teacher peas, help?? almost pea livid! UPDATE

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Posted 2/4/2013 by ksmummee in NSBR Board
 

ksmummee
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:18:01 PM
Just got off the phone with guidance. He said the assignment can be made up, it really should have read as an incomplete! She's had so much to make up, and this project is the last one! He is having the french teacher find K today and talk to her about it. Since the switch from french to spanish, I guess it was just kind of out of mind for K and the teacher. I overreacted, but really have never experienced this before and just had no clue what to do. Thanks for your responses!

K normally gets high grades, over 95% in everything.

2nd quarter, she was out of school for almost three weeks - right before Christmas my mom died (we spent almost two weeks at hospital with her nonstop) and I got married out of state right after New Years.

Just got her 2nd quarter grades. Almost all grades went down, but still over 85%, so Im pretty impressed. It was a very traumatic time and this was expected.

Her french grade is a 49%, down from 100%. This is her "try it" year, so her final french grade is now 69% and she's already in spanish.

I was pretty mad. Then I looked at the gradebook online and now I'm really mad. EVERY grade was 100% except an in class project that she got 0/60 on.

Her absences were all excused, we called the school, had all her homework, and all turned in as soon as she got back from the wedding.

I have to talk to the guidance councelor tomorrow. Im not sure what to say other than she should have had an alternate assignment. It might be too late now that she's in spanish. I've never had to call in about this stuff before....

Any suggestions??

thanks!

Christine58
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:23:41 PM
It may or may not be too late. If this was a project done in class and she was not there, not exactly sure how it would have gotten done...excused or not in the school I teach at, you're still responsible for the work. In fact, that many excused days would warrant time after school to make up the seat time. (seat time is required in NYS for high school kids to get credit).

Can't hurt to call and ask for a make up assignment. What grade is she in??



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chocluver
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:34:46 PM
Not to play devil's advocate but why didn't you check the online grading system after you thought all of her work was made up?

MonicaB
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:35:25 PM
I am a teacher and I think she should have been offered an alternate assignment.



ksmummee
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:46:02 PM
Thanks for the replies!

We aren't required seat time, but she could have stayed after or something to get it done. I am REALLY hoping the guidance councelor will check into it for me. She is only in 6th, so I'm not sure it even really matters, but if it effects any sort of scheduling for next year it needs to be fixed somehow.

I didn't look at the gradebook thing online because I NEVER look on there except at report card time. She always has excellent grades and has never missed a homework assignment. In this case, I guess I should have checked the online thing. I actually didn't even realize it was already end of quarter and thought she was still making up tests (one teacher did give her an incomplete as she has a nother test to take).

I am not a helicopter parent and haven't ever had to talk to the school about anything before...generally, if she screws something up, she has to fix it on her own (with my advice).

shescrafty2
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:49:02 PM
Are you sure all of the absences were excused? While understandable I doubt that being out of town for a wedding is an excused absence per the school. It is not considered excused in our school (any vacations are not excused) and it is up to the individual teacher to allow what can be made up. Roughly 3 weeks out of one quarter means she missed 1/3 of her classes. That is a lot! I would double check what the actualpolicy is-not if a teacher would allow work to made up but if it was actually considered "excused" per the school.

I am sorry for your loss-my Dad passed away many years ago in December and the holidays are always hard.


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UpNorth Scrapper
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:50:59 PM
This will probably be cleared up pretty easily, so I would try not to be livid about it. My 16 year old daughter is responsible for checking her grades at least a couple times a week. When she has missed school we make her check it more often just to make sure that things have been taken care of. We view her grades as her responsibility not ours. I think it has helped our daughter to be a better, more responsible student. There are never any surprises on her report card.

Eta- just saw that she is only in 6th grade. I assumed she was a high school student since you were talking about language classes and guidance counselors.


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scrappin jen
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:52:02 PM
It may depend on the teacher. My son got strep throat last fall and had an excused absence from school. He missed 1 1/2 days total as it was Thurs/Fri so into the weekend. During that time there was a class presentation he had prepared with his group. They presented while he was out and his grade came back as a 40%. 60% of the grade was for the presentation which he was not there to do. She gave him credit for his work on the project but was unwilling to consider anything else. I was a bit upset she had them present *that* day as they we presented over the course of 2 school weeks. She pulled out of a hat to see who would go each day and each group had to be ready at all times. He was unlucky in the hat pull, I guess. Sometimes it is was it is unfortunately.

ksmummee
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Posted: 2/4/2013 9:00:16 PM
scrappin jen, that situation stinks!!!

shescrafty2, Im sorry about your dad. This has been so difficult. My best friend's dad died a week ago. We were actually all at the same hospital.

