help ISSP meeting - FamilyEducation
help ISSP meeting
01/07/2008 at 06:35 AM

I recv'd. a notice on 1/4 that we will be having an issp meeting on Jan 10th. The notice has a date of 12/21. It cam with nothing even explaining what an ISSP meeting is. I did send the teacher an email but have not heard back. I will be calling first thing. My daughter is in 4th grade and took a mcas test in 3rd. She did not do well on the math portion. It was suggested that she get pulled for extra help with a title one math teacher. After meeting with her reg. teacher I declined becuse her report card from the previous grade indicated no problem and there is a brand new math program being used in the classroom which everyone is struggling with and the pace was slow for everyone. The classroom teacher was in agreement. I want to know if they can force me to allow my child to be pulled. I have worked in the system for 10 years and have seen the kids that were pulled stuggling even more.

Just go into the meeting with an inquiring mind.  I know it feels like you have to go into defense mode, but stay calm, and just find out what they are trying to address. Don't let them make you make a decision at the meeting.  Tell them you want to think about things.  Call the Sp. Ed. teacher back later, if you still have questions and concerns.  Most Sp. Ed. teachers are really invested in the kids well-being, just overwhelmed with paperwork and regulations.  Try to make the relationship about getting the best resources for your particular child.  Regular classroom teachers are over-whelmed with meeting the needs of 15 to 25  kids, each of whom would benefit from some individual instruction.  They are also usually invested in the kids well-being.  Try to think of all of them as allies, not enemies, in educating your child.

I have had a lot of fun home-schooling, which allowed me to shore up the places where my kids were weak.  I particularly enjoy doing 4th grade, and it has been the most fun when I found another student to be with my child.  Last year, I was homeschooling my J, just because it was 4th grade.  In November, a mutual friend told me about H, another little girl, who was having a rough time at school.  We had SO much FUN.  I made sure we did a Saxon math 4-5 (Second Edition--NOT FIRST) every day.  J is doing a lot better in regular school this year than she did in grade 3, and H (who is in a charter school) says homework is "easy-peasy". 

You have lots of options.  If her struggle is just in math, and if you have the time, extra help from you may be all she needs.  J came out of 3rd grade believing that she couldn't learn math.  In our elementary school they are big on timed tests for math facts, which I think is a total waste, because they don't really spend adequate time teaching.  They just keep having the kids race (and lose) day after day after day.  I reqested that J not have to "pass" the timed test in 5th grade.  She can do the calculations, but not fast, and if you put her against the clock, she gets all tense and her brain stops.

Anyway, if you end up taking on her math, post here again, and I'll tell you how I teach math facts.