Teacher Recommendations

Hi i'm new on this forum. My 9 year old has been assessed as gifted and ADHD (2e).  My 5 year old hasn't been assessed for either but we plan do an assessment soon.  We don't live in the Bay Area but we were looking to move there for the private schools for 2e children.  I looked through the prior posts and thank you to everyone that's shared your experiences about all the other wonderful schools there.  It's really helpful. 

We started to look into applications for private schools (most of them were mentioned on this forum) and they all want teacher recommendations.  My son sometimes struggles with school - they're on a number system and he usually gets 2's and 3's on a scale of 1 to 4.  He always knows the material back and forth when we review it at home and every tutor he's had says he's bright and he knows the material, but he's not great at completing in-class assignments or performing on tests.  We weren't too worried - we thought maybe he just needed some time to grow and mature, but when we got him assessed for ADHD a couple months ago, the Psychologist also tested him for being gifted and told us he was.  She told us that his neurodiversity is impairing his ability to excel in school.  (this is what started us on a school search and ultimately this forum).  

His current and prior teachers are NOT going to write him favorable recommendations.  They all say he's distracted, doesn't focus, is sometimes lazy, is day dreaming.  We didn't share his diagnosis with his current teacher or ask her for accommodations (504 for example) because in our extensive communication with her this past month, we think she can be vindictive and that she's not supportive or nurturing at all. 

Has anyone had experience applying to schools when you're unable to produce good recommendations?  I do plan to contact the admissions offices of the schools we intend to apply to, but we were hoping for some general insight and to see what your experiences have been in this situation. 

Thanks so much.  

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RE: Teacher Recommendations ()

Our child’s report card was not 100% glowing. Teachers have commented that our child was often distracted and needed to work on completing the assigned work. In our applications to private schools, we explained the struggles that our child had in public schools and how bored and unsupported they were. We got into multiple schools but ultimately we chose Aurora because of its small size, which is especially attractive during the pandemic, and reputation for excelling individualized education, inclusiveness  and warm support for 2e children. Teachers’ negative comments did not seem to impact our applications. But we did stress about it and made an effort to “rebut” what we thought would be negatives. We reached out to schools and asked if they would like letters from our child’s tutor/enrichment class teacher who have known them longer and better than the classroom teacher but Aurora said it wasn’t necessary. There are many kids who moved to private schools because public schools didn’t work for them, so I would not stress too much about the recommendation forms. The schools will also interview the child. We liked the fact that Aurora interviewed our child 1:1 virtually and made an effort to get to know us and our child during the application process. Our child is enjoying school for the first time in their life and is allowed increased recess time and body movement which are so helpful. They comment how much more attention they get in school and how much kinder everyone is at Aurora compared to their old school. Good luck!

RE: Teacher Recommendations ()

Thanks so much for your feedback! That's really helpful and encouraging.  I really appreciate it.