SST meeting.....What do I do to prepare?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by wemustbecrazy, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. wemustbecrazy

    wemustbecrazy New Member

    I have formally requested testing for my son. The school has set up an SST (student success team) meeting for Jan 7th. They have also begun testing him per my request. I would like to know what I need to bring to this meeting? Here is some back ground information that might be helpful. We are in the process of adopting my son. He has been in the foster care system for the last 3 years and in several placements during that time. He has been retained twice, once in 2nd grade and the second time in 3rd grade. He is currently in 3rd grade. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD. He began medicine in November and is doing very well. He moved in with us just before school started and we have been working very hard with him. He is also receiving tutoring at school. He has made the A/B honor roll, however, he has difficulty with reading comprehension and his math skills are pretty poor. I was told by the principal who I worked with several years back that they don't usually set up IEP's for students who are showing success and that if we had applied earlier it might be different. This angers me as I have let my intentions be known when I first registered him for school before he was showing success. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Hello,

    Just because your child has two DSM-IV Dx's, and is definitely "at risk" as a child being adopted from foster care at an older age, in order to qualify for an IEP, he must have a "disabling condition" from those listed in IDEA AND be experiencing "negative educational impact." Two prior retentions are a REAL problem because they greatly increase his risk of dropping out of high school. Further, when SDs double retain, they fail to realize that many states do not allow 20 year old NON-special education students to attend high school.

    The current approach is to TRY intervention and if there is a response, then the child will not qualify for special education. I would argue that your child needs the legal protection afforded by special education qualification, and certainly needs it prior to leaving elementary school. Without it, he is subject to "normal" discipline which includes suspensions and permanent expulsion. Special ed students can not be expelled, ever, and are entitled to attend school through age 22.

    Currently, your son has a qualifying disability (ADHD) and if he is unable to perform at grade level, a negative educational impact. If I were you, I would not press for the legal protections that an IEP affords (I told you as back ground information) but rather stress that RtI (what they currently are doing) is insufficient for a child with the risk factors he has and two retentions. He is going to be 16 in the 8th grade....Have they thought about that?

    Grades are meaningless...I know you are proud of his grades, and he should be, too, but schools can manipulate grades, and they do, so that there is "no negative impact." What you need is standardized achievement test scores that let you know where he is in relation to where he should be. An example would be the WIAT. Test such as these are normed on a national population and therefore, give a pretty good idea of what your child can do in relation to others. You should ask for AGE norms as well as grade norms for hte following reason: if he is not qualifiable at the by grade norms, then he will surely be behind in comparison to studetns his own age. He "should" be performing according to his age. I would argue that since he is not, assuming there was a reason to retain him twice, this is prima facie evidence of negative educational impact. The SD will not like this argument, particularly if they did not retain him, but nonetheless, it is true.

    I hope you can get him qualified, but my guess is that the SD is going to tell you that they are using RtI. IF you sent your request for evaluation by CERTIFIED MAIL, and I hope you did, then the SD must either evaluate, or take you to Due Process to show why they should not. With a double retention and two Dx's, I do not think they would win but it would be a hassle.

    You probably need to read some threads in the archives of this board to find out more information regarding topics I have raised. Also, reading information on http://www.wrightslaw.com is very helpful to some parents on this board.

    Best to you,


    Martie
  3. Mickey2255

    Mickey2255 New Member

    "Special ed students can not be expelled, ever,..."

    Martie, is this true for all public schools? What about the rule of knives, guns, drugs? I thought they could for that...or does that just mean they have to find another placement?

    My son attends a public charter school and they flat out told me that he would be expelled if he exceeds 10 days of suspension. I didn't argue or worry about it at the time because I know it's not going to happen over my dead body!

    Michelle
  4. wemustbecrazy

    wemustbecrazy New Member

    Thank you Martie. I did request testing by certified mail to his school and the superintendent. I agree that he is doing ok for third grade, however, he is 10 and should be at the 5th grade level. I will definitely request the age norm testing. Thanks again.
  5. CSE Member

    CSE Member New Member

    Hi michelle -

    "Special ed students can not be expelled, ever,..."

    << Martie, is this true for all public schools? What about the rule of knives, guns, drugs? I thought they could for that...or does that just mean they have to find another placement?

    << My son attends a public charter school and they flat out told me that he would be expelled if he exceeds 10 days of suspension. I didn't argue or worry about it at the time because I know it's not going to happen over my dead body!

