Services for HS seni

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by svengandhi, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    This question is for a friend of mine. She is a single mom with 2 boys; the older is a HS senior. Although he is bright (IQ 118), he is very alienated and disaffected with school. He is a skater boy in a very wealthy and conservative enclave. His mom is struggling to keep the house until her younger boy graduates HS.

    Anyway, my friend's son has not been to class once this year. He needs 7 credits and 2 Regents exams to graduate. He does not have an IEP and has never been classified. She tried to get him into a program that provides one to one assistance for finishing up course work, vocational training, college prep and the like. After stringing her along for weeks, they told her they would not send him there because they just don't send kids there. She knows of at least 2 other district kids who are there now but when she mentioned that, they then said that those kids have IEPs. The placement itself told her that it does not require a student to have an IEP and its website lists "excessive truancy" as a basis for acceptance. My friend asked (by email) for an evaluation and was told that parents could not ask, it had to come from a professional. She got a letter from his therapist and was then told that it would be a waste of time since he's a senior. When she asked if they just wanted to see him drop out, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone.

    When she finally called me on Friday, I told her to send a certified letter to the school district asking for the evaluations immediately. I also gave her the number of our local advocacy center but she has been playing phone tag.

    Is there any other advice I can give her? I did tell her not to mention social maladjustment (which is an issue given his skater boy tendencies and the lacrosse- young Republican nature of the school he is in) but to talk about anxiety over school performance as an issue as that has always worked in my district. Honestly, in my district, her son would have already been in this alternate program, especially since it is located in my town. I also told her not to tell them that his girlfriend goes there (she does not live in the same school district as him).

    I know this boy since kindergarten and he is basically a very nice bright kid who doesn't fit in the mainstream school. It is too late for him to get into the voc-tech programs as they are all 2 years and he is college bound; the program my son attends is not right for him because he has no Aspie-ness. He's not a substance abuser, though he has experimented. He's just a kid who needs a break and this program might be able to do it for him - it helped my other friend's son immensely.

    How can I help her get him in there?

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You write that he is a senior, so I'm guessing he's 17-18 yrs old.

    He may be a senior, but if he qualifies for an IEP, the school district is obligated to educate until he's 22.

    Based on what you've written, the school district has no interest in intervening; it'd be easier for them if he just drops out.

    I hope your friend follows through on the letter requesting the evaluation.

    In that the school district is throwing up roadblocks and giving misinformation, she needs to consider getting an advocate to help her ASAP. She's going to have to push pretty hard for intervention .

    I believe exploring the truancy placement might be beneficial but she needs someone who knows how to shake the right tree. One obstical is going to be how to get him back to attending school. I'd think this campus would be the most likely to know how to go about doing that.

    Wish I could of more help.

     
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Sheila is absolutely right--I predict the school district will win this one because there will be no way to get him to attend even if he gets into this alternative school.

    The school district is obligated to evaluate him upon parent (not professional only) request. The advice you gave on social maladjustment is very good. If they call him that, the mother should immediately correct them in writing stating whatever the therapist said about anxiety, etc. Where his girlfriend is is not relevant, although it might be if it would get him to go to school.

    IF this boy would attend, the the school district is required to provide him with an education. However, getting him to the evaluation appointments, and the IEP meeting would be a challenge. by the way, if he is 18, then his "rights" have transferred to him and the school district can cut the mother out of the process (nice, huh?) How to handle this is to get the kid to give the mother limited power of attorney to make educational decisions for him. SDs HATE this but they can't have it both ways: if a child is "adult" enough to defend his own rights with a very unwilling school district, then he is "adult" enough to be competent to grant POA to anyone he chooses. Only minors and people declared incompetent may NOT grant POA.

    Martie
     
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your advice.

    The boy WILL attend this program = he is the one who found out about it and asked his mom to help him get into it. He wants an education, just not at his public high school. The problem is that the school district is stalling it off because he will be 18 before the end of the school year and if he is not classified by then, I guess they can just toss him out. There is no right to an education until 21 unless a child is already classified by 18, right?

    I have to call her today and find out what headway she has made.
     
  5. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    She would have to check her state regs, but most states allow students to attend while 19 (otherwise every retained student would be tossed out.) You are correct: the only 20 and 21 year olds around have IEPs.

    Martie
     
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