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SD's school meeting this morning

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

This morning we had the meeting regarding SD and her progress in school. See below for the highlights

-SD's teacher mentioned how she signed SD up for tutoring in math and literacy, sent an email about it, and how BM did not enroll her in the free online tutoring from the school

-SD's teacher said SD does not show up to school extremely tired like she used to. BM then said how SD has been going to bed earlier since the last meeting because of it

-SD has made progress in both math and literacy since the last meeting (February)

-SD's confidence has improved since the last meeting (February), but she still needs prompting and help to give the answers, etc.

-Because of SD's improvement in the last couple of months since these meetings started even with her absences they do not believe SD has any learning disabilities


That was about all that was really discussed at the meeting besides bringing up that SD should get help over the summer so her learning does not slow down or diminish while out of school for the summer. DH told the group how SD will be with us for majority of the summer and we are sending her to tutoring while she is in our care. I might be reading too much into it, but SD's teacher seemed to perk up at that and said she would send over some information to pass along to the tutor and for us so we can help her the best we can during the break. 

It was not discussed about SD repeating the year and/or going on to 1st grade, but DH and I think the meeting was much shorter this time and not everything was discussed because SD will be in a different school district next year. DH sent a follow up email to the teacher saying he would appreciate anything she would pass along for the summer and also asking her about her professional opinion and the process on SD moving on or repeating kindergarten so we are waiting to see what she says before seeing if it needs to be discussed with BM. 

The good news is BM's husband said one word the whole meeting. His phone froze during introductions so we didn't even have to hear that. BM didn't speak too much other than saying that she has not enrolled SD in school yet in their new state, but already has a tutor there for SD on her time. Which neither DH nor I believe. It is good the teacher mentioned about signing SD up for tutoring and BM not enrolling her because now it is noted in the paperwork we received from the meeting so we have that all documented. Again, really seems like the school is doing what they must, but have washed their hands of the situation since SD is moving to another state, which makes sense. Just happy to have certain information documented by a third party.

Now we are all set other than making some phone calls with SD before our cruise, but happy to focus on our upcoming trip now. BM had the paperwork with our address supposedly in a drawer at their house they are moving to so she messaged asking for it so she could mail her address change to us. She messaged on the 30 day mark with the address and we are supposed to receive it in the mail any day now. \

**UPDATE: SD's teacher just got back to DH's question and said "The retention meeting will be a separate meeting with you, me and the principal to make a final decision." Glad DH reached out since we will be gone 7 days right before the last day of school so now DH was able to pass along the dates that we will be totally unavailable. 


ESMOD's picture

If you have SD for the majority of the summer and she recieves intensive tutoring and her dad works with her.. I would think that it would be possible to bring her level up to one that would be able to move up to 1st grade.. It's not like she is missing 100% of her kindergarten skills.. so maybe it would be possible to get the missing pieces patched in during the summer? 

I will say that I have found schools reluctant to hold kids back for small deficits.. or even days out.. esp if there was a health issue at play.. the trend I have seen seems to be push them on up.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

BM will have SD for the first 2 weeks of summer break, we will have 7 weeks, and then BM will have SD the last week before school starts. It gives us almost 2 solid months to get SD up to speed. We have already ordered some items for SD as resources for the summer to help her. SD is luckily on the border of the age cut off for kindergarten currently, so she will just be turning 6 a week and a half before school starts up again. 

Just hate to push her along if the fundamentals aren't mastered prior to entering the next grade, but also hate to have her retained too if she could excel next year in 1st grade.

notarelative's picture

Kids learn at different rates. Some learn on the timetable the school uses. Some learn faster or slower. Then there are those kids who don't seem to be getting it and all of a sudden everything clicks and the kid goes from way behind to on level. That sudden surge can happen anytime up to third grade. Holding the sudden surge kid back would be a disservice to them. The problem is that there is really no way to tell who will be a sudden surge kid and who would benefit from repeating. Repeating is not a magical fix. Repeating has lots of disadvantages.

But, your problem really seems to be attendance and BM's lack of concern for education. That she has already arranged for tutoring in the new area is laughable. Someone, who has not signed their child up for free tutoring where the child is now, is not going to find a tutor in the new area before they move there. Your best hope would seem to be that the new stepfather pushes that the kids go to school.

