Tomorrow starts Testing Week...the week where we basically do nothing outside of administering The Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests which are Really, Really Important. You know, the tests where the teachers are 100% accountable for how our students learn and the parents and the kids themselves are let off the hook for any accountability whatsoever.
If I sound bitter it's because I am. After spending a year with some of the kids I've had this year and their mostly absent parents (you know, the ones who refuse to pick up the phone, come to a meeting, or do anything remotely related to parenting), I'm really not wild about being The Only One Who is Held Accountable.
Which brings me to my three darlings in alternative school. Just as a reminder, that includes Pinball Boy (whom I adore although he can turn a class upside down), Spicoli Boy (who was, at one time in his school career, advanced and an A student but has since discovered illegal substances), and Duh Boy who really can be quite bright but appears to have also discovered illegal substances (hence the visit to alternative school) and who's parents rewarded him with a new dirt bike because, as his mother told me, "he's a good kid at heart and just made one bad decision."
I don't know about you, but if I'd done something as stupid as try to buy drugs from a kid at breakfast, in the school cafeteria (caught on lovely full color digital tape), and get myself sent to alternative school my parents wouldn't have bought me a dirt bike. In fact, I doubt they'd be buying me anything outside of paying for military boarding school or grounding me until I was 45.
Duh-Boy arrived back in school last Thursday, and this morning Pinball Boy and Spicoli Boy showed up. Spicoli Boy, I might add, has not changed one bit and has won the distinction of being the first kid I've had in alternative school in six years who didn't see a huge jump in grades. Usually they go there and you'll find a kid with a 50% grade jump to 90% or higher. Spicoli Boy beat the trend and earned a 61%. Pretty sad considering that 70% is required to pass.
Pinball Boy was, well, Pinball Boy. He was ecstatic to be back and honestly, it was nice seeing him again. However, yet again, he managed to turn the class into chaos because he is - surprise! - off his meds. Sigh. Screaming, laughing, running around the room, off his meds.
I had had a feeling that I'd see him before The Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests so I'd touched base with Mr. Enforcer and expressed my concerns. Unmedicated, Pinball Boy won't do well on the test. Even worse, unmedicated, and in my room with 24 other kids, they won't either. He can be that out of control. Mr. Enforcer, who's dealt with this kid for two years, and nearly had mom on speed-dial, agreed. He came to my room during planning and said he'd called mom and she promised she was going to have him medicated by tomorrow, but considering the number of times I've heard that, and how often it hasn't happened, we needed a Plan B. So, we have one. We'll see how he is during homeroom, and if it's apparent that he's out of control, he's going to go cool his jets in guidance and make up the test in the afternoon during the make-up sessions (which may have a handful of kids and be in a small group setting).
Hopefully it won't come to that, but it's nice to know we have some options.