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Letters to Nowhere

Thursday, May 05, 2005


First Grade End of the Year Conference Form:
By James' teacher
James met all promotion requirements except for daily work (69, 70 is passing) and comprehension average of unit tests in reading (66) He will enter the SLD program in reading and writing next school year. Mother has agreed to send James to summer school.

My recommendation to the placement committee will be
Retention in 1st Grade.

Ok boys and girls, here we go again. I, barely and with a supreme effort of will, kept myself from screaming obscenities when I read those words. I thought I had myself clear last month.

My response:

To Whom It May Concern:

I feel that to hold James back in first grade would be a disservice to him. I agreed, even requested, his retention in Kindergarten because I felt it was needed.

At this point, retention would do far more harm than good. It would widen the already existing gap in his peers, by age and size. More importantly, James has made vast progress this year, I would be most unpleased to see his efforts unrewarded.

The system has just now agreed to offer my son the support I have been requesting for the last 3 years. He will finally receive appropriate help in dealing with his dyslexia from the SLD reading program.

Also, I did not "agree" for my son to go to summer school. I demanded it. I have worked diligently to help James whenever I was made aware of any problems. By the time I was informed he was not turning in the homework he was doing nightly two (2) months had gone by. Had I been informed immediately that things were not as they should have been his class work grades would have been much higher.

Further more, I requested at my last meeting to be provided with a list of teachers that would be available for private tutoring. I still have not received that information. I will be providing additional tutoring from Sylvan Learning Centers for the duration of the summer at least.

I have made my feelings about this clear. James will be promoted to second grade, even if I have to appeal the decision all the way to the school board. The systems failing in helping my son, even though I had all but begged for that help, is not reason enough to spurn his efforts.


Red Clover


  • That's a great letter. There isn't an avenue you haven't taken for his education, and the way it sounds, you've taken them alone. Fight the good fight!

    By Blogger Tisha from Texas, at 10:48 PM  

  • My eldest son, now 19 got held back in kindergarden. I didn't think it was a good idea at the time. I fought them about it, but finally gave in. He repeated kindergarden. Whoever heard of such a thing. Then later they made him repeat another grade. So finally it comes to moving here (tn)and they move him up one grade because they didn't want an older kid in elementary school.He goes til junior year and he is 17 and he finds out they have a program to ship you next town over and teach you how to take ged. So we ask about it, they didn't tell us anything. Well then they tell us he is to old to do thatnow, he should have done that the year before. They said he will have to repeat junior year again, go to summer school,(which you have to pay for each course) and then by the time he would graduate he would be 20 or 21. Now how many people would want to be in high school at 20 or 21. none. So i let him quit. He still hasn't taken his GED. But he is working full time. They (school) has ruined my sons life, from him ever progressing. Or having a better life. I am trying to get him to go take the ged. He took it 3 times now, but hasn't passed it. They held him back to much. That was the problem. Then they tried to push him up. Now I am angry. When they have meetings for my other sons, I don't go. I know the bull shit they are going to pull and Im not going for any of it any more. My advice, do what you want to do, not what they tell you should be done. They don't know shit.

    By Blogger Squirrels, at 11:21 PM  

  • I think you're doing the right thing. You son is lucky to have a mom like you who cares so much and is willing to do the right things for him!

    By Blogger Obsconder, at 1:40 AM  

  • Good for you, shame on the school. At one point the teacher came out to visit us and our dyslexic son in our home, she looked around the living room in amazement and said 'Oh you have books' silly moo of course we had books it took ages to convince them that his dyslexia wasnt his background. This was 20 years ago and i hope they know more now. Think i have mentioned before he is a nurse and a darn good one.

    By Anonymous mellowyellow, at 4:02 PM  

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