transition to high school from middle school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Mrs.S, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Mrs.S

    Mrs.S New Member

    is it normal at a transition meeting to not have any of the student's regular ed teachers involved in the iep? the only regular ed teacher at our transition meeting was from the high school, who has ovbiously never even met my child.
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Dear Mrs. S,

    You have just encountered a BIG loophole in the law. Only ONE regular ed teacher is required and it does not even have to be the child's teacher--or anyone who "knows" the child. The standard for whom parents bring to meetings requires "special knowledge" of the child. You would think that school district would at least be held to the same standard but they are not.

    To be nasty, at my ex-difficult child's last (failed and unsigned) IEP meeting, the school district brought a girls' PE teacher as the regular educator. (Ex-difficult child had been excused from PE since 6th grade!!) To be equally nasty, we questioned her at length about what she knew about ex-difficult child (she had never even seen him), what her role was in the meeting, what "contribution" she had to make to each and every IEP goal (nothing--and when she was asked to come up with novel suggestions--she started crying) This probably made her feel like a piece of doo-doo--or else terribly exploited by the Dir of Special Education, which she was. It was not a nice thing to do to this teacher--who was probably a first year teacher who had no idea what she was being drafted to do--but it put on the record how shoddy the school district practices were and how little regard they had for the SPIRIT of the law. It made no difference because at DP, they school district was found to be in procedural compliance through the attendance of that teacher.

    This is not a perfect law--and for it to work, some good will would be needed, on both sides. I admit what was done to this teacher, who was personally blameless, was not nice, but given what the school district had done, (and I knew I was not going to let them get their hands on ex-difficult child ever again regardless of DP outcome), I expressed my anger and disgust in this way.

    What I have learned since is that parents who do NOT have the option to educate privately, should not do things such as I described above. That does not mean you have to take what the school district dishes out, however. Sheila is a great model for incredible persistence in continuously reminding a school district that it is breaking the law. Unfortunately, bringing one regular educator who does not know your difficult child is not a procedural violation of law.

  3. Mrs.S

    Mrs.S New Member

    Unbelievable that they could do that at your meeting! They really should change the wording to specify that the student's regular ed teacher should be present. I would describe my transition meeting as "falied" also. I did not agree to their changes or sign anything. We are supposed to reconvene next week.
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It makes more sense for the teacher to know the student, but it doesn't always happen.

    From IDEA 2004 info:,root,statute,I,B,614,d, :

    (B) Individualized education program team.--The term `individualized education program team' or `IEP Team' means a group of individuals composed of--

    (i) the parents of a child with a disability;

    (ii) not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);

    (iii) not less than 1 special education teacher, or where appropriate, not less than 1 special education provider of such child;

    (iv) a representative of the local educational agency who--

    (I) is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;

    (II) is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and

    (III) is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;

    (v) an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described in clauses (ii) through (vi);

    (vi) at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and

    (vii) whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

    (C) IEP team attendance.--

    (i) Attendance not necessary.--A member of the IEP Team shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.

    (ii) Excusal.--A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of the curriculum or related services, if--

    (I) the parent and the local educational agency consent to the excusal; and

    (II) the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.

    (iii) Written agreement and consent required.--A parent's agreement under clause (i) and consent under clause (ii) shall be in writing.

    A topic brief from on the subject:

    Regular Education Teachers as IEP Team Members -- Topic Brief

    March 1999

    Regular Education Teacher on IEP Team Is Required by IDEA '97.
    The final Part B regulations incorporate the requirements of IDEA '97 regarding regular education teachers in the IEP process, including specifying that --

    The IEP team for each child with a disability must include at least one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment) (see §300.344(a)(2)); and

    The teacher must, to the extent appropriate, participate in the development, review, and revision of the child's IEP, including –
    the determination of appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies for the child, and the determination of supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child consistent with the IEP content requirements in §300.347(a)(3). (See §300.346(e))

    Other School Staff May Not Be Substituted for the Reg. Ed. Teacher.

