View Full Version : long private school rant.
12-17-04, 02:37 AM
i have been going to private school for my entire life. you would think they would probably try to help a child they see struggling throughout the years considering that they are generally small communities. however, their mentality of, "this is not a public school. if you cant meet our standards then you can just leave. we dont make accomodations <STRIKE>unless you have the money to pay</STRIKE>." has made my life a living hell. threatening to be kicked out of the place where you are suppossed to depend on as somewhat your second home is not encouraging to a developing young individual. yearly school IQ/standardized testing was my only indication that i had the intelligence to perform well if given the chance and proper attention. being called lazy never helped much either. my high scores were the only silent argument i had for myself that i am not a disfunctional human being. having been diagnosed with ADD only a month ago this is all up until very recently. its my junior year of highschool and if i hadnt done something this year there would have been no way i would have had any confidence with my upcoming SATs. The guidance department never offered me any consolation. "well maybe you can go to a community college", or the best has to be, "well obviously you arent looking at any ivy league colleges" never makes anyone feel better. i never asked for special treatment, but they never offered any help. no matter where you go in the school system, the underdog is always screwed over.
anyway, after that long rant i have a question. if my grades were to increase suddenly over the next few months and my SAT scores showed a significant improvement over my PSATs would a college possibly take into consideration that i have ADD and am just recently being treated if they were in fact informed? would they consider that i might be the kind of student they are looking for if just given the chance? my grades are already going up. im just afraid that my whole future was messed up because i didnt know i had a problem. it just doesnt seem fair...
12-17-04, 09:10 AM
I'm really mad right now so I'll have to come back since the replies I've typed and deleted will do nothing to help you in a constructive way. But, do remember NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO WRITE YOUR DESTINY BUT YOU!!!!!! IT'S YOUR LIFE YOU DECIDE!!!!
Actualy your Junior year is probably one of your post important years. Many schools do look at your improvement. Also, if you have to write personal essays in your application writing about how you overcame your challenges could be something that could help you too.
Yes, absolutely. A strong, upward trend will definitely work in your benefit, especially since you say you score well on standardized tests.
Also, keep in mind, once you're out in the "real world," nobody gives a darn where your degree came from, as long as it's a real college and not a degree mill. :P When you start working, your work experience quickly becomes more important than your education (which, actually is one of my problems, being 5 years out of school, lol... but I'm going back to get another degree, so I can basically "start over" on my resume.) Also, if you go on to graduate or professional school, nobody will care if your undergrad degree is from Acme College of Walla Walla, Washington. They will look at the more recent degree instead.
a 110% you will succeed in your life.
Remember, we are gifted..and so are you!
12-19-04, 02:38 AM
I think livingwithadd is right --Junior year is most important for your grades (no pressure or anything).:rolleyes:
I don't think colleges look at your PSAT scores, so they probably won't be comparing one score to the other. I recommend taking a SAT prep course and get lots of practice taking the test --ideally using actual tests that were given in previous years. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it sure does help.;) If you need to boost your verbal score, you can get vocabulary tapes and just listen to them over & over again. I think the "Princeton Review" has vocab tapes of words that frequently appear on the SAT. The vocab tapes also give strategies on how to remember the definitions, so it's not just a tape of words & definitions.
Since you're at such a highfaluting school, maybe your counselors are just being elitist?? There are plenty of less-competitive colleges that are well-respected & academically challenging. To varying degrees, colleges also look at what other activities you've been involved in (music, art, media, volunteer work, sports, etc.). Unfortunately I think GPA & SAT scores are the first thing that colleges look at --I think you need to meet a minimum standard before they will even look at the rest of your application (but I'm not 100% certain about this, so don't quote me or anything). However, if you're not involved in other activities already, I would focus your energy on improving your grades and don't worry about extra-curriculars.
I would consult a college counselor to find out if they recommend pointing out your ADD diagnosis in your applications. I don't know how a college would react to that info. You can find many people here on the forums who have been treated negatively at work or at college after they disclosed their ADD diagnosis. It is illegal for a college to discriminate on the basis of a disability, but admission is a competitive process. I doubt they would consciously reject you because of ADD, but if you use ADD as an excuse (or they perceive that you are using it as an excuse), they might get a negative impression of you.
FYI - The admissions process is pretty unpredictable. I got into my "reach college" (the most difficult one I applied to), but was rejected from my "safety" (the easiest one I applied to) ...go figure!
If you don't get accepted to the type of college you were hoping for, you could always start out at a less competitive college & transfer after freshman year. Then again, tranferring might be an unnecessary burden. In addition to actually having to go thru the application process again, you would have to acclimate to the new college in your sophmore year --all your classmates would already be acclimated, so depending on your personality this could be difficult (definitely would have been tough for me).
One other thing to think about...
