This past month I have sat down with a team of doctors and had Joseph evaluated so we can bring this information back to the school and come up with an educational plan that we can all agree on.
Clearly, the plan that he is on in the Elementary level is simply not working.
Do i blame the school? Absolutely Not. They simply are using ESOL strategies for a student that speaks their native tongue in the home, and Joseph does not.
I have 4 Associate problems that he was diagnosed with that range from Academic Underachievement Disorder to Reading Disorders. Of course, these are not permanent, but the school is bent on labeling students and not using common sense so i walked out with my handy dandy consult report and brought it back to the school.
Joseph has had 1-2 years of formal schooling in Uganda. We fought tooth and nail for him to start at the beginning, but he was 12 when he started school. The best we could do was 5th grade. They were gracious enough to fight for him to repeat 5th grade.
I do feel that academically he would have been better off at the middle school, but not developmentally. Our area has a strong ESOL/ELL program for Middle school students.
Tomorrow i take our "diagnosis" and sit with A CARE (Children At Risk in Education) Team and discuss our new plan of action.
I am not sure if i want an IEP plan. He simply is behind because of a LACK of education. Nothing else. No learning disability. He needs time and extra pull out services. He does not need standardized testing telling me that he is behind. I know that. Common sense.
I am amazed at how much progress he has made in one short year. In a fairy tale school world, i would love for him to go half day focusing on the ESOL/ELL block in Reading/Language, Math, Band, and PE.
My heart hurts for the ESOL/ELL students that fall through the cracks. For the families that do not speak English. Navigating the public school system is a nightmare. Fortunately, i know the ins and outs of it, but kids shouldn't be falling through the cracks because of their age.
And they definitely shouldn't be taking a 5th grade Reading/Writing FSA test when they are at a 1st/2nd grade reading level. Thank you State of Florida for giving my child "extra time" as an accommodation. He simply has a longer time to stare at words that mean NOTHING to him.