school doesn't always follow through.

Also if the kid has ADHD, the at home formula you prescribe might not work. After a kid sits for 6 hours a day at school trying to focus, they are expect to do 2+ hours more at home each night. I hate all the homework they give to kids. I work 8 hour days and go home to relax, can't imagine having to put in more work hours at home like the kids do.
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Mrs. M,

You would like for all students who are not attentive little angels to be medicated, wouldn't you?

Is this for "your" / the teacher's convenience, or for the best interest of the child?

Autistic kids multiplying... Must be their fault. Lets medicate them to make YOUR job easier, even if what is best for the child is to have a bit more attention from the teacher, or an aide (I as a parent don't care how you handle that - if the school refuses to hire an aide, the teacher needs to raise hell with the school, not with the parents for not drugging the kid)?

Attention deficit... lets drug them too. Sure, those stimulant drugs have health and sleep side effects and fundamentally alter the child's personality... but they DO become well behaved little zombies, which is MUCH better than the teacher having to say "Johnny, did you remember to turn in your paper?"

I knew that only working 8 months a year is one perk of being a teacher - I didn't realize that not having to interact with students who have learning disabilities was another.
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Posted by David Schott (+17521) 10 years ago
Patty O. wrote:
"Also we discussed with counsler and teachers to get a list of homework needing to be completed and make arrangements to stay after."

My kids do their homework at home after school. Is there a reason why your child does not?

I tried to get my kids' school to let them stay late to work on their homework, but the school said they are not a daycare. Such nerve.
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Posted by Jade S (+147) 10 years ago
We educate our non-medicated ADHD son at home, in part because of educators who implement plans like Mrs. M. While I understand Mary's frustration, I can't allow myself to believe that she would really rather not deal with the special-needs kids because it might detract from the learning of the remainder of her students.

My suggestion would be to ask for an IEP or, at the very least, a 504 plan. This will equip both the teacher and your student to come up with ideas and plans to ensure accountability and success. You can also ask the teacher to keep a behavior log that is sent home daily with homework. You will then know what needs to be worked on at home so he gets any reinforcement needed. I get your anger at feeling like the school didn't do what it said it would do, but you really have to play be their rules (IEP, 504, IFSP, etc) in order for you to hold them accountable. Often an IEP will open up funding to further help your child- an aide, shorter lessons, peer mentor,etc.

My son may someday enter the workforce, if we can continue to keep his dementia at bay. I hope his future employers see that he will be a valuable addition to them, in spite of his disabilities.

[This message has been edited by Jade S (1/9/2012)]
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
"I work 8 hour days and go home to relax, can't imagine having to put in more work hours at home like the kids do."
I agree that some of the homework is too heavy. The teachers don't confer on the daily load, they each do their own assignments. That is a weakness.I am all for adaptive assignments for certain kids. Actually, whatever you do for a special needs student is usually a great adaptation for all. If you can get by with half the drill, do so.

Yes, employers expect their employees to show up on time and be attentive to their job. Duh, what a unique concept.

No,I don't blame the kids for their problems. They didn't ask for them and they don't feel good about them. The key to helping these kids is to help them not to enable them. For some unknown reason we are having so many children afflicted by autism. This is a sad reality that one in 100 children have autism besides the other special needs children. It places a tremendous burden on the system. If you all think that we can get aides just by requesting them you are seriously mistaken.

If you don't want to medicate your child, you must be very consistant with his routine, limit his choices, involve yourself with his homework, and give him some coffee or Mountain Dew. As you know the meds are to stimulate the secretion of the hormone that controls attention. That is why a stimulant calms an ADHD student.

Whatever route you choose, it requires intensive parenting. I know you are tired but soldier on.

By the way, the school year starts in late August and goes to June, after which the teacher is required to take classes every five years to relicense. No paid vacations, and no legal holidays off. That was a low blow and off the subject. If you took 20 kids and figured day care rates and that twenty you would realize those people are making far more money than a college educator teacher. Maybe not fair, but they are there because they love teaching. Most of them,nothing is 100 percent.