    Some commenters on the NPRM suggested that other school staff (e.g. a special education teacher or a counselor) be substituted for the regular education teacher at IEP meetings. Adopting that suggestion would be inconsistent with the Act, and would undermine the new focus of IDEA '97 -- on improving results for children with disabilities through participation in the regular education environment and in the general curriculum. Thus, the regular education teacher who serves on the IEP team should be the teacher who is, or may be, responsible for implementing a portion of the IEP, so that the teacher can participate in discussions about how best to teach the child. (See Q-26 in Appendix A -- the Notice of Interpretation on IEPs.)

    Extent To Which Reg. Ed. Teacher Must Be Physically Present at IEP Meeting.
    While at least one regular education teacher of a child with a disability must be a member of the IEP team (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment), the LEA need not require the teacher to -- (1) participate in all decisions made as part of the meeting, or (2) be present at all meetings or throughout an entire meeting, as described below:

    THE TEACHER WOULD PARTICIPATE IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT the child's involvement and progress in the general curriculum and participation in the regular education environment (as well as discussions about the supplementary aids and supports for teachers and other school staff that are necessary to ensure the child's progress in that environment).

    THE TEACHER NEED NOT PARTICIPATE IN DISCUSSIONS about certain other matters in the IEP meeting (e.g., the physical therapy needs of the child -- if the teacher is not responsible for implementing that portion of the child's IEP).

    WHETHER THE TEACHER MUST BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT AT EACH MEETING, and the extent to which the teacher must participate in all phases of the IEP process are matters that must -- (1) be determined on a case by case basis by the public agency, the parents, and the other members of the IEP team, and (2) be based on a variety of factors. (See analysis of comments on §300.344(a)(2) in Attachment 1, and Q-24 of Appendix A.)
    Children With Disabilities Who Have More Than One Reg. Ed. Teacher.
    The substance of the note following §300.344 in the NPRM (related to the participation of regular education teachers on the IEP team) has been incorporated into the Notice of Interpretation on IEPs (Appendix A) and in the "Analysis of Comments..." (Attachment 1 to the final regulations), as follows:

    If a child with a disability has more than one regular education teacher, only one of the teachers is required to be on the IEP team. However, if the participation of more than one of the teachers would be beneficial to the child's success in school (e.g., in terms of enhancing the child's participation in the general curriculum), it may be appropriate under the Act and regulations for them to be members of the team and participate.

    If a child has more than one regular education teacher, the LEA may designate which teacher or teachers will be on the IEP team.

    In a situation in which all of the child's regular education teachers are not members of the IEP team, the LEA is strongly encouraged to seek input from the teachers who will not be attending. (See Q-26 of Appendix A.)

    Child's Teachers Must Have Access to IEP and Be Informed of their Responsibilities.
    A new §300.342(b)(2) (entitled "Implementation of IEPs") has been added to the regulations to specify that each public agency must ensure that --

    THE IEP OF EACH CHILD WITH A DISABILITY IS ACCESSIBLE to each regular education teacher (as well as each special education teacher, related service provider, and other service provider) who is responsible for implementing the IEP; and

    EACH TEACHER AND PROVIDER IS INFORMED OF -- (A) his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP, and (B) the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child in accordance with the IEP.
    Mechanism for Informing Staff at Discretion of Agency.
    The above requirement is necessary to ensure proper implementation of the child's IEP and the provision of FAPE to the child. However, the mechanism that the public agency uses to inform each teacher or provider of his or her responsibilities is left to the discretion of the agency.

