And The Plot Thickens!!(Updated 12/6)

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Catwmn, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Catwmn

    Catwmn New Member

    Our staffing meeting was this morning at the school.

    I turned in my letter I had written and was denied another FIE. It was explained to me that the only reason that they do FIE is to determine eligibility for special education services. Aaron was already receiving special education services. The ARD committee would determine a new placement. It was determined that for now he would do half day programming from 8:30-1. He would receive more support in his general ed classroom and this would start today.

    So I took him to school after the meeting and dropped him off. They called me at 12:30 and asked me to come and pick him up. Apparently he had gone into the restroom, stripped out of all of his clothes, and streaked in the hallway.

    The head of Special Education told me that they would not take Aaron back to school. He would be now on Homebound instruction. This means that I will get a teacher for 4 hours a week in my home.

    I am sitting here crying as I type this...

    4 HOURS????? I feel like the school has simply given up on him!!!

    What can I do now??

    <span style="color: #FF0000">Edit: 12/6</span>

    I got an ARD packet from the school this afternoon.

    They are not going to do another FIE until 9/08!!!
    This is their 3 year deadline.

    I had signed the papers saying that he could have half day instruction and the Special Education lady went in and changed everything to homebound and used the SAME SIGNATURE!!!
    Isn't that Illegal?

    I was totally wrong about 4 hours a's only TWO!
    TWO HOURS A WEEK OF HOMEBOUND???? Are they kidding??

    Dropped all of his Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech because he no longer qualifies due to no longer being a full time student..

    Again using the same signature from the EARLIER ARD paperwork.

    Oh and get this...he is still required to take the state standardized testing!! WHAT??

    Here is what it says in the Deliberations Appendix B Items highlighted in red were added after the original ARD meeting yesterday morning and my original signature was simply PASTED to agree to it.

    The purpose of this ARD is to address placement. Members present: parents, Administrator, general educator, special educator, LSSP, CSSP. This meeting started out as a staffing, however parents waived their 5 days notice so that we could proceed to ARD.

    Mom contacted the school to schedule a meeting concerning changes in Aaron's behavior. Mom has been working closely with Aaron's doctors to adjust his medications. He is currently only taking seizure medicine, and nothing for ADHD. He is extremely off task and has been having accidents. Teachers and parents have seena recent change in his behaviros. LSSP stressed consistency between home and school. Visual prompts utilizing pictures is recommended for use with Aaron. Discussed the future possibility of in home parent training. The committee agreed that Aaron will attend school half day until 1pm. Special transportation was offered but parents declined. No other changes are being made to Aaron's schedule at this time. Administrator requested Mrs. Click provide notes for Aaron's absences so that they may be excused. All members signed in agreement.

    <span style="color: #FF0000">[/color][size:10][/size]Aaron began his modified schedule after the ARD meeting on this date 12/5/07. Teachers reported Aaron had significant behavioral issues during the day including constant motion, inability to focus, or slow down, picking his lips and nose until they bled, and coming out of the restroom completely naked. After conferring with Administration, the LSSP, the teachers, and parent, it was decided that Aaron could best be served through homebound services- at least until his medical management is under control. Homebound services will be provided 60 minutes two times per week. Mom agreed to include this placement change in the same ARD dated 12/5/07

    [color:#000000]</span> that last part is a total LIE. I DID NOT AGREE to add the last part to the ARD and my signature was basically pasted on the paperwork to agree.

    PLEASE someone tell me what to do next. We CANNOT afford an advocate and I feel like they are totally taking advantage of us!!
  2. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Sounds as if he had severe anxiety and it was most likely due to the changes. I'm sorry for all of you. How can they only offer four hours of instruction a week? That doesn't sound like a fair and appropriate education to me!
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok, relax. Is Aaron in a General Education School with Special Education services? Are there any Special Education Programs within your school district (whether public or private)?

    Go talk to an advocate. Or you can call your Department of Developmental Disabilities. There should be some way that Aaron can go to school. We have Parent to Parent (which I thought was federally funded, so check by you for something along those lines) and we also have Community Resources.

    Don't take this lying down. Make a formal request for an IEP and placement recommendations. Sending a teacher for 4 hours a week will not help him adapt. What about PT, Occupational Therapist (OT) or speech?

    Write the letter and send it certified.

    Keep the faith!

