Progress

Part of going to school is the quarterly progress report.

Our experience with the public schools has been somewhat hit-or-miss when it comes to the actual progress reports – public schools, at least here in Baltimore, have what seems like a weird system to me until you’re in third grade.  You don’t get “real” grades (A-E/F), but rather some thing that gives an idea of how you’re making progress.  But, as a special-education student, the Monster has been getting that report along with an IEP progress report, and the latter has not been particularly useful.

That’s not how it works at Gateway, though.

IMG_1630To start, I’ll admit I’ve been remiss in reading the Monster’s first progress report (as I mentioned on my Twitter account) – we got it a few weeks ago, and I’d just not tracked it down after it arrived.  I did find it while I was doing some IT maintenance around the house, and so I settled into read it.  The IEP progress report is all we got from the school…

…and it was awesome.

I’ll start with a simple enough statement – the standard grade report for under Grade 3 here in Baltimore is useless to me, and would be useless to me for a NT child as well.  I don’t care if my child is getting A’s or C’s or E’s – I need something more than “making progress” and a notation of his/her attitude in class.  The IEP reports from the public schools have been only slightly more useful, in that we’ve been seeing the same notes copied from quarter to quarter…

Not at Gateway.

The Monster’s first quarterly progress report at Gateway was very in depth, completely in the IEP format.  We received notations from his teachers and specialists that were thoughtful, insightful, and actionable, with annotation as to which of the various staff had put the comments on his goals.  We have a solid look on where he is making progress on his IEP goals and where there is a need for more work.  Despite having “informal measures” as the metric for a lot of the goals, we’re seeing that they are quantifying how much progress he’s making (ie, the goal says “80% of the time” and the teacher is reporting that he is managing “60%” at the moment).  They’re describing the techniques they’re using with him, and what they’re going to try in the coming weeks to see if they can help things along…

And frankly, it’s absolutely fabulous.  He could be making “no progress” and we’d actually be satisfied with the quality of the report.  (He’s “making adequate progress” towards his goals, before anyone worries that I’m setting the bar low.)

We do still need to schedule a meeting with the team to discuss where he is and see if anything needs adjustment, but for the moment, I’m over the moon about the documentation…

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