Wednesday, January 6, 2010

APAAS, GATE or Status Quo - What to do?

Our daughter is a very intelligent girl. And yes there is considerable bias on my part in making that statement. However, I do have some empirical evidence of her intellectual capacity. Last year (second grade) was the first year that K took the STAR tests (California's standardized tests). She scored a 440 in English/Language Arts (402-600 is advanced) and a 491 in Mathematics (414-600 is advanced). In addition to the high test scores, she has some ADHD issues. I am convinced that a significant percentage of the ADHD issue is boredom.

APAAS would require that K switch to a different school because APAAS is a stand-alone program, and K's school is not an APAAS center. I actually think APAAS would be preferable, since it is stand-alone, in comparison to GATE which is an "addition to" program. Plus, from everything I have heard, both fourth grade teachers at K's current school would not be a good fit for K and her attention deficit/processing issues. Minimum criteria for K to get into APAAS is advanced on the STAR testing in both English/Language Arts and Mathematics, Bs or better on her second trimester report card, and the ability to handle higher expectations academically. I am pretty confident on two of the three criteria.

GATE would happen at K's current school, and K would be put at a table in her class with the other GATE kids, and would be taught with the regular class but have higher expectations than most of the rest of the kids in her class. I do not like this at all, since I think if she is going to be put into a program with high academic expectations, that she needs to be in a group with the same expectations, or else it will probably not work well for her. Oh the joys of dealing with ADHD and a particularly willful child. Yes, Mom, K is part of my penance for putting you and Dad through Hell.

I am going to get in touch with Mrs. A. (the special ed teacher at K's school) and try and set up an appointment with her to get her ideas about this whole dilemma. She has really been such a good resource for me, in navigating the ADHD issues and has given me some really great advice with regard to motivating K to do her best. I am grateful for her input.

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