School-Aged Children

Why didn't I know my DS had a tutor?

At conferences this week I find out my 1st grader has been visiting the school Title 1 Reading teacher 3 days/week for 30 mn each time. Not only that, he went last year too.

Aren't conferences supposed to be "shock-free." Should I email the principal on this?

Re: Why didn't I know my DS had a tutor?

  • Sorry... I should introduce myself Smile I'm a relic from the old Parenting Board. After the FB exodus, I slowly stopped posting on Parenting, since it seems like all their kids are younger than mine. I have two kids (6 yo in 1st grade, 4yo in pre-k).
  • Is that in fact a tutor?   Honestly, it would bother me all that much.   At least if he needs help with reading the school is taking the necessary steps to make that happen. 
    Cheryl, Evan 4.25.05, Paige 7.2.07
  • OP I remember you. I would be rather surprised to be just finding this out now too. If you had been informed earlier, you could have been more focused at home if needed. I'd talk to the principal to make sue you are all on the same page now and there aren't any other surprises like this. I'm glad he's getting the instruction he needs, but sucks you didn't know until now.
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • In my kids' school, they have an extra reading teacher who teaches reading to 1st and 2nd grades so that there can be more/smaller reading groups that are working at very specific levels.  I believe she is there under Title 1 funding, or something.

    Her class isn't extra tutoring, and it's not for the low reading groups.  In fact, my son's reading group met with the extra teacher last year, and he was in the highest group.  They usually do not put the lower groups with this teacher in my kids' school because the kids who go to her lose time in the transition, and the below-grade-level kids need to maximize instructional time.  Her whole purpose is to pull off some of the less needy kids from the primary grades teachers so that they can spend more time with the below-grade-level kids.

    If your son is receiving some kind of special needs help or service, you should be notified.  If he's just having reading group with the extra teacher, it's nothing to be concerned about.

    Secondary English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 8th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 3rd grade
  • Yes, this is extra instruction on top of their reading groups. He's pulled out of class at another time of the day because his reading level is so much lower than the rest of the class. According to their assessment they use, he's improved from a "weak 3" to an "almost 6," which is of course great that he's showing improvement. I am told the kids need to be at minimum an 18 at the end of the school year.

    I emailed the teacher (didn't want to go over her head yet, since maybe she thought I already knew based on the fact he went last year too). I am hoping for more answers.

    Just makes me wonder what else I am missing. Maybe if I had been in the classroom more, I would have known this (this yr and last), but working FT, I am lucky to get to volunteer maybe 4 times/year.

  • It's great he's improving. Don't blame yourself and I hope you get some answers soon. :)
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • You should not need to be in the classroom to be told your kid is being pulled out for extra help, hell I am a SAHM and have no intention on being there often because they do not look for volunteers in the classroom besides parties. Did they tell you he was struggling before conference? Honestly I would be pissed.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • There is no point in getting angry, though I would want to move forward being more involved and being given more information for sure. Did the teacher give a reason for not telling you? If my child was that behind {and she has been} I would expect to be told asap.

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  • image peekaboo716:

    Yes, this is extra instruction on top of their reading groups. He's pulled out of class at another time of the day because his reading level is so much lower than the rest of the class. According to their assessment they use, he's improved from a "weak 3" to an "almost 6," which is of course great that he's showing improvement. I am told the kids need to be at minimum an 18 at the end of the school year.

    This is great. That your school is throwing resources at him and that he's responding well.

    The district can't change your son's placement vis a vis special education without notification. They need to inform you for "Response to Intervention" or a Section 504 and invite you to participate in the CST for an IEP, but Title I is more of a enrichment program designed to address kids at risk rather than actually identified as having an issue. Parents are typically notified via a letter that their child is being included in the program. Maybe your son didn't bring it home.

    I've linked the Title I information for my district. It might address some of your concerns.

    http://www.crsd.org/cms/lib5/PA01000188/Centricity/Domain/1890/Newtown_Parent_Policy_10-11_doc_.pdf

    I emailed the teacher (didn't want to go over her head yet, since maybe she thought I already knew based on the fact he went last year too). I am hoping for more answers.

    I don't understand your concern around this. Did you not know he was considered at risk educationally because he is behind grade level for reading? When my son was this age, DH and I were the ones pushing the school for services. Title I is an awesoem program. I have a few reading specialist friends who work with Title I; I wish it had been available to DS.

    Just makes me wonder what else I am missing. Maybe if I had been in the classroom more, I would have known this (this yr and last), but working FT, I am lucky to get to volunteer maybe 4 times/year.

  • That seems really weird to me. DS1 is in K and is in Title 1 for math. Before they were allowed to help him at all, we had to have a meeting with the program director and sign consent forms. We were told that until we gave them consent that the aide would not be able to assist him and that she is not allowed to assist any children other than the ones in the program although she is in the classroom for certain periods. At DS1's school they are not taken out of the classroom.

    We were told that once we signed them, we wouldn't have to do it again any of the following years unless he tested out of the program and then needed to be put back in. Is it possible that your SO signed the consent forms last year? For us, they only needed one guardian's signature. 

  • At least this year's teacher has brought you up to date.  But even if the letter/consent was lost last year, why didn't the teacher note on his report card that he was reading below grade level?

     

  • This happened to me with my daughter who was AT grade level on that fontus-pinnelle scale in 1st grade.  Last February, DD had a dental appt that i took her out of school for and when we returned I found that she was in RTI with the lowest 3-4 readers in her class and she is AT grade level.  She attends an "exemplary" school, many of the kids are ahead and with DD be youngest in her class (August baby)....  By the end of the year, I realized and found it better to look at it as extra help. Because, DD was in RTI she was offered a special reading (summer school) camp that we attended.  She did do better and by the end of the first 6 weeks this year, she was no longer RTI and is at a level K.  Beginning of the year, 2nd grade is J.  

     I work in a school & was frustrated that I wasn't informed but have learned this is common place.  RTI is now state mandated for those who need it.  So now, school wide, kids are broken down into groups and tutored on their level needed. Some kids, learn much better on the smaller level...look at it as extra help and support him at home.  Good luck!

     

     

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  • We have kids that are pulled for 30 minutes a day/5x a week. It is just an extension of small group. We don't really notify their parents about it-
  • Thanks so much for all the replies.

    I contacted our school's principal, and she said she confirmed my son's involvement in Title 1 services last year. We did sign a consent that our son "may" receive services last year, but were never told, and it was not on his report card. The principal did acknowledge that this would be a surprise to a parent, that communication should have been more intentional than it was, and she took my suggestion of more direct contact from the Title 1 teachers, and to not rely on the prior year's involvement as notification for subsequent years.

    I also contacted the Title 1 teacher. She indicated that decoding is their main area of focus now, and has provided some fluency practice for DS that we can work on at home. I feel that the open dialogue has put my mind at ease.

    Right now DS is getting one on one instruction 3x per week from this teacher. I am very thankful that our school has the resource and that he was identified. I was also told that DS scored above needing the additional summer and before school help, so that's positive too.

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