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|Thu, 05-02-2013 - 2:16pm|
Our 12yo DS has been doing poorly in middle school. 6th grade was bad, but 7th grade has been a disaster. After an 8-hour psychoeducational evaluation and a 4-hour speech & language evaluation, and talking with teachers about Section 504 accommodations, we've realized he just doesn't have the ability to thrive in a public middle school that has 1200 kids and where each teacher sees 125 kids a day. He doesn't qualify for an IEP, and his teachers are dedicated people who want to help, but with all the pressures from state standards and the vast number of students they teach, they just don't have the time for it. My poor son looks and feels...lost.
Yesterday he visited a teeny-tiny private school for grades 6-12 that has only 75 students and an average class size of 6. He LOVED it, and they loved him. Sending him there this fall means we are opting out of standardized state testing, grade levels, and competition entirely. It feels like the perfect environment for him - teachers and students who know each other extremely well, and staff who care HUGELY about each child.
In a way, I feel a little sad. It means my 18yo DD, who is graduating HS next month, will probably be the only one of our kids to graduate from our public school, with its amazing music program and huge drama company. DS is very musical, and there will be other opportunities for him to play in ensembles, but I'm sad that our days of sitting in the audience with the other parents from our district are over - no more orchestra, small ensembles, pit orchestra. I felt the same way when our 20yo DS graduated from his single-sex Catholic high school - he would be the only one to go to that school - no more Christmas pageants, religion classes, chapel on feast days, etc. I guess each school has its own community character, and we'll find out what that is for DS when he goes to this one.
A new phase of life is beginning. . . I'm both eager for it and a little sad too.