Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We all know The Girl has homework issues. We've been battling them for years and years. I don't imagine we're going to win the war anytime soon, either.

When she was getting ready to enter middle school, MM and I had major concerns about sending her to our public school. It doesn't have a very good reputation. We have 6 elementary schools in our town, and every single one of them dumps into the middle school. It's overcrowded and has been known to have problems with drugs and alcohol, not to mention delinquent behavior from its students. With TG's history we weren't sure it would be a good fit.

We talked about sending her to the local Christian school, but she begged us to let her try the public school first. All of her friends were going to the public school and they had more extracurricular activities for her to try. Those arguments didn't sway me, but we agreed to let her try it out after learning about their online grade system, ZAP program and guidance counselors.

ZAP = Zeros Aren't Permitted. If a child has a missing assignment the teacher fills out a ZAP form and the parents get an automated call along with a letter telling us there's a missing assignment. The child then has lunch detention until the assignment is completed and turned in. Most teachers take points away for every day the assignment isn't turned in.

Aside: Personally I think the ZAP program is a joke. I think if a child doesn't turn in an assignment they should get a zero for it. What's the incentive to get homework done and turned in if they don't get a zero? :End

So far the system has been working. I check TG's grades online once a week and if she has any missing assignments we take appropriate action (ie, make her life hell). My only problem? Well, ok, my only two problems? 1) TG still misses and assignments and 2) her math teacher.

I don't know if her Algebra teacher has problems with technology or what, but he never updates the online website. If he doesn't log missing assignments in to the computer, it doesn't trigger the ZAP program and I don't get notified, either via website, phone call or mailed letter. Which means I have no way of knowing if she's turning her assignments in. Which is bad!

That just happened again today. It's the end of the semester and time for report cards to come out. We have parent teacher conferences on Friday and today her Algebra teacher finally finished entering all the grades online. Guess how many assignments TG is missing? Go ahead, guess.

Five. 5. FIVE.


He hadn't updated the site since January, so all these missing assignments are from February.


She's had 5 missing assignments in his class, which brought her grade from an A- down to a D! and I didn't hear a word about it. MY CHILD HAS A D IN MATH AND I DIDN'T FIND OUT UNTIL TODAY.


I'm not saying that TG not turning her assignments in is the teacher's fault, but my not knowing about it is. If I don't know, how can I correct the problem if I don't know about it? I believe the teacher has a responsibility to let me know what's going on with my child. Right?

And you know what a D on TG's report card means? No car! We had also worked out a deal regarding a trip to Knott's Berry Farm and my old e-reader (which TG desperately wants) and those are both off the table, too. She'll be lucky if she survives the next week. Oh, and the best part? She has straight A's in all her other classes. My kids has 5 A's and a D.


While I was in the midst of writing this I got a phone call from Little Man's language arts teacher. Apparently he's gotten into the habit of not turning in assignments as well. His teacher said he was supposed to turn in a book report before spring break (our spring break was last week) and she's given him days since then to turn it in and he hasn't. He'll now be getting a zero on it. It's a 30 point assignment. She also said at least once a week he doesn't turn in his homework.

So, who's going to come visit me in jail? It's either that or the funny farm.


Anonymous said...

First of all, as a teacher I appreciate that you are so concerned about TG's grades and that you make her responsible for them. Trust me when I say that a lot of parents don't do that. Secondly, that match teacher needs to get on the ball. I wish that it were as easy for me to contact parents as it is for him. I'd love to be able to just log the grades into the computer and have parents be able to see. As things are now, I have to make way too many phone calls every week. Can I tell you how unpleasant that is?!?!? It is easy to get behind on grading/posting grades. I know that I do since English work takes so dang long to grade, but this teacher is taking an inordinate amount of time. Three months is ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

As an English teacher, I should have proofread my previous comment! "Math," not "match."

Lori said...

I'm feeling for you. You know I'm going thru this w/Steve right now... I look at it this way. Some day he will move out of the house and no longer be my responsibility, right?

Holly said...

I finally had a chance to talk to her teacher. He figured since she's one of his better students he didn't need to be as on top of her as he does some other students. Which I can a point. I did explain to him, way back at the beginning of the year, that if TG is given an inch she'll take 5 miles. Apparently he didn't believe me until now.

He did say she could turn those assignments in for partial credit. I haven't decided yet if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Naturally I don't want my child to carry a D, but I wonder if she'll think she can get away with this kind of thing now?

Sometimes being a parent blows chunks.

Related Posts with Thumbnails