IEP Meeting Reconvenes in 10 hours. Advice?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, May 31, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The IEP meeting continues tomorrow morning at 8am. Grandma had bought into their 4-hour day theory, but after she and I talked, she read everyone's comments here, and she talked to her peers (she's a former teacher and counselor, and a former employee of this school district), she agrees 4 hours is ghastly.

    I will fight it, but really, if they won't budge, what can I do besides get the notice of action refused?

    I plan to argue FAPE and IDEA; my kid has, at worst testing, average IQ and is functioning at a pre-K level (best testing put him above average with "average functional IQ" because of his "issues"). Missouri requires 3 hours of instructional time for a day to "count" for gen ed. That doesn't apply to kids on an IEP, but really, should his education be compromised because they can'nt/refuse to figure it out?

    I was fairly ok with the schedule, also, but I'm changing my mind on that, as well. He read a sentence to me, was very excited to do so. Eight words, all "site words" that he knows. All surrounding sounds had to be eliminated for him to read it, even the 6th or 7th time thru. He can not function with distractions. I'd like to see him back in the mainstream room for some social time, but he can't learn there.

    But if they say no...what recourse do I have tomorrow? Any?

    The advocate has not called me back. So I'm flying solo.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What is the reason given that wee be dismissed at noon (and no other child is dismissed at noon)?

    What is the reason given for all the transitions? If he does well in self-contained without all the transitions, why not keep him there (or slowly ease him back into mainstream)?

    In terms of recourse, you may have to bring the school district to due process.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Shortened day....They say he can't maintain a full day, yet they admitted to needing this "set schedule" so they can collect their for that thought.

    Same for going back to mainstream - he's "bored" by himself, and they think he'll do fine, possibly even better, with some changes to shake things up a bit....again....think? Fact is, he's learned most everything he knows in 1:1 instruction time...why change that tire when its not flat?

    Thanks, SW. Good food for thought.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Shari - I think all you can do at the meeting is point out to SD that by failing to allow difficult child to attend school full days, they are continuing their already well-established pattern of denying difficult child FAPE based on his disability. They are not only violating IDEA, they're violating ADA as well. If they refuse, not much you can do at the meeting. I *think* (smallworld???) if you decline new IEP, current IEP stays in place.

    Your recourse is due process, but my guess is that the state you live in is probably about as parent-friendly as mine in terms of parents prevailing without an atty. If you can swing getting one, I'd do it ASAP. If not, perhaps as an intermediate step a formal complaint with the MO Dept of Ed, along with a cc: to OSEP, might be in order. Once you get their prior written notice of their refusal to allow difficult child to attend school full days, send off the letters with documentation of exactly how much time difficult child has been out of school since this whole fiasco started. Certified of course. A formal complaint to state dept of ed is not due process.

    I'm on the fence in terms of filing with- the Office of Civil Rights on the ADA violation. I got burned by them several years ago when I filed a complaint on behalf of Boo (basically, they found that segregating (I'm talking the kids were in an old admin bldg, not even a school) severely disabled students based solely on their disability, and in spite of that fact that all needed services were available in our neighborhood school, was not a violation of their civil rights). While it seems like a no brainer in your case that OCR should find against the SD, the problem is if they *don't*, they will basically give your SD carte blanche to do as they please. Based on my experience, I would probably get the sped atty if your formal complaint to dept of ed with- cc: to OSEP doesn't work rather than moving on to OCR on your own.

    I think the thing to remember, and emphasize to the SD, is that they are causing near-irreparable harm (in my humble opinion anyway - you can tell 'em Sue thinks so, LOL) to difficult child. It's been a *year* and they still can't come up with any better idea than keeping him out of the school. The educational and social time that he has already missed, to say nothing of the prospect of yet another year, is time that cannot be made up.

    Sending warrior vibes to you, hon. difficult child is lucky to have you as his mom and advocate!
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I totally agree with SW. Why make him transition when he's doing so well right now in self contained? That's not to say there is not a transition to mainstream in the IEP, but to start it out right at the beginning of the next school year is exactly what the problem was this year - too many transitions, not enough stability in 1:1.

    You must insist that, not only can he hold it together all day if he is provided the services guaranteed by law, it is their responsibility to educate your son not send him home to you in the guise of "doing what is best for him".

    I believe you said that "specials" are in the afternoons. Why can't a plan be made for him to be in self-contained all morning and then slowly add a special, like art or music one at a time with the 1:1 at his side in the afternoon? Sounds like that could be a much smoother transition for wee.

    And, as SW has so wisely said, bringing the school to due process may be your only option here.

    Don't sign the IEP if they don't do what is in wee's best interest.

  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    ::GOOD LUCK!::

    no advice, but thinking of you!
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks, all.

    I'm off to the races. Will let you know.

    And I am not signing ANYTHING til I have the final copy in hand. This slope is way too slippery.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sending good thoughts! Hope you're able to get the services Wee needs without too much fussing and yelling.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Advocate was able to come. She said she spent yesterday looking at Wee's file (and seems she did). She was actually helpful.

    School would not budge. Even tho I threw back at them their very own words, they refused to budge. So I refused to sign, will be requesting a notice of action, and having DESE take a look at it. They are cutting minutes and changing placement for some really questionable reasons.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm so sorry, Shari. I don't know why they have to make it so doggone difficult sometimes.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I noticed after the meeting, tho...his grade card has "meets expectations" on his math grade.

    Yet his IEP for next year has 2 of the same 4 objectives as this year's IEP. And math is his "strong subject".

    He will go to school for 4 hours a day now. He will be in gen ed for 2 of those 4 hours. Another 45 minutes of that time will be spent at lunch and recess. All so they can "collect data" because they can't use data from the other school.

    And they are now proposing to double his time at school on Jan 1. What, praytell, is going to change then??? His behavior is markedly improved NOW!!!!
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This is so illegal!!!!!!!!!!!

    You may need an attorney to take them down.

    It may be simpler to move. Is that possible?
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Shari, I'm so sorry. I'd definitely look into retaining a Special Education attorney. This doesn't sound legal at all.

  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    A lawyer would be all over this, both in regards to FAPE and meeting goals.

    If this school district knows you aren't willing to press them legally, then they can continue on with illegal treatment of Wee.

    Sorry, Shari, I don't think there's any other way if you want Wee to remain in the school. Nobody ever wants to spend the money or damage relationships with the school district but you've tried everything else and they're still calling the shots.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I was afraid of this. Get a Special Education attorney ASAP. Keep the advocate, if possible also. The advocate may know of some Special Education attorneys, or check out to see if they have any listings or ways to find one. I know in my district it is very hard to find one because our area is so small and any atty who takes up Special Education as their field, or attempts to take on this SD, will have their own child abused in school by decree of the superintendent. It has been this way for many years. Principals who don't play ball get fired, period. So we have to go to either of the large cities and pay for the mileage for the atty to drive here. It has been worth it for several families.

    Make sure that you get an atty on board as soon as you can. The school will start pulling stuff even before this year is out and they will be worse next year. You have been MORE than fair with them. They are being idiots.

    I'm sorry.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Working relationships have been damaged. Trying to salvage something workable with sped teacher, but i don't give a flying **** about the rest of them. I have tried everything I know and then some, and there is still no solution that is viable in place. Self contained has been the best we've had. Why in the world we can't continue with that and add some specials, etc, back in, I don't know. But...they're not.

    The principal had the brains to not speak today. That was a step in the right direction for her. She glared at me thru the whole meeting. If I'd look at her, she'd look away quickly, but she only spoke once, and I told her that I'd heard her speil from every principal we've dealt with so far and I'm tired of hearing the same magic solutions with no real foundations. She dropped it.

    ExMIL asked SpEd director how many kids in the district attend less than full days. SpEd director him-hawed around about that possibly violating privacy laws, etc, and exMIL cut her off mid sentence. ExMIL never raises her voice, and she said 'Oh, hell, SpEd's First Name, stop giving me bull and give me a number. Twenty five, fifteen, eight, ONE?' SpEd Director said he's the only one. Of roughly 1500 kids, he's the only one on a shortened schedule.

    When they went thru the BIP, which is still the same lame excuse for a BIP that's been in the IEP since they decided they needed one the first year he was there, they talked about how great things went til he fell apart this winter, and how they'll adjust his environment this year and not hours, and how well he's doing now, and how he's a different kid....I excused myself. I'm sick of it. I'm done.

    Apparently, while I was gone, exMIL told them its next to impossible to trust anything they have told me because they've gone against their own word so many times. So they at least know things aren't "cool" anymore.

    You know why they are sending him home at noon? Because he always goes home after lunch recess!!!! He's USED to going home after lunch. And next year, its a logical break in the day, and since it now happens an hour earlier, he'll just miss another hour of school. No big deal.

    Do you people suppose he has learned to go home after lunch recess because you've TAUGHT him to go home after lunch recess???? OMG.

    Yet, they talked about how we can reconvene next year and extend his day. Maybe an hour in September. And double his time in January...??? They have seen him do a complete 180 in the spring twice now, and fall apart in the fall/winter once...yet that's not enough data to suggest it could happen again this year.

    I'm rambling. I'm just p*ssed.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  17. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Shari, often schools will back down if you have an eductional attorney send a letter.

    in my opinion, they're trying to push Wee out of the school because they don't have the resources or know-how to deal with him. What they're doing is illegal and they know it.

    It's a big legal no-no in Special Education law for kids to fail to make progress on goals year after year (as in that's where some big lawsuits are won). So the district wrote minimal goals--some of them not even measurable--and they have reduced hours so they don't have to be responsible for as many goals as if he were attending a whole day. It's a good deal for them, provided you don't back it up with legal pressure.
  18. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No extra advice but just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are dealing with this. It's just not right. Hugs.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't like "using" my family, but I know my mom will help out with an attorney. I am certain the ex-in-laws will, too. Quite possibly make an offer to do so...

    The advocate has asked me to document every time I've had to go get him and what I know about the events around it. I will be digging thru the sites archives to get some of it, tho I should have most of it down. There's just more detail here. She's goiing to consult one of thhe attorneys in the office, but thinks our next step is to write a letter detailing everything they's "tried" and how/why it failed and point out that they are not providing FAPE or IDEA and if they can't, they need to find somene who can. Not sure where it goes from there, but I"m sure its not pretty.

    I'm having a good chuckle, now, about exMIL's encounter with SpEd director. Got to take away what you can, I guess!

    I'm also considering taking out an ad for other kids who've been pushed out of the district. That or placing an ad in the paper that highlights WEe's "educational placement and plan". Just thoughts, right now. But not entirely just "I wish I coulds".