    Read my post under Superintendent Meeting. As I said, they can formulate all the rules they want, as long as they don't violate the laws. If the student doesn't realize the actions are trouble - due to being disabled - they can't even remove him from the placement he's in!
  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    There are special rules for drugs, guns and other weapons. In case a child brings those to school, there can be an IMMEDIATE transfer to an "interim alternative placement" (or suspension can also be used if the 10 day limit has not been exceeded) until an "alternative" is found.

    Absent the drugs and weapons exception, a change of placement is an IEP decision and parents are full participating members of an IEP team. Parents can be intimidated and out-voted, so a placement CAN be changed over the parents' objection but a SD can NEVER deny FAPE. If SDs could deny FAPE at will, many of "our" kids would not be in school and neither would severely disabled kids who are often very expensive to educate. We would be pre-1975 where SDs could say, "We don't educate YOUR type of child...."

    New revisions to IDEA allow parents to unilaterally withdraw consent for Sp Ed placement but that is almost never a good idea and certainly NOT a good idea for a child with behavior issues. IF a child is out of Sp Ed, then no services are provided (makes sense, the parent withdrew consent) BUT the child is also subject to normal disciplinary procedures. This provision brings consent procedures in line with other civil law (you can usually withdraw consent you have given, for example, for a child to participate in an activity) but just because it is "neater" legally does NOT make it a good idea. I suppose there are situations in which the SD is refusing inclusion and one way to get a child into a regular class is to withdraw consent, but to repeat, this is NOT a good idea for EBD/ODD/ADHD kids who are at risk for suspension and expulsion when NOT in special ed. This is why I recommend qualifying ALL children before they leave elementary school because special ed is a service, not a place. The legal protection is worth a lot--at least it was to me--see below.

    SO IF A SD SAYS, "You can withdraw him from Sp Ed if you don't like our placement," DON'T FALL INTO THAT TRAP!!!!

    Negotiate through a mediator (all states must have them by law)--effective in some places, not in others---or take the SD to Due Process if you can afford to do that. During the pendancy of the DP Hearing the child "stays put" in the current placement except for drugs and weapons.

    So if you understand the law, the answer is a PUBLIC school (including a Charter School) cannot EVER expel a special ed student.

    I have written at some length about keeping my ex-gfg registered as a special education student in his home district until he graduated from a private high school because had anything gone wrong at the private (non special ed) school, the h.s. district would have been obligated to take him immediately. If I had let them drop him from special ed, then he would have been subject to re-qualification, which might have been difficult at that point (due to improvement in his emotional state). However, I NEVER let them forget that they owed him FAPE ANY TIME his father and I chose to register him in the public school district of our residence. I didn't want that, I wanted him to graduate from the private h.s., but what if they had not wanted to keep him? No legal recourse there, but the public school cannot deny FAPE legally, EVER. As the Supreme Court said "All means ALL" as in ALL children must be educated at public expense.

    Martie
  7. Mickey2255

    Mickey2255 New Member

    Martie,

    Thank you for that very good clarification on expulsion. While I hope and pray we never get to that point, I do worry about it since there's no way I would send my son to our local district meaning we'd have to take the school of choice route. With GFG's discipline history, it's not too likely anyone would be jumping to take him. I figure I'd have to offer PC daughter in a package deal. But if the charter can't expel him and homeschooling certainly isn't the least restrictive environment, I think it would be up to them to find a placement that would be acceptable to all.

    Thanks again!
    Michelle
  8. happy7

    happy7 New Member

    hi all, I'm new to this site. I found it while searching for - how to prepare for a SST meeting. My son is ADHD and I recently transferred him to a charter school in San Jose, CA. Over the summer the administration told me that if my son struggles they will hold a SST meeting and part of the agreement that they present is "because we are a small and new school, we simply do not have the resources to accommodate a special needs child" they would make suggestions and then if he is causing problem in the school they will ask that I pull him. If I do not then they will have to suspend him until they expell him.

    That can't be right, right??? If they are a charter school, they are still a public school and HAVE to help my child?

    I didn't expect my son to have too much trouble, so I just kept that on the back burner. So far, he's doing fine or at least okay. HOWEVER, my friend's son at the school is scheduled for an SST meeting next week and I am worried that they may try to bully her into a similar scenario.

    My questions are:
    1- how do you prepare for a SST meeting?
    2- who can help you in this scenario? Who keeps the school accountable? Is there someone at the county office of ed that can help?

    Thank you so much (ps: I am new so I don't understand some of the abbreviations such as SD or FAPE). :faint: