Adverse Impact - ARD mtg tomorrow- can someone help me understand this?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101 Archives' started by linda3, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I would follow SHeilas advice too the letter. I would not trust them to do anything to help your child on their own without an IEP. They seem to already be lying straight to your face, twwisting the law right and left to their benefit to confuse you.....no way would I trust them. THey are going to tell you they are helping when they aren't. And you will not have recourse without the protections an IEP will give you and your child. They have already showed you they are not trustworthy.

    You need to have things is writing. You need to have things in an IEP. If it is not in an IEP- you cannot force compliance at all. If it is not in writing you have no way to show anything was said. (the sad truth is even when things are in writing in some cases it can still be hard to prove things and even when things are in an IEP it can sometimes be hard to get compliance, but without it, whew! it is almost guaranteed nothing will happen)

    And I would definetly not let them choose who does the IEE......they will choose someone who will be "on their side"-
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I am not an attorney. The regs are pretty clear so that you can draw your own conclusions. This is from TEA's web site information.


    19 T.A.C.§89.1050. The Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee.
    ...

    (h) All members of the ARD committee shall have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative manner in developing the IEP. A decision of the committee concerning required elements of the IEP shall be made by mutual agreement of the required members if possible. The committee may agree to an annual IEP or an IEP of shorter duration.
    (1) When mutual agreement about all required elements of the IEP is not achieved, the party (the parents or adult student) who disagrees shall be offered a single opportunity to have the committee recess for a period of time not to exceed ten school days. .... The requirements of this subsection (h) do not prohibit the members of the ARD committee from recessing an ARD committee meeting for reasons other than the failure of the parents and the school district from reaching mutual agreement about all required elements of an IEP.
    (2) During the recess the committee members shall consider alternatives, gather additional data, prepare further documentation, and/or obtain additional resource persons which may assist in enabling the ARD committee to reach mutual agreement......
    (7) Parents shall have the right to file a complaint, request mediation, or request a due process hearing at any point when they disagree with decisions of the ARD committee.

    You can find similar wording in the federal regs.

    Probably.


    Reevaluations (§ 300.303)
    Comment: A few commenters
    recommended clarifying that a parent is
    not required to provide a reason for
    requesting a reevaluation. Several
    commenters recommended that the
    regulations require a public agency to
    provide prior written notice if a parent
    requests a reevaluation within a year
    and the public agency refuses the
    request.
    Discussion: Section 300.303(b),
    consistent with section 614(a)(2)(A)(ii)
    of the Act, states that a reevaluation may
    occur if the child’s parent or teacher
    requests a reevaluation. There is no
    requirement that a reason for the
    reevaluation be given and we agree that
    a reevaluation cannot be conditioned on
    the parent providing a reason for
    requesting a reevaluation.
    Section 300.303(b), consistent with
    section 614(a)(2)(B) of the Act, provides
    that a reevaluation may occur not more
    than once a year and must occur at least
    once every three years, unless the parent
    and the public agency agree otherwise.
    (emphasis added)
    If a parent requests more than one
    reevaluation in a year and the public
    agency does not believe a reevaluation
    is needed, we believe the regulations are
    clear that the public agency must
    provide the parents with written notice
    of the agency’s refusal to conduct a
    reevaluation, consistent with § 300.503
    and section 615(c)(1) of the Act. We do
    not believe additional regulations are
    necessary to address this specific
    instance of a public agency’s refusal to
    initiate a reevaluation and the written
    notice requirements in § 300.503.

    What are the chances your sd would agree with you?

    You, of course, can have your child privately evaluated at any time. It can only be considered by an IEP Committee if your child is in the IEP process.

    Where problems can crop up (at least in our district, and I've had this happen to me before), is that the private evaluation is presented but it is considered "too old" to be given consideration. "Too old" can be whatever time the sd wants unless the private report is dated within a very few months of the meeting.

    That is a very, very long story. I made my own options. lol

    The short version is that I raised cain. I contacted TEA, I filed complaints (with the sd, OSER, and OSEP), I enlisted the services of an advocate. I contacted my representative and Senator.

    I can't tell you for sure which had the most impact. difficult child ended up with-a 504 the first time around. (He qualified for an IEP.)

    I can tell you that the sd can find a caveat or "review their data" and have a change of heart when they feel the need and they are given an out to save face.

    Not something anyone would want to go through. It got very ugly. It makes for difficult working relations.

    Marti, Lizz and many other old-timers held my hand and we went through the process. They are good teachers.

    And our sd can take pride in the fact that they trained me well. :D
     
  3. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    okay I'm not sure I'm understanding the first part of your post. That sounds like to me I was given my "single chance" to disagree and by changing my answer to agree- I've blown that one chance? Or am I reading that wrong. I'm unclear if you are saying I really do have the right to disagree now by letter- or not.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    I have to do something. We are not going to have the means (financially, time wise, etc.) to do all that you had to do to get thru the "problem" you ended up with -so I can't go that route. I have to try to make sure I avoid that at all costs.

    Oh and I'm sorry to ask again but I'm going to send a letter tomorrow and I'm really curious to what you would advise... as far as should I just send the letter and not say a word to his teacher or principal concerning the 504 mtg that is already scheduled for next thursday? or should I send the letter and call the school to tell the principal to nix the 504 mtg idea? What would you suggest?
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You need to fax the letter. Fax a separate one asking to postpone the 504 meeting. (Still send both CM.)

    Yes, you can disagree now. The sd has made some mistakes; parent should be allow some also.

    If they say "no," tell them you will have to get an advocate and/or contact the Parent Information office at TEA for guidance because what you read in the regs is in conflict to what has happened.
     
  5. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Okay I can't fax. I'd have to go to a gas station or something and they charge so much to do it/etc. I live in a smallish town. No, no kinkos/etc. here. LOL But I'm okay with just taking the letter.

    Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it!
    Let's hope I don't have to get to the point of getting an advocate because I really don't think that's going to happen. It's not just the money but where we live -it's doubtful I could get one around here- and the SD probably knows that. :(
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You can always hand-deliver.

    Check your email.
     
  7. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Okay Sheila- I hate to ask for more of your help but I hope you don't mind.

    I went to go write the letter and get those out today and it dawned on me that I never received the psychologists report she said she had a copy of- but then I went to look in the folder I have (including any and all things related to the ARD meeting prior and during the mtg) and come to realize I was given a lot of papers about this ARD meeting including the pyschologists report.

    I was reading it and have a few things to comment about and/or ask you questions about what you think/etc?

    Okay first off- the 2nd page of this paperwork under determination of eligibility is checked off on "does not have a disability that adversely affects the student's educational performance". The rest is left blank with a line across it because after that it says "proceed to signature page"- meaning no need to fill out the rest since this part was checked.

    This is in the IEP paperwork- stating it must be a disability that adversely affects the student's educational performance- so I gather that's why they said he was ineligible because they are reading this to mean he must be failing in school at this time?

    Ofcourse I can read that differently- adversely affecting his edcuational performance could also mean that he's not performing as well as he's ABLE to.. but is passing. Know what I mean??

    Under the comments section before getting to the signature page the diagnotician noted student does not qualify for SpEd services based on no educational need.

    I thought they couldn't only base it on that?

    Another thing of note is that on another page where it lists out "sources of data" they have listed:
    home language survey 4-7-06
    Informal interview 5-17-06
    OWLS 5-11-06

    what exactly is a home language survey? Just a paper I sign saying we speak english? I wonder because 4-7 was long before I even requested the evaluation.

    They have it marked "average" on the english receptive and expressive part- under level of proficiency.

    They also have listed a health screen and parent info as 4-7 and 4-10-06- again that's before I even requested the evaluation. Not sure what is up with that.


    Now on to some important stuff- I'm noticing a lot of stuff mentioned in this paperwork that they apparently disregarded or ignored, in my opinion.

    Under results and interpretations it says what I reported and then says the teacher reported that he is pleased with- good work and initiates activities independently but that he is poor in resisting becoming discouraged by difficulties or minor setbacks and accepting responsibility for his actions. He is BELOW AVERAGE with cooperating with-teacher requests, making and keeping friends at school, working cooperatively with-others and responding appropriately to praise and correctoin. His teacher continued that he is average in adapting to new situations with-out getting upset and has an even usually happy disposition.

    That last sentence is an outright lie but we had issues with this teacher last year so I'm not surprised she'd say he's happy because otherwise she'd have to admit how extremely frustrated and depressed he became in the year she had him!

    On the subject matter/skills area they listed his strengths but on weaknesses they listed:
    Identifying fact & opinion, recall basic multiplication/division facts, compare & order fractions, multi-step problems. Weaknesses in behavior: easily frustrated, needed frequent redirection, impulsive.

    They listed under physical strengths gross and fine motor skills and nothing under weaknesses. I definitely do NOT agree with that! And I'm curious how a diagnotician only doing the OWLS tests could possibly honestly answer to his physical strengths/weaknesses or who made that decision?

    Under recommendations all are marked off and the only one checked is "other" saying be sure to have student's attention when giving instructions

    Under paperwork for specific learning disability one part I'm not understanding. it says "the measures listed to assess intelectual ability and achievement have the same mean and standard deviation. If no, show the method used to convert standard scores to a common metric. They have this checked yes- but not sure what that means.

    When it's listing out the scores/etc. at the bottom- showing degree of discrepency- this is what it shows:
    basic reading- degree of discrepency -14, with No under the "severe discrepency" part.
    reading comprehension -9 No
    math calculation +3 No
    Math reasoning +6 No
    Written expression +12 No (which is very confusing becasue she said during the ARD meeting that he was low on written expression and the testing results show that too- so what's this about? I'm confused now)
    Listening comprehension -35 and it says YES under severe discrepency
    Oral expression -17 and it says YES under severe discrepency

    On the next page there is an option to check "although this student does not meet the criteria according to Method 1, the multidiscplinary team believes a severe discrepeny exists. all this page is marked off with a big line- but I'm assuming this option, the 3rd option given, is one that they could have decided on concerning the fact he had severe discrepencies but was still within the normal range on his low scores and still making passing grades. Am I reading that right?

    On classroom observation of his behavior- such bull. They marked off appeared to listen to directions, appeared to try assignment, complied with teacher direction, on task behavior. They must have watched a few minutes and caught him at a good time! This was also a complete LIE on the paperwork because the diagnotician sat right there in the mtg and said she noticed my son not only in the general class but in the G&T class and in BOTH instances she witnessed him "in his own world" doing his work, not interacting with either the teacher or the class when they were interacting with one another, that he did not want to stop what he was doing and ignored the teacher's attempts to get him to interact and pause in the work he was doing, etc. She put none of that in the report- and instead marks off all that nonsense above about how he complies with teacher direction/listens to directions/etc? She said he ignored the teacher! That he wouldn't listen to her, wouldn't stop what he was doing, didn't interact with classmates or teacher when they were discussing something in G&T, etc. Why wasn't that in the report?

    On the next page it says elibility determination:
    The student has a severe discrepency between his/her achievement and ability- they have this checked YES.
    The student's discrepency is not the result of visual, hearing or motor impairment, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or an enviromental, cultural or economic disadvantage -this is also checked yes.
    The severe discrepency exists to such a degree that the student has an educational need for special education and related services- checked no.
    The student meets the eligibility criteria for a specific learning disability- checked no.

    Now it seems to me that this paperwork is specifically geared only towards education need and/or falling within the norm (ie: not failing academically, yet). I thought they couldn't base the eligibility solely on educational need and also couldn't only base eligibility if severe discrepencies still fell within the normal range- but clearly all this paperwork says different. Why is that? Do they make these papers themselves or am I mislead into believing different than the actual laws?

