Senior Year IEP meeting in Missouri; special education graduation

IEP students in Missouri can continue to receive services from the school district up rsz_teen-readingthrough age 21 if the student has not “graduated” or met credits necessary for graduation; the guardian or 18year-old-student must make it known well before graduation that this is their intent; usually done in writing.  These services do not necessarily have to be in the traditional classroom setting at the local high school building. Some students use neighboring school districts’ programs or community programs.  “Transition” programs can be broad.

Acquiring a “diploma” versus acquiring a “certificate of completion”  may make a difference on how a parent and student want their high school years to look.

Here’s a link to explore ideas to prepare for life after high school known as “transition:   (link opens new page)

When a student turns 18, he makes educational decisions in IEP meetings unless a court has appointed a guardian for him  for educational decision-making.  An 18-year-old student can inform the IEP team of his decision to not officially graduate so he can continue to receive services from the school.  He can indicate he wants to participate in graduation ceremonies but not yet “officially” graduate.

This can be complex.  Need more info?  Contact The IEP Center below:


Sign up for The IEP Center Advocator ezine:

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Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.  We do not give advice; we give information about the problems of children with special needs. We do not represent anyone. Consult an attorney.

We offer information and individualized services at low-cost. We help parents prepare for school meetings and IDEA mediation.

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Class within a class harmful to IEP students?

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:

  1. he gets to sit with non-disabled
  2. he has some expose to grade-level curricula
  3. on occasion gets support from the second teacher in the class

perhaps some benefits for the public school district are:

  1. Less costly because fewer staff/man hours for that student
  2. paperwork indicates student is in “least restrictive environment” (keeps up number for state reporting)
  3. student expected to learn content to prepare student for state standardized test

Perhaps some disadvantages for the student are:

  1. Student frustration since content moves quickly; seemingly more so for students with learning struggles
  2. stress of homework demands above/beyond those of non-disabled student
  3. unable to process all the information in class, thus increasing homework burden and lessens family/free time
  4. stresses on family to assist with homework, costs for tutor
  5. Stressors build to point of wanting to avoid school resulting in need for professional counseling
  6. Misses opportunity for skill building that he would have acquired in a self-contained setting
  7. Stigma of not fitting in either setting
  8. School might indicate they will drop the paraprofessional the student had prior to CWC

Perhaps some disadvantages for the public school are:

  1. 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
  2. Teacher frustration since teachers see when students are struggling unnecessarily
  3. Students who become so frustrated that they cause behavior problems in the class thus disrupting other students
  4. 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.

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