Late Assignments - Only Partial Credit?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vja4Him, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Is it fair to give my son only partial credit for his late assignments?

    My son has a serious problem with his ADHD -- forgetting all the time, losing stuff, misplacing things, paying attention, focusing, organization ....

    I think that part of our strategic plan for accommodations should include giving my son full credit, at least for some or most of his late assignments, due to his serious problem with his ADHD.

    The Resource Specialist at the meeting we had two days ago disagrees. He kept telling me that partial credit is better than nothing. Even if my gets Fs for all of his late work, at least he gets some credit ... !!!

    I don't agree, and I made it clear, but they wouldn't budge an inch. I've been reading various articles regarding Special Education, and have read that part of the 504 Plan/IEP strategies could include allowing students extra time for completing assignments and also allowing for full credit or at least passing grades.

    Does anyone have experience with this issue? What are your feelings regarding only partial credit (only 50% or less) for late assignments?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you thought about getting an Advocate and contacting the State Dept. of Public Education? Are you going to have him evaluated privately? University hospitals are usually great and take all insurance, even Medicaid. Do I think it's fair? I think you don't have a good plan for your son and the school is giving you a hard time and that if you depend on their decisions, he will continue to have a hard time. I think you need to go up t he ladder and over their heads because they clearly are not helpful. Maybe they don't even believe your son has a disability.
  3. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I'm working on going over their heads already ... I've e-mailed several of the Superintendents in the school district. Still haven't heard back from anyone yet ....

    My son's former therapist called today and gave me several numbers. I called a center and they took down my intake information and told me that somebody will be contacting me next week about getting us an advocate. I have also contacted the Center for Human Services.

    Yes, I believe that the school officials I met with (Resource Specialist, School Nurse, School Psychologist, and Learning Director) do not believe that my son has any disability, or any real problem for that matter!

    They were pushing, and I do mean pushing (!) that my son simply needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps, get his act together and settle down. Very sad indeed .... Pathetic even ....
    Lasted edited by : Jun 4, 2010
  4. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Oh yes, the Resource Specialist even crossed out disability, and wrote in "needs" for my son instead! He verbally insisted that it was better for my son not to label him as having a disability, but rather stating that my son simply has needs ....

    I wonder if the Resource Specialist actually knew what he was doing, and perhaps did that on purpose to try and make it look like my son really has no special needs, and is rather a problem student who needs to be punished, instead of given assistance ....
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The Superintendant is part of the school district. I would contact the Dept. of Education in your state. They have authority over your school district. Obviously t he superintendants are not going to go against their own schools. And you really do need in my opinion to have a private evaluation to give yourself some weight. Just writing letters to people in the same school district won't get your anywhere except an ulcer. You need help in doing this. If you want to wait for Human Services, then sit tight until you hear from them. I would stop writing letters. They will try to make you out to be a problem parent and will keep all you write. Wait for advice for somebody who knows the system and what is and isn't legal. in my opinion your son needs an IEP, not a 504. my opinion are pretty useless.

    Good luck.
  6. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks for your advice! Interesting note:

    The Resource Specialist told me that a 504 Plan was a very strong and powerful document and held a lot of weight! He told me that I have a very good 504 Plan. So why did he water down our existing 504 Plan, and remove over half of the items that we had already? He said that he wanted to experiment and find out what works. Is this standard procedure, to start with just a few items, and then experiment to see what works, and keep adding or subtracting items from the 504 Plan?

    I won't be able to pay for a private evaluation. How can I get a private evaluation if I can't afford to pay for anything?
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    504 plans have no teeth - they aren't enforceable.

    Yes, with an IEP you can get extended time for work.

    Does your son have medicaid? Medicaid will pay for evaluations - especially at University and Children's Hospitals.
  8. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    We have Medi-Cal. I don't drive, so we couldn't go very far, only wherever the bus will take us, and the buses stop running early.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The school is changing your 504 to see what works best for them. They need to adhere to the rules, not change them.

    Check with your Medi-Cal financial worker to see if there is a special transportation fund that your son can tap into. This program would pay for his transportation to and from medical appointments. MN did have one a few years back (not sure with cuts in services if it is still there) but I don't know the criteria to become eligible for it. I would think getting children to doctor appointments would be a top priority for the State.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know they can't and wouldn't dare change my son or daughter's IEPs without us. A 504 is informal. Sounds like the guy doesn't believe your son needs help and is NEEDLESSLY giving you a hard time rather than helping you. My son and daughter both got extended time for assignments at first and got to take tests in the resource room if necessary and got extra time to take their tests. Neither need that anymore so we, as the parents, agreed to try without them. We are mandated to sign the IEP and we NEVER sign at first. We take it home, read it for a week or so, show our teacher friends and other friends and sign only if we agree with it. They know that, if they play hardball with us, we'll go straight to the Dept. of Public Education, so my kids get pretty much what we ask for. And they wouldn't dare question whether or not my kids need help. We took them to university hospitals for testing and although they don't have to take that into account it makes them look horrible if they say "Mr. Expert doesn't know anything. I do." The Dept. of Public Ed frowned at them doing that too, which they tried. We almost hired a lawyer, but they backed down because they knew they'd lose then all the bills would be their own and they'd look bad in the eyes of the State.

    Find out when the bus goes past a university or children's hospital. It's almost mandatory to do this if you want good help for your son. He may have more going on than "severe ADHD." The stronger the label, the more help you MUST get for him, which is why I suspect this school bozo doesn't want to label him. He wants to cut corners. Make an appointment. to get your son privately tested, even if you have to save up one day to take a cab. Or try to find a ride. And call your Dept. of Public Education because it sounds like your school district knows you have limited resources and they are taking advantage of that and are counting on you not being able to do anything to them. You've tried to work with them. Now you need to work with your son and bypass this Resource Specialist, who probably doesn't know a whole lot. School Districts don't hire the best and brightest to diagnose our kids and their goal is to spend as little $$$ on our kids as possible. My sister is a Special Education aide in a school district and the stories she tells me about what the district does to save money just boggles the mind. Trust me, it has nothing to do with what is best for the kid. It's all about what is cheapest for the school. Worse, the parents don't really know what goes on when school is in session, but that's a whole other thread.

    Good luck! Do what you can!
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lables, slables......:disgusted: You know, there are many parents who don't want their child labeled. But in my opinion, many times it's a way to insure services.

    Certainly "allow extra time for assignments and tests" is a standard mod on an IEP. Remember that a 504 does not have to be adhered to. It is basically a guideline. It varies from school district to school district the amount of weight a school gives the 504. Unless it's in his IEP, there is no guarantee.

    Two things - first, remember that a good IEP (this is for the future writing of the one I'm sure your son will get) does not include general or wishy-washy type goals and mods/accoms. Just saying things like "preferential seating", "extra time for assignments", "use of a keyboard for lengthy writing assignments" (all standard things you will find for kids with adhd/executive functioning issues) really says nothing. Who decides the preferential seating? The teacher, the student, the parent? What does that really mean". Extra time for assignments means what? An extra day? An extra week? By the end of the grading period? Define lengthy assignment - three paragraphs could be a lengthly assignment to a kid with disgraphia. Who decides whether it's lengthy? A quality IEP will leave no grey area -be specific.

    The second thing was really that, giving your son partial credit for late assignments is fair unless something specific is spelled out in an IEP. Unless the school/teacher understand that your son's disability requires some accoms/mods to even the playing field through an IEP, there are no guarantees and your son will have to adhere to rules of the entire student body. Some teachers won't even accept late work and the grade for the assignment would be a "0".

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  12. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I never thought of that .... I will check with the school district, Medi-Cal, and the Center for Human Services, to see if there is any service to get my son to the doctor. I would still have to show up at the doctors myself, since my son is under 18, but that would really help to save time, and hopefully my son would not miss an entire day of school, but perhaps miss only half a day.
  13. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I'll look into all that .... I think that the nearest children's hospital is in the Bay Area, which is around 90 miles each way. So that would require we find someone who could drive us over there, and stay with us all day, then drive us back. I'll check into that ....

    I added the Department of Public Education to my list of contacts and will work on that too.

    I think you are correct ... The Resource Specialist seemed very suspicious to me from the very start .... His whole attitude was that my son just need to get his act together and figure out how to get past his problems .....

    He is also a smooth talker, never raised his voice, smiled a lot, use a lot of hand gestures, gave examples of what he does with his students, and kept saying that the teachers just don't have the time to do what I'm asking, and also enforced his belief that my son's real problem is simply because he missed 18 days of school and had many missing assignments. Well, of course my son is going to have lots of missing assignments .... 18 times seven classes is a lot of missing assignments!

    All of those missed days should be excused. My son lost a couple of the doctors notes. I was able to get one of the doctors to fax over another excuse. The school suspended my son two times for defending himself when another student attacked him (One time a student stabbed my son two times with a pencil ... !!! Another time a student hit my son in the privates). I'm thinking that I should have made a police report .....
  14. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I've brought up the issue that my son's problem goes back quite a few years, but they just ignored my story, and continued on with the present. My son has been a victim of serious abuse, physical, sexual, emotional ..... on top of his serious problems with ADHD.

    All this trauma and medical issues has affected my son's ability to function normally in school for many years, not just this year. He has missed many days from other schools, but those schools worked with us, and made the necessary accommodations to help my son.
  15. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will add these to my notes in my binder .... My son and I spent several hours last night going over his new 504 Plan, comparing it to the previous two 504 Plans. He was very upset that they removed so many items from his 504 Plan that he really needs .... I wish that he could have been present at the meeting several days ago ....