  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Okay, first take a deep breath. And here is a big hug...(nuts, no hug icon..this will have to do :smile: )

    They cannot do that. Course, you are in Texas so you may have a fight on your hands but you also have federal law on your side. I'm sure Martie and Sheila will be along shortly. My kids will be home from school any minute but I will write more tonight about ideas for fighting them.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I *know* that Sheila will be along with Texas-specific info, but some thoughts.

    First of all, the FIE (called different things in different states, here it's a case study) must be done at least every 3 years but can also be done at the request of either the school district or parent sooner than that. I'm pretty sure that school district must provide you written notice advising you that they are refusing your request and why. You can then file for due process which is a miserable thing to have to do but on the other hand there has been a significant change in difficult children function in recent months and I would think that school district would have a heck of a time fighting reevaluation.

    Sped director cannot change placement to homebound. That's an ARD team decision, of which you are a member. If a change in placement is not unanimously agreed on by team, *of which you are a member*, placement doesn't change. This is, in my humble opinion, an extremely serious procedural violation (the best kind of violation for us parents) on school district's part.

    Lastly and at least as important as the procedural violation, your son is entitled to a "free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment" - FAPE in LRE. Nothing is more restrictive than homebound, which is usually reserved for kiddos who have severe medical issues that prohibit attendance at school. And while it wouldn't surprise me to see a school district argue that 4 hours a week somehow equals an "appropriate education", let's get real. Not in a million years.

    It's really quite ironic that on the same day they tell you no FIE, they *also* unilaterally and illegaly change his placement to the most restrictive possible placement because they can't deal with his behaviors.

    I think it's time to contact an advocate in Tx - again, Sheila will be a wealth of resource for you since she's already fought the battle there several hundred times.

    Hang in there - don't panic, and definitely don't let them get you down!!

  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Couldn't agree with slsh more.

    By all means, if you can get an advocate, do so.

    In the interim, I'd send the following:

    Via Certified Mail No. ______
    Via Facsimile

    Mr/s Sp Ed Director

    Re: Student
    Parent request for FIE reevaluation dated ________

    Dear Ms. Sp Ed Director:

    As you will recall, yesterday morning I hand delivered a letter to you dated ____ requesting that my son be reevaluated with a Full Initial Evaluation (copy attached). You indicated a reevaluation would not be done. I need to contact TEA’s Special Education Department regarding this matter and would appreciate a contact name and number. Also, if there is a different TEA department that handles Mediation, I’d appreciate that information also. It’s my opinion that the incident yesterday further indicates the reevaluation is warranted.

    Pertinent to the incident yesterday, as you will also recall, yesterday afternoon I was called to pick up _____ shortly after returning home from our meeting about the need for a reevaluation and new IEP. At that time you told me that _______ will not be allowed to return to school and is being placed on homebound.

    I will not agree to a homebound placement. If he needs a 1:1 paraprofessional in order to attend school, I hereby request that his IEP be changed to reflect this placement change. If another ARD is needed to make this change, please schedule one.

    Thank you for your assistance in these matters.


  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Good heavens, sped director sure is slippery, isn't she. I know this is horrifically daunting and emotionally draining, but this person has shot herself in the foot, in my humble opinion, so doggone many times that you really shouldn't have too horrible a time getting him in an appropriate educational placement.

    OK, now you've gotten me researching IDEA again. :wink: It's a good law but it can be a bear to slog through. These are quotes from the law :

    Regarding reevaluations:

    "A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with 34 CFR 300.304 through 300.311:

    If the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or
    If the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

    A reevaluation conducted under 34 CFR 300.303(a):

    May occur not more than once a year, unless the parent and the public agency agree otherwise; and
    Must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary."

    Prior written notice - which I don't interpret you receive regarding either his change in placement (to homebound) nor their refusal to do FIE. This is a biggie if it goes to due process because one of the first things hearing officers are supposed to look at is if there were any procedural violations. If there were then it *really* boosts your case and makes the school district look suspect:

    " ``(3) Written prior notice to the parents of the child, in
    accordance with subsection (c)(1), whenever the local
    educational agency--
    ``(A) proposes to initiate or change; or
    ``(B) refuses to initiate or change,
    the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the
    child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education
    to the child

    When they give you prior written notice (PWN) they must include:

    "``(c) Notification Requirements.--
    ``(1) Content of prior written notice.--The notice required
    by subsection (b)(3) shall include--
    ``(A) a description of the action proposed or
    refused by the agency;
    ``(B) an explanation of why the agency proposes or
    refuses to take the action and a description of each
    evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the
    agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused
    ``(C) a statement that the parents of a child with a
    disability have protection under the procedural
    safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an
    initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a
    copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can
    be obtained;
    ``(D) sources for parents to contact to obtain
    assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;
    ``(E) a description of other options considered by
    the IEP Team and the reason why those options were
    ; and
    ``(F) a description of the factors that are relevant
    to the agency's proposal or refusal."

