Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Is nowhere near over, we meet again in 2 weeks to hopefully finish up.

    Mostly, it went well. Even the dumb____ principal wants to put on paper what is working. The sped teacher and his para are drafting the BIP for the next meeting. YAY!!!

    One thing - the attorney absolutely refused to put "consistent" or "dedicated" para in the IEP. He also refused to give me a notice of action refused for that request because its not a "valild, do-able request". His theory is that the aid could get married and move and that would then make them liable to somehow keep her. I said I get that and am not being unreasonable about it, he could even put his legalese in there to explain something like that, but he refused.

    But, can he really refuse to give a notice of action refused???
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I don't think he can, but I'm sure others more experienced will come along.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    HE sounds like he's in CYA mode. Not good. The rest - sounds better, but I'm cautious. Words sound good, it's what they actually do that matters. And with the layer refusing to put that in (and a "where possible" should cover it) then the school has too much wiggle room and can cause exactly the same problems over and over.

  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I thought I could request the moon, or anything way out there, and they had to acknowledge the request, anyway....I'm calling DESE about it tomorrow. You are right, Marg, that the important thing is what they are doing, but I have fought too dang long and hard to get this lady to just lay down and accept no for an answer to this....

    I might even go to the superintendent...she may have some input on this, as well. I dunno.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I did get it in the parent concerns. And I'm not so sure it won't end up in the sped teacher's writing, somewhere, because she agrees its the people that are making this work, but bothers me.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    One more thought - the attorney won't minute that he refuses to put that phrase in, but you can. Write your own report of the meeting, include what you asked for, list what you haven't yet got, state your feelings about this issue and send it. Also include tat attorney refuses to budge on this point and also refuses to acknowledge his refusal. Then lodge this as your own record of the events. Let them know, as part of your notes, that if they disagree with what you have written, then they need to put that disagreement in writing to you and ensure it is kept on record. As your letter should also be.

    If nothing else, ask them to let you know in writing of any objections; you will take a lack of response as agreement that your notes are accepted as a valid record of what you recollect from the meeting.

    You have a lot more power that you can use, to push your point across. You can still word your letter in a positive, friendly way. "Thank you for meeting with me. I was impressed with the progress we made; notably X, Y and Z. I am disappointed about the lack of dedicated aide. I understand the concerns are as follows: [list the arguments by the school]. But my concerns are these [list them] and as I stated in the meeting, I would be sympathetic to some of the issues raised and of course as a reasonable person, would not expect the impossible. Perhaps we could include the phrase "where possible" to deal with such practical problems? We have made such good progress, it would be a shame to stop halfway, when getting it right could make such a positive difference for both the student, here, and the staff who have to manage him. I request my letter be included in the official paperwork dealing with this IEP application. If you do have any concerns with what I have raised here, please let me know in writing so I may give your response accurate and careful consideration, with no risk of misunderstanding or omission). Please get any responses to me at least two weeks before the next meeting, so we can have an equally effective, productive completion of the process. Thank you once again for working with me in this."

    I know you're good at letters, Shari. Play with this and let them deal with it! But you are entitled, as a member of the process (and the person who gets to sign off on the end result) to have considerable input yourself, independent of the CYA stuff tat the school will go on with.

    Just go ahead and remove the manhole cover from the lawyer's ^&&! Expose it to the cold light of day!

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who is this attorney? Does he work for the school?
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yes, he is the school's attorney.
  9. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Yes, if you have written a request for something and that request was denied, they need to put it in writing why the service was denied. One way we got around the 1:1 dedicated person was to say a familiar, liked person would be with my difficult child at all times- and that means one of three people, but doesn't name names.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do YOU have any representation, like at least an Advocate? I'm not liking it being so one-sided. Also, I've been there/done this many times. The Super is just an employee of the school district. I wouldn't count on that person to take your side. Sounds like you've been at this for a long shouldn't really take a long time if the school is on the up and up. Sadly, often they aren't. They want to give you the least so that it doesn't cost them as much. We've always had to go over the school district's head.
    Civil Rights can get involved if there is any retaliation against you or your child for going over their heads.We've just been through a real mess, but once the school district knew others were being told about them, they came around fast. Before that, it was all games. Now they pretty much gave us all we want for our daughter and the teachers who once thought she was faking her problem have been warned to get on board or get into trouble. She's never been treated this nicely.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have 2 advocates, and I have consulted legal counsel. So far, the attorney has done more good for us than he has the school. This is the first requst I've made that he's denied...but what bothers me is the notice of action refused...that he won't give me one. I have fought for years to get a single 1:1 for Wee...I don't want to leave that very important detail out of his plan.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds to be like there suddenly is a sticking point on your one major dealbreaker. That really worries me - this attorney has seemed on side so much before, and now he's digging his heels in apparently stupidly. Something smells rotten here.

    I like MWM's suggestion to modify the wording. If you suggest that, it also makes it clear that you are trying to find a way through, to work it out with them and you're not just being difficult.

    I wonder if the attorney is sticking so hard on this one, because the principal has reminded him of who pays his fees? It's easy for the principal to seem nice, and suddenly cooperative, if he knows he already has got someone else to block your one main objective.

    I've been there done that with meetings (not school-related) where an apparently nice person on the board was actually the instigator behind some very nasty stuff - the person pulling the puppet strings of two others. I watched this person (in my case) reveal himself when the other two literally looked in his direction for some sort of indication of when to act, and what to do, and I saw him nod or shake his head accordingly. And when they spoke, I heard his favourite phrases... but when we took a break, the same snake came up to me to give me a hug and say, "It will be alright soon. All they want you to do is back down."

    Go carefully, Shari.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Don't agree to it then.
    My son had a 1:3 aid and it really worked very well for him. She was there for three Sp. Ed students in his mainstreamed classes and he learned a lot from her. However, that does not mean it's right for YOUR child.
    Sounds like you have a lot of folks in your corner. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The principal is worthless. Known that from the get-go, and suspect she's the one who brought the attorney in to start with. Which is fine...he quickly realized I was not what she described me to be, and that we had a common goal - educating my son lawfully. I chose not to bring counsel, because I believe it begins a game of CYA, instead of focusing on what the kid needs.
    Not sure if having it in the parental concerns will do me any good if they decide to not keep him with the same para...and that's all I'm looking for. As I understand it, the IEP should detail what is being done to make the student succeed in the classroom...and those consistent people are a HUGE part of it...
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    What I did, was remove the section starting with, "The Virginia Special Education Regulations..." and replaced it with what I was asking for, while citing either their own evaluations on how it would help, and/or documented success from the strategy, etc.
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ok, so, in a nutshell…

    Wee attended the early intervention preschool (EIP) from Jan 2006 thru June 2007. In the EIP classroom, where he was 1 of 8 students with 1 teacher and 2 aids, he was a model student.

    When it came time to transition to kindergarten, EIP recommended Wee have a 1:1. School District (school district) refused, so we sent Wee to private school, where the student:teacher ratio was much smaller than school district. He did well at private school until an accident took away the teacher that worked well with him.

    Wee started at school district in January 2009. The IEP team met with his teachers from the private school before he started. The teachers from his private school consisted of the 1 that could deal with him very well (she kept him in small group or 1:1 settings) and 1 teacher that couldn’t handle him at all (she refused to acknowledge he had any problems that punishment wouldn’t fix). school district agreed to give him a full time para, but refused to give him a dedicated para.

    In less than a month, school district informed me that he could not longer attend school past 11am due to their inability to deal with him. In a team-agreed upon decision, I observed the paras, and in the course of one day (the first day I observed), I saw one of the paras working with him rip a pencil from his hand when he didn’t want to transition at the end of art, grab him by the arm and pull him out from under a desk where he had holed up (but was not making any noise), and quarrel with him when he chose to work on the floor instead of at the table in an otherwise empty room, among other things. Those were never addressed.

    His morning schedule was changed so that he worked in the sped room around lunchtime, and it went well. So for the last 3 months of that year, he was allowed to extend his day and stay til 1:30pm for specials. Instead of having that particular para come back in and work with him, the sped teacher asked me to come in from 12-1:30 each day to take him to class and specials. I did, and for that 2.5-3 month period of time, he attended class and specials, did all of the work as directed by the teachers, and never had a single incident in which he had to be removed from the classroom.

    In 2009-2010 school year, it was agreed to extend his day at the beginning of the year. I was to attend with him the first few days, the paras working with him were to shadow me. The morning para was moderately successful for a period of time. On the afternoon of the second day of school, during math instruction, Wee was getting frustrated, and I offered him manipulatives. The para, who was to be shadowing me, told me Wee was perfectly capable of doing the work without them "if he wanted to", scolded me for doing her job, and sent me out of the room. Less than 2 minutes later, she brought him kicking and screaming out of the room, and he was sent home with me, and his extended days were nixed right there.

    He was suspended 7 “official” times (not counting the 20+ days he was sent home early – which they didn’t count as suspensions) that year before a manifestation determination was held. During that meeting, it was decided he would be moved to the sped room with sped teacher and her ONE classroom aid for the remainder of the year. For the last 3.5 months of the 09/10 school year, while in the sped room with sped teacher and ONE aid, he did not have ANY suspensions, and was only sent home early ONCE due to behavior, and it was not a major infraction. And he started to make academic progress.

    At the end of the 09/10 school year, for whatever reason, school district decided Wee needed to be in the gen ed classroom again for the 10/11 school year. He would still have a 1:1, but it would be a parade of them. I refused to agree, but the district informed me this was all they were going to offer. I never signed off on that IEP.

    I refused to allow Wee to start with the proposed schedule I was given the day before school started. It consisted of 5 different paras, and 4-5 teacher transitions in the 4.5 hours Wee was to attend school. The IEP team met and reduced the paras and teacher transitions, but he still had major behaviors that resulted in multiple incidents and 2 suspensions before he was put back into the sped room with a consistent para again.

    I don’t really care how its worded, but this needs to be reflected in that IEP, or as Marg said, if nothing else, as an addition to his file, so that the hairbrained **** they’ve pulled by trying to stick him back in gen ed with a parade of paras this year doesn’t happen again.

    And they have a line in there that says his behavior escalates as the day progresses. Its been in there since they wrote the IEP in 09. I’d like to see the data that supports that. I’ve asked for it before and they can’t produce it. I just don't want them to have the opportunity to give him the parade of people again.... (their excuse is that they'll be “making him learn to deal with different people”, which has been school district's consistent answer for why he can’t have just one person working with him).

    I believe I'll be pushing this issue. This year is going well...I want to make sure the setting remains so that it can continue...