School not following the correct procedure?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Woofens, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    A few years ago when we first started with easy child 1's IEP, I knew this stuff, but its been 7 years since I had to do this stuff and I can't remember where to find the information and am quite frankly too frustrated too look for long.

    Isn't it the law that if you request testing for Learning Disability (LD)'s etc in writing that they school district has to comply? I'm asking because when I was at the school yesterday (see my vent post in General for info) I asked the principal about testing for my PCS and difficult child. My oldest easy child has an IEP in place and no problems there. Principal told me that now, to get that testing done, the teachers have to see and recognize a problem, document it, and if warranted, bring it to the attention of the principal who will then decide if and IAT (Intervention Assistance Team) meeting is necessary. I kind of blew it off because there were other more important things to discuss. This morning, I called the Director of Special Education, and he told me the same thing... told me that this way works better because it eliminates unnecessary testing, and the IAT can put assistance plans in place before the testing is done (even placement in CD Learning Disability (LD) classes if they feel its necessary) which benefits the student in the long run because the assistance is available immediately instead of having to wait on the test results. Also told me that testing can be a long wait because there is only 1 school psychiatric. He told me that he would call the principal and tell her to put together the IAT for both children, and that I would hear something soon. He also told me to call and talk to her today about having spoken to him. I waited about 15 minutes to call her because he said that he was going to call her immediately, when I called she was unavailable and was supposed to call me right back. I haven't heard back from her yet (this was early this AM)

    So, have things changed so much that this is the "new" way of handling this process? Or is it just another attempt on the part of the school district to hope I back off so that they don't "have" to test the kids?

    Thanks for any help you can give me We are in OH if that helps at all

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Here's a great website for info on sped law:

    Your school district is not in compliance with the law. A parent can request an evaluation at any point if she suspects a disability is affecting her child's ability to access her education. All you have to do is send a letter certfied mail or hand delivered to the principal requesting a "full and initial evaluation in accordance with IDEA to determine if difficult child is eligible for special education and related services." This letter starts a timeline under which the school district must put in place plans to evaluate your child.
  3. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks you so much. I thought that was still the law, but was too frustrated to search successfully for the information I needed. will be typing letter for both kids later tonight

    I appreciate your help so much!

  4. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    I don't think the school district is out of compliance...yet. I agree with smallworld and you should make the request in writing. This tends to get things moving and most districts will take the path of least resistance and evaluate.

    After receiving your request the school district has 30 days to respond with a prior written notice (PWN). The school district most definitely has the right to refuse. However, the PWN has to include what action was taken and why, what information was used to make this decision and what other options were considered and why they were rejected etc. etc. If your request is refused then you have other options (grievances, mediation, due process etc. etc.).

    Some important notes:
    1. SDs CAN NOT use interventions or IAT processes as a delay tactic.
    2. The IAT process can be useful and does avoid unnecessary testing....if done well. I truly believe that if you're comfortable with this go ahead and do it. Be careful not let this IAT process drag on for months with no progress or no substantial interventions.

    This is only true if you allow them to wait a while. I work as a school psychiatric in rural OH...I cover 3 school districts. Once a parent signs consent I have 60 days to get the evaluation ifs ands or buts. If I don't the school district is out of compliance.

    Wrightslaw is a great website. Lots of good information there.

    Welcome again to the world of Special Education!
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What I meant by out of compliance is that a school district can't tell a parent that only teachers can refer a student for a sped evaluation. A parent has every right to request an evaluation to determine if her child is eligible for sped.
  6. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks so much for the information. I used to know my way around the Wrights law website, but as I said its been years. easy child T's IEP has been in place since her placement in special needs preschool and that was 6 years ago I believe.. She did 1 year of SN preschool and is now in 5th grade, so 7 years ago I guess LOL Its been a while. I did have some fights with hte school district with her, and learned my rights quickly and fought for the things she needs, and got enough of them that I was happy. I would have still liked to have vision therapy for her, but since her surgery in 9-2004, it isn't an issue anymore and at the time, we were bordering on making things worse for her if we kept pushing. We are in a very small district, and very few of the parents of SN kids here realize they have any rights. Most of the children in SPED with my easy child are the children of kids that I went to school with that were in SPED. When I walked into an IEP meeting and the meeting took over 3 hours, and they had scheduled a 15 minute block of time they realized that they had someone who wasn't going to just sit by and let them push my child through school with no fuss. The previous director of SPED would literally turn and run away from me if he saw me in the halls.

    I know that if I tick them off they will make services harder to get. They proved that with easy child T. They will comply, but only if I push and threaten to use more drastic measures to force them to comply. We went through this with easy child T. I don't want to be in that situation again, and I think I already upset the principal by going over her head to Dir of SPED. And I'm dealing with the school on different issues with difficult child, so I'm really walking on eggshells. I'm going to give things a couple days, maybe til the middle of next week, and see what happens. Then if nothing is being done, I will go ahead and write the letters to request the evaluation. If they call and say they are assembling the IAT, then I will let them know that I plan to make the formal request. I really want my kids to get the services they need, with the least amount of fuss. Things are stressful enough here without having a war with the school district again.

    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate all of it. I did find a site with OH laws (don't remember what it was) that said the school district had the option to do the IAT. I wasn't sure what that did to the rest of the process though and now those questions have been answered.
  7. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    ahhh, got it. I missed that part in the orginial post.
  8. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks all I got a phone call from the principal yesterday AM, and she has started to get the IAT together. We'll give it a couple days and see how it goes.