Monday, February 07, 2011

Report Cards: Night and Day in Usefulness

It was report card day Friday, but I forgot until I opened the bags this morning to pack lunches and, hey, look, report cards! Which for us are report papers. But whatever.

Andy's "grades" are based on the Satisfactory System. It works like this:

S- Satisfactory.
P- Progressing with Effort.
N- Needs Improvement.

Apparently, this school system assumes kids (or their parents?) can't handle real grades until third grade. Andy got all S reports this time! Even in handwriting! Woo-hoo!!!

Joey's reports ar a little more complicated. First, we have the grade report. This mixes real grades with the Satisfactory System grades. Academic subjects get real grades. Other benchmarks, such as social skills and specials (music, art) get Satisfactory System grades.

How accurate is it? He has a C in science and a B+ in spelling.

Excuse me? The boy who won the spelling bee has a B+ in spelling?

That probably has more to do with the N in "turns in work on time" than his actual grasp of the subjects. Or his N in "self-control." Which means that the report card isn't very useful for gauging much, other than, hey look, my kid is autistic and needs support in turning in his homework! Really? No kidding!

The other part of Joey's report is his IEP report. Not much has changed. Again. Which really does make me angry and continues the frustration. This is ridiculous. It is frickin' FEBRUARY, people. This time, no one bothered to put in comments except the speech therapist. We have another "no instruction" for dealing with teasing and bullying. I'm sure the excuse will be "it doesn't happen here!" I now think the only answer for that from here will be, "and what have you observed during PE and recess? How much observation has been done? And why were people laughing at him at the start of the spelling bee? How have you helped him to cope with people laughing at him in large groups like that?"

Middle school is closing in fast. And the more "no instruction" I see on goals to help him cope with the social and emotional onslaught of pre-teen angst, the more I prepare for a few years of homeschooling.


farmwifetwo said...

For the longest time I ignored report cards. The last couple of years I've looked at the eldests. But I have done a lot of after/wkend/summer homeschooling. This year he fought me and it stopped.... he is 11 and in gr 6 and doing well. So, we'll let it go.

The younger's in Gr 1 was simply grades. Then they changed things and as long as he was accommodated and not modified the grades were actual to grade level... D's and the only valid info was the comments. Gr 3 after my "discussion" at Xmas we had Eng and Math modified and grades wrt the modifications on the report card = AKA USELESS.

So... now we're in self contained. Ont changed to 2 reports/yr which also changed to 2 IEP's per year (sigh) and we'll see what it says.

He is safe, happy and learning. I am going to leave him be until Gr 7. But..... I have huge concerns after that and like yourself and I'm researching and learning all there is wrt homeschooling in our area, where to get materials, programs etc. I have done some of this before... but now I'm taking notes and planning not just kinda sorta doing it.

Bullet said...

Try having your 7.5 year old son with autism in a class with a teacher who consistently disregards his autism when he has difficulties. Try having to explain to her that his social skills are going to be impaired because he's on the spectrum. Try getting her to realise that yes, he can be verbal and still struggle with understanding what is being said to him, or what he's reading. Try gritting your teeth when she says he's not made himself popular after he's had a meltdown in an unfamiliar playground. Oh and that snippet of information was given after you'd asked if she had any advice on help we could give to him after he became upset at the actions of another child in the class.

Joeymom said...

We recommend marching straight to the principal on that one; if there is no action in 24 hours, head to the director of student services/special education. Call an IEP meeting and get this fixed. Now. This teacher is completely inappropriate for that child. If you have a local parent or disability resource center, contact them about having an advocate support you at the meetings.

I have no patience with teachers who are clueless. None.

Bullet said...

I spoke (well wrote in his home school book because I get underestimated when I speak) to the teacher about it. Stating clearly that he had autism and that therefore he had difficulties with social communication and with interaction and that whilst we were working with him on these issues, he could not be expected to just pick things up. I said I don't expect him to do exactly as he pleases in the classroom, but I do expect there to be an acknowledgement that he has difficulties (think of the emotional and social maturity of a "typical" three or four year old) and to work with him on them.

little.birdy said...

The answer is obviously to move to my county so I can be Joey's middle school speech therapist. ;)