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Thread: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    It sounds like the school had it under control a letter went out they informed the parents to ignore it. The parents reacted by pulling their child out of school over getting one letter. It sounds like they over reacted, what else could explain their actions?
    It was more than a single letter. It was multiple letters and phone calls. That is the biggest issue here. It kept going on despite the constant assurance that it was taken care of. The family says they never got anything in writing from the school saying that the absences were excused. That is a problem. Especially with the system or the school sending them multiple letters and calling multiple times about truancy.
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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    It was more than a single letter. It was multiple letters and phone calls. That is the biggest issue here. It kept going on despite the constant assurance that it was taken care of. The family says they never got anything in writing from the school saying that the absences were excused. That is a problem. Especially with the system or the school sending them multiple letters and calling multiple times about truancy.
    And your source for that information?

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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    And your source for that information?
    It appears that there really are conflicting stories here afterall. The school sounds like they are essentially backtracking on what was initially put out from the beginning.

    After Avery missed more than 10 days of school because of a music program in Munich and a competition in Hartford, the family got repeated phone calls from the school’s truancy office. Lam said they were never told the absences would be excused, and, as far as she knows, they weren’t excused.

    During summer vacation, the family received yet another letter informing them that her daughter was truant, along with a helpful brochure that outlines the possible police and Child and Family Services intervention for students who are truant.
    Petula Dvorak: No misrepresentation of treatment of piano prodigy by D.C. schools - The Washington Post

    So it sounds like this, given the info we have from the school. Before the girl went to Munich, the parents talked to the school, explaining what was going on. Instead of excusing her then, they said they couldn't excuse her absences (or at least someone at the school, likely this "attendance specialist") despite the fact that this girl had what most schools would consider a brag-worthy opportunity due to her talent, and had a plan set up to deal with her academics. Sometime later, after she got back from Munich and after the first truancy letter/phone call (at least) was received, and emails were exchanged, the parents were told, don't worry about it but never informed that the absences were actually excused. They still received at least one more letter about the issue, warning about consequences of truancy, after they had already withdrawn their daughter from the school since that was done after they had gotten home. The journalist claims to have seen the emails.

    “As I shared during our phone conversation this morning, DCPS is unable to excuse Avery’s absences due to her piano travels, performances, rehearsals, etc.,” Jemea Goso, attendance specialist with the school system’s Office of Youth Engagement, wrote in an e-mail to Avery’s parents, Drew Gagliano and Ying Lam, last year before she left to perform in Munich.
    In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student - The Washington Post

    Essentially, it sounds like it took the school about 5 months to actually change the absences from unexcused to excused, after she had already been withdrawn from the school by her parents.

    We believed our communication with the family as recently as August 25 clarified that Avery’s absences had been excused. We were surprised to learn that this is the reason why Avery was voluntarily withdrawn from her school. We sincerely apologize for any confusion that the cross-communication might have conveyed.
    Statement from DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson on Post column - The Washington Post

    So it sounds like the problem is that they were having communications and/or redtape issues, rather than computer error/system issues.

    And really? After 5 months, the school thinks that there wouldn't be some issue with their child's very excusable absences marked as unexcusable wouldn't be the reason she would be removed from their school? Even after just a month or so, with the "attendance specialist" telling them that she couldn't excuse her for a trip to Munich I could see as an issue.
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  4. #194
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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    It appears that there really are conflicting stories here afterall. The school sounds like they are essentially backtracking on what was initially put out from the beginning.



    Petula Dvorak: No misrepresentation of treatment of piano prodigy by D.C. schools - The Washington Post

    So it sounds like this, given the info we have from the school. Before the girl went to Munich, the parents talked to the school, explaining what was going on. Instead of excusing her then, they said they couldn't excuse her absences (or at least someone at the school, likely this "attendance specialist") despite the fact that this girl had what most schools would consider a brag-worthy opportunity due to her talent, and had a plan set up to deal with her academics. Sometime later, after she got back from Munich and after the first truancy letter/phone call (at least) was received, and emails were exchanged, the parents were told, don't worry about it but never informed that the absences were actually excused. They still received at least one more letter about the issue, warning about consequences of truancy, after they had already withdrawn their daughter from the school since that was done after they had gotten home. The journalist claims to have seen the emails.



    In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student - The Washington Post

    Essentially, it sounds like it took the school about 5 months to actually change the absences from unexcused to excused, after she had already been withdrawn from the school by her parents.



    Statement from DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson on Post column - The Washington Post

    So it sounds like the problem is that they were having communications and/or redtape issues, rather than computer error/system issues.

    And really? After 5 months, the school thinks that there wouldn't be some issue with their child's very excusable absences marked as unexcusable wouldn't be the reason she would be removed from their school? Even after just a month or so, with the "attendance specialist" telling them that she couldn't excuse her for a trip to Munich I could see as an issue.
    It seems to me that the parents should have realized that the heavy schedule that their daughter has isnt compatible with public schools. As great as it is that their daughter has a special talent she isnt at all special. By special I ema above the other students and what is expected out of them with attendance. The parents should have home schooled their daughter when they learned that she was going to be obligating many hours to her music ambitions. It wasnt only the shows that she was missing school for but it was also rehearsals and etc whatever that is?

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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    It seems to me that the parents should have realized that the heavy schedule that their daughter has isnt compatible with public schools. As great as it is that their daughter has a special talent she isnt at all special. By special I ema above the other students and what is expected out of them with attendance. The parents should have home schooled their daughter when they learned that she was going to be obligating many hours to her music ambitions. It wasnt only the shows that she was missing school for but it was also rehearsals and etc whatever that is?
    Except it was compatible with public school. The school could accommodate it easily, just as other public schools have done for not only other students in situations similar to this girl's but in situations where family obligations and/or other "events" happen for students that have shown they don't have any issue with maintaining their academics.

    Attendance is always given special exceptions in school for things like this. Schools are allowed to do it, especially when the students show that they can keep up academically without any problems.

    Prove she was missing school for rehearsals/practice/other things that were an issue. None of that was mentioned. In fact, the school admits itself that she should have been excused for these things and they didn't truly have a problem with it. In fact, the school is actually asking her to come back, promising to accommodate whatever schedule she has, saying they work with families with unique situations like hers.
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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Except it was compatible with public school. The school could accommodate it easily, just as other public schools have done for not only other students in situations similar to this girl's but in situations where family obligations and/or other "events" happen for students that have shown they don't have any issue with maintaining their academics.

    Attendance is always given special exceptions in school for things like this. Schools are allowed to do it, especially when the students show that they can keep up academically without any problems.

    Prove she was missing school for rehearsals/practice/other things that were an issue. None of that was mentioned. In fact, the school admits itself that she should have been excused for these things and they didn't truly have a problem with it. In fact, the school is actually asking her to come back, promising to accommodate whatever schedule she has, saying they work with families with unique situations like hers.
    Rehearsals were mentioned in the articles that you linked. And I do not disagree that a public can make special provisions for individual students circumstances. But you have shown that in this circumstance the school dropped the ball in satisfying that the absences were dealt with properly. Which gives good reason to pull your child out of public schools if you want your child to be the victim of circumstances. Better to preemptively take the situation by the horns before there is a problem. Other parents (as one of your links said) unroll their child when taking long trips and then re-enroll them upon return to avoid truancy laws. Obviously then it is the laws that are the problem not really the schools. And that has actually been my point. All schools have their own bureaucratical incompetence's but when laws are made specifically dictating how public schools operate it is then that redtape becomes zero tolerant rules. Not saying that there shouldnt be law specifically designed to deal with public schools or that all zero tolerance rules arise from laws, but a great deal do or at least from trending attitudes.

    To avoid the calamity of having a public school dictating what a student can or cannot do (along with the parents ants) in some cases it would be wise to just take your child out of the public school to better do what was intended without dealing with other peoples wants. I applaud the parents for taking the initiative to school their own child. I do not though respect them for complaining about it and making it a public issue.

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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    Rehearsals were mentioned in the articles that you linked. And I do not disagree that a public can make special provisions for individual students circumstances. But you have shown that in this circumstance the school dropped the ball in satisfying that the absences were dealt with properly. Which gives good reason to pull your child out of public schools if you want your child to be the victim of circumstances. Better to preemptively take the situation by the horns before there is a problem. Other parents (as one of your links said) unroll their child when taking long trips and then re-enroll them upon return to avoid truancy laws. Obviously then it is the laws that are the problem not really the schools. And that has actually been my point. All schools have their own bureaucratical incompetence's but when laws are made specifically dictating how public schools operate it is then that redtape becomes zero tolerant rules. Not saying that there shouldnt be law specifically designed to deal with public schools or that all zero tolerance rules arise from laws, but a great deal do or at least from trending attitudes.

    To avoid the calamity of having a public school dictating what a student can or cannot do (along with the parents ants) in some cases it would be wise to just take your child out of the public school to better do what was intended without dealing with other peoples wants. I applaud the parents for taking the initiative to school their own child. I do not though respect them for complaining about it and making it a public issue.
    The major problem is this public school, not all of them (although there are certainly plenty out there that have other problems or even similar ones to this school), was not compatible with this girl's schedule. But more than that, they have problems with communication among their staff/administration and/or too much red tape somewhere. It should not take 5 months to get approval for excused absences, no matter what the reason. There are going to be other reasons to excuse a student from school besides their being prodigy (I shared that I was excused for an entire 2 months one year in elementary school and it was all taken care of beforehand).
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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Except it was compatible with public school. The school could accommodate it
    The school system did accommodate it
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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    The major problem is this public school, not all of them (although there are certainly plenty out there that have other problems or even similar ones to this school), was not compatible with this girl's schedule. But more than that, they have problems with communication among their staff/administration and/or too much red tape somewhere. It should not take 5 months to get approval for excused absences, no matter what the reason. There are going to be other reasons to excuse a student from school besides their being prodigy (I shared that I was excused for an entire 2 months one year in elementary school and it was all taken care of beforehand).
    Yes one could say that 5 months is too long and that the school should do things differently. But then that could fall under the discretion allowed to the school on such issues. The school dealt with the issue and you think it is a lame method, but the courts never intervened last year or this year meaning that the school is ad was correct in its claims that the letters and phone calls were to be ignored. The end result is the key to all of this. The student was never disciplined nor were the parents. There isnt a mark on the students record about truancy nor were there ever any legal steps taken against the parents for truancy. The student was voluntarily removed by the parents without the schools intervention.

    Where it stands now is that nothing was happening to the student or the parents over truancy. The only thing that did happen was that automated communications were sent in error and it took 5 months to complete something that appears to have not needed that long to happen. In the grand scheme of things nothing really happened. No one was forced out of the school no one was prosecuted or anything of that nature. Just some parents and a reporter got whinny and were called on their whinniness. I havent heard any reports of the same school being accused of truancy ineptness that caused a student to be marked as unexcused absence because of the schools slow system. It would be interesting to know if there have been anything like that though. But I wasnt able to find anything.

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    Re: 13 Year Old Piano Prodigy Treated As Truant By Public School System

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomFromAll View Post
    Yes one could say that 5 months is too long and that the school should do things differently. But then that could fall under the discretion allowed to the school on such issues. The school dealt with the issue and you think it is a lame method, but the courts never intervened last year or this year meaning that the school is ad was correct in its claims that the letters and phone calls were to be ignored. The end result is the key to all of this. The student was never disciplined nor were the parents. There isnt a mark on the students record about truancy nor were there ever any legal steps taken against the parents for truancy. The student was voluntarily removed by the parents without the schools intervention.

    Where it stands now is that nothing was happening to the student or the parents over truancy. The only thing that did happen was that automated communications were sent in error and it took 5 months to complete something that appears to have not needed that long to happen. In the grand scheme of things nothing really happened. No one was forced out of the school no one was prosecuted or anything of that nature. Just some parents and a reporter got whinny and were called on their whinniness. I havent heard any reports of the same school being accused of truancy ineptness that caused a student to be marked as unexcused absence because of the schools slow system. It would be interesting to know if there have been anything like that though. But I wasnt able to find anything.
    The end result is that the school lost out on the opportunity of bragging about how they had a world-renowned prodigy pianist graduate from their school due to their ineptness in this matter.
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