Yes Buck, I was a teacher.

Everyone wants the school to be the answer, and it can not be when standing by itself.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 10 years ago
Emphasis on the "was". The laws regarding adapting to disabilities are very explicit.
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Choosing not to medicate your child AND having a set routine does not in my experience satisfy the teacher who is "annoyed" that he or she needs to give a bit of special attention to your child. I've seen teachers upset with parents when a pediatrician determines that a diagnosis and/or medication are not needed for a child - as it creates "more work" for the teacher. I don't deny this to be true, then again I would not want a kid to be medicated against the wishes of the parents, the medical opinion of the doctor, and the best interests of the child, when the only benefit is the convenience of the teacher.

My comment about 8 months per year (lets not forget about Christmas!) was just a little ribbing about the best part time job out there (which is again, just a little ribbing) and was not intended to be taken "seriously." Teachers have an important and difficult job (as do I, and many others)... one which an individual should know the "pros and cons" of when choosing that profession. Teaching involves working with special needs students. They're more work than the average student. And, the schools need to be prepared to work with these students. (Again, that a teacher can't just "ask for an aide" when an aide is truly needed, is not a shortfall of the parent of the child, it is a shortfall of the school system which can only be addressed by the school system).
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
Buck, you will find employers far more accepting of the needs of a special student if they are visible. If the person just seems unable to complete tasks, get to work on time, and generally appears to be not applying themselves to a task they are not as generous. Irregardless of what legislation is out there, employers can find a way around them. Some of these students aren't hypeactive, they just have a very difficult time attending and can be accused of being dreamers. Society doesn't always deal kindly with them.
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 10 years ago
For all you educators out there, irregardless isn't a word...
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Posted by Patty O. (+227) 10 years ago
To answer your question....Why are you expecting the teachers to hold him after school? We had a meeting with teachers, principal, and counselor this is what WE ALL came up with in order to help him with homework.

David I'm glad your children did/do homework at home. Mine do as well, but our son is behind in some classes and this is a measure we all decided to try to help him. And yes he still brings homework home.

As someone posted earlier it is hard after all day in school to get a child to sit down and focus on homework specially once at home. Your not kidding! Kids with ADHD cannot shut off their brain,
they are non stop thinking and going hundred miles an hour. Forget about going to sleep at night unless he takes something for that. The slightest sound, or seeing something that catches their eye takes them off task.

This is also trying for the child dealing with not being able to focus, and impulsive behaviors. My child gets tired of hearing "did you take your medication" "can't you sit still" "stop talking" or being told to go into another room cause he's bothering family members.

Everyone needs to think beyond the teachers and school staff and try to understand what a child with ADHD experiences on a daily basis.
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
Thanks, as the kids would say, my bad. Although it's true that the American Heritage Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, and the Oxford English Dictionary all list the word irregardless, they also note that it's considered nonstandard

I like the last commentator's comments!

I do think that elementary teachers are trained in dealing with special needs while secondary teachers take less educational issue courses and more courses in their individual majors. Both elementary and secondary can teach middle school but the majority are secondary. Follow through with the teachers, make a team, don't be afraid to make suggestions, be open to their.

My philosophy is no child comes to school looking for failure. Remember those bright eyes on the very first day of their schooling? We take that glow away when we fail to figure out what works for a student. By junior high they have a pretty negative self image, and it takes a great deal of cooperation,patience, and work to turn it around. Changing schools is usually just postponing the problem if it works at all. I don't say that there aren't teachers who won't change. That's when you can be innovative and suggest what would work for your child. You know him best. Talk to former teachers as to what they found worked and see if those adaptations are working. Last, when the teacher says the adaptation isn't fair, ask them why it can't be made for all the kids.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
My philosophy is no child comes to school looking for failure.

Unfortunately, with ADHD children, this is what they are going to find, PARTICULARLY if a one-size-fits-all, "can't you just sit still" approach is chosen.

I assume that Mrs M. means well, but, for us, the solution she described led only to disaster, and we are still dealing with it three years later. Fifth graders should not have ulcers, nor should their hair fall out.

Boys in particular are not well served by an educational model that begins with "sit still" and ends with "pay attention". Children love to learn, but, let's be honest, most of what they're taught is useless time wasting poop that they never remember because they never use it.

Also, for the love of Christ and all his saints, VERTICAL WHITESPACE IS AN INFINITELY RENEWABLE RESOURCE, YOU DON'T NEED TO CONSERVE IT. Please break your vast walls of text up into easily digestible chunks. Even those of us who don't suffer the dementia of ADHD would appreciate it.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (1/9/2012)]
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
While I understand Mary's frustration, I can't allow myself to believe that she would really rather not deal with the special-needs kids because it might detract from the learning of the remainder of her students.


I don't believe I expressed any frustration. I certainly never said that special-needs kids should not be dealt with. You are reading a lot into a few sentences. I asked a serious question, and I ask it again. If 4 ADHD kids need individual attention in a 50 minute class, what happens to the other 16 or more students?

The common argument so far in this thread seems to be that the education of the 4 is more important than the education of the 16. How is it that one teacher is supposed to educate 20 children in a short time span, including those with special needs, when the parents of those special-needs children have their hands full with just the one child at home? If two parents have a hard time getting one child to focus at home, why do parents think one teacher should be able to get multiple ADHD kids to focus at school?
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Posted by MeiMei (+162) 10 years ago
I have several family members who have chosen to teach.I know how much they care and the hours they spend beyond the school day. A teacher is really doing a 12-month job in 9 months and then using the summer months to either work another job (teaching doesn't always pay enough to support a family) or take the classes (at their own expense- $450 or more every five years) required to maintain certification. I also know they chose this profession knowing there would be more than 8-hour days and the required continuing education. They are not critical of those who have jobs that require 12 months of 8-hour days.

I cannot pretend to know how hard it must be for ADHD students and for their parents nor can I pretend to know the circumstances everyone involved in this situation is dealing with. I do know however that the negativity, sarcasm, and attacks on the posts are definitely not helpful in any way to anyone involved.

I hope we can all remember that "it takes a village to raise a child". I also hope the student involved can be supported by all involved as a team and I hope we can be supportive also. I doubt there is an easy fix and I hope the lines of communication can be enhanced to help the situation become better for all involved but above all for the student.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
The common argument so far in this thread seems to be that the education of the 4 is more important than the education of the 16.

I think Jade S. and I would disagree with that statement.
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
Then answer the question. How does one teacher teach 4 students who need individualized attention and then the rest of the 16 in a short 50 minute time span? Specifics please. You said you homeschool your child. Obviously that takes all of your attention. How would you handle adding 3 more of the same, as well as 16 additional students? I am serious in my question? I am not trying to provoke anyone at all.
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+287) 10 years ago
Mrs. M...an employer would be unwise, to say the least, to think he or she can "get around" the laws that protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The Montana Human Rights Act and ADAAA are big sticks and the Montana Human Rights Commission doesn't appear to be afraid to use them.
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Posted by Jade S (+147) 10 years ago
You beat me to it, Bridgier.

I will tell you how I do it with my four, without the benefit of sending a child home at the end of the school day. Please keep in mind that 25% of my pupils are moderately to severely delayed. If he only had ADHD I would throw a damn party. (I will qualify that statement by saying that in no way belittles the work that goes into parenting and teaching an ADHD child)

We have short lessons. The kids do the schoolwork that requires my individual attention at different times to accommodate the needs of the ONE student. This in no way diminishes the quality of the other children's education, on the contrary I have found.

I work with the special needs guy first and get him started. I work with the others and then go back to exclusively working with him. I do not give him busywork. He does a lot of his work orally. I let him tap, or hold a car with his non-writing hand so he isn't touching others.

I am clear in my instructions, without assigning blame, when he has trouble complying. I encourage him to verbalize his needs and to focus on his thoughts. I have him contribute to his behavior plan, so he can feel like he had a say - which makes it easier for him to remember and comply.