    The psychological evaluation is annoying, to put it mildly.
    This report not only flat out admits that the psychologists observed my son's desire to impress him even making up stories but then he included stuff in the report that my son apparently "told him" about myself and the home- all lies! I mean even weird stuff like my son told him things like I think he's so smart I put his brain as my screensaver on my computer. Total fabrication- nothing even related to a picture of him AT ALL ever happened.

    It's a long report so I'll just briefly say that he describes many behavioral observations such as clearly exaggerated or fabricated stories, high need for attention, somewhat restless motorically, complains of having no friends. He even states later that he demonstrates social immaturity and has difficulty establishing relationships with peers.
    However, he also says stuff that I clearly disagree with- such as he states in his background information that my son's conduct has been consistently "excellent" (wrong) in previous years and that his current teacher (last year ofcourse) responded in a manner to suggest some concerns about conduct but no concerns about underlying emotionality. Well first off- what qualifications does she have to state this? And considering the way she treated my son (that I finally WITNESSED myself by accident shortly before the end of the year and shortly before this evaluation started) her opinion means nothing. She was part of the reason he was having even more emotional issues! She did report he has problems controlling his temper, uses poor judgement, is easily upset, is argumentative, tends to irritate peers, and gets upset when criticized.

    And they ignore ALL of this stuff I've said above and say he's not eligible simply because he makes good grades so far and because his evaluation testing even his weaknesses are still within the normal range?

    The principal reports only a few MINOR office referrals during the current school year but no significant conduct problems. Well if that isn't trying to sway the results I don't know what is. He was in trouble all the time, she'd threatened to put him in AEP already once, and he had already had after school detention before as well as thrown off all off-campus activities. She considers those minor? WHAT? Then why was I in her office having meetings she requested about his conduct allllllllll the time?

    The psychologist also stated that *I* said my son was diagnosed ADHD with the pediatrician later saying he is ODD and then even later saying he might be bipolar but that I didn't feel he manifested any behavior related to these disorders. I never said that! I said I didn't feel that he exactly fit the mold for those, based on what I have read and the fact that he is different than my older child which IS ADHD/ODD and that the medications given (concerta) did not make a difference in him and that I and his therapist felt that he shows signs of Aspergers and/or nonverbal learning disorder that manifested into some behaviors that COULD fit the ADHD/ODD mold as well. Way to twist my words dude!

    He finished up his report stating nothing in the data suggest the presence of a significant EDUCATIONAL (that part was even italicized in the report) need which would require a formal schedule of services. It also says he is certain not (underlining not) manifesting characteristics of emotional disturbance as defined by state-established criteria (says see attached eligibility statement -which is not attached) nor does he seem to be manifesting characteristics of aspergers disorder.

    He added it may be of benefit for heping him improve self-control and social skills during the coming school year but any such options would be best administered within the general education program.

    This last sentence so CLEARLY shows the biase of this school funded psychologist. Isn't he supposed to just do his job of evaluation for behavior (ie: emotional disturbance) and steer clear of telling the ARD/school board what to do? He just flat out said he feels he shouldn't be eligible- is that up to him? or should he not just say he doesn't feel he's emotionally disturbed and that's that? Giving his opinion on whether he should be found eligible for an IEP seems out of line to me.

    Anyway- I just wanted to let you know what all was said in this paperwork- most of which was not conveyed to me during (or previous) to the mtg.

    Also I notice on the "information sources" that he has listed everything including "telephone conference with outside therapist". I never signed any paperwork for them to talk to his therapist- primarily because every mtg my son has with the therapist *I* also have a shorter session with him concerning my son and have said things at that meeting that I consider private and didn't want the school knowing things like what I'd said about them, how they'd interacted with my son- primarily the teacher, etc. If I signed the paperwork I'd be giving him permission to discuss any and all from our meetings with this school appointed psychologist. So if he contacted my son's therapist- he surely couldn't have gotten much info from him without me signing permission, no? So why add that to the information services except to make it "look good"? I told them who the therapist was but refused to sign papers giving them permission to discuss our private meetings with this therapist.

    I'm getting annoyed with the conflicting information in the report and the fact that I was not made aware of this DURING the meeting and only after the fact- so I couldn't set the record straight during the mtg. I'm also concerned with the wording of this ARD forms they filled out since everywhere in it- it only seems to be concerned with "educational need" and that's going to be IMPOSSIBLE to assertain that he has an educational need if they are only going to go by his grades and the fact that even with severe discrepencies he still falls within the 'normal range'. How do I get them to understand educational need can also be if the child is showing severe discrepencies between his achievement and his abilities when he's not failing yet -solely because he IS gifted in other ways, primarily verbal and so far has compensated in other ways?
    Not to mention there is obvious some biase going on when referring to his behavior issues- definitely 'swaying' the report in one way and ignoring obvious issues.

    Just from what I've posted above- wouldn't it appear to you that even THEY in their evaluation noticed significant emotional/social issues as well as weaknesses in in my opinion important areas of education that he'll need throughout the years? Yet they totally ignored it all based on "educational need" not seen- ie: he's passing and even his weaknesses test within the normal range so let's forget everything else and say he doesn't qualify?

    I'm so lost and confused. I don't know what to do, what to think. I'm at the point that I just want to scream!

    In short even they agree that he is showing severe discrepencies in listening comprehension and oral expression (important things to do well at school- no?), that he has all sorts of various social, emotional and behavior issues- but when it came down to eligibility all they cared about is he's passing and his testing "atleast" scored within the norm range.
    arghhhhhhhhhh
     
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You’re an analyst at heart. Good! Lol

    I have appointments this morning and afternoon, and hope I’ve addressed the issues we haven’t already discussed below.

    “Educational need” is one of the requirements that must be met for a student to qualify for an IEP. It’s one reason why a disability does not automatically qualify a student for Special Education.

    See http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/elig.sld.osep.felton.htm in it’s entirety for further OSEP discussion on these type issues.

    I can’t be sure, but this test being administered in addition to the regular testing indicates to me that the evaluator may have picked up on something in the course of the evaluation that triggered “suspect” in listening and/or oral expression areas. In that you told me you didn’t receive part of the Full and Initial Evaluation until after the ARD, check your paper work to make sure data and findings from this testing is addressed in the written reports.

    Tests must be administered in the language that the student understands. Input from mom and/or dad as to the language spoken at home is required.

    Regarding “Methods,” ARD docs that I’ve seen lists determination options by the Committee. You’re interpretation of this issue is probably correct. In essence, something to the effect that there is a significant discrepancy but there is no educational need so the student does not qualify for special education.

    This is a good example of why parents must keep documentation about school related events when they have a difficult child.

    A 2nd opinion whether via an IEE or through 100% private channels is a good thing.
     
  9. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    I'm an analyst at heart? I didn't even know that. LOL

    I appreciate your post- once again!
    I'm still a little lost on the "educational need" thing. It seems that what you posted above agrees with them- and since he's not failing they feel there is no educational need (and because his huge discrepencies in the testing they did STILL fall within "normal range") therefore he doesn't qualify. If this is the case, then I'm wondering why on earth I sent the letters to continue the process of the IEP and ask for an IEE. It isn't going to matter what the IEE shows- he's not failing so they are going to say he doesn't qualify based on "educational need".
    Am I reading this wrong?

    And if this is the case, how on earth do any children who are gifted but with specific learning disabilities EVER get considered "eligible" until they are in higher grades and possibly failing by then? If "educational need" is the deciding factor, and by that they deem this meaning failing, then there is no way he's going to be found eligible right now. He's nowhere near failing......yet. The things they showed he has problems with, so many things in fact, are going to cause him problems down the road most likely, but right now he's compensating for those weaknesses with his strengths- namely high intelligence and very strong verbally.
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I can think of a few off the top of my head.

