Monday, June 2, 2008

Last Day of School

Today was mini-me's last day at our public elementary school. Oddly, nobody cried and begged me to stay when I signed out in the volunteer book. Strangely there was no "bon voyage" celebration either. Hmmm.

Grade cards came home and she got all A's except for 2 B's. One was in Math which I was expecting because she had skipped 2 questions on her last math test and it brought it down to 80% for that test. Her A wasn't strong enough to hold it up, I guess. They had math homework only about once the entire school year. The strange thing is that the print out from the computer system where they practice math, shows her at a 3rd grade level. She was nearly half way through 2nd grade level in both math and reading when she started first grade back in September, so this entire year when she has been complaining about being bored and always having to wait for the rest of the class to catch up, she only gained a half grade level on the computers. Most of the year she would take her good old time when they had any projects that involved hands on stuff so that she wouldn't be the one waiting. Apparently, that time could've been spent on the computers but she just wasn't motivated that way, I guess.

No Child Left Behind STINKS and so does the way it is managed in our public school system. In the end, our brightest kids lose interest instead of having their love of learning fostered and enhanced. The lower end of the learning spectrum now is "mainstreamed" as much as possible and in my opinion it holds back the gifted kids. It's too frustrating to watch my kid slipping through the cracks just because her special needs aren't on the correct end of the spectrum. And that's why she'll be attending private school next year. Sure, in 2nd grade she would possibly be allowed into the "Horizons" program for the gifted, but that is one day a week and - depending on the homeroom teacher - sometimes ends up with double work on that day because students need to make up what they miss when they are at the gifted school.

Maybe I'm wrong and my kid just reached her "maxed out" potential in kindergarden. Her teacher was awesome this year, and the principal can't be beat. The old building isn't the prettiest and most comfortable place, but I can't see that directly effecting her progress. I know I should be counting myself lucky that she isn't behind, but I seriously worry about her not being challenged enough in the class. A school day is a long time to sit and be understimulated. Especially when there is no recess and kids aren't even allowed to visit one another on their 20 minute lunch break!

I'm really gonna miss the teachers, principal, and other moms at Crossgates, and especially miss a lot of the kids that I have watched grow so much in the last two years. I was sad leaving today, and I was lucky to get out of there before I saw any of my "favorites" that I will surely lose track of. I did not want to cry! So, no tears today - luckily - and hopefully I will be able to volunteer next year at the school again. I will keep touch with my friends as well as I can and if private school doesn't work out for whatever reason, I'll feel like I'm going "home" to Crossgates and maybe a new educational system will be in place by then. *sigh*

For now, I gotta do what seems in my kid's best interest. Her new school has a lot to offer and I am definitely looking forward to it.


Mrs. Chili said...

I wonder if anyone's looked at the TRUE costs of NCLB... I'm betting it's a whole lot worse than any of us would dare to imagine...

Cari said...

We're having the same problem. It's hard to "vent" about it because then I sound like I'm bragging but David was so bored in school. When the other kids were learning the alphabet and phonics he was reading on a 2nd grade level! Gifted program is 1/2 a day a week. That's it! Unreal...I'm seriously thinking of private schools because of this. He can get more help from the school for his SPD than for his gifted-ness. I made up a word, k?