It definately was excused, I spoke with guidance and home school visitor when my mom got sick and the wedding was already an approved absence. From this point on, we need a dr excuse for any absence.

K is always very responsible with her grades...to the point I have to tell her to chill out if she misses something on a test or whatever. She's way harder on herself than we would ever be.

I just found about about this today, so it's fresh and I think that's why Im so upset. Im sure itll get straightened out tomorrow.

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Posted: 2/4/2013 9:02:55 PM
The kid is in 6th grade!!!! yikes..and she's already getting this pressure. If my child had missed 3 wks of school, I would have made sure I had emailed ea teacher, and made sure she was up to speed. It's well in to the qt right now I would assume, so it would be really hard I think for a teacher to change a grade.
I would just relax. It's 6th grade...






freecharlie
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Posted: 2/4/2013 9:32:03 PM
In our district quarter grades are final and cannot be changed nor should they be. Quarter grades reflect the work done in the quarter. Had this been before the end of the quarter I would have suggested asking for a make-up assignment.

How long ago did the quarter end?

I am not surprised that a language class was a low grade considering the amount of class time missed. Many of those classes grade on participation and in class assignments.


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_Laurie_
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Posted: 2/4/2013 9:32:54 PM
We are talking about THREE weeks, FIFTEEN days. And that's not even any other absences she might have had this year unrelated to the death and wedding. Here, the quarters are only forty-five days long. If a child missed a third of the classes, excused or not, I imagine it would be very difficult to pass.

We are also talking about a language class. The schools here divide foreign language classes into three sections. There are listening labs, speaking assignments, and written work. There is not a satisfactory way for a student who is out of school to make up the first two aspects. There is no "alternate assignment" for group work done in class.

While some time off for a wedding and/or a funeral is within an expected range, three weeks away from school is excessive. I don't know where you live, but some states only allow ten absences in a year. In some districts, that number of absences would trigger a report to social services for educational neglect. The school requiring verification from a doctor for future absences tells me that your family is already on the radar for educational neglect.

If you go into the counselor's office raising hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave you some hell back. The school might have a hard time understanding why your daughter needed to be with you for two weeks while your mom was in the hospital. Be prepared for a lecture on making school attendance a priority.

ksmummee
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:10:27 PM
cindyupnorth - There's NO pressure on K. She doesn't even know Im questioning the grade. I told her she's done awesome this quarter, especially with everything that's gone on. (I said I was pretty impressed with her grades in the OP).

Laurie - She recieved 100% of the points able to be earned on everything in the class, then got a 0/60 on one in class assignment. The teacher knew 2 weeks prior to that in class project that K wouldnt be there. No alternate was assigned. The secretary and the guidance councelor contacted all the teachers.

Before my mom got sick AND DIED K had only missed 2-3 days. When my mom was in the hospital DYING, Kailey got to spend as much time with her as she could - which is more important than any time in school could have been, especially when the kid gets 95% and up in everything. The school was extremely supportive of our situation. Our wedding, at Disney, was already planned, paid for and MUCH needed for all of us after mom's death.

Im not going anywhere "raising hell". I came on here wondering what to do.

Really, school attendance more important than being with a close family member as they are dying? COME ON!!! If it had gone on any longer than it had (or Ks grades were questionable) they were going to put her on homebound until she could return.

And so I dont get flamed later on, Kailey wanted to be at the hospital, my mom was young - 56. She got to go in and spend time with her when she wanted, and hung out with other family members when she didnt want. She stood by and held her grandma's hand while she took her last breath. She wanted to be there, with her grandma and with the rest of the family. This was the most important, hardest thing she may ever have to do. I am SO PROUD of her. We all cried together, laughed together, hurt together. She needed that more than anything school could have given her. AND when her best friend's grandfather died a month later, she was there for her in a way no one else could have been. I didn't pressure her to be there, I tried my hardest to protect her and give her balance. I NEVER pressure her about school, she does that to herself too much as it is!!

