“Wait and See” can be costly for children who struggle in public school, especially in the primary grades. Parents report to us that a kindergarten teacher indicated concerns and told the parent to watch the student during first grade. During the child’s first grade year, the first grade teacher said the child would probably need to be tested and suggested the parent go get “medical” testing done. Now, the student is in second grade and the parent has completed the “medical” tests yet the school district does not initiate any testing of the student although the student struggles and has handwriting that is illegible.
See how our kids can slip through the cracks? It’s important that parents know how to work the “system” so that the years don’t slip by. Parents need to be proactive when the child has special needs. The “system” works slowly so a parent needs to be one step ahead.
Many schools conduct spring IEP meetings for students. Usually the people at this meeting are the current staffers who work with the child. However, in the fall some students will be in a different building or different program. Was this taken into consideration for your child’s IEP?
Was someone from the future building/program invited to the IEP meeting? Was opportunity provided for your child to preview the new facility/program? or arrangements made to do so before the start of school in the fall?
Other things to consider:
bus scenario different? driver? pick up time? drop-off time?
lunch scenario different? menus?
rules/expectations in new building different? does IEP override those?
Advocates at The IEP Center support parents with IEP meetings, and, when issues in IEP meetings become redundant, The IEP Center advocates support parents in mediation, which states offer a free mediator. The IEPCenter.com
There is debate about the benefit ( or lack ) of an IEP student with learning difficulties participating in a class-within-a-class (CWC) setting versus participating in a resource class. Parents need to be aware of the dynamic of CWC.
Some argue that some students with learning difficulties, especially deficits in functional memory and/or processing speed, are expected to benefit from being in a CWC setting. Perhaps they can, but to what extent does the benefit actually “benefit” the student? What are the benefits?
Perhaps some benefits for the student are:
he gets to sit with non-disabled
he has some expose to grade-level curricula
on occasion gets support from the second teacher in the class
perhaps some benefits for the public school district are:
Less costly because fewer staff/man hours for that student
paperwork indicates student is in “least restrictive environment” (keeps up number for state reporting)
student expected to learn content to prepare student for state standardized test
Perhaps some disadvantages for the student are:
Student frustration since content moves quickly; seemingly more so for students with learning struggles
stress of homework demands above/beyond those of non-disabled student
unable to process all the information in class, thus increasing homework burden and lessens family/free time
stresses on family to assist with homework, costs for tutor
Stressors build to point of wanting to avoid school resulting in need for professional counseling
Misses opportunity for skill building that he would have acquired in a self-contained setting
Stigma of not fitting in either setting
School might indicate they will drop the paraprofessional the student had prior to CWC
Perhaps some disadvantages for the public school are:
Allowing students to fail in CWC then having to have an IEP meeting to explain to the parent that the student needs to be moved
Teacher frustration since teachers see when students are struggling unnecessarily
Students who become so frustrated that they cause behavior problems in the class thus disrupting other students
Political wranglings among staff triggering a “regular-ed versus Special-ed” culture
Parents need to carefully consider if CWC is the setting that is appropriate for their child. High schools are known to do this since the expectations for the student are lowered when the student will “graduate” soon.
Complete the form below if you’d like a professional parent advocate from TheIEPCenter.com contact you.
A parent told me in her school district there would be only one IEP meeting per year. Since it was held in the fall she was concerned about planning for the next school year and felt she needed an IEP review meeting now (spring).
School districts may lead parents to believe that only one IEP meeting will be held each year; it is the school’s duty to conduct at least one a year. Parents can request an “IEP Review” meeting any time during the school year. After all, circumstances change, kids grow and change. Kids have health issues that affect schooling and performance.
“Administrative convenience” is what was happening in a district that allowed a parent to continue to believe only one IEP meeting was allowed. What other misleadings are taking place? These lean toward civil rights’ issues.
Contact a professional advocate who is a certified teacher:
Sign up for the ezine “The IEP Center Advocator” here: