Sped director wants me to withdraw request for iep meeting.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, May 23, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I requested an iep meeting about 3 weeks ago. I specifically requested to discuss esy, the availability of Wee's aid, and to discuss what next year should look like, at a high level, and get some concrete samples off sped teachers methods that she is using so successfully with wee on paper, as well as any tweaks she feels
    Necessary to the bip to make the transition smooth.
    Got an email from sped director today. She wants me to withdraw the request because the new principal and new sped teachers won't be available until next year. She wants to meet before shook starts next fall, sans current sped teacher.
    Doesn't that defeat the purpose of 'getting' what is working?
    The other kicker? I have requested to meet before the beginning of each year EVERY year, and that has yet to happen. He's ALWAYS missed the first few days because they can't get a meeting in...
     
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I always heard that same excsue- then at the beginning of the year they wanted to wait "a few weeks" to have the iep meeting because "otherwise we won't have time to see how he's adjusting to this school year and exactly what his needs are yet". in my humble opinion, if you have esy on the table, there's no choice but to have one now. Even if it's not, this is the best time to get documented how things were going at the end of this school year.
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Tell him that you would be more than happy to meet again at the start of the school year but that this meeting is also very important and you need it held as well. Would May 31st at 2:00pm work for everyone??
     
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What JJJ said. Wiz' best sped teacher ALWAYS met at the end of the year to get ready for the next year. In fact, we met in april or May before he started at their school. He was homeschooled then and I wanted to know what would happen if I enrolled him. We had a complete IEP before he started in the school. She was truly excellent and I wish I could send her to whip your school into shape.

    Insist on the meeting now, and on one before school starts. This is just a way to get you to go along with what you already know doesn't work. They are not going to meet before school next year any more than they did last year. they don't want to pay teachers to be there when the kids are not so they pack the days before school with meetings of the entire staff, etc... and there is NO time for seeing parents and doing IEPs. Plus if you dont' meet till then you won't get ESY - duh. Which saves them $$ that they don't want to spend on sp ed students anyway. Grrrrrrrrrrrr..........

    Don't give in. You know what he needs. Ask the sp ed teacher to give YOU a written list of things she does to help him, esp when he starts to get upset. YOU keep it because it iwll NOT be there in the new teacher's files. I have seen quite a few sp ed teachers who go into a new school and gut the files so they only have the records of grades and meetings and not the things like that list. They don't want to try to do it someone else's way, even if it works and is the best way to handle things. I saw one teacher throw away thousands and thousands of dollars worth of materials and books that a teacher had acquired because her kids needed to work on all different levels not on grade level. Then the new teacher told paretns that the work couldn't be modified because they only had the curriculum for that grade level for the number of students in those classes. So the work had to be done on grade level. And a ten year old who couldn't say the alphabet was made to sit in front of chapter books and try to take tests over them!!! It was a disaster and she ahd the record of restraints for the district in ten years - more than any other teacher in ANY size class in a ten year period. This with eight students who were only in her room half the day!!!

    So keep copies of EVERYTHING that helps Wee.
     
  5. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Just because she asked you to withdraw the request doesn't mean you have to. Don't do it!!!
     
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't plan to. I like jjj's ideas - great idea! Let's do BOTH!
     
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    You need to have it now!!! This IEP is a legal document, putting all the services in place for next year. You need the input of the current teacher, tracking his progress etc... The principal has some nerve!!!!! Tell him all this. I've never heard of anything so lame, do you have an advocate? Plus the new teacher will need this IEP to see what skills are developed or what needs to be worked on.
     
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    It's not the principal...its the director of special services!!! $&*#% crazy...

    Not only does it totally defeat the purpose, it completely contradicts why I requested the meeting, which is in writing to her!

    It's also in Wee's BIP to ignore certain behaviors instead of engaging him which generally escalates him. The lady that came and did the fba made this recommendation and it's been working well. While I was there one day, Wee was angry at his aid and told her he hated her. Every time he'd say something, she'd respond with 'I'm sorry you feel that way' or 'that doesn't change the fact that I still like you'. She just couldn't let it be.
    I wrote a letter to them about that, too, and asked them to address it. When I talked to sped, she said 'well isn't that expressing empathy?'.

    Omw....help. It's like when the first principal said he was being proactive because he told Wee if he did it again, he couldn't come to school. Really, people????
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "the hand is the hand of Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob."

    Just because it is SeEd who asked, doesn't mean that is where the request originated.