That BM has not already registered in the new school is not a concern as of yet. Many districts have requirements for registering that you cant meet unless you are actually in residence in the district. It's public school. There will be a seat for her.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

and more of her being behind because of all the school she has missed is why we are on the fence on whether she should repeat or not. If next year repeats this year with the lack of her going to school, SD could fall further and further behind. The benchmark SD's teacher told us months ago for moving on to first grade is to be able to count to 100, SD can count to 20, but only 15 on a constant basis without missing, skipping, or forgetting numbers. Her real improvement is in literacy, that now SD can identify about half of the letters of the alphabet. 

I agree, hopefully the stepfather now that he won't be deployed after October of this year, maybe he will assist in making sure SD actually attends school and get help when needed.

I am not worried she hasn't registered her either, but like you said it is laughable for BM to say she has a tutor for SD already in place in the new state, but SD isn't enrolled in the free tutoring offered by the school, has claimed several times she was getting SD a tutor, but each time she mentions it, there wasn't yet a tutor, but SD was getting one. I think it is all a bunch of nonsense and since BM does not have to provide proof, she just continues to say SD will get one between now and DH's visitation with her and she already has one in the new state. 

Like DH said to me last night, there is only so much we can do from a distance. DH cannot make SD go to school, he cannot verify if SD is actually sick, etc. He said if there was a service he could pay for that would take SD to school and was safe, etc. he would do it just to make sure she actually got there. This new school according to the handbook has a much stricter attendance policy, however it comes down to if they hold people to it, etc.

Ispofacto's picture

These BMs are like some union workers, they'll do the bare minimum to keep their position.  In our case, Satan wasn't smart enough to sense when she was in trouble, so she overplayed her status and lost.  As a parent, DH can and should help SD as much as possible, but in the end the poor attendance and attitude toward schoolwork will take its toll.  Here is hoping you get custody, eventually.


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

We will really just have to wait and see how things play out. The hard part is while we want custody and we know we can help SD, to get there SD is really going to have to struggle for it to be an option and you don't want to wish hard times and struggle on her. 

justmakingthebest's picture

There are so many ways to look at this and no one knows how the judge would.

Do you do ALL the work with SD to get her ready for 1st grade and she does fine thanks to you but BM get's all the credit.

Do you let SD fail, possibly mess with her self image and BM blame you for not doing enough on your time.

Or does the hard work or failing go in your favor- which ever way you play it. It is such a crapshoot with courts and what is actually best for the child. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

That is why the tutoring program we chose for her, they do an assessment before any tutoring work and then they do an assessment at the end of the tutoring. Now whether or not a judge will look at it the way he should, that is a total different story.

It wouldn't be right for DH to drop the ball and hope it goes against BM since SD sees BM majority of the time and like you are saying it could end up being used against DH that he did not do enough on his time. DH and I need to do what is in the best interest of SD on our time regardless of what way it goes.

BM is always quick to blame DH somehow on anything and everything, even if there is no way it could possibly be DH's fault. However, I bet she would have no hesitation on taking all the credit if SD does well in something due to DH. At the end of the day, if no one knows it, we know DH has tried to the best of his ability from a distance.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Comment was not meant for you. Completely agree that your BM does the bare minimum. I just didn't see any reason for the other poster to take a shot at Union members by comparing them to BM's who don't do enough for their kids. 

It is a negative cliche that Union workers get by doing the minimum because their Union protects them. This is not true. Their are good and bad Union workers just like their are good and bad non-union workers.

hregal2011's picture

This was similar to how my SDs school meetings used to go.  She was always needing help in all areas and now (16) barely passes by each grade.  When she has that young we used to have BM either forget and not show up or come in and spew all sorts of vague information that was never relevant.  BM didn't help with homework and wouldn't keep up with her school stuff..over time, this behavior is learned by the kiddo and unfortunately that's what happened.  Good luck because this can be tough. Glad to see some of the positives of the meeting--I do agree though, schools are hell bent and try everything not to hold a kid back.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

because there is all sorts of vague or irrelevant information that BM gives when anyone asks her why she did or did not do what she is supposed to or questions are raised that might reflect badly on her.