SLS & HS teachers -- Need some advice!

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by TheDukeOfEarl, May 31, 2011.

  1. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    Hi all,

    I've got a somewhat disturbing SLS situation that arose in the past couple of days, and would like to know if anyone else has ever experience something like this:

    DS is attending SLS second session next week. He is in a public school, so his school year doesn't end until the last week in June, and so he is missing a week of school to attend SLS. He worked with his teachers and guidance councilor and housemaster to make sure he does not miss out on any critical work next week, and we thought everything was set. Truthfully, he handled setting up all of that and so I was going on his word that it was "all set", and I believe him when he says he thought it was. (EDIT: I am certainly cognizant of the fact that DS may have dropped the ball somehow here, but he is a very reliable kid, so I would be surprised if that ended up being the case.)

    Now, on Friday, one of his teachers indicated that she will not accomodate him and that his missing a major exam next week may result in him getting a zero. (EDIT: I should clarify to say this is not 100% definite -- she is "thinkning about how to handle it"... but she said it wasn't fair to the other students if she allowed him to take it later. Just wanted to say that in the spirit of accuracy. ). On top of that, another one of his teachers today indicated she will be loading him up with a week's worth of homework and projects when he leaves on FRIDAY that he is expected to turn in completed when he returns to school a week from Monday.

    I have scheduled meetings with the two teachers and the guidance councilor tomorrow, but I am astonished that it has come to this. It is not like he is taking the week off to go to Florida on vacation. !!!

    I should mention that DS did get the reaction of "Why on earth would you want to join the Army?" when he first mentioned the SLS to the first teacher back in March. She seemed to have disdain for the military; I am not sure I want to call her out on that during our meeting, but my son is distraught about this late breaking change in direction, and actually mentioned dropping out of SLS to avoid taking the hit on his grades at this point in his junior year.

    Has anyone ever run into this kind of thing with regard to SLS?

    I am fuming right now. :unhappy:

    .
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    My advice would be to let your son handle the situation. It will be the first of many decisions he will have to make. Of course, he can ask for your advice.

    My soon to be Yuk also expressed interest in attending SLS several years ago. Once he researched it, he quickly determined that attending would interfere with many important year-end school activities: finals, projects, homework, required reading, sports, etc.

    He thought about asking his teachers for accommodation or to be excused from some of the requirements, but there simply was simply too much work to be made up. In the end, he decided against attending SLS, even after reconsidering SLS for the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy, which both had a more compatible schedule. It also happens that his lacrosse team made it to the state finals - another reason for sticking close to home.

    His HS junior year ended in mid-June.

    Instead, he focused his energies on taking the ACT and SAT, finishing his Junior year with good grades, and working with his teachers to complete their portion of his West Point file over the summer. The result was a completed file by the start of the school year, and an LOA by November.

    Not attending SLS had no bearing on his application or appointment.
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I think your DS has a good idea about letting SLS drop. If he is not able to work it out with the teachers, it might be better not to be penalized academically for missing so many days. My cadet did not attend SLS and never even considered it because of missing review sessions and finals. He was also a graduation marshal and did not want to miss that honor.

    I would ignore the teacher's comment about "Why on earth would you want to join the military?" It's the first of many dumb things people will say. A nurse in our doctor's office asked me that when I went to pick up some medical paperwork for DoDMERB. Heck, there were a couple of lame protestors outside Stony Lonesome gate on R-Day. My neighbor still thinks that my cadet just decided not to go to a college. People are stupid and you can't fix stupid.

    I realize you are probably out a plane ticket and other expenses, but it's not worth messing up his junior year grades. West Point will be interested in those and not in whether or not he went to SLS.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  4. Dog Walker

    Dog Walker Member

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    My DS is currently attending ths USAFA Summer Seminar and we also attend a high school that does not end till 6/22. When speaking to his teachers about SLS early this Spring, he never asked to have extensions made for any of his assignments...he had to hand everything in BEFORE he left so no special accomodations were made. It meant taking a chem test a week before the rest of class, same thing with AP Euro major paper. That definitely helped him (not expecting any favors) and the teachers were supportive and accomodating to him missing the week of school. Not sure if it's too late to fit everything in at this late date for your DS, but I'd recommend it to others planning to go to SLS in the future!
     
  5. CroatanMom

    CroatanMom Member

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    My son attended both SLS and USNA Summer Seminar last year during sessions 1 and 2. He missed one regular week of school and the week of final exams. His school was very understanding. A teacher and a guidance counselor even came in on their "day off" after school was over to administer a state exam that my son had missed. Both my son and I did talk to the school administrators before he even applied to the programs to inform them of the situation. I think this may have helped with the missed days. I hate that this is happening, but some schools have different rules. It may be best to drop SLS if it will mean a hard hit on the grades!
     
  6. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    Thank you

    Thank you all for your replies. We had a heart to heart here this evening in our home and agreed that skipping SLS is a last resort, only in such case we get the impression tomorrow that severe grade impact will happen. It's not the plane ticket or the cost of the seminar as much as it is the fact that DS is so bent on going and feels if we can get these couple of things ironed out then he will be fine to go.

    Despite giving some serious thought to having DS handle the school meeting himself, I am planning to go to the meeting but let him do the talking with me there as background support. I got an email from the guidance councilor late this afternoon saying that he hadn't realized the disjointed approach that had occurred here and would help to make sure things got staged properly. I think where we dropped the ball on our end (my DS and I) was in not telegraphing the impact well to his teachers (or relying on the guidance concilor to do it without confirming he'd done so completely). I'll let all know how things go after tomorrow, but I guess lesson to those for future SLS sessions: Make sure you provide warning well in advance (and confirm that it is received and understood) for all involved at your son or daughter's HS. They all have a lot going on and even telling them something verbally two months ago is no guarantee that they will remember it when the time comes.

    Thanks again all.
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Did your son request to take a makeahead as oppose to a makeup? That may solve the "faireness" issue. Otherwise, I suggest speaking to his councelor about this.
     
  8. bpu

    bpu Member

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    An ounce of preventation is not worth a pound of cure, more like a ton of cure. DD went SLS plus another SA SS. Missed finals week and week before finals week. Couldn't take the finals the week after school ended due to another outside conflict. The two weeks after that the school was closed for vacation. Finals were taken in July!
    Got all this approved despite the fact the initial request was completely denied since Juniors could only miss two days of school for college visits and no visits the last month of school...
    Talk about approvals, meetings, exceptions! Principal thought SS/SLS was like camp. Took in the daily schedule showing PT, classes, long days - anything but camp. Needed two approvals ABOVE the principal. We were close to personally calling elected school board members. No one had done it before at this school. A year later at graduation the school said thank you for the education they received on SAs. Next year the # of appointments went from just our one to six.
    Never assume, always verify, and plan well in advance!
     
  9. bpu

    bpu Member

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    Forgot another hang up. How could it be possible to take finals over a month late due to chance for cheating? Showed materials that had the Honor Code on it and said teachers were not even the classroom to monitor exams; would a student who wanted that call friends on summer break to get questions on exams the friends took a month earlier?
    You need to grease all the skids: teachers, counselor(s), principal(s) and perhaps even school administration.
     
  10. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    Good news

    First off, thanks all for your input and support. And now for some very good news:

    We met yesterday with the team at DS's school. DS did all the talking and described the nomination process to them (GC knew how it works, but the rest did not) and then showed them the packet of info from SLS. It was exactly what bpu described above, in that they all thought this was some sort of "paintball camp" that happened to be run at WP. This even though DS had given them the form letter notice. After only 15 minutes describing the program and showing them the classes and CFA and the rest of the agenda, they were all completely on board, and had, in fact, prepared some few packets of info on what DS would need to look over on the flight there and after he returns, to give him some front-loading of the material he'll miss next week. Every teacher was accomodating and wishing him the best of luck at SLS. Even the skeptical (suspected anti-military) teacher whom he likes gave him a hug. I actually cried a bit on the ride home at how fast things turned around once he stated his case and they turned from suspicious to fully supportive. So my boy is off to SLS with a huge issue off his shoulders.

    If there is any lesson here it is as others have stated above: Notify early. Notify often. And never assume people really have internalized what SLS is all about until you see them react with clarity. DS and I had this conversation, and I reminded him that this is a more general life lesson -- never assume and always reinforce when the issue is critical.

    So, thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to all you folks here on SAF. Every reply above had a nugget in it that helped us to get this resolved. You truly are a lifeline.

    :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  11. center56

    center56 Member

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    That's great news Duke. Hope your DS enjoys his time there. My DS is currently at the airport in Newark waiting on his flight home from SLS. We have the weekend to do laundry then off to Air Force SS on Monday. He was lucky enough to have finished finals prior to leaving for SLS.
     
  12. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    So good to hear that all worked out! One of many life lessons.
     
  13. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    Congrats center56. Hope he had fun and found it rewarding.
     

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