Month: October 2016
Dylan’s case manager sent me a note this week.
Given that I have been so focused on how terrified I am, that Dylan will fail his first quarter of tenth grade without my heroic assistance, I decided to post the case manager’s note here.
Please note that, on this day, Dylan has an A in Foundations of Technology, five B’s, a C in his AP class (“It’s hard, Mom!”) and a D in Algebra 2 – only because he hasn’t finished a quiz that he’s tried to finish several times. He is actually heading for Honor Roll again!
And here is what his case manager said:
I just met with Dylan. Dylan and I chart his grades whenever we meet. I don’t know if you see this, but today compared to his last meeting with me the computer science and chorus grades stayed the same and all other grades improved. Additionally, many grades are high percentages for moving up to the next letter grade. Dylan knew this before we even began to look at his grades. He could tell me what was missing/waiting for teacher to enter grade/to complete before I even looked at the class. He is very focused and aware of his progress and what he needs to do to improve. Compared to last year, work completion and turn in has greatly improved. For example, in Algebra all assignments are turned in and he will be meeting with (his Algebra teacher) to take the quiz. Not to say that he doesn’t still need support, but progress comes at steps at a time not miles. I am very proud of him.
I am proud of him, too. I have read this note six gazillion times.
You GO, Dylan!
Dylan’s GPA was 1.7 last Friday morning – the day he was supposed to start work at Field of Screams. He’s not allowed to work unless he has a 2.0 or above – and all of his missing work needs to be turned in.
Conveniently, when his work is turned in, his GPA always goes up. He doesn’t turn in crappy work. In fact, he often gets A’s on his work.
Those A’s are then docked up to 50% for being turned in late.
So on Friday morning, even after Dylan’s “I-got-this” attitude, I was not hopeful.
I texted him, panicked:
You still have a D in Foundations of Technology. You have a D in Algebra. You have a C in Computer Science. You have a C in English. You have a C in Government. You have three missing assignments in Government now. And you got a D on your last Spanish quiz so you barely have a B in there. And you got a NINE OUT OF 40 on your Chorus quiz! I don’t believe you have been studying for anything.
He texted me back:
I will take care of everything. There’s honestly no chance that I got a 9/40 there must be a mistake
For the next four hours (since it was a half-day), I got updates from Dylan. He went from teacher to teacher, fixing things. He had an assignment in English that had been missing for weeks. He finally printed it out and turned it in on Friday. His Government teacher wrote a note that explained – oddly – HER mistake in putting zeros in the computer when the assignments weren’t even due yet.
And then his Chorus teacher sent a note explaining that Dylan’s grade was a 9 out of TEN, not 9 out of FORTY – oops, teacher error.
As I noted in a previous post, teachers have a very hard job.
Dylan stayed after school to finish a few things and came home with a whole pile of handwritten notes from teachers, explaining what had been turned in, what errors happened on their end, what Dylan completed. I got notes of all different shapes and sizes, and told Dylan he would be allowed to work – and to take part in extracurriculars again.
Then, when the computer system updated with his grades fixed… Dylan had a 2.7 GPA.
I’ll take it.
In one week, and with some assignments so late that they were still not graded, Dylan pulled up his GPA to 2.1. He has now turned in everything (and I have confirmation from his case manager and teachers about it) but since some of it is not graded, I am still anxious.
Because in three days, he was missing five more assignments. He didn’t finish an algebra test and his English quiz still hadn’t been graded. His grade went from that luxurious 2.1 down to a 1.7 again.
Meanwhile, he signed up to work 17 days at Field of Screams. We scheduled another voice lesson for him. And he became president of the Ultimate Frisbee club, which starts practice next week.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” Dylan said. “I’ve got this. You don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
I tried to relax. “Okay,” I said, my voice cracking slightly. “You’ve got this. I will shut up.”
Less than 24 hours later, I was texting him a list of his missing assignments. I’d emailed his case manager and started to write to his teachers – but decided to write this blog instead.
I will wait. Dylan does not have to turn in his papers. He will survive. He can fail tenth grade and his will still survive.
He just won’t work at Field of Screams. He won’t be allowed to play Ultimate Frisbee, let alone be president. And he won’t take any more voice lessons.
This is not the end of the world. It will be hard for him to accept, and it will be miserable living with him complaining all the time about how he’s got everything under control, even though he has nothing under control.
But yesterday, he sat on the couch for an hour – as per our contract – and worked on his AP Computer Science assignment. He got a 100% today, when he turned it in ON TIME.
So I haven’t given up hope. I will not ever give up hope.
I just have to accept whatever happens – whatever happens – and stick to the contracted consequences.
Even if it’s horrifically painful and sometimes makes it hard to breathe.