    * On October 22, 1997, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register to amend the regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The purposes of the NPRM were to implement changes made by the IDEA Amendments of 1997, and make other changes that facilitate the implementation of Part B. The changes made since the NPRM are based mainly on public comments received. 2004 IDEA with-comments :

    IEP Team (§ 300.321)
    Comment: One commenter
    recommended that the regulations
    clarify whether regular education
    teachers are required at every IEP Team

    Based on this last info, it seems a school district would be in compliance if the regular teacher from this school year OR next school year attended the meeting. We are not attorneys, and others may read the regs and have a different opinion.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Marti and I were posting at the same time. I've been researching this because it is a problem area with-vague info from the feds.
  6. Mrs.S

    Mrs.S New Member

    wouldn't this part
    "ii) not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment); "

    mean that it has to be at least one of the child's actual teachers? not someone the school just selects willy nilly?
  7. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    In my experience (in addition to my personal experience) ANY regular educator "counts" particularly in transition when your difficult child does not actually HAVE a teacher yet. This is not good practice, obviously, but we got no traction on this issue at DP. However, this was prior to the 2004 amendments, so rely on Sheila's research, not my experiences.

  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I don't think much has changed, Marti. I still hear this around our area.

    The wording in IDEA 2004 is awkward and leaves room for various interpretations.

    Was anything left out of the IEP that you wanted in? If so, keep in mind that you can call an IEP meeting at anytime. In other words, if difficult child gets off to a rocky start next year, call an IEP meeting.

    Another avenue. Perhaps you can conference with one of difficult child's teachers that you feel could offer suggestions for transitioning. Then decide if you need to call another IEP meeting before school is out and have those suggestions written in. (FYI, I've been known to invite particular educators to an IEP meeting.)

    Rather than challenging the school district on issues such as this, I'd caution you to choose your battles wisely. Not to say that transitions are not important -- only you know if this is one of those times that you have to change the course of the IEP.
  9. Mrs.S

    Mrs.S New Member

    pretty much everything was left out of the iep that I wanted in. We have an excellent IEP which took hiring an attorney to get. It expires soon so this was supposed to be a combination review of progress meeting/transition meeting. we did not review the progress. I was not told what percentage of his goals have been met. Nobody there could tell me anything about his progress anyway since none of his regular teachers came. Nobody had a copy of his current IEP or evaluations.

    they already had their draft IEP. I was expected to just sign it with no input. they have removed some of his accomodations. they have reworded others so that they contain subjective statements. for example reteach /retest was reworded to say "reteach/retest if an honest effort has been shown"

    The present levels of performance no longer states his test scores or diagnosis. just subjective statements which only show one persons opinion of him and not his actual level of performance.

    The goals they put in were ridiculous, and there was no explanation of how he was to attain the goals. there was no criteria for how progress would be measured.

    I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I did not agree to any of it and did not sign anything. We are supposed to reconvene but it would probably only consist of them trying to bully me into signing.
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    Parent IEP Attachment. Never leave home without it.

    Re: Draft IEP's

    With respect to a draft IEP, we (US Dept of Ed)
    encourage public agency staff to come to
    an IEP Team meeting prepared to
    discuss evaluation findings and
    preliminary recommendations.
    Likewise, parents have the right to bring
    questions, concerns, and preliminary
    recommendations to the IEP Team
    meeting as part of a full discussion of
    the child’s needs and the services to be
    provided to meet those needs. We do
    not encourage public agencies to
    prepare a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team
    meeting, particularly if doing so would
    inhibit a full discussion of the child’s
    needs. However, if a public agency
    develops a draft IEP prior to the IEP
    Team meeting, the agency should make
    it clear to the parents at the outset of the
    meeting that the services proposed by
    the agency are preliminary
    recommendations for review and
    discussion with the parents. The public
    agency also should provide the parents
    with a copy of its draft proposals, if the
    agency has developed them, prior to the
    IEP Team meeting so as to give the
    parents an opportunity to review the
    recommendations of the public agency
    prior to the IEP Team meeting, and be
    better able to engage in a full discussion
    of the proposals for the IEP.
    It is not
    permissible for an agency to have the
    final IEP completed before an IEP Team
    meeting begins. From: