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If you are seeing the public high school vice-principal for placement, critical questions?


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#1 Arcadia

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

We are looking at all possible choices for DS12 with his preference being B&M high school. He would be happy in academic camps year round but that is not financially viable.

Since private high schools applications close before public high school enrollment start, we are setting up to meet the VP next month. This month is hectic for them and October is still okay for us. They had students taking one or more of their classes at a local college or university which is what we are looking at for maths and sciences for DS12.

So what they currently do offer their students for AP subjects are:

English Language (11th grade)
English Literature (12th grade)
European History (10th grade)
US History (11th grade)
US Government & Politics (12th grade)
Macroeconomics (12th grade)
Psychology
Human Geography
Spanish Language
French Language
Statistics
Computer Science Principles
Computer Science A
Calculus A/B
Calculus B/C
Biology
Chemistry
Physics 1

I know I can always email with more questions after the meeting but what should I ask while there? They have guidance counselors assigned to students but special cases go to the VP apparently because the principal carbon copied him to follow up with me.

The district's 8th graders work out their first 4 year plan around April. So that is likely to happen during the meeting.

ETA:
His humanities subjects aren't accelerated and he doesn't mind French so he can start at French 1 for 9th grade.

Edited by Arcadia, 01 September 2017 - 02:36 PM.


#2 quark

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:59 PM

If he is taking classes at the local CCs/ state uni, I would worry most about how he is going to get there while also juggling the school day schedule. I think you mentioned that you don't drive so how exactly will it happen taking South Bay traffic into account?

 

Otherwise, if he is taking humanities, art, PE, I would ask about options to jump directly into AP level if he is comfortable doing that.

 

I've had friends switch from homeschooling to B&M and usually the biggest challenge for them has been juggling different campuses and school officials backtracking or not agreeing on challenge level. Often this is because officials balk and can't imagine a kid willingly handling 2 college classes PLUS 2-3 APs (plus all the extra curricular stuff).

 

All the best! I hope you are able to find a workable solution.


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#3 Arcadia

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 06:58 PM

If he is taking classes at the local CCs/ state uni, I would worry most about how he is going to get there while also juggling the school day schedule. I think you mentioned that you don't drive so how exactly will it happen taking South Bay traffic into account?

Our nearest would be SCU if we opt for the public school. However because his math and science test scores (AP and SAT) would have checked off a-g requirements hopefully by end of 8th grade, my backup plan is for him to do dual enrollment every summer and enrichment during the academic year. He have fun with competitions from the participation rather than the winning aspect so B&M would give him more chance of participating in "trivial" competitions.

It's because I don't drive that extracurricular activities are harder to come by. The late school bus would drop the high schoolers off at 5:30pm in front of the library walkable to my home. So that would give him more extracurricular activities to participate in.

He would actually be happy taking humanities, Arts and PE at the lowest possible level :p

ETA:
He is enjoying PAH Chem. Thanks for the recommendation.

Edited by Arcadia, 01 September 2017 - 07:00 PM.


#4 cera2

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:48 AM

I would ask about the flexibility of the grade levels listed for certain AP's.  I would also ask what they will require for proof of completion of the lower level courses (will parent made transcripts be acceptable, will they recognize classes taken elsewhere,  or will he need to test out of subjects).  

 

If he is enrolled in the high school and has exceeded the level of the highest math/science classes they offer the school should provide transportation to and from the CC and cover any CC fees (that is how it works here, because a student has to be able to take the requisite number of classes in each subject..ie: 4 math courses..to graduate).  I would ask how they handle that, and how credit is awarded/how de grades are reflected on the transcript if your state offers scholarships based on gpa or class standing.


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#5 TerriM

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:38 AM

If he is enrolled in the high school and has exceeded the level of the highest math/science classes they offer the school should provide transportation to and from the CC and cover any CC fees (that is how it works here, because a student has to be able to take the requisite number of classes in each subject..ie: 4 math courses..to graduate).  I would ask how they handle that, and how credit is awarded/how de grades are reflected on the transcript if your state offers scholarships based on gpa or class standing.

