When Public Schools Fail The Students And The Parents

Published July 24, 2015 by mindfulofchatter

The man-child struggles with school. He has since middle school (or junior high as it was called in my day). He often does the work, but does not turn it in. He is smart cookie, no learning disabilities we know of. He can do the work, for the most part, but just doesn’t unless he kinda sorta is made to. So we kinda sorta make him.

He is close to failing high school, so he needed to attend summer school to make up failed classes and get a jump on his senior year. But summer school, and the school system are both setting him up to fail. He is working at it. He is trying. But he will be hard pressed to succeed. Sure, he has options – 5th year senior (why would you do that to yourself?), take the GED (it costs $152.00 in our state), not graduate and work (at some crappy ass job because he does not have a diploma) or join the military (who may not take him without said diploma or GED).

Here is what happened.

We knew he was not doing well. His teachers were e-mailed during the school year for a progress report. One replied. Only one. The parent view portal the school has set up is wonderful – if the teachers keep it current. They do not. Right off the bat, as parents, we are misinformed regarding his progress.

We went to the school not long after school was out to find out about summer session, and to see if he could even manage to graduate with his class. We were told we had to talk to the counselor – who was already gone for the summer. We did luck out this time. He happened to be there that day to finish up a few things. Otherwise, we would have known nothing about what was needed, or if the man-child could, indeed, make graduation. Why are the counselors leaving as soon as school is out? There a lot of kids who need summer school. How can parents decide what they need of only the counselors can go over the school records with them? Like, duh.

Looking the classes that had been taken, red flags began to pop. He had taken classes twice. Passed the first time, failed the second. In essence, wasted his time in a class he had already passed. Why wasn’t this caught? All of this had to be entered into the school computer, so why didn’t the computer flag this? This kid wasted a lot of time in classes he should never have been in. Why the heck was this never caught by the computer, or his counselor? Egads! parents can’t babysit everyone!

So now the poor kiddo has to take two English classes in summer session. English 2 and English 3. We paid the fees and got him enrolled. He had to sign the student agreement the first day of class.

Okay. But there is a catch – or three.

We were never given any information about the summer session. Nothing about buses, meals, start times, end times – nothing. We had to ring the office to find all of that out. Plus, the students have only 4 weeks, at 4 days a week, 4 hours a day to complete their courses. That is insane. A full 8 month course crammed into 16 hours a week. And as if that were not insane enough, the teacher said they could only come TWO days a week because so many students enrolled. All the course work is done on computers. There is no real teaching going on.

The first day of summer session, we drove the man-child to school, found out where we needed to wait and hung around until the teacher showed up. The teacher was also left in the dark. The teacher had no clue how things were to work. He had to go find out answers to simple questions. He is the one that told us the bus was running and light meals would be provided. But he is also the one who made the decision to have the kids come only two days a week. He never checked to see who had more than one course. He never made sure the man-child was doing English 2 before English 3. So the man-child did English 3 before the pre-req of 2. Before you say it, teachers are there to provide guidance. Parents can not be everywhere.

We also recently found out the reason he split the class. It was because the computer system would let only X amount of kids sign on and work. Are you freaking kidding me? This means any kid who needs more time, or more help, is simply S.O.L.. We had to go to the school to find what the heck was going on, and explain that the man-child had TWO courses to finish and needed to come everyday. And golly gee, we got an okay because some of the other kids had dropped out or finished their course. Never once did the teachers offer more time to the remaining students. WTF??!?? This sets up any kid with more than one course, or problems learning, or struggling with the course to fail. Plain and simply fail. And the teacher knew the man-child was struggling.

And yes, he can work in the portal at home, but only until there is a test. Then he has to take the test at the school. And yes, he has been working every day until the system locks him out.

The man-child has 4 days to finish all of his courses. 4 days, 16 hours of in school time. He knows. He is trying. He is working to get it done.

But it is long shot. We are here to help him, if we can. We keep him on track. But there is only so much we can do to help him. Fingers are crossed. Toes are crossed. Pleadings have been sent out into the universe.

And to top this off, we learned today that bus will not run next week. Yeah. Today.

Way to go School. Way. To. Go.

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