Tryout rubric

Does anyone have a rubric or some type of quantifiable screening tool used to evaluate student readiness for VRC vs. IQ? Is there a list of skills that you require? Or, do you go by age/grade level? In our school 6th does IQ and 7th and 8th do VRC. This year, however, there was a decision made to allow 3 6th graders to go straight to VRC based on their experience, skills, understanding and strong recommendations from their IQ coach. I now find myself in the predicament of having to explain why one child who did not meet the above criteria would benefit from another year of a structured IQ program. I did observe the student for a couple of days with one of my VRC teams and I stand by the original decision, but the parent is insisting. Since my observations are interpreted as subjective, I need to present this in a more objective way.

You are making the right call, keeping a rigid grade level requirement is not in the best interest of the kids. I have a bunch of kids that do IQ through 8th grade and that’s their last robotics experience.

Keeping that in mind, I don’t think that you will get any type of tryout, but you can say that it was based on recommendations. They will try and game any rubric you throw at them.

I would restate your decision, and that all children are placed in the program that you and your team believes is best for that child. Also note that there child is going to have a fantastic experience. Anything else you give them may be manipulated. If they insist, just say “sorry.” Let that be it.

I keep a strict experience based requirements for VRC.

I’m similar to you in that I start my 6th grade kids on IQ. 7th grade new kids also do IQ, unless I see that they’re ready for VRC. 8th grade is all VRC.

Only way I’d see 6th grade do VRC is if they had 2+ years or more of VEX IQ experience.

Stick to your guns.

Wow. Thanks for the replies! You have not idea how much I appreciate the support! The parent has requested a conference with school administration (and me) on Monday morning. He has done IQ for 3 years (says parent) but his 5th grade IQ/gifted teacher did not recommend VRC and my observation confirms this. As a science and technology teacher I fully appreciate that all 6th graders are in the same place developmentally (more so than 7th and 8th graders). I did not anticipate this level of push back. I only hope my administration supports my decision.

I think the real issue is you created an exception for 3 6th graders - that is your undoing. Make it simple, no exceptions - 6th grade IQ. Done. The problem with elementary IQ is there is so much adult intervention at that age group. If your IQ kids coming up are “that good”, then they should demonstrate it in 6th grade with their own designs and software. If you get that discipline going, you are golden with them as 7&8th VRC teams. If you have to make exception, then mid-season switch to VRC based on results in 6th grade.

Best of luck. Don’t make your self do more work by creating a rubric.

Pushy parents are bad news.
If they are that keen on their child doing VRC, they should just buy the kit and register a team themselves and try being mentors. Otherwise, support the fact that they are fortunate enough to be doing IQ!

I hope the school stands by your judgement. Good luck.

If the parent or the school throws a fit just invite them in to observe for about 15 hours or so and let the child in question flounder in vrc … kinda cruel but it probably will convince them that your judgement was correct.

I will add one slightly contrary opinion, that age restrictions are just fine. EXO (team 10) has experimented with 8th graders on the team a couple of times, and it becomes clear very quickly that a 8th grade middle school student has nothing in common with 11th and 12th grade high school kids. We started enforcing a 9th grade minimum age, and only participate in high school, and things are smoother. (Having said that, two of my favorite teammates ever were 8th graders – one stayed for 3 years and the other is my son. :))