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My Future’s so bright… I gotta wear shades!

Posted Aug 06 2012 11:52am

At the end of this past school year we were told that Meg hadn’t passed her FCAT and that she could possibly be retained!

What?

Meg worked her butt off this year! She passed all of her classes with the exception of math! Not to mention the kid has a working IEP!

I thought she couldn’t be retained again? Or at least that’s what they’d told us all year!

In Florida kids start taking the FCAT in 3rd grade, if they don’t pass it the law states they must be retained unless they meet one of the six “Just Cause” criteria for going on to fourth grade . Meg had worked so hard to keep her head above water and this would definitely be a blow to her.

At first we thought this can’t apply to Meg? She has an IEP and she’s been retained before she has to meet Just Cause right? As we asked more questions the school started making us feel as if that were not the case. This cannot be happening! We were definitely worried, but we were also determined to take it as far as we could possibly go in order to make sure she would not be retained!

I couldn’t get an answer from her teachers on what their recommendations would be for the next year and Meg was confused! I hated seeing my child in tears! I wanted the school to be honest with me, tell me the plan, so we could be on the same page and work together to get this kid to 4th grade! However, it felt like the school was checking off the just cause boxes one by one and we were running out of options!

Finally, I was told they would give Meg the SAT10 test and I would get the results in two days! Meg was so stressed out at that point, not knowing or quite understanding what was going on, I think she checked out emotionally and subsequently she failed the test. Again, I asked the school what this meant. Were they going to recommend her on to 4th grade based on one of the just cause criteria or not? I was told they couldn’t tell me anything till she took a summer reading course and retook the SAT10!

Summer reading course?

Fantastic!

On a side note: Instead of the wait to fail approach this state seems to have now, I think the schools should provide a summer reading program starting in 1st grade for any child who shows signs of having a reading deficit. What a great way to empower a struggling child, but I digress…

My husband and I still felt very strongly Meg met “just cause” and while we were more than willing to send Meg, we wanted to make sure her promotion to 4th grade didn’t rest on the summer reading course! We were told it didn’t, but they couldn’t make a decision till she took the summer course and retook the SAT10! Hmmm… Sounds contingent to me, but again I digress!

Meg loves school so it didn’t surprise us that she loved the reading course, it seemed like the time flew by and I definitely saw improvements! The day came for her big test and I didn’t want to stress her out, but I wanted her to know how important it was to make sure she read everything and answer it the same way she did with her homework!

“Focus, read out loud, follow with your finger and check your answers Meg its sooo important!”

With those words, a kiss, and an I love you she was off to school and I anxiously waited for the call she was done and ready to be picked up!

Three and a half hours later I got the call she had finished! I went to pick her up and she seemed nervous, but confident! Now normally when I ask her what was on a test she scratches her head (a nervous habit) and replies… I don’t know or I don’t remember! So when she started telling me about all the different stories I could feel my heart beginning to smile! She would occasionally get quiet and look out the car window and when I’d ask her what she was thinking, she’d tell me I’m not sure if I passed or not! I would tell her as long as you’ve done your very best Meg that’s all that matters! You’ve worked hard and Daddy and I are so proud of you!

The test was taken on a Thursday so I waited until after the weekend to call! First thing Monday morning I left a message with the school try and find out how she did and waited patiently for a call back! Well… maybe not that patiently! The next morning I called again and after a short phone call I went through to Meg who was still in bed.

“Hey Meg! Guess what?”

“What Mommy?”

I couldn’t contain my smile!

“You passed your test and you’re going on to 4th grade!”

I wish I had a video for that moment because she lit up! Her smile was so big and contagious and her eyes welled up with tears!

“I did?!”

“YES you did baby!”

We jumped up and down and did all sorts of crazy dances! I couldn’t have been more proud!

It was such a rewarding feeling for her and it strengthened what I already knew…

Regardless of how many graphs they show me, my daughter is MORE than capable!

“Meg no one can take credit for this, not me, not daddy, not the teachers, this is all you!  It’s all the time and hard work you put in and you should be so proud of yourself!”

“I am Mommy!”

So to celebrate her accomplishment and because of her love of sunglasses I’ve picked Timbuk 3′s The Future’s So Bright for my Music Monday!


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