    Go ahead. Insist on your meeting, then say, "What a good idea, we must meet now of course, but again before school resumes, to make sure it's all in place. Otherwise he will again miss the first few days of school, and that means he is not getting his legally mandated equal access to education. And that WOULD be a pity to have to document, wouldn't it?"

    Marg
     
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    That is true, and I'm sure she's meeting resistance, but one would hope she would understand enough to push back and tell them we WILL meet...

    But them again, if she even remotely 'got' it, we wouldn't be in this boat, now would we...?
     
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    She's got to work with the school staff for a lot longer than the school has Wee as a student. So when it comes down to choosing sides...

    Marg
     
  12. seriously

    seriously New Member

    I know you are not new at this so maybe you already know that it's really hard to schedule an end of the year IEP meeting on short notice. I would never expect to be able to get our district Special Education people to pull together a meeting requested less than 60 days before the end of the school year unless it was an emergency. They are totally snowed with end of year IEP's. If there was no planning at the last IEP meeting for a transition meeting then that was a big oversight on the part of the IEP team, especially the Special Education district people who know darn well what the end of the school year brings. If there was a discussion of the need for the meeting and nothing was scheduled then I would point this out to the Special Education director when you write to tell her you do not agree to delay the meeting.

    In the future, you may want to do what I do now - I always insist that the team decide how soon we are meeting again, erring on the side of meeting sooner than later. Then that information is written into the IEP document. If there's an emergency then obviously that takes precedence over the previously agreed upon date. But this helps make sure that everyone is on the same page about things like ESY and transition planning and that the district can't come back and say they had no reason to expect to hold a meeting in May/June.

    Have you asked the current Special Education teacher what she thinks would be best for transition purposes? If there's all new staff/teachers next year then holding a meeting now without them there is not real efficient and what the current teacher recommends may turn out to be hard to put into practice in the new educational setting or because Wee's needs have changed or whatever. My point is that I can see pro's and con's to holding a meeting now and not next fall. Best would be a meeting now and next fall just prior to the start of school.

    Maybe the current teacher would be willing to attend a meeting the week before school starts in the fall to address continuity. Last summer I got the same line from the Special Education district people - "we can't ask them to come in they're not at work yet." So I called the school site Special Education person up and asked her if she would be willing to do a meeting and she not only said she'd come but she'd round up at least one other Special Education teacher who would be working with difficult child 2 to come too. That shut the district person up fast let me tell you. But we held the meeting the week immediately before school started.

    So there was no previous discussion of ESY for Wee?

    If you are able to work it out to hold a transition meeting just before the start of the next school year then you could do ESY as an addendum, assuming there's agreement on the eligibility for ESY.

    I don't know if your district is too slippery for you to trust them with this, but you could offer to compromise by holding a meeting the week before school starts to bring everyone up to speed that is NOT an official IEP meeting.

    Provided that the current goals are good for next fall and they agree to ESY as an addendum??

    If they don't come through with scheduling the "informal" meeting with school staff on time or that meeting is a disaster then you call for a new IEP meeting right away. You could even bring the letter with you to the informal meeting in case you need to hand it to them right then. It's likely to get you a meeting just as quickly as if you let them wait to schedule it next fall.

    If you decide that it is imperative to go ahead with a meeting now, then I would send a written note declining to delay the meeting due to X,Y,Z concerns as stated in your previous request for the team to reconvene. If you know the procedural deadline for the meeting you requested I would specifically state that you want the meeting convened by that date. If you have a little flexibility with the date then you could give a little by saying that you agree to a delay beyond that date provided the meeting is held by X date. Makes you look good should you find yourself in mediation and makes it clear to them that you know about procedural deadlines.

    Good luck
     
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I dont know, Marg....she's got 10-13 years left of Wee (small district - she's stuck with him til 18-21)...not many staff stick around that long...

    At the last IEP meeting, which I beleive was in February/March, we were to meet again "in a month" to review the results of the assistive tech trials they were doing. It was also agreed that ESY would be discussed "at a subsequent meeting". And that was when we didn't know the sped teacher was leaving.

    I requested this meeting AS SOON as I found out sped was not returning. Wee was placed entirely self contained for most of his first grade year at the public school (he was in a private school for K - first half of first). At the end of first grade, they wanted to put him back in mainstream for second. For second grade, once again, mainstream failed miserably, and he was put back in self contained. And guess what they did...? At the end of second grade, they planned to stick him back in mainstream for third.

    In addition, this is the first teacher that has been successful at not only keeping him in school, but TEACHING him. The other sped teachers could keep him there...but they taught him zilch (including the private school). So this is one teacher out of 4 years that has "had it" and been able to actually work with him. They'd be stupid not to draw on her experience. I "get" that the new staff isn't there yet, and we will need to meet with them. But what are they going to tell new staff if they don't have on paper what is working right now?