 

Our district will not pay for the classes, nor do they cover transportation (they don't even bus the regular kids to school).  Is SCU free for kids under 18 like CC's are?

 

Are you applying to PS and N--v- for privates?


Edited by TerriM, 10 September 2017 - 10:48 AM.


#6 TerriM

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:52 AM

I would ask about the flexibility of the grade levels listed for certain AP's.  I would also ask what they will require for proof of completion of the lower level courses (will parent made transcripts be acceptable, will they recognize classes taken elsewhere,  or will he need to test out of subjects).  

BTW:     If your son has taken the Calculus AB/BC exam, the placement should be assured.  if he has, you might ask if that'll simply bump him up to classes above it.

 

Regarding flexibility, there are issues of classes being full.  You might ask whether they've had to turn away kids from the classes you're interested in, because as a Freshman, he'll probably be the first student cut if the class is full.



#7 Arcadia

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:52 AM

Our district will not pay for the classes, nor do they cover transportation (they don't even bus the regular kids to school). Is SCU free for kids under 18 like CC's are?

Nope. Not poor enough to qualify for financial aid for their outreach programs which include college credit classes for high school kids.

However SCU is the nearest university to my district's high schools, about 3 miles away from either high school. So we could use Uber or pay a neighbor to drive my child if that is the best option.

My district is adding multivariable calculus as a high school class in 2019. Too late for my current 8th grader but just nice for my current 7th grader.

Our nearest CC is Mission but we don't have public transport there while we have light rail door to door for Foothill's satellite campus (and my husband works at the nearby buildings). So for CC, we'll be looking at Foothill even though we would be out of district students there (maybe less red tape being out of district?)

ETA:
We are much nearer to Basis and Harker. Basis has school bus transport to my area while I have neighbors willing to carpool for Harker.

Edited by Arcadia, 10 September 2017 - 10:55 AM.

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#8 Arcadia

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:05 AM

BTW: If your son has taken the Calculus AB/BC exam, the placement should be assured. if he has, you might ask if that'll simply bump him up to classes above it.


The only math class left is AP Statistics and my kid will self study that happily for May 2018 just to avoid it in any high school. He says year long Statistics is too slow. So he would run out of math class for 9th and would need to go online or dual enroll.

If they want my kid, he won't be bump out of classes. If they don't want my kid, I'll know at the meeting and we can drop that option for good. He has been to public school and the district has his records from K to 4th grade in their system.

By the way, my kids' AP score reports just came by mail. That was how long it took CollegeBoard to mail us. It was in the form of a letter which was not what we expected since we were used to the SAT score report format.

#9 TerriM

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:38 AM

The only math class left is AP Statistics and my kid will self study that happily for May 2018 just to avoid it in any high school. He says year long Statistics is too slow. So he would run out of math class for 9th and would need to go online or dual enroll.

If they want my kid, he won't be bump out of classes. If they don't want my kid, I'll know at the meeting and we can drop that option for good. He has been to public school and the district has his records from K to 4th grade in their system.

By the way, my kids' AP score reports just came by mail. That was how long it took CollegeBoard to mail us. It was in the form of a letter which was not what we expected since we were used to the SAT score report format.

 

We are very lucky that Canada teaches all of their math courses on campus at the high school we're zoned for. Including AP Stats, my son can go through Junior year with some sort of math class.

 

I'm going to have him shadow at the high school to see what it's like.  He's been at small private/parochials the whole time, so it would be a different experience.  But I am strongly suspecting he'll want to stay where he is.  I've been toying with the idea of him doing a "Junior year abroad" at the local high school so he can do all the electives and afterschool activities like theater which he can't get right now.  :)



#10 daijobu

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 08:30 PM

Is this Woodside HS of which you speak?  We may be neighbors.  I'll be really interested to hear how a year there goes.  



#11 TerriM

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:43 AM

Is this Woodside HS of which you speak?  We may be neighbors.  I'll be really interested to hear how a year there goes.  

 

Yes. :)

 

I don't know that we'll send him there, though.  He'd prefer to stay with his current school which goes through high school.  But I want him to understand his options.  We also might move out of state.  :(   I'm bummed as this seems like a great place educationally for kids, but the housing market has us cornered.  We didn't buy when we should've in 2011....


Edited by TerriM, 11 September 2017 - 12:48 AM.

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#12 TerriM

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:05 PM

Is this Woodside HS of which you speak?  We may be neighbors.  I'll be really interested to hear how a year there goes.  

 

Two questions:

1. Are you thinking of sending your 14yo there?

2. Do you know any gifted/High achieving kids who go there?

 

If yes to 1, I'll PM you with my observations after the tour

 

If yes to 2, could you PM me with how they're doing and what their thoughts are regarding the school?  



#13 daijobu

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:03 PM

Hi, Terri:  No, we're not considering attending.  But I do know some smart kids who attend.  I'm just generally curious about the school since it's nearby; I don't need information imminently.  

 

My general sense of the school is that it's big enough that if you have gifted kids, they can find their tribe and the tougher classes.  They also have a really good robotics team.  Frankly, it reminds me of my own big public high school that attracts students from all walks of life.  



#14 TerriM

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:40 AM

Hi, Terri:  No, we're not considering attending.  But I do know some smart kids who attend.  I'm just generally curious about the school since it's nearby; I don't need information imminently.  

 

My general sense of the school is that it's big enough that if you have gifted kids, they can find their tribe and the tougher classes.  They also have a really good robotics team.  Frankly, it reminds me of my own big public high school that attracts students from all walks of life.  

 

This is what I'm worried about.  I have to be honest, but from the list of where the valedictorians went to college,  I left really wondering if my son's tribe is there or how many there are in it.

 

And he's not a robotics person :(

 

I think the school's focus is probably not on these kids, honestly.  They certainly have classes for them, and I'm impressed by their offerings.  But they're not trying to be Paly or compete with M-A.  They're trying to inspire kids whose family has no history of college graduates at all, to consider and strive for a 4 year college and trying to prepare them to succeed at college It's absolutely a noble goal, and I know the community needs it, but I'm kinda left wondering if the gifted kids will be left to their own because "they're doing fine."


Edited by TerriM, 15 September 2017 - 12:46 AM.

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#15 TerriM

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:50 AM

I guess here's another question, but for many people on this list, their kid took SATs in 7th grade for talent search or just yearly testing.  Is there a concern with sending a kid to a school if they  scored better as a 7th grader than the school's median or average?  Is that just irrelevant because it's all about whatever that top cohort is doing, or is that a real concern for fitting in?



#16 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:23 AM

I guess here's another question, but for many people on this list, their kid took SATs in 7th grade for talent search or just yearly testing. Is there a concern with sending a kid to a school if they scored better as a 7th grader than the school's median or average? Is that just irrelevant because it's all about whatever that top cohort is doing, or is that a real concern for fitting in?


My kids worse SAT and ACT scores as 6th graders were above the average of both high schools in my district. Also there is no National Merit Semifinalist from the assigned school while the other high school in the district has 6 semifinalists.

Woodside high school has 4 national merit semifinalist.

That is why the principal did not think it weird for me to ask for a meeting instead of waiting until April 2018 when 8th graders are asked to pick their tentative 9th grade subjects.

Academically I would say dual enrollment for some subjects is already expected from the principal's reply. Socially DS12 is very behind in sports, less behind in music and would probably find a club or two that he would be entertained by. He is tall enough (almost 6ft) that it would be hard to guess his actual age and people has tend to guess at least 3 years older. So the top cohort in my kids assigned high school may be in dual enrollment and not spending the entire time on the high school campus.
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#17 dmmetler

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:15 AM

I'm sure it depends on the state, but here a 21 qualifies you for free DE as long as you're 16 and a Junior. So many of the talent search kids are not only above the local high school average ACT, but above what it takes for DE. In DD's case, she hit the top 25% for every state U, and the top 10% for everything but the flagship, as a young for grade 6th grader.


One reason we chose not to go the high school route was that DE was very limited-often to the classes offered on campus or via distance learning. There was a real focus on getting the top kids to either get the high level AP awards and do the capstone project, or get the IB, and both pretty much locked a kid into taking the classes they offered to check those boxes. It was suggested that DD could do DE after school, on weekends, and over the summer.

Having said that, my state isn't particularly high in educational rankings for a reason...

#18 TerriM

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:07 PM

I believe DE at a CC is free in CA for anyone under 18.  So price isn't an issue, transportation is.  

 

Woodside HS does have the best math curriculum I've seen yet for a "normal" private or public high school--all the courses offered at Canada (a CC) are offered on campus. M-A seems to have a better cohort, but doesn't have the classes.    (Obviously places like Nueva, Proof School, BU Academy, etc. will have a better curriculum simply because they're designed to meet the needs of gifted and/or accelerated students, and not the normal cohort so I wouldn't consider them "normal" schools.) 

 

Arcadia, maybe you should move up here. :)



#19 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:16 PM

I guess here's another question, but for many people on this list, their kid took SATs in 7th grade for talent search or just yearly testing. Is there a concern with sending a kid to a school if they scored better as a 7th grader than the school's median or average? Is that just irrelevant because it's all about whatever that top cohort is doing, or is that a real concern for fitting in?

As a followup answer, looking at SJSU's enrolled freshmen for 2016 common dataset, my older boy's 6th grade SAT and ACT scores are in the the top 5% range if I use the SAT concordance table for old SAT to new SAT (page 9 section C9 http://www.iea.sjsu..../CDS2016-17.PDF)

...................................... 25th Percentile.........75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading......450............................560
SAT Math.......................470.............................590
SAT Writing....................450............................550
SAT Essay.....................920...........................1140
ACT Composite...............20..............................25
ACT Math........................18.............................26
ACT English.....................18............................25
ACT Writing........................6.............................8

ETA:
For UCB, DS12's scores cluster at the 75th percentile (some higher some slightly lower). DS11's scores has a similar profile to DS12.
"GPA and test scores of middle 25%-75% students.

High School GPA
4.15 - 4.30
ACT Composite Score
30 - 34
ACT English Language Arts
28 - 32
SAT Evidence Based Reading & Writing
640 - 730
SAT Mathematics
640 - 760
SAT Essay
16 - 20"
http://admission.uni...eshman-profile/

Edited by Arcadia, 15 September 2017 - 10:16 PM.

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#20 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:30 PM

Woodside HS does have the best math curriculum I've seen yet for a "normal" private or public high school--all the courses offered at Canada (a CC) are offered on campus. M-A seems to have a better cohort, but doesn't have the classes.

Arcadia, maybe you should move up here. :)


Older would run out of math and likely physics too at Canada Community College if he decide to take multivariable calculus and linear algebra this year using CTY's self paced option. That was why the local principal mentioned the college dual enrollment option. We are looking at the possibility he has enough credits for a math or physics minor by the time he finish 12th grade if he doesn't slow down. He is a December baby so a young 8th grader. He is more keen on finance than robotics.
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#21 dmmetler

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:10 PM

Can he substitute finance classes, accounting, etc for some math? Our cover school is letting DD use some of her math and science teaching credits to check math and science boxes since she's already completed enough math and science to graduate before even entering high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#22 quark

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

Arcadia, have you guys already explored Simon's Euler Circle?


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#23 quark

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:16 PM

One of the things my kiddo tried to do at CC was to create an independent study math class. You could check if Canada is open to that. According to kiddo's prof, all that was required was a prof willing to mentor it and about 6-7 students. Kiddo canvassed everyone around, put up flyers on noticeboards etc and managed to find 4 who were interested but of those 4 only 2 really committed (including kiddo) so it dwindled into nothing. But kiddo had other math going on in the background at the time too.

