This is still getting views, so I thought I would post my own follow-up answer. In retrospect, it was quite obvious that his behavior issues were much more frequent than most children. Rather than adjusting to the rules and eventually settling in like his classmates, our son's behavior issues at school increased in severity and frequency. A year later, he was still attempting only about 15% of his assigned in-class work, and was crying or disrupting others for most of the rest of the day, pretty much every day.
We and his teachers tried several different approaches across the spectrum. Nothing helped. Every single morning he would go to school enthusiastic and optimistic that, "I'm going to be good today!" Every single afternoon he would leave school crying and feeling like his own behavior was completely outside his control.
We eventually determined that trying to change him to fit the school's model of behavior wasn't going to work. Like Paul Cline's comment said, sitting still and paying attention all day is the unusual behavior for his age, and that seems to go quadruple for our son. We decided to pull him out last year to homeschool.
This has been hugely beneficial for our son in the following ways:
- He gets breaks when he needs them instead of on the schedule of the "average" child.
- He gets a lot more physical activity, both during breaks and during instructional activities.
- We don't move on until he has individually mastered a topic, so he never feels like he doesn't even need to try. He knows he's not going to get left behind in order to keep the pace of the "average" student, a pace that keeps getting faster with higher standards to meet.
- We can tailor activities to his interests, which helps him stay focused longer. For example, he was highly motivated to increase his reading level in order to be able to understand comic books.
It's not like he has suddenly become a perfect child, as my other recent questions like Destructive when unattended can attest. The difference now is his behavior isn't interfering with his education. He is actually a grade level ahead in reading now.
For future readers who find themselves in a similar situation, I wouldn't necessarily recommend homeschooling specifically, but to find some way to change your child's environment to match his disposition and learning style, rather than the other way around.