    I will make certain that my son and an advocate are present at the next meeting, and possibly every meeting thereafter as well. My son has very high verbal skills and is quite capable of expressing himself. I can't believe that the school didn't tell me to bring my son .... Just another example of the schools negligence ....
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great thread! Great info.
    I may be walking this path after our mtng this week.

    Meanwhile, it depends upon what you consider fair.

    I have told my difficult child that I want to send him to a special school where he will get 1-on-1 attention and better test-taking instructions.
    He insisted that was the wrong thing to do, because "If I learn differently, then I will have to learn differently all my life, when I get into the real world. I have to know how to do it this way now."

    Hmm. Don't know if someone told him that or he figured it our himself ...
  17. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    With medicaid in Ohio, you get transportation (if wanted) 15 times a year for a doctor within 30 miles; unlimited for a doctor outside of 30 miles from your home. It wouldn't be just for the child. It would be for the parent and child.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Terry, my son started out in Special Education. He didn't learn differently, he just got help. Now he is mainstreamed with the regular kids and doing great. I saw it as a way to help him learn (the best he can) in conventional ways. Now his life and social skills are a whole other ballgame...when he turns 18 he is not going to be completely like other kids and may need a little help his whole life...but his ability to learn is good! :tongue: And he's doing great in the mainstream at least at school where he is very comfortable. His grade point average without any accomodations was 3.45 last semester.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have you been over the the special education part of this board? There are so many helpful ways to handle the whole school issue, in all its' facets, over there. The Special Education Archives is a real treasure chest of ways to help. I would read as much of that as you can, taking notes, and would post about all this there.

    As far as your son's presence at the meeting, did they send you a WRITTEN notice of the meeting? There is a requirement that they send you a written notice of the meeting a certain number of days in advance. Info will be available somewhere on the Sp Ed forum or you can just ask if you cannot find it. If your son is supposed to be at the meeting I would think that it would be mentioned in that notice. FWIW, I would take your son to ALL future meetings from now on. If they refuse to let him attend he can sit in the hall. At some point he has a legal right to attend these meetings. My difficult child was allowed to attend from 8th grade on. Since he skipped 7th grade the rule may be from 7th.

    I am not sure if I mentioned this, but we have an outline of a parent report that is very very helpful when dealing with schools, docs, etc... Your binder may have some or all of the info, but checking the outline out might help fill in any gaps in information or help you provide info on things you didn't think of. You can find it in the General Archives under the thread title "parent input/multidisciplinary evaluation" or some version of those words. If I have already mentioned it to you, sorry for repeating myself.

    I would NOT call school about transport to doctor appts. It is none of their business and you can be SURE they will use it against you if they can twist it. They may try to say you "neglect" your son by not taking him to docs if they know you have a tough time getting to appts, for example. If there is a way to use it against you, they WILL find it. I would simply call the # on your insurance card or your case manager.

    As for partial credit, it is solely at a teacher's discretion unless it is written in an IEP. 504's don't really count as they are not enforceable. The only exception is if there is a school policy that someone feels like enforcing. In our district, if a student is on in school suspension or is suspended ALL of the assignments for those days are given 0 points. Our schools above elementary enforce this because the computers kick out other grades if the student is marked suspended or ISS. Elementary schools use another system and rarely use any kind of suspension. The ONLY way your son will get credit is if it is in his IEP. Even then you may have to battle to have it followed.

    Terry, as for what your difficult child says about learning to cope, he is only partially right. The 1:1 time in a sp ed room or special school is designed to help him learn and to help him learn how to learn in the reg class. Mainstreaming is then done gradually with supports so that difficult child will be able to learn in the reg class. It will be MUCH easier for him in the long run if he does the 1:1 and learns basics and how to learn than if he stays in a reg class and tries to get it on his own. The nature of Aspergers and autistic spectrum disorders is that simply learning how to cope/learn from observing others is very difficult. difficult child is right about needing the skills for later in life. He is mistaken on the best way to learn and implement the skills.
  20. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    They did NOT send me a notice of the meeting! I had no idea that my son should be at the meeting. When I showed up for the meeting, they were going to call in my son, only to find out he was not at school. I told them that nobody informed me that my son should be present at the meeting. Seems like this school (district?) is doing so many things wrong regarding my son ....

    Thanks, I will check that out.

    Has anyone had this happen, where the school actually used something like that against the parent? That seems like it would be illegal .... Seems like the schools should be sympathetic towards the situation, and try to help the family with their needs. The district is providing weekly passes for my son to take Dial-A-Ride to school everyday, including summer school.

    This is another place where my son's 504 Plan got messed up .... I will make a note for the next meeting, to make sure and add very specific details about each item in the 504 Plan.