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Cher
Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 18654
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Senior Informational Specialist
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My daughter is A+ gifted student and her Seminar class is at

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My daughter is A+ gifted student and her Seminar class is at the same time as Latin. On the days she has seminar, she misses some info. in Latin and hands in a incomplete homework assignment, but does hand it in. This particular Latin teacher keeps giving her a low grade of D. This has happened approx. 5 to 6x's. When we reviewed her report on line,noticed that she has gone from A student to a D, off the honor roll for just 1 point difference in Latin. We inquired immediately &was told, this is universal when it comes to gifted students and its there responsibility to hand in complete homework. My question is--the school came up with the schedule to keep seminar and Latin at the same time. So why is my daughter being punished. After inquiring, is when he took initiative to talk to my daughter &told her she can come at a later time & get the missed info. &arranged a separate time to hand in completed work. We have a meeting w/principal,teacher and counselor--what should we say to them?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hello, and thanks for your question.

I'm sorry your daughter was having this seemingly 'catch 22' problem at school. I think you should express to the Principal, teacher and counselor, just what you said here, and tell them that the school chose to schedule these two classes at the same time, causing your daughter to miss some of her Latin classes/info and while her teacher has now offered her the opportunity to come to a later class(?), get the missed info and arranged a time to hand in her completed (make-up?) work, knowing the scheduling problem she was experiencing in the past, he should have offered her this alternative at the beginning of the school year (or semester?), when if first became apparent.

While overextending themselves and/or having scheduling conflcts may be common for gifted students, the school/teachers who should be made aware of the problem from the beginning (by the students and/or parents), are there to help them not miss classes and/or info from a specific class. Yes, it is the responsibility of the student to find out the work missed, either from the teacher, personally, or from classmates, but if this has been an ongoing problem and the teacher never volunteered the help which is being offered now, the teacher and the school were lacking in their responsibility to the student.

If your daughter feels she can keep up Seminar class AND Latin, without either one of them suffering, grade-wise, that's fine. If she feels it's too much, she'll need to modify her schedule.

I would ask that the Latin teacher please accept some past, missing and/or incomplete assignments within a reasonable period of time, and raise her grade on the most recent report, so she doesn't miss out on Honor Roll for this period.

Your daughter needs to speak up on her own, if she hasn't been doing this, to her teachers and counselor, when there's a problem, so they are aware of it, and can offer (or be asked) to help. If the Latin teacher WAS made aware of this problem in the past, and just now decided to step up and offer assistance, thank him very much and ask for that grade revision so your daughter can maintain her standing on the Honor Roll.

Be nice, yet firm, in your statement of the facts and requests, thank the Latin teacher for his current offer of help, when you have your meeting, and I hope everything works out well!

If you have found this answer helpful, please click 'Accept' and leave positive feedback; if you need additional information, please click 'Reply'. Thanks for the opportunity to be of help.

Best wishes,
Cher
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My daughter loves latin and seminar and always gets 90's and above on tests and quizzes except Latin homework because of missed info. because of scheduling conflict. They have also stated that this is universal issue with these type of gifted kids but still its their responsibility to hand in complete homework. How are they suppose to do that? If they take the stand that they can't do anything for the last semester, and take the side of the teacher what should i do?
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your reply.

If they say they can't raise the grade for last semester, impress upon them that the teacher in NOW offering to help your daughter get her work completed, supply the missed work, accept older assignments, etc., and this offer was late in coming, seeing as she was struggling earlier in the semester, due to the scheduling conflict.

Strike a 'bargain': ask if the teacher will raise her grade (doesn't have to be an "A") if she hands in all completed assignments from the last marking period within a satisfactory amount of time (2 weeks, for example?).

They're 'copping out' by their repetition that 'these type of gifted kids' always run into this problem and it's their responsibility to make up the work. That is absolutely correct, but they ARE kids/students and need the guidance of their teachers and counselors on HOW to accomplish this, if they are struggling. If your daughter said nothing to you or her teacher before she received her grades, she should have spoken up; if she had discussed this issue with her Latin teacher and/or a school counselor in the past, she should have been offered some help with the problem. If you were aware of it in the past, you could have requested a conference to discuss how to deal with this scheduling conflict. These are all "if's", of which I am not aware, but the only way to proceed is to stay 'positive' and not make excuses for your daughter. Administrators and teachers don't like to hear that. Agree that it is/was her responsibility, but she is a student and looks to her teachers for a mutually agreeable solution. NOW the Latin teacher offered a solution; very nice of him. It should have been offered in the past--that is your 'defense'.

If your daughter ever came home and said something like: "I tried talking to Mr. Latin Teacher today about my incomplete assignments, due to Seminar class, but he just wouldn't listen and gave me a D anyway, the teacher was alerted to a past problem and didn't help your daughter resolve it.

