After getting the go ahead for Gymnasium Yesterday I read about the UPV that they require as well. It turns out to be a 99% opinion based evaluation that was supposed to be done over 2 years in co operation with the parents by either the Guidance Concellor or previous School. The test bit is either after 10 yrs schooling at a public school, but since some schools do not test, some students rely on a entry exam that usually gets given before the summer. That test is only a small tad of the 'actual' evaluation. Homeschooler's have to rely on the opinion of the Guidance Councilor they meet. By application students living abroad can be testet just as Gymnasium starts.
So I am fretting since everytme I touch opnion based stuff I loose due to being different. So what to do? Ideas like listening, luck, hope jump into my thoughts ... wow, I am sweating now!
So far, the Guidance Councellors opinion has been you were born in 1997 and your case reaches 'me' in nov 2012 ... so I don't want to talk to you before then. If you homeschool you are not my problem, but doing something illegal: School is compulsory. All children go to school. The law says the Guidance Councilor must listen hear about the child, do an evaluation and all is to be done in close co operation with the parents.
So in other words: 'If I was smart, I'd know their traditions' and should have realized early on that there really is no point in disturbing 'them'. Once the Guidance Councilor starts out by saying 'no', there is no turning back. As I was about to find out, it took a whole year to do so.
Yesterday, they gave us a meeting coming up next wednesday, actually it's the meeting we asked for, a year ago, last summer: Right on their schedule, not based on our needs, but their systems ways. They are against Gymnasium, just because it's unheard of that a child can be ready to start a year before their 'birthdate' states. I am not seen as a parent to be heard, social status matters ... If I was 'importand enough' it would be a different matter, sadly so. And the list just grows as they hear more cues.
The school, we left just after last summer, has informed CPS they think she should be with them. Note we left them, due to major irregularities. CPS was overjoyed when the school informed them of their opinion ... Strike: Another against the 'bad' parent. So the school, CPS and Guidance Councellor has teamed up.
The school psychologist, unknown to us, asked CPS to help with our case but CPS 'took over'. The school psychologist is no where to be seen. They would have been great to have on our side, but the problem is, since they did not see any irregularities at the school, they cannot support us. I suppose they have loads to work together on ...
Point taken: The System does as the System usually does, they decide and their opinion matters. The child is like a 'pawn' in a chess game. All pawns are the same, yet some make it over to the other side, others are sacrificed for the Game. That the 'law' says the child's opinion matters, the child must be heard ... and supported. It is really 'just' the law. Time unfortunately does not stand still!
So the Municipalities School Board informs me after closing time, yesterday that they have to 'license homeschoolers'. Another part of the system joining forces against our wishes. I applied for that last summer, but our application was, instead of being processed, filed by two departments while the Dept Head for Child Care, asked CPS to co ordinate all involved parties, in order to find the best solution for the child. Her paperwork volume has grown exponentially yet not solutions were offered.
It turns out, CPS only 'investigates' if parents are bad parents so they started their paper-mill. CPS can work closely with the School Board at the Municipality. Yet sometimes they won't exchange notes - it depends on the case. In our case somehow they found over 1000 pages of notes in 6 months without talking to us. The law says it's our legal right to homeschool and has made provision for that, but cannot provide for when personal opinions rule the cases. Our homeschooling application has not been evaluated. Parents get hidden under piles of applications, while CPS builds up a case instead of considering their children's needs, not even mentioning our wishes.
See, CPS is of the opinion that children either go to school, if not their parents are 'bad' parents and need help to send the child to school. Homeschooling according to them is illegal, and if parents insist then they are per CPS's definition: Not qualified to teach! Funny, while a kid is in school CPS never investigates if the child has a qualified remedial teacher? See, the law does not stipulate that remedial teachers have to have special needs qualifications.
Luckily, The law has made some provision and states that the parents, should the above situation become apparent, can ask for an evaluation by a Gymnasium. If the child has been able to learn enough to warrant being given Gymnasium as an option, luckily I found out 'just in time'.
Although, it must be notet that CPS is not normally involved unless some person files a negative report. I got reported for my child not going to school while my application for homeschooling was filed.
My opinion is CPS got called in to scare us into 'listening', sadly once they get called in parents loose their case, people all know that. The later documentation that CPS received was given by a school we reported for misconduct, after it became clear I reported them, as well as anonymously via parents at the same school. All this just after it became official that I complained about irregularities there. It will need a court case to be heard and that will take years.
Luckily - our application to Gymnasium is leaglly intact. I did ask for an evaluation in time, but I made a small mistake ... My excuse is I was not experienced and not forcing my child. I missed an application date. We asked for permission to apply and that was granted. Thus hurdling us into onto 'the dreaded waiting list'. Only due to sheer luck and a forceful 'no', explaining mistakes were made, we got an opportunity to go to an evaluation at a Gymnasium. Suddenly, on monday she will be sorted into the right 'class'.
Actually it feels much like being inside a Harry Potter book, being chosen with no idea 'how', rushing for the train, nearly not finding the platform and then anticipating the 'sorting hat' scene. Hopefully the Gymnasium is like 'Hogworths', with a Dumbledore.
So I put up a fight and we are allowed to go one step further!
Now the evaluation looms. 'Listening' in our case did not help much as one shoe fits all, luck has been our 'lifeline' ... reading the law and knowing how 'The System' works turns out to be of utmost importance. Knowing about advocacy is basically learning to fly like a butterfly.
My strength has been not understanding the 'unwritten' rules in time, yet that is also my major weakness. Not giving up has paid off so far.
So, let's hope that Dumbledore is able to see some Light in all our external references. All she needs is a chance in an environment where there is no forced 'Underachievement', so she can once again as time goes by use all her talents: Learning should be fun!
Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin'
She said...Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let's use every one