    Changes to the IEP:

    " ``(D) Agreement.--In making changes to a child's IEP
    after the annual IEP meeting for a school year, the
    parent of a child with a disability and the local
    educational agency may agree not to convene an IEP
    meeting for the purposes of making such changes, and
    instead may develop a written document to amend or
    modify the child's current IEP
    ``(E) Consolidation of iep team meetings.--To the
    extent possible, the local educational agency shall
    encourage the consolidation of reevaluation meetings for
    the child and other IEP Team meetings for the child.
    ``(F) Amendments.--Changes to the IEP may be made
    either by the entire IEP Team or, as provided in
    subparagraph (D),
    by amending the IEP rather than by
    redrafting the entire IEP. Upon request, a parent shall
    be provided with a revised copy of the IEP with the
    amendments incorporated."

    "``(5) Least restrictive environment.--
    ``(A) In general.--To the maximum extent
    appropriate, children with disabilities, including
    children in public or private institutions or other care
    facilities, are educated with children who are not
    disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or
    other removal of children with disabilities from the
    regular educational environment occurs only when the
    nature or severity of the disability of a child is such
    that education in regular classes with the use of
    supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved


    " ``(e) Educational Placements.--Each local educational agency or
    State educational agency shall ensure that the parents of each child
    with a disability are members of any group that makes decisions on the
    educational placement of their child

    Change of placement:

    "``(1) Authority of school personnel.--
    ``(A) Case-by-case determination.--School personnel
    may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case
    basis when determining whether to order a change in
    placement for a child with a disability who violates a
    code of student conduct.
    ``(B) Authority.--School personnel under this
    subsection may remove a child with a disability who
    violates a code of student conduct from their current
    placement to an appropriate interim alternative
    educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for
    not more than 10 school days
    (to the extent such
    alternatives are applied to children without
    ``(C) Additional authority.--If school personnel
    seek to order a change in placement that would exceed 10
    school days and the behavior that gave rise to the
    violation of the school code is determined not to be a
    manifestation of the child's disability pursuant to
    subparagraph (E), the relevant disciplinary procedures
    applicable to children without disabilities may be
    applied to the child in the same manner and for the same
    duration in which the procedures would be applied to
    children without disabilities, except as provided in
    section 612(a)(1) although it may be provided in an
    interim alternative educational setting.
    ``(D) Services.--A child with a disability who is
    removed from the child's current placement
    subparagraph (G) (irrespective of whether the behavior
    is determined to be a manifestation of the child's
    disability) or subparagraph (C) shall--
    ``(i) continue to receive educational
    services, as provided in section 612(a)(1), so as
    to enable the child to continue to participate in
    the general education curriculum, although in
    another setting, and to progress toward meeting
    the goals set out in the child's IEP
    ; and
    ``(ii) receive, as appropriate, a functional
    behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention
    services and modifications, that are designed to
    address the behavior violation so that it does not
    ``(E) Manifestation determination.--
    ``(i) &lt;&lt;NOTE: Deadline.&gt;&gt; In general.--Except
    as provided in subparagraph (B), within 10 school
    days of any decision to change the placement of a
    child with a disability because of a violation of
    a code of student conduct, the local educational
    agency, the parent, and relevant members of the
    IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the
    local educational agency) shall review all
    relevant information in the student's file,
    including the

