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Questions to ask Elementary Principal


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I'm meeting the principal Monday to discuss possibly enrolling my 7 year old. Help me brainstorm questions to ask please!


I know she was miss out on her homeschool violin class, but she can take private lessons.


I don't know if they will grade skip her. I feel like she should be. She's 7, and second grade, but I'd on about 4th grade level, but also on the spectrum I think.


I'm going to ask about whether I need private testing, or if they will take it


What else?

The principal has already mentioned spending time with kids her own age like it's a pro, and opportunities that homeschool kids don't have. Not sure I agree, but okay


Dd needs the structure that I can't give with three other kids, and she is a rule follower, so that leads to fights at home. She's been having a very rough time lately. I just don't know what to do! My oldest is planning to go to high school next year.

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It seems like these things vary a lot by locality.  You might want to call your county's DOE to find out what their usual process is.  They may have separate GT and disability offices you could talk to as well.


I've heard of public schools doing placement tests and having a little flexibility about what grade level a child previously homeschooled goes into, but I think usually they place by age and the school's standard birthday cutoff.  Depending on the school, it may be easy, even encouraged, to whole grade accelerate to pretty much impossible.  Where I live, the child would have to be in their appropriate age-grade while a "body of evidence" was gathered from teacher reports, classroom assignments, standardized testing, and private testing, if available.  They would use the Iowa Acceleration Scale if they were really considering a grade skip.  


Testing also seems to vary from place to place.  I've heard of PSs doing IQ tests when requested and testing for things like ASD and SLDs.  They don't do those things where I live though.  Here, IQ testing is only done under certain circumstances and the parents must pay the school for it (unless the child qualifies for free/reduced lunch).  They don't do any ASD or SLD testing at all.  They consider these medical problems, not educational problems, lol.


Where I live, private testing is really helpful to have in hand when advocating for acceleration and/or accommodations.  But, I've heard of places where the school won't even look at them, preferring instead to use their own testing methods and results.


So, yes, I'd ask about private vs school psych testing and placement testing.  I'd ask about their GT program.  Do they just "differentiate" within the classroom or do they have a pull-out enrichment type thing, a self-contained GT class, or do the GT kids usually get placed in a GT magnet?  Since you're interested in a grade-skip, I'd ask about their policy on whole grade acceleration.


If you are worried about her needing non-standard treatment because of the suspected ASD, you will need a diagnosis before they are likely to cooperate, either private or through the school if they do testing.  If you get a diagnosis, you'd want to request a 504 plan for accommodations.

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In America, the school is required to evaluate your child if you request it. (Even if you don't have your child attend a public school!) However, many people find that public school evaluations can leave something to be desired, and prefer to do their own private evaluations.

Edited by Tanaqui
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...and there is an Iowa evaluation that can be utilized to determine if a grade skip is appropriate. Studies show that gifted students do best in life with a grade skip. However, I still think you need to assess your personal situation. With 1 kid on the spectrum, I'm ever grateful we didn't accelerate him despiite missing the cutoff by only 18 days. We're not even sure he will be ready to go away to college. I did homeschool hm through 6th grade to provide the appropriate academics, but we live in a competitive school district and he is now taking 4 AP classes, a college in HS and 2 honors courses. He is plenty challenged.


My 2nd son is a Davidson scholar. He could have handled acceleration but I adored his classmates and friends and 1 grade skip wouldn't have fixed much back then. I saw no reason to expose him to drugs and alcohol and leaving for school all a year earlier. We also homeschooled him through 6th grade and maintained his close friendships. And while academically 7th and 8th grade were a waste of time, now at the high school, he has plenty of work to keep him busy, plus he's really into music and the school makes some opportunities available to him he wouldn't have at home at this point.


So personally, while I've had 2 kids who could have handled a grade skip (or 2) in el school, it wasn't right for our family situation in light of the options we had available. The Iowa can help with that decision though (not the standardized test...I don't know exactly what they call if but you can google it).



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