I am compassionate when what he knew yesterday cannot be recalled today.
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
I guess I need some education, if I hire someone who is not meeting the expectations of the job, I can't fire them if they do not work out? Or I can fire them as long as the reason is not due to their specific disability? Or I just lay them off because their position is no longer needed? If I need someone to answer the phone and take messages I must hire a speech impaired person so I don't violate any laws? I can see and agree with the premise that people dealing with handicapping conditions should be hired if the condition does not impair their ability to do their job. I have the greatest admiration for people working with these conditions. Most often they are wonderful, hardworking people who are used to working through adversities. There have been children in my classroom I would hire in a minute because of their wonderful attitude and work ethic and still would. Notice I didn't say talent or academic ability. I am not being defensive, just wondering exactly what the parameters of the law are and what is considered a disability. Is ADHD considered a disability legally?
I know schools and universities are legally required to assist and adapt to learning disabilities but are employers?
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
Jade S., it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. Kudos to you.
The short sessions are critical. The mind remembers the first few facts and last few facts it hears. The more short sessions, the more facts. That is why cramming doesn't work for some and for those it works for, it usually goes into short term memory. If he needs to stand or kneel as he works, go for it. You are giving him alternate non-disruptive behaviors. Great teachers do not necessary have teaching degrees!
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
The kids do the schoolwork that requires my individual attention at different times to accommodate the needs of the ONE student.


Obviously, this is not possible in an 8-3:00 school day, with 8 different periods scheduled throughout, for 20 plus kids per class. I commend you for homeschooling. It is apparent that you place a high priority on your children's education and understand the importance of parents' responsibility in the child's success. Good for you and others like you. I just wish people would understand there is often much more to the story than my child is doing everything possible and the school is simply failing them.
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Posted by Jade S (+147) 10 years ago
Mary,

It is quite possible. It is, after all, where I got the educational model.

Teachers also have peer mentors, the majority of the children do not require such intensive individual attention, they are trained and equipped with time management training and secondary education. Let's not forget their old stand-by : busywork.

It is their job, their chosen profession and during the primary waking hours they interact with children. This does, in my view, hold them to a high standard. They have the responsibility to take care of our children, to educate them, to take part in forming their ideas about the world around them , to fashion their ideas of self-worth . Education has become more than the three R's.

It would be nice to want more parental involvement, but that is not always the case. A teacher must adapt to the needs of their students- their clientele.

In Patty's case, it sounds like was plenty of parental involvement.
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Posted by MeiMei (+162) 10 years ago
Jade,

Can you explain the "busy work" reference? The educators I know do not assign "busy work". They also do everything in their power above and beyond the "high standard" to help their students. If you take a class of 50 minutes divided by a class of 25 students, that allows the teacher about 2 minutes per student. Yes, some do not require the individual attention of the teacher at all times but they all deserve to have it at some time.

I respect your educational model and I hope that you will also respect those who choose to teach in public schools. It is not an easy task and teachers have now been given much of the responsibility of a child's well-being that used to be a parent's responsibility. Thank goodness this is not true in all cases but I do not feel any educator in this community is in the business for the paycheck. Each teacher has a gift to share with the children of our community and every one that I know cares about their students (the teachers at WMS are an amazing group of people who have students at the most challenging developmental stage).

No, they do not have all the answers for every student's needs. Not sure any educational system would be able to do that.
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Posted by Jade S (+147) 10 years ago
MeiMei,

You obviously only read two words in my post: busy work.

All teachers assign busy work. You know, that huge packet of worksheets designed to keep kids busy while they give individual attention to thei other students?

At any rate, I said I took the model for my children's education from a teacher.

Further, I don't believe I was disrespecting public school teachers in any fashion; I only expect them to step up to the plate and outlined what I believe their responsibilities are. It appears that you believe they hold the same responsibility, so I am not sure where you took issue with my post.
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Posted by Mrs. M (+717) 10 years ago
Well, there has been lots of good thoughts expressed on this thread. Semester ends around the 23rd of this month. This is the best time to request a schedule or teacher change or whatever you decide to do in your child's best interest.
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Posted by MeiMei (+162) 10 years ago
No, not all teachers assign "busy work".
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
The educators I know do not assign "busy work".


