Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So my dear Son is very smart. It's not clear how smart, but I guess that's kind of a moving target. I've had at least one professional, family-therapist type label him "gifted". Of course, she got to know him when we brought him in because he was getting into fights on the playground. I don't like to think in terms of labels.
This year and last year we had him tested to get into an accelerated program through the Seattle Public Schools. Last year he qualified for the Spectrum Program, which was cool, but we decided not to send him. First, I really wanted to keep him in a Catholic school, and last year the main motivation for getting the testing was to give St Cs hard data they could use to enrich his program. Also, we decided that really what he needed to do was to learn to get along with other kids, and a Catholic school was a great place to do that. If I could have a do-over, we'd try to put him in the Spectrum Program already, because it's not fair to St C's to make them reinvent the wheel for one kid and the whole "getting along with other kids" thing is a lot harder when you're bored out of your mind.
But we didn't go for the Spectrum Program last year. The other thing about last year's test results is that they were very close to qualifying for the APP (highly gifted) Program. We could have written an appeal, which would have required independent testing by a private tester. Read, very expensive, and also impossible to schedule after the letters from the public school came out last January, because every parent's little darling needed private testing to get into the APP.
So this fall we had him do the public school testing again, and I also made an appointment with a private tester, figuring if he was close again we'd want to write the appeal and we'd already have an appointment on the books. And the test is scheduled for this morning. Unfortunately, between the Accelerated Learning office and the US Post Office, we don't have the letter from the public schools yet. So we don't know how he scored. I've already rescheduled once (for a $60 fee), and when I tried to do that yesterday, I couldn't. Apparently some people already have their letters, and the testing guy got at least 20 calls yesterday from people wanting to schedule things. He's booked into March, which would be too late to write the appeal.
So, our choices are to cancel the test, which, because it's so close to the testing date would cost us like $150. Then we'd have to live with whichever program the fall testing got him in to. Which might not be a problem. Or it might be. Or, we could go through with the test (close to $800) in case we want to write an appeal. And that's what we've decided to do. It's a lot of money, but he's really bored and if it weren't for his BFF, I'm not sure how we'd be keeping him at St Cs. Kent and I sat down and looked at all the information we had (which is tricky, because they don't really let you in to see the school until you're accepted into it....at least for Lowell, where the APP is) and decided that having the independent testing gives us the most flexibility and so we're going ahead with it. The public school system here is in a bit of turmoil, with schools being closed, and it's supposed to be hard to get a kid into the Spectrum programs in the North End (where we live) because there's so much competition. Apparently even if you test in to Spectrum there's no guarentee you'll get a spot.
Bottom line is he needs to try a different school, where he's with more kids who think like he does (well, probably not exactly like he does, but something closer). He needs to be in a place where he's challenged, so that he learns how to stretch himself and he gets the feeling of satisfaction from taking on something hard and doing it well. Right now about the only place he gets that is at the piano (which is another whole post). We want to do what's best for our kids and we are blessed enough to be able to come up with the money to pay for the testing. Good luck this morning, Little Dude.


The Freewaydiva said...

Lordy! Well (and sing along if you know the words), things have a funny way of working out for the best. *luck!*

The Freewaydiva said...

Oh, and...didn't you ask me about tutoring? I've got a name for you...