I'm the foster parent to a 12-year old girl. She's been with me a little over a year now, and is in the 7th grade in the local mainstream middle school. She was removed from her home when she was about 8 years old, and since then has been in 5 foster homes. She counts 14 elementary schools. I'll spare you the details about the trauma in her home life, and even in her foster homes.
She barely got by in 6th grade at this school. Toward the end of the year, we had her tested to see if she qualified for an IEP. She scored relatively high on cognitive skills, low on executive functioning. They rushed through the portion where you answer 8 or 10 questions, the answers to which determine whether you qualify for an IEP. They determined that she did not. Her guardian ad lidem was in the room and did not dispute the results. Thus, no IEP.
Fast forward to 7th grade, and it's a whole new ball game. The teachers assume students are prepared for 7th grade, and throw work at them accordingly. Needless to say, she's not keeping up. I have asked for remedial help from the school, none was forthcoming, so I found two excellent tutors for her, one math, and one for language arts-oriented work.
One potential bright spot is that I have already received a letter from her therapist diagnosing her with ADHD, and requesting a 504 plan. My understanding is that being under a 504 plan will give her additional time for homework, test-taking, etc. but not the individualized help that an IEP would give her. we've scheduled a meeting with the school in two weeks to review this and the assistant principal seems open to the idea.
My immediate concern is her social studies teacher. The school has been good about seeing that she has her planner signed off on every day by teachers. On Friday, the social studies teacher indicated that there were no projects due in the near future. Last night, the planner indicates that a European map project is due today. I check online, and sure enough, it's a complicated, multi-dimensional project, exactly the type of project my FD needs extra time and help with. and, sure enough, she's lost it.
She goes into class today, and tells the teacher it's missing, and requests another map. The teacher, in front of the entire class, tells my FD that that's why there's after-school detention, for lazy students like her. Already, one fellow student has left a post-it note on her locker calling her lazy.
I'm still shaking. I have a call into her Guardian ad Lidem. I'm thinking she needs to handle it with the school. I honestly don't know what to do. I have to get her focused tonite on other homework, and I can barely focus myself.
What kind of teacher would do that to a child??????
Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 6:57 AM PT: First of all, thank you so much for the support and information I received! It took two days, but the asst. principal was able to speak with the teacher about this incident. She explains it as if she was talking to the entire class, ie, a plural "you", not signaling out my FD (even though in this class only my FD didn't have the homework ready). she will speak to her one on one clarifying that. Unfortunately, probably a rookie mistake by a veteran teacher, but I'm glad everyone at the school took this incident seriously. Again, thank you so much for the support!