I will disagree here. There is far too much busy work given. One of but many examples would be coloring projects. No child older than second grade should be given a coloring project, unless it is an art class.

If coloring is required during the course of a project, it is understandable. But, if more than half of the project's time is spent coloring, it is a total waste of time. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that if a project requires that an older child spend more than 20 minutes coloring, that child's time is not being utilized smartly. There are far more important things that child could be learning than how to color within the lines (which they should have learned by the first grade).

Do you think other industrialized nations give coloring homework?

Jade, it is this busy work that I have a problem with. It is exactly this mentality that is a problem for the balance of the class who do not need individualized attention. Instead of being taught something useful, they are given coloring projects, word searches, crossword puzzles, drawing assignments in an English class, and the like. How is that not detrimental to them?

[This message has been edited by Mary B. (1/9/2012)]
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Posted by MeiMei (+162) 10 years ago
Mary,

Please notice that I said the "educators I know do not assign busy work" and "not all teachers assign busy work".

I agree with you that it is those teachers who do not assign busy work that find there is not enough time to reach every student at the level of individual attention they would like to give them. Therein lies the task of reaching so many students with the learning/teaching style for their best interest. Peer mentoring is a great tool in the toolbox but students also deserve the time of their teacher.

I honestly believe smaller class sizes would greatly enhance the learning environment thereby hopefully reducing the need for busy work.

If a parent has a concern about the purpose of any assignment, I would encourage them to visit with the teacher.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 10 years ago
My, you folks certainly have typed a lot of words here.
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Mary B.

"The common argument so far in this thread seems to be that the education of the 4 is more important than the education of the 16. How is it that one teacher is supposed to educate 20 children in a short time span, including those with special needs, when the parents of those special-needs children have their hands full with just the one child at home? If two parents have a hard time getting one child to focus at home, why do parents think one teacher should be able to get multiple ADHD kids to focus at school?"

I don't care how they do it - it isn't my problem - I'm not the educator, I'm the parent. The school needs to be able to appropriately educate all students in the classroom. If the teacher needs an aide or two, the school needs to find a way to get that teacher an aide or two. We don't leave the special needs kids behind to benefit the "normal" kids. [Nazi reference removed before it was inserted]

Mrs. M.

"Reasonable Accommodation" MUST be made if it is possible for a disabled individual to perform the tasks required if such accommodation is made. Some reasonable accommodation has gone as far as to hire an assistant for the disabled person. There is a limit based on economic hardship to the employer.
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
If the teacher needs an aide or two, the school needs to find a way to get that teacher an aide or two.


I am going to assume then that you are not one who incessantly bitches about your taxes. If you pay them without complaint, and totally support increases to fund aides for any child deemed worthy of need, sweet!

Since most people are not like you though, trying to find funding for all of these aides is just a bit tricky.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
There are a lot of myths in this thread that need busted. One in particular is this:

I knew that only working 8 months a year is one perk of being a teacher - I didn't realize that not having to interact with students who have learning disabilities was another.


As someone who has 25 years of being married to a teacher, the notion that teachers work only 8 months out of the year is USDA grade Prime bullpoop.