    Aside from that, his goals need to be updated. He's no longer attending math in the mainstream again (the only subject he was mainstream in). He has met his reading goal, and I think even his behavior goal. I'll have to check them...

    The other thing? I've requested we meet EVERY YEAR before school starts and it has yet to happen. Something always comes up and we meet after the first week or two of school is passed. Wee's issues culminate in what they consider serious behavior problems. He does not handle stimuli, change, or transitions well. Yet not once have they had a plan on the first day of school for Wee.

    Well, I take that back....last year they made a plan the day before school started. He would be laregly in mainstream and in the 4.5 hours he was to attend school, he would have 12-14 transitions. Yeah....not.

    Oh...and the district brought in their attorney in response to my "demands" last fall.
     
  14. seriously

    seriously New Member

    And you have an advocate? If not, why not?

    It is so hard in a small district. My spouse comes from a little mountain town. It was a big deal when they put in one stop light. So I kind of understand the social pressures to just go along are intense.

    But if this is how they are working it, I would respond in writing that you will not agree to a delay and reference the IEP document that says the team was to meet again in one month. Then leave it be. If/when they miss the deadline you can file a procedural violation with the State. This is completely different than a due process suit. You don't need an attorney. It's more like a consumer complaint. But the State is required to look at the evidence that the district violated the regulations of your State or IDEA in response. If they find there is enough evidence then go and randomly pull IEP records from several students to see.

    And I would get an advocate and sue their pants off.
     
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have an advocate. Sort of. We had two, but the first one is no longer on the case. They come on to work on one issue, and then they have to close the case. We got an IEP and a BIP, which was what the first advocate was on for, so she had to close her case. The second advocate is after assitive technology, and frankly, she's a nightmare. The school's attorney used to work for the same organization the advocates work for, and she has a beef with the atty for leaving, and then for 'beating' her in another case. She's had a chip on her shoulder since the atty got involved, and quite frankly, the atty gave us as much or more than he did the school. He is the one that gave us a decent IEP and BIP, but she just loathes him.

    I responded that I will agree to meet concerning ESY only right now, but I will not withdraw my request for an IEP meeting before the end of the school year to address the other issues.

    I'm sure Mr Atty's phone lines are buzzing right now. I have half a notion to call him myself. (I have done that before).
     
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, and regarding deadlines for meeting requests of this nature? The limit is "a reasonable amount of time". There is no limit. Tho most meetings we've scheduled this entire year have taken in excess of 6 weeks to even get SCHEDULED, and generally once they were scheduled, it was for a month out. So avg 10 weeks from request to meeting. I don't really think that is "reasonable".
     
  17. seriously

    seriously New Member

    In case you want to oppose the school district's attorney attending future meetings:

    Attendance of school district attorney's at IEP meetings is strongly discouraged. See this memorandum analyzing the legal basis for this position and attached letter regarding this matter.
    http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/memos/atty.iep.martin.pdf

    Have you considered calling for a resolution (i.e. mediation) meeting?

    Is that language about the time limit directly from your State's ed regulations? Have you researched whether there is established case law that has litigated that phrase and created a clearer defintion? Really your attorney should be the one who knows/does that but ...
     
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Their attorney has actually been helpful. But I am aware I can oppose him.

    The time limit is from dese. Tho they agreed this history u's not timely.

    I am not to a point of calling mediation yet, but I will if if I have to.
     
  19. seriously

    seriously New Member

    We went to mediation with difficult child 2 and it was actually a very positive experience - but then we won, to the tune of $20K.

    I can't remember - have you had direct discussions with the director of Special Education outside of the IEP meetings about placement etc? Or with the superintendent or board of ed?

    It is such a pain when they stonewall like that. Because your kiddo isn't getting younger - he's getting older every day and he's losing the time he has to learn these skills before his brain starts really maturing in adolescence.

    I feel for you. I think that one approach you might consider is to set your own time line in your letters requesting meetings. If they fail to respond in writing that they don't agree to that time limit then I think you would have a case for a procedural violation.

    AND their delay of this meeting really should have required them to do Prior Notice - put it in writing why they want to delay the meeting to next year. When you ask them for prior notice sometimes they suddenly decide that maybe they can do things NOW after all.
     
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, I talk to sped dir all the time, and the superintendent nearly runs when she sees me coming. I joke about the "what to say to Shari" committee because they say very little to me that isn't run thru the attorney first.
     
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