Im just questioning the grade and worried about it because I know K is!!! Like I said, K doesn't even know Im going to talk to guidance!

freecharlie
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:17:31 PM
What are you expecting the counselor to do? Counselors don't really have anything to do with grades.

The quarter is over. Final grades are in. I can't imagine them changing that.

With the amount of absences in my district you would have been turned into the truancy people as 10 days triggers that. That doesn't mean that there are repercussions on the 11th day, but there could be.


I do agree with you that family time is extremely important and those last days with your mom/her grandma were precious. I assume that your mom lived in another town and there was no way for your dd to do both.

This is middle school, 6th grade, take the grades and move on.


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pennyring
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:21:30 PM
Threads like this always leave me I can't imagine my mom ever checking on my grades. I'm assuming DD is in high school? Shouldn't she have followed up on this herself?




freecharlie
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:23:13 PM

Threads like this always leave me I can't imagine my mom ever checking on my grades. I'm assuming DD is in high school? Shouldn't she have followed up on this herself?
I think the DD is in 6th grade which is the first year of middle school and the first year where grades actually matter.

My parents didn't have the option, but I am sure they would have checked on me if they could have and I would have been better for it. I check DS's grades weekly if not more often.


Tribbey: I believe, as long as Justice Dreifort is intolerant toward gays, lesbians, blacks, unions, women, poor people, and the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments, I will remain intolerant toward him! [to Ainsley] Nice meeting you

futuredoc
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:27:51 PM
Where I went to school for 7-12, the counselors could do something about grades in a situation like this in that they could go speak with teachers and ask/nudge them toward accommodating a student who needed an accommodation for a valid reason (like illness, death in the family, etc.). If/when that didn't work, an administrator would be brought in to deal with the teacher. This is after the student and parent had discussed this with the teacher. OP, my suggestion to you is to talk to the teacher first if you can and then go to the counselor.



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ksmummee
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:28:21 PM
freecharlie - Im not sure what Im expecting, or what can be done, or how the grade might effect classes for next year for her...all reasons why Im calling. The guidance councelor is the main person I talked with when my mom got sick, so I figured I'd call him first for suggestions.

I think alot of the problem here stems from the fact that we didnt know about this assignment when we got all the homework she'd miss and when she got back to school, it was very close to end of quarter. If this wont effect anything for next year's placement, I won't make a big deal about it.

My mom was in a hospital about an hour from home. Unfortunately, she was in ICU, with nurse change out between 6-8, so no visiting hours during the only time K could have visited. It was literally day by day we weren't sure if she'd make it. For the time before ICU, we cared for her at my house with multiple trips to the hospital. K and her were tight.

Super Soda
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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:56:07 PM

While some time off for a wedding and/or a funeral is within an expected range, three weeks away from school is excessive. I don't know where you live, but some states only allow ten absences in a year. In some districts, that number of absences would trigger a report to social services for educational neglect. The school requiring verification from a doctor for future absences tells me that your family is already on the radar for educational neglect.


Did you miss the part about her mom dying? Have you been through the drawn-out death of a close family member? Some things are more important than school. When my MIL was dying my girls had a similar number of absences, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. They needed to spend time with their grandmother, not sitting in a classroom.

Interestingly, I emailed all of my kids' teachers while we were going through this to ask for their schoolwork so they wouldn't get so far behind. Only one of about 10 total teachers bothered to respond.

OP, I'm so sorry for your loss and hope you can get the school situation worked out.

Nicole in TX
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Posted: 2/5/2013 2:29:49 AM
It could certainly be an oversight on the account of the teacher. We ARE human. Maybe the teacher forgot to set the grade as excused in the gradebook. At this point in the school year I have entered roughly 5000 grades in my gradebook. I bet I made one mistake in that amount of entries. I do print my gradebook and ask my students to see me if they think something is amiss.

Go through the chain of command. Have your DD talk to the teacher first and attempt to resolve the issue. If that doesn't work, you talk to the teacher. If that doesn't work, then get involved with the guidance counselor.



maryannscraps
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Posted: 2/5/2013 8:32:55 AM
I agree with Nicole -- have your daughter talk to the teacher first. If the absences were excused, our district has policies in place for handling work and grades. Usually with such a long absence, the kid would be given some sort of tutor or plan to help get caught up.


Threads like this always leave me I can't imagine my mom ever checking on my grades. I'm assuming DD is in high school? Shouldn't she have followed up on this herself?
My kids' grades, progress reports, and report cards are only in an online grade book. Nothing is ever sent home. Parents are given a password and encouraged to stay informed of their kids' grades. You don't get a written report card anymore -- you go look at the grade book.