 

Kiddo's CC did not have passionate math majors but Canada or other peninsula/ South Bay CCs might.


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#24 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:27 PM

Can he substitute finance classes, accounting, etc for some math? Our cover school is letting DD use some of her math and science teaching credits to check math and science boxes since she's already completed enough math and science to graduate before even entering high school.


Finance and accounting classes are definitely allowed as electives and high chance DS12 would enjoy it. He definitely wants to continue in math so a math credit a year won't be hard, just that it would be online or DE. I don't know whether they would insist on biology since he would have had two lab sciences (ap Chemistry and ap Physics C) done this year. Hence the need for a meeting to see if a plan can be worked out.

This kid has always had an individualized learning plan though since kindergarten and they have his school records. Else I won't be hopeful at all that a meeting might work. On one hand, he would boost their test statistics again like he did in elementary public school, on the other hand they might think it is too much trouble to accommodate him.

A neighbor friend suggested open enrollment to the better high school which her child is attending but we won't be able to apply for open enrollment until end January and won't know the result of open enrollment until April. We would like to go to private schools open houses knowing that the public school option is either feasible or impossible.
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#25 Pen

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:53 PM

Unless he already has friends there so you already know about that, I would also ask about the social / emotional environment, activities he might like to do, and so on.


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#26 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:07 PM

Unless he already has friends there so you already know about that, I would also ask about the social / emotional environment, activities he might like to do, and so on.

The contact teachers and students for the students clubs are listed on the school website. If the meeting work out, we'll email the teachers to see if he could drop by for clubs he might be interested in.

Do you mean ask my child or ask the vice principal? We have neighbors going there but not friends. My friends children are in the other public high school (my district only has two) or in private schools.

ETA:
There is a STEM program (school within a school) hosted in the assigned high school but they are doing algebra 2 in 9th grade so still a mismatch even if he were to be allowed to join them for math. Science would be Biology (not AP).

Edited by Arcadia, 15 September 2017 - 08:11 PM.

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#27 Pen

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:41 PM

You could ask both your son and the VP.

 

But I meant to ask the VP to the extent that he will know anything that would help.  An older child at the school with insight might also help.

 

At my son's school right now it is known what some groups are that tend to have nice kids in them, and also the smarter kids (which seem to be the same kids by and large). And not necessarily what you would think.  I don't think anyone there is as advanced as your son, but the kids who are, say, in calculus in 10th grade have as extracurriculars Cross Country, Track and Field, and sometimes theater.  They don't tend to be in the science or STEM type clubs b/c those are actually too low a level for them, so they pursue their academic interests on their own, and then really enjoy sports and arts with others

 

At a friend of ours' school the extracurriculars that seem to have the kids who likely would be sympatico tend to be various music ensemble groups.

 

And some classes are a lot nicer and/or more academic than others.


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#28 Pen

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:55 PM

adding: your son is so advanced in science and math that the classes he can take are not so likely to make a difference in his happiness as the friends he might be able to make, so I'd tend to decide a school for social reasons and broadening him in areas other than academics, rather than the best academic school in city, where even that probably will be below his level in the STEM area.  Being closer to home might also be a plus over having to travel to the main school.



#29 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:24 PM

 They don't tend to be in the science or STEM type clubs b/c those are actually too low a level for them, so they pursue their academic interests on their own, and then really enjoy sports and arts with others
 
At a friend of ours' school the extracurriculars that seem to have the kids who likely would be sympatico tend to be various music ensemble groups.

My guess would be the music ensembles too. He is not into sports even though he can run fast without training. If the people in cross country are nice, he would likely join though. The "introverts" are in tennis though from what I hear from the grapevine.

 Being closer to home might also be a plus over having to travel to the main school.

Both public high schools in my district are equally far. It's just that for the open enrollment school, I would be paying friends to carpool while there is a school bus service for the assigned high school which has a late 5pm service so kids still get a ride home after extracurriculars. The school bus drop off right outside our nearby library and the pickup spot is just across the street :)

I don't know what to expect but my negative experiences are with the school board and some competitive parents. I had good experiences with the school secretaries and his former public school teachers. So I am going to the meeting with an open mind.

