We KNOW That He Can Do It.
For the second semester of his junior year, Dylan has a new contract.
This contract explains – in very positive terms – that we know that Dylan CAN complete his classwork and turn it in on time. It outlines the very positive outcomes that will happen when he does this, all of which are natural consequences: respect from teachers, better grades and GPA, letters of recommendation for college, driving privileges, support from family, and overall respectful treatment befitting his maturity.
The expectations are simple:
1 – You are expected to get downstairs on time (6:45 – not 6:50), to catch the bus on time (7:00), and to get to school on time (7:45). You are also expected to get to your classes on time, which means that we should never again get a notice that says you could fail a class because you have three or more unexcused “tardies” in any class. It is also your responsibility to get to play practice, voice lessons, and other activities on time. ALL “on time” expectations will be much easier to achieve if you get 8+ hours of sleep per night.
2 – You are expected to listen and do your classwork whenever you are in class. The only excuse for not doing classwork is your physical absence from the classroom (which means you will finish that work later). You are never expected to use your phone or electronics in class, not even to check the time, no matter how tempting it may be. If you are done with your class work early, immediately check with your teacher to see what else needs to be done – and do it. If there is no written work to be done, you may review notes and prepare for upcoming tests (called “studying.”) If there is no work and no studying, you may do independent reading. If there is no reading, you can do SAT practice. There is never “nothing” to do.
3 – You are expected to turn in every assignment on the day that it is due. If something is not finished in class, you may stay after school and finish it, or you may finish it for homework. You are then expected to turn it in immediately. Your IEP allows only for time-and-a-half, so anything that is two days late is unacceptable. You may use your signature sheet to keep track of every assignment, or you may find another way to keep track of assignments, but it is your responsibility (not your teachers’ or your parents’) to figure out what’s due and when, and then to turn in everything – including homework – on time. All assignments matter; you are expected to complete them and turn them in.
Since this is Dylan’s last semester that “counts” toward getting into college, and since it is our last chance to be sure that Dylan really can do the work on his own, the contract also outlines the very real, natural consequences that will occur if he does not meet these expectations: NO college application fees paid and NO parental co-signatures for college loans, NO cell phone or computer use whenever he has any missing work, NO financial assistance for a gap year or moving expenses – but sufficient food and shelter after high school, as long as he goes to a community college or works diligently to save money for his own place.
We know that he can do it. Though we have often questioned his choices, we have never doubted his abilities.
Now we’ll find out if he believes he can do it, too.