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Posted: 2/5/2013 8:36:31 AM
As a teacher, if your daughter was in my class and had a proven track record of straight A's I would have excused her from the project.

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peasful1
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Posted: 2/5/2013 8:53:12 AM
Yes, I think spending time with your mother took precedence. But part of making choices like that are the consequences even if the reason for the absence is understandable. Unfortunately, right on the heels of all that missed time for an unexpected illness and death, was your wedding, which isn't quite so pressing a matter as far as school goes. An unfortunate convergence of events. At my kids' schools 12 days of absences and you're considered a truant.


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devildog
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Posted: 2/5/2013 9:02:59 AM
I don't have any suggestions, but I know a neighbor that pulls her kids out for a week every November for a vacation. She told me she called each of the teachers for homework, and all of them gave assignments that were going to be missed except for one. That teacher told her a big percentage of their grade is class participation, and if he's not in class, he obviously can't participate, and that was it. No alternative assignments were given, no extra credit was available.



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pretzels
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Posted: 2/5/2013 9:37:50 AM

Threads like this always leave me I can't imagine my mom ever checking on my grades. I'm assuming DD is in high school? Shouldn't she have followed up on this herself?


My DS is in 8th grade. His teachers do not return work to them until late in the six weeks. They also do not provide progress reports. It is expected that the parents will keep track through the online grades.

I check my kids' grades daily, and it has proven to be a good thing. DS does his math homework every night. I know he does, because sometimes it ends up being a huge drama-filled production. But he does it, and I also know it's correct, because DH (who has a math and an engineering degree) checks it and makes him go back and correct the ones he misses.

Friday, when I checked, there was a zero on a homework assignment. I knew he did it. I didn't know if he actually turned it in or not, so I waited and talked to him about it. He has to deal with it with the teacher. For algebra, they have to staple their class notes to their homework, hand it to the kid behind them and they grade them in class. The kid behind him didn't turn in DS's paper; he just absent-mindedly stuck it in with his papers.

So yeah, I think it's worth it, and I will continue to check them and have him deal with it when there's a problem.


Yes, I think spending time with your mother took precedence. But part of making choices like that are the consequences even if the reason for the absence is understandable. Unfortunately, right on the heels of all that missed time for an unexpected illness and death, was your wedding, which isn't quite so pressing a matter as far as school goes. An unfortunate convergence of events. At my kids' schools 12 days of absences and you're considered a truant.


I agree with you.

Here, once you reach seven days in a semester, you have to have a doctor's note for every absence. My DD had a bad run of being sick in the third grade, and I took her to the doctor every single time and sent the note in afterward, and still got the damned truancy letter.

Kelli/Mom
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Posted: 2/5/2013 12:01:27 PM
First, let me say I am sorry for the loss of your mother, and congratulations on your marriage ...

Phew! She is lucky to be able to make it up. I work at a middle school where the individual teacher decides how, when, and even if a student can make up work. One student had a lengthy hospital stay, and most of his teacher excused all of the work from when he was out, but one teacher held him accountable for everything--even notes and movies. It was demoralizing for the poor kid. His absences were excused, of course.

My district doesn't excuse absences for vacation. The time for the funeral would be excused in my district, but the hospital visits would not have been. The teachers don't have to provide opportunities for kids to make up work with unexcused absences, but I imagine that most would under the circumstances.

My son is in high school, and the school really looks down on kids being out for family vacations, even if something like a wedding were a part of that vacation. We took my son and his best friend to Hungary last year over spring break and needed to take them out of school a day and a half early. The history teachers were very understanding and supportive, but some of the other teachers were pretty punitive with the amounts of "make-up work" they wanted the boys to do (an hour and a half class should not be generating five hours of make-up work). I can't imagine how bad it would have been on them if they were out for three weeks!

I understand having your daughter with you when your mom was sick. It can be tough to make other arrangements when you are a single mom, especially if you don't have a good relationship with her biological father or have family close by to help out. I probably would have done the same thing in those circumstances, especially with middle-school grades not really counting around here. I would not, however, done that with a high-school age kid. My kid would have had to stay back with a friend or family member and only visit the hospital in the evening and on weekends.

I am glad that it worked out for you.
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