#30 Pen

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:33 PM

XC may be better socially than tennis because they can talk while they run in practices.  And maybe would have less competitive parents than tennis.

 

School bus service sounds great, and especially having a late bus!  My ds can take bus to school, but there is only the return home bus right when school gets out. I have to pick him up from extracurriculars.

 

 

Mine is also in a ukulele club which he enjoys, though less so than XC.

 


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#31 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:34 PM

Arcadia, have you guys already explored Simon's Euler Circle?

No. This kid is the quiet one that rather write math than talk math.

ETA:
DS11 is the "chatty" one but his passion is catapults and other hands on stuff.

Edited by Arcadia, 15 September 2017 - 10:10 PM.

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#32 TerriM

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 01:08 PM

adding: your son is so advanced in science and math that the classes he can take are not so likely to make a difference in his happiness as the friends he might be able to make, so I'd tend to decide a school for social reasons and broadening him in areas other than academics, rather than the best academic school in city, where even that probably will be below his level in the STEM area.  Being closer to home might also be a plus over having to travel to the main school.

 

 

To be honest, sounds like your son will only be on campus half the time.  His social life may be split between SCU and school.  That complicates things a lot.



#33 Arcadia

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:42 PM

We also might move out of state. :( I'm bummed as this seems like a great place educationally for kids, but the housing market has us cornered.


Because you are thinking of moving, this article might interest you.

“Jason Roberts, wearing a green polo shirt, jeans and sandals, sits in a classroom at McKinley Middle School in Pasadena, Calif., feeding questions to four boys and two girls standing at whiteboards.
...
AP Calculus for 12- and 13-year-olds? Even high school seniors rarely take that course. But this otherwise ordinary school district, with 69 percent of its students from low-income families, has created a program called the Math Academy to accelerate students at least four years above their grade level. The idea? Complete high school math, including calculus, in middle school and devote high school to more complex subjects: multivariable calculus, abstract algebra, probability, game theory and other college subjects.
...
Three campuses offer the middle school program from the Math Academy. Pasadena High School will start college-level math courses next year.

The Math Academy plans to enroll 60 students in each grade from sixth through 12th in Pasadena. That’s roughly the top 5 percent.

In the Washington area, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has a handful of kids who have finished calculus before ninth grade, said Brandon Kosatka, director of student services. But his is the most selective public secondary school in the country.

The only other effort I could find anywhere close to what Pasadena is doing is the University of Minnesota’s Talented Youth Mathematics Program. Its after-school schedule serves about 75 middle and high schools. Twenty-five of its 110 first-year calculus students are eighth-graders or younger.”
https://www.washingt...63b4_story.html
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#34 TerriM

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:36 PM

Love the comments on the article.  So many kids get excited about school when they're actually challenged.



#35 MarkT

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:15 AM

One of the things my kiddo tried to do at CC was to create an independent study math class. You could check if Canada is open to that. According to kiddo's prof, all that was required was a prof willing to mentor it and about 6-7 students. Kiddo canvassed everyone around, put up flyers on noticeboards etc and managed to find 4 who were interested but of those 4 only 2 really committed (including kiddo) so it dwindled into nothing. But kiddo had other math going on in the background at the time too.

 

Kiddo's CC did not have passionate math majors but Canada or other peninsula/ South Bay CCs might.

Back in my day, independent study was usually one person under a professor's direction - I never did one



#36 MarkT

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:19 AM

Older would run out of math and likely physics too at Canada Community College if he decide to take multivariable calculus and linear algebra this year using CTY's self paced option. That was why the local principal mentioned the college dual enrollment option. We are looking at the possibility he has enough credits for a math or physics minor by the time he finish 12th grade if he doesn't slow down. He is a December baby so a young 8th grader. He is more keen on finance than robotics.

Maybe some Applied Math for Finance type course 
 

https://ocw.mit.edu/...ance-fall-2013/