What can I do?

<p>S was in private school last year but decided to be home schooled this year. He was one of the top students and a credit to the school (major newspaper articles, national champion...etc). I thought we left the school in good terms. However, when I went to school to asking for 7th grade recommendations/transcript, the school pretty much said that because he is no longer a student there, it is not their obligation to write him recommendation, simply put, it is their responsibility to take care of the current 8th graders, most of whom will be applying to the sames schools S is applying. </p>

<p>I feel that we are in a very difficult position. I know we will not see the recommendation/school report/transcript. If we force the issue, it might reflect negatively in the stuff they send. But if we don't, he'll have no 7th grade record.</p>

<p>What can I do?</p>

<p>I believe it IS their obligation to provide the accurate transcript and school records. They may refuse to write recommendation, which is voluntary, but you can get recommendations from other sources that are acceptable to the schools you apply can't you?</p>

<p>Hire a lawyer. From a quick googling, I believe they're in violation of FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). Here are two web pages which outline steps you could take yourself: Getting</a> Access To Your Child's
Report Cards And School Records

Family</a> Educational Rights And Privacy Act FERPA</p>

<p>They aren't required to provide a recommendation. However, the school record and transcripts will throw light on the situation. It is, of course, incredibly stupid for them to have given you the reasons they did. If your son was a leading student, for them to refuse to supply records reeks of sour grapes.</p>

<p>An alternate approach would be to enlist the help of an educational consultant. Choose one who is likely to have recruited students for their school. If I were running a business which had to find a continual source of paying clients to keep the doors open--which is what a private school is-- I would not want this bad behavior to be spread around. If that works, you may find that this is "all an unfortunate misunderstanding," etc. </p>

<p>Also consider that for many middle-class parents, attending a private school is a luxury. If I were the parent of a child applying to your school, I would really not want to hear that the school would not supply records. </p>

<p>In your situation, though, I would hire a lawyer who specializes in school issues. He can arrange to subpoena the records. Court cases are usually a matter of public record, and parents these days can Google. I would not want to have a court case of this nature hanging over a school's reputation for decades. I suspect that a firmly worded letter will do the trick.</p>

<p>I do not think they can withhold the transcript unless you have an unpaid balance. Can't you ask the teachers directly? If they liked your child they would probably do it. The principal might not I guess, but that is very low. Many people transfer out of my D's old school and however disappointed they are (they have a HS too) they still always send out the records. I have to say that I try to befriend the secretary in charge of the sending of the records, and last year when my D was transferring I gave her a holiday gift. When my D was younger years ago, we left one private school for another, and they expressed regret, but certainly sent over her records. I also gave the secretary a token gift for the "extra" work.</p>

<p>I would perhaps write a nicely worded (not nasty) letter to the president of the board of trustees expressing your dissatisfaction and doubts about their actions.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for the advice.</p>

<p>I actually wrote a very polite e-mail first to ask and got no reply. So went to school, approached the teacher that really likes my S. She pretty much told me the division head already told everyone they are NOT going to do it. It was like suddenly I have the plague, no one will look me in the eyes and everyone is in a hurry to walk away from me.</p>

<p>BTW, I might had worded it wrong. School didn't say they don't want to do the work because S is a competition to the current 8th graders. I was told that the teachers are "really really busy" helping the 8th graders w/ applications. </p>

<p>However, we decided that we should be nice for now. My husband said he'll write to the school to remind them nicely that, though the school has nothing to do w/ S's achievement, they were always happy to brag about the success as part of school's achievement.</p>

<p>The "transcript" would probably be a computer generated printed page that is produced by a few keyboard clicks. I think there may be more to their reticence than you know about, although I can not guess what it could be. I think you should talk to the admissions office of the schools that you are applying to. Other home schooled children apply, and you could send copies of the records that you have, eg, report cards, standardized test results, etc. Since they are not his "current" teachers, I would ask what types of recommendations home schooled children provide.</p>

<p>Bad situation. I feel like you're not telling us the whole story. It sounds like either you or your son were considered to be an unpleasant problem for the school for one reason or another. Yanking him after seventh grade to go the home schooling route from your established school system is strange and, not surprisingly, off-putting to the School administration and maybe a number of faculty members. You rejected them.</p>

<p>Now you need them to say nice things? Any threatening or legal wrangling will only poison the water more. I don't know how you extract yourself from what sounds like a strategic blunder. Boarding Schools will want to understand why you made such a major change at such an unusual time. Their worry meters will rightly be activated.</p>

<p>The only possibility that I can think of is to find math and English teachers (or maybe science and history teachers) where you can fall on whatever sword you need to to get the recommendations written. The School's recommendation will be very tough and the idea of a consultant familiar with the old School and the BS application process is probably a good (expensive) idea to help you navigate through these waters.</p>

<p>The transcript itself seems cut and dried. No opinion involved there, just a print out. Again, the consultant could help.</p>

<p>All sounds pretty weird to me.</p>

<p>The problem is the school doesn't have transcript. Parents get typed up report describing the contents of various subjects were taught and how the student did on the subject, follow by couple of sentences of tests given and score. There's no grading (A+, A.....). I am not worried about showing he is very capable academically since he has very high SSAT and SAT. I worry that it reflect upon him negatively that no 7th grade teachers are willing to say something about him. </p>

<p>What about this: I'll write something up myself, a letter to the schools he's applying, about why I home school (more flexibility in academics, he needs time to study/travel for his EC competitions......) and his growth during this time.... etc. I am hoping this can replace the school report. I'll also send in copied of his academic reports from past, though there's no grade on it.</p>

<p>I thought we had a lot of work to do the application - if they don't have transcript they should at least have what you have - the report cards. I believe they should come from the school authority to be accepted by the schools you apply to. Ask for that, then forget about asking for recommendations from his 7th grade teachers. Follow what's required for home schoolers, and simply explain why you chose to home school in 8th grade. Recommendation after all is just one piece of the puzzle. Trust the admission officers will make their judgement based on the whole picture.</p>