Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To Go or Not To Go. That Is the Question!

A while back, I wrote that we were applying for our daughter to go to the gifted magnet school in our area. When we toured the school, we thought it sounded like they had some cool programs. We weren't sure it was the right fit for our daughter's special needs, however. Our advocate warned us that the officials don't really know how to handle kids with special needs there. My daughter's current teacher raised concerns about how our daughter would do on the group projects that they would have there. She was afraid that these projects wouldn't play to my daughter's strengths.

Nevertheless, we applied. We figured she wouldn't get in. Our school system has a weird point-system. You can build up points various ways. We were going in with no points, so we thought out daughter wouldn't get in. Yet applying helps build up points for future years. We figured we'd apply every year to build up points for middle school. That was the plan.

But then we received the acceptance letter. The letter stated that they reviewed her current IEP and felt that they were best qualified to meet her unique educational needs. The letter moved me. While I'm sure it's a form letter for the kids on an IEP, it made me feel like they "got" my daughter--that they were willing to roll their sleeves up to work with her and help her grow.

So, we're now going to have to decide what we're going to do. We have about a month to decide. Do we keep her at her current school where she's thriving academically and socially? Or do we jump in the unknown and enroll her in an extremely well-regarded school where she may not know many people and which could be a lot of extra work. Also, will the new school embrace her like her home school does? Or will they see her as being a pain in the butt?

I hope we can sort through all this during the next month!

10 comments:

  1. I would go for it. You can always move her back if it doesn't work out. They know she has an IEP and I am sure if they felt they couldn't accommodate her they wouldn't have offered her a spot. It might be great for the kind of kid she is, too, if it's for gifted children. (Or is it one of those where everyone is gifted and talented, but not really). Did you ask what she wanted to do?

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  2. My gut says three things - make an appointment to meet with the people who would be on her 'team' to find out HOW they plan to make it work, see if she can do a full day visit with or without you to see how she handles it (i know one day is not always a good indicator, but it would be a starting point) and then I would probably go for it - as Jen said, she can always go back...

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  3. oh my. good luck with whatever you chose. These decisions are tough. I personally would do it.

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  4. Although my son has tested high we do not have to deal with that yet{two more years in our district & more behavioral therapy to go}. I can tell you my daughter is in an advanced class & tested GATE. {I am blessed that the advanced class & the SD class are at the same school.} Her GATE classmates get my Caleb 100% more than his classmates do. I really think that a high intellect caused quirks of it's own.

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  5. I'd go for it. I loved loved loved the gifted program I was in as a kid, I wish we'd had a separate school instead of just one day a week. My gifted ed teacher was a closet high functioning aspie, only person that ever 'got' me.

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  6. No advice here, just lots of good wishes!

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  7. I like Heather's advice. Gosh, if there was just a magic eightball that guaranteed us the right choices.

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  8. Good luck! I know she's really smart, so the gifted magnet might be a great choice. Do you know if there are other Aspie kids there? She'll probably thrive academically wherever she goes, so the social thing seems really important. Change can be so hard!

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  9. Good luck Cheryl. I can understand your dilemma, but also what wonderful news to have this choice. I know it's not an easy one for you but it sounds like you can't go wrong.

    Congratulations and I look forward to hearing what you decide :)

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  10. Choices make things so much more difficult. I would tour again and see what their specific plans are for her. I would also take the negative comments seriously. When we choose a school for Z everyone we knew in the district said that they only had heard good things from the teachers.

    On the other hand - gut instict can carry you a long way. What does your daughter want to do? She should have a say in the matter as well.

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