Thursday, November 01, 2007

I Hate Junior High

Probably not as much as I hated it when I actually attended myself, but I still hate it.

Mermaid had a B in Social Studies, which has always been her most difficult subject, at progress report time. So I was dismayed to learn on Tuesday she will have a D in Social Studies on her first-quarter report card. Her teacher sent home a sheet with a handy breakdown of the grades she earned on every assignment, test, etc for the quarter. It showed that three in-class assignments had not been turned in, that she had received a zero on a pop quiz, and that she got 2 of 14 possible points in "Class Participation."

1) She's not good at keeping track of her work. It very well may be that this is true of almost all 7th graders. Be that as it may, she has a support person in class with her who should be, at the very least, making sure she does and turns in assignments done right there in class, and this happened not once but three times. Not okay.

2) She didn't just fail the pop quiz -- she got a zero. This tells me it wasn't modified for her in any way. If regular tests need to be modified for her, so do pop quizes -- especially those that amount of 3% of her grade.

3) Class participation? Hello? She is autistic. She can barely participate in dinner-time discussions with her family -- she is not going to be able to contribute to things on the subject of ancient civiliations in a class of 30 kids without serious facilitation.

I don't know for sure what the situation is, but all the issues we've had so far this year have related to her Social Studies class, and my guess is that unless the Inclusion Specialist specifically goes into the classroom and discusses modifications for Mermaid (as has been the case for tests and projects), this teacher simply holds her to the same standard he would with a typical student. I would love it if Mermaid were capable of performing to his expectations, but she's not.

Frustration doesn't fully cover my feelings on this subject.

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