    [[Page 118 STAT. 2727]]

    child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any
    relevant information provided by the parents to
    ``(I) if the conduct in question was
    caused by, or had a direct and
    substantial relationship to, the child's
    disability; or
    ``(II) if the conduct in question
    was the direct result of the local
    educational agency's failure to
    implement the IEP.
    ``(ii) Manifestation.--If the local
    educational agency, the parent, and relevant
    members of the IEP Team determine that either
    subclause (I) or (II) of clause (i) is applicable
    for the child, the conduct shall be determined to
    be a manifestation of the child's disability.
    ``(F) Determination that behavior was a
    manifestation.--If the local educational agency, the
    parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team make the
    determination that the conduct was a manifestation of
    the child's disability, the IEP Team shall--
    ``(i) conduct a functional behavioral
    assessment, and implement a behavioral
    intervention plan for such child, provided that
    the local educational agency had not conducted
    such assessment prior to such determination before
    the behavior that resulted in a change in
    placement described in subparagraph (C) or (G);
    ``(ii) in the situation where a behavioral
    intervention plan has been developed, review the
    behavioral intervention plan if the child already
    has such a behavioral intervention plan, and
    modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior;
    ``(iii) except as provided in subparagraph
    (G), return the child to the placement from which
    the child was removed, unless the parent and the
    local educational agency agree to a change
    placement as part of the modification of the
    behavioral intervention plan.
    ``(G) Special circumstances.--School personnel may
    remove a student to an interim alternative educational
    setting for not more than 45 school days without regard
    to whether the behavior is determined to be a
    manifestation of the child's disability, in cases where
    a child--
    ``(i) carries or possesses a weapon to or at
    school, on school premises, or to or at a school
    function under the jurisdiction of a State or
    local educational agency;
    ``(ii) knowingly possesses or uses illegal
    drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a
    controlled substance, while at school, on school
    premises, or at a school function under the
    jurisdiction of a State or local educational
    agency; or
    ``(iii) has inflicted serious bodily injury
    upon another person while at school, on school
    premises, or at a school function under the
    jurisdiction of a State or local educational
    ``(H) Notification.--Not later than the date on
    which the decision to take disciplinary action is made,
    the local educational agency shall notify the parents of
    that decision, and of all procedural safeguards accorded under this
    ``(2) Determination of setting.--The interim alternative
    educational setting in subparagraphs (C) and (G) of paragraph
    (1) shall be determined by the IEP Team."

    OK, I know - it's a lot of stuff and it's daunting but it actually is a law that works for us. Basically, it boils down to they *must* do evaluation if parent requests it. If they don't they must give you prior written notice (PWN) and it must include your rights and safeguards as well as sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part, a description of other options considered by IEP team and they reason why those options were rejected, and a description of the factors that are relevant to the school district's refusal. You should have also received PWN re: the homebound instruction with the same information in it. Additionally, since this change in placement is based on a conduct violation, they must within 10 days hold a manifestation determination hearing to see if the behavior was related to disability. The law states that after 10 days suspension, he must be returned to prior educational placement unless IEP team (again, you *are* part of the team - I cannot emphasize this enough) agrees to a change in placement.

    They are still required to provide FAPE for suspended students in Special Education. I'm pretty sure this includes related services.

    IEP can be revised and addendums added if parent agrees - you didn't.

    You need to get your objections documented. Certified mail, factual letter. Sheila's plus something along the lines of:

    "I received the ARD document in the mail today. It contains an addendum (see attached copy) and a change of placement, as well as termination of related services, that I did not agree to."

    Her blurb about medications just sent my blood pressure through the roof. Sheesh. His medication management is none of her business. But from a factual standpoint, maybe a statement to the effect:

    "Due to difficult child's dramatic change in function over the past several months, several physicians have been involved in reviewing difficult child's treatment plan. However, it is not necessarily realistic to believe that a revised treatment plan will alleviate difficult children current educational difficulties. Again, this is why I requested a new FIE."

    (Sheila does so much better with letters for others! :wink: )

    Every state must *must* have a protection and advocacy resource. The mandated advocacy group in Tx is They may not be able to help but they might. In IL, our group kind of picks and chooses what they are going to take on but they have been pretty good about referring me to other resources.

    Hang in there - you're going to be dreaming about IDEA and it will be a good thing!!! :warrior:
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Get a letter similar to the one I wrote done, faxed and mailed today.

    I have to run presently, but will be back to read this more thoroughly later.

    And no, it's not legal. This is exactly why I recommend that parents NOT sign IEP documents until they are in their final form.
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Do you have a copy of what you signed? I mean a copy of the sheet without the changes to homebound etc.?

    If you do, send a copy of both to the principal and demand an explanation. CC the school district as well. Changing it after the fact is illegal and they could get in a boat load of trouble.