In terms of ADD, I'd recommend looking into small colleges --I think you get a more personalized education at a small college & the faculty is more supportive. Admittedly, that's a sweeping generalization, but that's my gut feeling & was my experience. My sister went to Duke ...the mere size of the campus was over-whelming to me. I cannot imagine learning anything in auditorium-sized classrooms, but my sister did great there. I went to Guilford College, a small college in NC. My classes had about 20 students on average, probably never more than 30 & sometimes as few as 10 (or less). I called several of my prof's by their first names, had dinner at prof's homes a few times --I even called a prof at home one time to beg admittance into a closed class. I was not dx'd at the time, so official accomodations were not something I even thought of. However, I was given extra time on some exams (depending on the prof) without even asking. I was given plenty of extensions on papers, usually with some points taken off, but nothing too horrible. While Duke University is certainly better known & more respected, I don't think I would have been successful at such a huge school.
12-20-04, 04:12 PM
omg all i have to say is i have been there and am dealing with the after effects i had the tutors the this the that
by the way AT A PRIVATE SCHOOL THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO GIVE YOU HELP !HELLO THATS WHY YOU PAY TUITION
HOPEFULLY EVERYTHING WILL GET BETTER FOR YOU I WILL PRAY IT DOES
BRITTANY :eek: :p
In terms of the Sat or ACT, get accomodations. As long as u have something from a special ed teacher or from a doctor u should be golden. U can get extra time to take the exam, or a quite room, or whatever else u might think would help u to succeed. ADD is considered a disability for terms of the tests.
I definitly agree with gingagirl, a small school is your best bet for success. I am currently at a tech college, but I love it. My classes are small and person, i am a person not a number. Help is available when needed, and I too go out to eat with my profs and call them by their first names.
Good luck to u!
12-21-04, 09:29 AM
i work for the princeton review. if you have any questions regarding your apprehension about the new sat ETC. i can give you my extension cinnastix...i deal with that info every single working day.
i'm NOT advertising. i'm actually very well informed about this as its my business to be.
12-21-04, 11:42 AM
I went to a private school, and graduated from it. First, I will say that most private schools are still better than public schools for people with ADHD, even without accomodation, and even when they are being elitist. Smaller class sizes, a better teacher:student ratio, and more direct access to administration all are benefits for people with ADHD, with or without accomodation.
That said, if you are starting medication, that alone should be enough accomodation, and the school CAN NOT by law dictate what prescription medications you are taking. If they attempt to interfere with your medication, you can levy a strong lawsuit against them for discrimination via the ADA.
Anyways, as far as the grade upswing question: I banked on it and it did me very well. To be honest, most schools will not look at your grades individually. They will look at your 4 final GPAs, and your overall GPA. If you can get your overall GPA higher than a 3.0, you'll be fine.
I would not even tell them about the ADHD, except on your medical information thing after you're accepted. If you claim it while applying, the college may think you're banking on that to get in.
As far as SATs, I believe the standard for "any college you want" is 1300. 1200 will get you into most good colleges, and 900-1000 will get you into most low-end public and state colleges. I may be incorrect on this, I'd ask the person above who works with Princeton Review in order to make sure of that...but I did the college thing recently, and it wasn't a problem.
In getting by in classes, I can help with that. On the off chance that the private school in question is the Linsly Academy in West Virginia, I know that school inside and out. I have experience in getting by in school without a diagnosis, I did all of highschool without medication or accomodation, and I know how to play the private school system pretty well, so let me know.
Concerning colleges...it really depends on what you're looking for about going large or small college. While small colleges have the benefit of smaller teacher:student ratios, they have the downside of not having many programs or room for exploration. I am currently thriving at Ohio University, which is about 20,000 students strong. The benefits include the fact that there are tons of classes to choose from: I won't get pigeonholed into a specific program, and there are over 300 classes per quarter being offered. That means I can study basically anything I want, whenever I want. There are also many different "colleges" within the University, which you can move in and out of, making it very easy to take whatever you want.
Furthermore, there are lecture-based classes, which while they are easier to get distracted in, they are also easier to "blend in" in. There are no large papers in 400 person lecture classes. There are no projects. There is no professor checking to make sure you read. It's simply "go in, take notes, go home." The smaller classes are normally taught by Graduate Assistants, meaning they aren't full on professors. That gives you the benefit of a teacher who sitll knows what it's like to be a student.
Finally, large universities have clout and are under pressure. The Disability Services offices in small universities aren't under much pressure to perform, and are normally going to try and avoid that. After all, everybody knows you. Large universities, on the other hand, are state run. The disability offices in large universities have _clout._ They can ruin a professor who is discriminatory. That means that if they tell a professor to give you accomodations, you will get them, or that professor will go down in flames. In smaller universities, that's not guaranteed.
Large universities also normally have student organizations which advocate for disabled individuals. They love going toe to toe with the administration over discrimination issues, and will back you up if someone looks at you wrong. Small universities are less likely to have this.
Admissions is something to be considered. I applied to Ohio University only, but I applied in early September of my Senior year. I was accepted by October. Why? A little beauty called "rolling admissions." They process the applications as they come in, and if you meet their standards, you're in. It doesn't matter if Joe Smart with a 1600SAT and 36ACT comes by later: your position is already assured and you have been admitted.
Hmm, I also recommend taking the ACT. It's different than the SAT, and I found it to be a bit easier. I got a 28 on it overall, and a 1270 on the SAT, which are pretty consistent. If nothing else, it shows colleges that you went that extra mile to take another standardized test.
Geeze this is a lot of information to process, LOL.
12-21-04, 12:12 PM
the sat point scale is 2400
you want to get into 1900's or above...
12-21-04, 12:17 PM
thats all fabulous info kmiller,
just wanted to add a few notes, i do agree w/ your opinion about not putting adhd on your college app. its unecessary...
if she's looking into prospective schools i suggest she take a gander at the princeton review website, the website has information regarding the admission process, you can submit the common app form via the site, and you can see details about a ton of colleges as far as how the student population feels and the college size, average incoming act/sat scores.
the act is viewed more seriously often b/c its less (if at all) coachable than the sat.
the new sat, which is the version she'll be taking, has an additional section since you've graduated kmiller, its an essay portion (not a big deal AT ALL)
ets (education testing services, ie the SAT makers) tacked it on b/c the UC system was about to drop the SAT as an acceptable test for application, ets puts an essay in the SAT and 86's the analogies and quantative math comparisons: walllah new test to stress about for everyone and ets is still in the running for big monies and still defeats the ACT in sales...
oh and P. S.
you'll also have to take at least two subject tests for most schools (top tiers) this can comprise up to 3/4 of your scores when you apply, meaning: if i take an sat I, plus math IIc/physics and bio
those three subject tests outweigh my SAT I...
if you have any questions regarding those particular nitty gritty details feel free to pm me.
12-26-04, 03:29 PM
wow thank you all for all the information! i have actually been set to take the Princeton Review from the get go. i think it could really help me catch up on all the material i have missed while floating off into la la land post Adderall. would anyone happen to know price ranges for a basic course, and when it would be?
as far as the PSATs go i am confident i can do much better on the real thing. i was looking at my scores and i noticed an drastic decline as the test progressed. the first portion of test given i got in the 86th percentile. the last test i ended up getting in the 51st percentile, yet it was all similar material. i think that if i can stay focused during the entire test i can come out with an okay score.
i was also considering the ACTs. they seem to deal more with reading comprehension and plugging in what you have learned/read. thats one area i have always done well in. better than math at least.
and colleges....ugh. i was actually thinking about going to Adelphi University. its about 5 minutes from my house (within walking distance if i absolutely had to), its not as competitive, and it seems like a very good college over all. they are very into advertising at my school considering the short distance between the two, so they welcome our students with open arms. of course i will be looking into other colleges, but this seems like a good option.
thank you again for all the information. :)
01-13-05, 09:07 AM
My daughter has just been diagnosed with ADD the beginning of this school year. This is her sophmore year. We met with her teachers and explained the situation and they were not as receptive as I thought. Her grades have gotten a bit better, but, her test scores are bad and pull her grade down. Any suggestions?
01-13-05, 07:58 PM
Is she in a public school? With an ADD diagnosis, she should be eligible for accomodations. In your opinion, does your daughter adequately know & understand the material on the tests? In other words, does she need help with test-taking or does she need help learning the material?
For help with learning the material, perhaps a tutor would be helpful. Or maybe she could get extra help from her teachers (or from a resource room teacher). Also, has your daughter been evaluated for learning disabilities?
For test-taking, a few possible accomodations could be:
extra time on tests
being provided a study guide or a "practice test"
take tests in a different room (quiet, less distractions)
learn relaxation techniques (if test anxiety is a problem)
take the exam orally
When I was in college, I remember one particular test that I took. The prof gave all students as much time as we needed to finish her exams. I was the last one left --even the prof left to do some work in her office down the hall. I got up from my desk and worked out the answers in my head while pacing around the room. I was amazed how much that helped me to think --I'm inattentive (not hyperactive), but I guess the physical movement somehow helped me to focus. My prof came into the room as I was pacing, she & I had a chuckle about my pacing, but she didn't mind so I paced about until I had finished the exam.
01-26-05, 10:47 AM
My daughter is in a private school. The public school is very bad where we live. The principle at her catholic high school said that they do not have a program for someone like my daughter. She also said that the teachers did not have to give her reasonable accomodations if they didnt want to and that if my daughter needed that, perhaps she should attend a public school. Very frustrating and exhausting!
04-17-05, 05:39 AM
I wish I could help more but I don't understand all the JR highschool stuff and middle school. So all i am going to say is, "Is compulsory that you go there and not to a state?
Could some one help me on what grades are in middle school because all I know is, Primary 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 then Highschool, 8,9,10,11,12