Like most teachers who excel at their profession, my wife works about 2700 hours per year. A normal work year has 2080 hours in it. You do the math. There really are no vacations if you are insistence on being the best at your craft. Are there bad apples? Absolutely. But the population of people who would endure the BS that most teachers endure for $10-12/hour is very small.

~~~~~~~
There are a great number of children diagnosed as ADHD or ADD being medicated who really have phonemic awareness issues such as dyslexia and/or disgraphia. These kids tend to act out in class because they process information differently and they are very aware of that they "don't understand" and other kids do. I struggled in school with these issues as does my eldest son.

Step number one is to familiarize yourself with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. You have rights which any school receiving federal funding is required to honor. Your child has a right to a free and appropriate public education. There are advocates available, at no cost to you, that can mediate between you and the school. Our experience was that once we involved a mediator, attitudes changed and we got the program implemented here in the school district that helped our son and several other students. That program (Linda Mood-Bell) is now being implemented throughout the district.

Step two is requesting your child be tested to see what services they qualify for in developing an IEP. There are specific tests that you should request; at a minimum the CTOPP test and the Woodcock-Johnson test. DO NOT let the school talk you out of these two tests. They should be used in the development of the IEP. The IEP can follow them all of the way through college. It allows for accommodations that will help your child succeed.

Step three is make sure that you document, document, document. Save every scrap of paper, test results, conference, conversation, you have with the school. There is something about pulling out a 4" binder of information about your child in an IEP meeting that communicates your seriousness about dealing with these issues.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (1/10/2012)]
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Mary,

Yes, I pay taxes - to include our outrageously high property taxes - and if it would cost another $10/year/household to have a few more aides in the schools, by all means, I'm for it.

There are a lot of other tax expenditures which are less worthy of being supported...
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Richard:

"My comment about 8 months per year (lets not forget about Christmas!) was just a little ribbing about the best part time job out there (which is again, just a little ribbing) and was not intended to be taken "seriously." Teachers have an important and difficult job (as do I, and many others)... one which an individual should know the "pros and cons" of when choosing that profession."
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
Teachers have an important and difficult job (as do I, and many others)... one which an individual should know the "pros and cons" of when choosing that profession."


Or marrying.
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Posted by Former (+181) 10 years ago
Yes, even more so!
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Posted by RA (+643) 10 years ago
Kudos to you Richard ~ your explanation was right on target!!!
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Posted by JessicaLee (+150) 10 years ago
Richard....Thank you for your post. I found it very very informative and now have a much better idea of where to go from here myself with my son. I appreciate you taking your time to make that post.
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Posted by faithingod (+7) 10 years ago
I can understand your problems with WMS. Been there done that, my child is now in High School,and went through hell at WMS. I fully endorse Kinsey School. It is a wonderful environment for kids. The 7/8 grade teacher is great with the older kids. I definitely would do things differently if given the opportunity. Contact the County Superintendent, Doug Ellingson at the courthouse.
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Posted by jw (+129) 10 years ago
"Step two is requesting your child be tested to see what services they qualify for in developing an IEP. There are specific tests that you should request; at a minimum the CTOPP test and the Woodcock-Johnson test. DO NOT let the school talk you out of these two tests. They should be used in the development of the IEP. The IEP can follow them all of the way through college. It allows for accommodations that will help your child succeed."

I agree with what was stated above, however, many districts are no longer using the Woodcock-Johnson due to its production date and because there are more acceptable academic achievement testing batteries. Our district uses that K-TEA or the WIATT. These tests work well for the middle or high school student. Along with that the recomendation of using the CTOPP may not give the information that you are looking for in a sense of a full overall summary of a child's academic levels because it is driven toward younger children.

My suggestion is that you be aware of the assessments that are being offered through the evaluation process. This will be in the form of an evalation plan. My suggestion for a student with ADHD would be to have the following assessments done: Academic Achievement, Behavioral, Classroom-Based Assessment, observations, psychological, and other (medical documentation from a doctor which states the child's diagnosis of ADHD). This process will drive the educational planning for your child.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. As a special education teacher and case manager, I feel that I can give you a perspective that others may not be able to give in the sense of the process you may see. I also agree that a plan needs to be put into place for your child, whether it be in the realm of SPED or even accommodations through a 504.
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Posted by Kate Russell (+153) 10 years ago
I have a daughter with ADHD. We were told that she would never succeed in school because we refused to medicate her. When she was in swimming lessons and unable to focus, a wonderful woman gave us a formula for success with an ADHD child. She told us to have our daughter participate in 30 minutes of strenuous exercise before going to class or school in the morning. It worked so well through out her school years that she ended up graduating with honors from High School. She is still hyper and gets distracted easily as an adult, but is able to multi task in a busy insurance agency using her boundless energy and ability to keep track of so many things around her.
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