If you have found this answer helpful, please click 'Accept' and leave positive feedback; if you need additional information, please click 'Reply'. Thanks for the opportunity to be of help.

Cher
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We had a conference with all her teachers and all of them said that she is a good student and will be in honors class next year including this latin teacher. I'm not making excuses for my daughter and she is at fault for not speaking up but we were under the impression that because these students miss a day in latin that they would be given a time to hand in the complete work at a later date with full info. recieved. What do kids do if they are sick one day...does the teacher give them a D or does he give them a chance to bring the work in. During the conference time all the other teachers offered solutions and stated that they would have excused her for that day a long as it was handed in at a reasonable later time. or they would have come up with other solutions. one teacher said that he would have come to the house and would have given the info. needed to complete the work. But during the conference the latin teachers stand was that it was my daughters responsibility. It frustrates me as a father to see that this teacher only sees black or white and no shades of grey in between. this teacher also took just 1 point from her grade just to keep her off the honor roll. I could understand if it wa 5 to 10points but just 1 point. I wonder if there was malice. And I'm worried that tomorrow that the counselor and principal is going to take his side. My daughter is only 13yrs old and a very gifted in learning, when it comes to education we don't compromise and we don't want her to lose her love of learning. I don't want to make this issue any bigger than what it is but do you think i need to spend money and get this properly investigated if i don't reach an agreement with the principal.
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply with additional information.

I completely agree with you, that your daughter is young, eager and loves to learn. You don't want an issue like this to 'sour' her on the learning process and school, in general.

While, in most cases, the teacher can establish his own rules for his classroom re: when assignments need to be handed in, etc., there are also 'school' rules, and the Principal, being the 'Administrator' of the school, can direct the teacher to change the way he's doing something or handling an issue, as with your daughter's current situation.

Explain how you did here, that several of the other teachers have supplied your daughter with the work missed and also offered other alternatives for her to make up the work within a reasonable amount of time. She's not 'slacking off', being irresponsible, or shirking her duties as a student. She's in a unique situation (scheduling conflict) which calls for an unconventional or unique solution. The Latin teacher needs to change his view to shades of gray and not stick to his 'black and white' view of this particular situation. Try to use phrases like that, if you feel your'e getting no satisfaction from the Principal. Also, if you do NOT come out on top, ask the Principal why it is permitted for a student to register for two classes that are given at the same time, if it can result in missed work, leading to lower grades? Perhaps this should be addressed by the Principal and School Board, so a more practical solution may be found, and cause less stress for students, in the future.

If you don't prevail, you might take this to the Superintendent of Schools for your School District. I don't know your particular set-up, but find out who is the next 'higher up' from the Principal (the Principal's supervisor). Also, ask for help from your Board of Directors of the Parent-Teacher Organization, if your daughter's school has one.

As far as spending money if you're thinking of hiring a lawyer, etc., I don't know if this would end up in your favor......however, if it's possible to make a change, perhaps your daughter can transfer to another class, out of Latin, with this particular teacher, or give up Seminar. While I understand she loves both, 'something's gotta give', or she will continue to feel overextended, stressed, and risk another lower grade.

Would you please let me know the outcome of your meeting? Thanks!

If you have found this answer helpful, please click 'Accept' and leave positive feedback; if you need additional information, please click 'Reply'. Thanks for the opportunity to be of help.

Cher
Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 18654
Experience: M.A., B.A., Author, Senior Informational Specialist
Cher and 146 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
absolutely, will let you know after meeting. Take care and thank again for being patient with me and all my questions. You're good.
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome. It was my pleasure to help you.

Thanks very much for your accept, most generous bonus and kind words; they are greatly appreciated!

I will look forward to your update. Just click 'reply' to let me know how it goes.

Best wishes,
Cher
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hi cher. Thanks again for your help. My wife and I went to the meeting. The principal,Latin teacher and the school counselor was present. We explained everything to the principal and I used your quote "it is my daughter responsibility but she is kid and looks to the adults for guidance and that wasn't clearly there". It was only after my enquiry that the teacher took the initiative to help. to make a long story short the principal found in our favor and told the teacher to her the past homeworks together and let my daughter re do it with full info. Received and then to regrade her so she can go back on the honor roll. The teacher wasn't happy but he had to do it. The teachers exact quote was "I will do it if u want me to do it" the pricipal then said yes, I would like you to do that. every person I have spoken to about this matter agrees that this teacher simply didn't get it. Thanks again for the help. Take care.
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks very much for your update.

I'm so glad to hear that things went well at the meeting and turned out in your daughter's favor. The teacher may not like it, but I'm glad the Principal understood your view of the situation and told the teacher to do this in order for your daughter to make up the work and change her grade/qualify for the Honor Roll.

It was my pleasure to help you and I'm thrilled that everything worked out well!

Regards,
Cher

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