    Did you try the "free advocate" search?


  10. Catwmn

    Catwmn New Member

    I contacted Advocacy Inc. by email and they told me to call on Monday between 9 and 12:30 because that is when they do intake.
    The man I spoke to told me that he definitely thought they could help me or would point me in the right direction.

    I also typed out the letter and mailed it today to the head of Special Education by certified Mail.

    I spoke to Aaron's teacher this morning and she said nobody had even told her that Aaron had been placed on Homebound!! Isn't his teacher a part of the ARD committee?? I would think that she would have been part of that decision making process too....apparently not.

    Someone on another board suggested I contact the HHS Civil Rights Office too since she felt he was being discriminated against because of his disability. Do you think I should do that or wait and see what pans out from what I have done thus far?

    Thank you so much to all of you who have helped me with this. It means so much to have "sisters" out there that know what you are going through.
  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Just based on my experience, I would hold off on contacting OCR. If you file a complaint and OCR disagrees with you, you really lose big time because then school district can say "OCR said we can do this". OCR in Chicago, though, has a reputation for being ... uh... what's a nice word... less than helpful? I think TX has a better rep, but I would still wait until after you talk with- the advocates.
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I would hold off on contacting OCR also. If you end up having to go this route, it would need to be sent to OSEP and TEA's Special Education's Monitoring Office.

    Did you get a copy of the original IEP on Dec 5, 2007 or is the one received in the mail the only copy you have?
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! You're at the point that you need to let them know you mean business. Contact the disabilities group and let them know what's going on.

    You're right: you DO have sisters that have/are living through this garbage, and when we see what's going on, it just makes us madder than he**!

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Catwmn

    Catwmn New Member

    Sheila- No they did not give me a copy of the original IEP before the changes. Usually they send it home with one of the kids the same day as the ARD, but since they did another ARD the same day without me I never got a copy of the original I signed. Just the one they changed and pasted my sig to. I asked them for an original but they told me that they do them in a computer and had never printed out an original one for his file....sounds fishy huh??

    The school called me yesterday afternoon apologizing profusely. They said that they thought there may have been a misunderstanding and that they had only placed Aaron on homebound on an extremely temporary basis while they "figured out where to place him within the special education program". (More red flags)

    They are calling another meeting on Monday or Tuesday to place Aaron in another placement...

    We'll see what pans out from all of this..
  15. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    Sorry to be so late on this but as you can tell from the responses, the school district is trying to get away with all sorts of illegal tricks.

    Evaluations HAVE to be conducted at least yearly at parent request UNLESS the school district goes to DP to show why they should not do this.

    My guess reading the whole thread all at once is that the school district att'y got a hold of this and about had cardiac arrest, but this is TX so maybe not.

    You have GOT to get tough. STAY OFF THE PHONE. You could well be headed for due Process (and I do not say this every time there is a minor blip) and nothing irritates H.O. or ALJ's more than the parent saying, "but the principal told me...." IF the principal tells you something you want to hear, DOCUMENT it by sending a memo oc conversation (CERTIFIED, of course)establishing what was said. You can say, "you said 'very brief homebound' and I did not agree to any homebound at all. I take 'very brief' to mean he will be out of homebound by 12/10/07." IF the principal does not send a memo back to you correcting what he/she meant, then your communication stands as a "fact." That is why it is SOOOO important to write these, and unless you have lots of time to write memos of conversation, it is better to communicate in writing in the first place. Do NOT leave with the IEP in YOUR hand. school district will do what you discovered: change it...if you had a copy, it would be even nervier of them to do that. If you make memos of conversation a habit, the school district will stop making wild promises on the phone because to refute yours, they must write back and say (for example) "To us, 'very brief' means until 2009." Since they don't want to have to do that, this is a good strategy because if they write back with something that is off the wall, they hang themselves; if they don't write back, they hang themselves.

    My Dir of SpEd used to hate my doing this (because he lied all the time,) but we reached an agreement: we did not talk on the phone and all proposals from both sides were in writing in the first place. That makes things a lot easier. You still have IEP meetings, but it ends the "he said, she said" because you take their written "suggestions" to the meeting and they have yours.

    The law includes ZERO REJECT and FAPE: The school district cannot unload your difficult child IF you will win, at least that is the theory. For sure, if you do not fight, your son will lose.

    Martie :warrior: