Some quick questions...

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by hexemaus2, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    As part of the interim plan for difficult child 2, the docs and I decided to re-enroll him in public school (provided he's not in YDC or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) come Friday morning.) I called today to talk to a guidance counselor about re-enrollment. (He's been homeschooled now since the 3rd grade - he'd be a freshman in high school this year.)

    The lady I spoke with is referring my inquiry to their director of Special Education for the school (not the district - I already left that lady a message this morning.) She said there are new processes they have to go through to get a child an IEP. However, since difficult child 2 already has confirmed dxes and existing treatment plans, professionals, etc., she said she's not sure what processes we could skip and what we would still be required to do. Hence referring us to the director of Special Education.

    I told her difficult child 2 has had numerous hospitalizations in the last 2 years, so the last thing we want to do is create so much upheaval that he fails right off the bat. I don't want him thrown into mainstream classes until he gets and IEP. No, I could see that working out to a whole lot of bad stuff. difficult child 2 doesn't do well with lots of commotion around him, so he'll definitely need a controlled environment first, and gradually mainstreaming him if possible. (That is, of course, if he doesn't wind up at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or YDC come Friday.) He needs to work up to mainstream classes.

    In any regard. It's been six years since I had to deal with any public school stuff, much less getting an IEP. I'm not sure if these "new" processes are something specific to our local school district, or if this is a national thing. So, I figured I'd ask the experts here to see if you all knew anything "new" I might need to know about.

    Last time he was in public school, all it took to get an IEP was a formal request. At the IEP meeting, all I had to do was provide a statement from his psychiatrist listing his dxes and any special accommodations the psychiatrist recommended. That was it. Are there more/different steps now? Anything in particular I should know about changes in the laws or anything?

    I'd appreciate any insight so I know what to expect. Thanks!!
  2. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    It sounds like school district policy to me. As far as I know there is no new process to go through. I would wait and see what the director's response is; sounds like they are just clarifying/organizing district level paperwork. In my schools an IEP can be created before the student starts physically coming to classes, as long as we have enough information to do this (it sounds like you do).
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The eligibility process hasn't changed. school district's are required by law to evaluate a student to see if they qualify for special education.

    If the parent has existing reports, letters from doctors, etc., the school district may choose to utilize the parents information rather than go through a formal evaluation process of their own.

    There is also the option of creating an interim IEP in the event the school district chooses to do their own evaluation.

    by the way, IEPs do not expire. Your child's IEP would definately need updating because of the length of time he's been out of the public school system. The "evaluation" and "reevaluation" process is the same. In other words, current parent evaluations can be utilized by the IEP team to develop an IEP. A student is a Special Education student until they age out at 22 or until they graduate with a regular high school diploma.

    I'd do a "letter of understanding" and send it to the school district via Certified Mail -- just in case. The CM will start the clock ticking.

    Superpsy, there are many school districts that tell parents about school policy controlling special education. I know that some districts train their personnel that "policy" is The Bible. But, it's not true. This type thing can get unsuspecting educators in trouble.

    Federal law supercedes State law, State law supercedes school district policy. State law and school district policy must parallel Federal law. It's a non-compliance issue if they don't.

    I think you are doing a good thing reading and interacting on this board, e.g., many educators only use their school district or school district directed education programs as a reference point. in my opinion, wise professionals seek out information from various sources so that they do not get tunnel vision, can expand their knowledge, and understand others' view points. We can always learn from each other.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  4. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    Correct, I wasn't saying that the policy was the all-in-all (superceding state and federal law), just this school district's "way of doing things." Sometimes districts just need a little time to get their stuff together and get in touch with someone in the know (sounds like the SPED director may be the person) to understand that "the way we do things" is not the law.

    Thanks for the comments. It's been interesting reading and interacting. It's nice to see parents ready to advocate.
  5. RhondaVoos

    RhondaVoos Rhonda

    What I did when I hit the same kind of road block was I dropped off a letter requesting an IEP at the school office and asked the secretary to sign that she had recieved it. Presto! I got a call from the principle the same day setting up the IEP meeting. Our post adoption worker sent us a form letter that we used.

    Mr. ___________
    Your childs school
    Schools address

    Dear Mr. __________-
    RE: Your Childs Name
    I am requesting a special education assessment for _______________who is in Teacher's name class. I am requesting an assessment in all areas of suspected disability and specifically in the areas of Whatever your major concerns are. Some of my concerns are based on name some problem areas. I understand that I must be presented with a written assessment plan within 15 days and that the plan will inform me of the tests to be given, dates for the tests and the names of the persons who will be performing the tests, as well as explanations of the tests and their purposes.


    Your name

    Hope this helps, if you would like me to email this to you so you do not have to copy it, email me at