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Posted on: Sun, 01/11/2004 - 5:30am
pgrubbs's picture
Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

In the US, to the best of my knowledge, attendance doesn't impact dollars- children just have to be enrolled and federal and state dollars follow. What it does impact is how kids do on all the accountability measures that have been instituted. In my state (NC), kids undergo some pretty rigorous testing, and teachers are teaching to the test because under "No Child Left Behind", that's what happens. If Johnny isn't there, he misses the important factoid or practice test or test taking skill of the day, thereby resulting in lower scores. Lower scores for hte child mean lower scores for the school, which does impact federal and state funds.

Posted on: Sun, 01/11/2004 - 4:08pm
KarenH's picture
Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Just a note on the mentioned "difficult parent" thing. I suppose that I'm just a bit prickly when it comes to my own personal situation. Gail you mentioned that it is possible to advocate for your child without being labeled a difficult parent. I agree, and I know many who do that.
However,in my case and a few others I know of, when things aren't working out and you have tried the nice route, sometimes you simply have to force the issue and demand that certain things be done, for the sake of your child. In our case the school messed up BIG TIME and only just now are getting their act together with having an appropriate program for our son. They only did so after we went up the ladder and screamed blue murder. Good God, it's January already and they have wasted almost an entire year, not to mention the emotional damage my child has been put through.
I admit, I don't have any faith left in schools. The thing that bothers me is that had we not known how the school is supposed to handle our son's case, they would've gotten away with just pushing it aside and letting him deteriorate in the classroom.

Posted on: Sun, 01/11/2004 - 11:17pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]I admit, I don't have any faith left in schools. The thing that bothers me is that had we not known how the school is supposed to handle our son's case, they would've gotten away with just pushing it aside and letting him deteriorate in the classroom.[/b]
This is terrible. There certainly is a big difference in our experiences. I [i]trust[/i] my school to do the right thing. Sometimes it takes a nudge, but they always have my dd's best interest at heart. We wouldn't be there otherwise.
I think I remember reading that you're moving (US) soon?

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 12:53am
arachide's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

Gail, just wanted to say [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] --I realize many a point being discussed here is hypothetical.
I'm a little swamped today, but will try to pop back in tonight.

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 3:41am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

The funding/attendance thing may vary by state, in the U.S. In California, funding dollars are tied to attendance. Illness is an excused absense, but missing school due to family vacations or religious observance is unexcused. So, the school does still get the funding for a sick kid.
HTH, Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 8:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Karen H., I do agree with your last post. I have always, despite what it may seem here when I'm talking about my son's schools, been really *nice* with school personnel. I know that I come across very differently here and I will never convince some people that I'm not a total bi*ch when I deal with my son's school.
I had banged my head against a brick wall for two years in Stayner trying to work things out with the school there and it was only when another PA.com member said to me, Cindy, get superintendent involvement, that I took that next step. Man, once I did that, and also did that nicely, we ended up with a great discussion and a "reduce the risk" school.
Here, I had NO difficulties with the first school Jesse attended whatsoever. The only problem I had was with the liability waiver that the school board wanted me to sign. In fact, I negotiated Jesse's written school plan and my requirements for a "peanut free" classroom with the principal of his school here while I was still in Stayner. We had a great year. The administration was super, his teacher was just awesome and things worked well.
Last year, the principal was super with me as well, it was the teacher that I had the really hard time with (posted ad nauseum about here) and other parents. I didn't request superintendent involvement because of the principal, I requested it because of the teacher and what seemed to be her total lack of concern about my child's life.
This year, well, this year is just a total bloody nightmare.
I am always knowledgeable when I set-up the meetings at the beginning of the school year, but I am also very quiet. I am willing to educate. I am not rude and I am not emotional.
However, when finally presented with the a**hole that we got for a principal this year, yes, I have lost it. Does he know it? Actually not. I have spoken with the vice principal and simply spoken with her in an agreeable tone as well. I began filing the Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint instead. Why? Because I don't feel like banging my head against a wall again (it hurts and it's not really productive to me) and also because this man simply refuses to deal with me period. I'm not the only parent he's like that with. It depends on who he deems "worthy".
Honestly, everyone, you are invited to visit me when it is beautiful here in the summer, when we have our Waterfront Festival and meet me and see that I am a quiet, shy, almost timid middle-aged woman who yes, would prefer to catch more flies with honey than sugar. But sometimes things do snap.
Karen H., I really hear you. I don't march into a school and say, "you're doing this MY way or else" - I go in there quietly with my son's written school plan, quite open to discussion and education.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 9:04am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
As for the 4 children with PA who enrolled at our school after we helped create district-wide procedures... their parents didn't [i]have[/i] to "say a thing" and have the exact same accommodations as my dd. It's now just "standard procedure" for any student with PA.
I just want you to know my hubby, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, says:
[i]That's quite a compiment in my book.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (You earned it.)
Once a Marine, always a Marine? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 11:42am
KarenH's picture
Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

I have always been the nice, negotiating, even timid kind of person as well. I work in schools so I try the "I understand what you're going through-can we work together?" approach. At work, and with my son's teachers.
Last year was my wake up call. We spent grade one dealing with a nasty old fashioned battle axe of a teacher who hated our son and lied to us, and then grade two with a teacher who simply assumed ds needed ritalin and then set out to "prove" it. In my workplace I had a physically aggressive student and nobody would offer me any support whatsoever even though I was practically SCREAMING for it. I finally permanently wreaked my rotator cuff (from my student) and got the union involved. And then, at that point, I knew that we couldn't take any more bulls***. As a family we'd had enough.
So we went to ds's new school in August, registered, provided documentation, met with them, offered help, insight, whatever. Were paitent. Sent cookies to the staff, saying how welcome we felt. And waited. and waited. and waited.
Nothing was done. Ds, with a known, DIAGNOSED and DOCUMENTED learning disability was expected to preform at the same level and in the same way as everyone else. He began to act out and the school would only focus on behavior (called him a behavior problem) and would not give him any support or accomodation for his disability. The district broke the School Act by having an IEP meeting without telling us and then writing up an "IEP" that was so lame it wasn't even funny. They wrote up behavior plans without our knowledge, consent, or input. The list goes on and on. To be perfectly honest, they broke the law.
We hit the roof. Stormed in there, demanded that they get their act together and provide a proper program for our kid, with our involvement, or we would sue.
So now they are moving, but it's still slow and not unless we are on top of them. Basically this year has been a complete waste of time. Ours and our son's.
I may work for the schools but it's this level of incompetance that makes me ashamed to be even associated with them.

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2004 - 2:06pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
Last year was my wake up call. We spent grade one dealing with a nasty old fashioned battle axe of a teacher who hated our son and lied to us, and then grade two with a teacher who simply assumed ds needed ritalin and then set out to "prove" it. [/b]
Just wonderingl................
Can teachers, for example, recommend "ritalin"? Anyone?

Posted on: Tue, 01/13/2004 - 12:01am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

MommaBear, believe it or not, I read of a case (I think it was in New Jersey or New York) where a child was actually suspended from school because his parents took him off of his ADHD medication and refused to put him back on it. This was shocking and frightening to me. I know those parents had a lawyer working on their be-half, but I do not know what the outcome was.
On a personal note: yesterday dh and I met with our dd's psychologist to prepare for a school meeting. She felt it was very important that we make it clear to the school officials that we have tried all of the ADHD meds and they haven't worked for DD. She said that often this is what the school will first reccomend.
Hmmm, why is it that schools accept pa kids with no epi-pens?! I guess it doesn't disrupt their classrooms.


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