    Because:
    1) You do not agree with-the sd evaluation
    2) You need an objective evaluation in order to make informed decisions about your child’s disabilities and impact on education
    3) “Educational need” is subjective and hopefully the IEE will be able to better explain why there is “educational need”
    4) By the time the IEE is complete, the honeymoon period for the new school year will have likely worn off
    5) The benchmarks may be needed later on down the road
    6) You are exercising your’s and your son’s rights under IDEA because it is in your son’s best interest
    7) You are an advocate for your son
    8) You are a Warrior Mom and will not let the frustrations the school district throws at you distract you from the business at hand.
     
  11. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Thanks Sheila... what would I do without you?

    #3 is the one that has me concerned though because I really don't see them ever reading "educational need" anything other than failing grades and thus aren't going to find him eligible until he does have failing grades. For something so subjective- they seem to have a one track mind on that respect.

    But that's okay... we'll go thru the hoops necessary to get them to listen and then if they don't? Well I'll become the "less than cooperative" parent instead of the super involved cooperative parent helping my child and them all the time. We'll see how long he lasts on grades AND conduct without me working so hard on both of those. I foresee a month at best on conduct, maybe a year to really show the problems in grades- without my help. I always wanted to help my son do his best in all aspects, but it is clear to me now that my help has only caused them to have an "out" and not help him in the ways he so desperately needs for his future in school and in life! It's just sad that you have to sometimes step back and let your child completely fall apart before they'll help him. :(
     
  12. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Sheila- I tried to contact you by email to tell you this but I have something weird going on with my gmail because it won't show what I'm typing- ever! It's like way way behind and like 5minutes after I type it shows up and I can't stand that. I can't type like that. I type fast but geesh. LOL

    anyway, I wanted to tell you something else I noticed that I noticed after our last correspondence that is making me think the school really did try to sway things their way.

    On the pyschologists report there is a report from the teacher stating all these problems my son has -but then it says "however, during the first semester of 2nd grade he earned E's in conduct and only a slight decline to S's during the 2nd semester".

    This is not only false but I believe his teacher changed his conduct scores solely because of this evaluation! Let me explain.

    When he received his last report card it was in the summer because we missed the last 2 days of school due to a vacation we were taking. So he missed the last 2 days of school and I picked up his report card when we returned- from the office- in June.

    At that time I noticed his sixth weeks conduct and PE grades (which is conduct also and where he has even more behavior problems) were CHANGED. marked out by the teacher, initialed and changed- and in the 6th weeks comments section the teacher wrote "sorry on the messy PE and conduct grades". I thought nothing of it at the time- because the conduct grades were changed to the BETTER grades. But now I wonder if that was changed solely because of this evaluation and the fact that poorer grades would show more than a "slight" decline for this psychology report?

    His 5th 6wks PE grade was U- so that right there wasn't even changed and shows the psychology report stating only a slight decline to S's is false. (U is failing by the way- so he failed PE for that 6wks and is the lowest grade he's ever made. He's made U's in conduct before- but a U in PE is failing and caused him to not make the honor roll, receive ABBIT award, etc)
    His 6th 6wks PE grade was an N and changed to S.
    His 6th 6wks conduct grade was a U, changed to N, then that marked out and changed to S-!
    His year avg was N for PE and changed to S- then changed to S!
    His year avg for conduct was an N and changed to S-.

    Now don't you think it's curious that those grades are lower in PE and conduct and marked out and changed several times until they were all in the S range?

    ALL of his conduct and PE grades for the 2nd semester were either S-, N, or U.

    In any case- is report is false even with the grades they are showing now (considering the U in PE) and definitely would be false if the teacher didn't do some "changing" of the conduct grades for the 6th six weeks and year average. Doesn't that sound to you like they had her change it so it would show "better" on the psychological report?

    That coupled along with the principals statement (in the very next sentence on the report) about how he has only had a few minor referrals to the office but no significant conduct problems- really cements the fact that they were making bogus statements to this pyschologist and I'm sure he took those things into account! (he's had many major referrals to the office- 3 fights, one aggressive/verbal attack which he was threatened with AEP "next time" and given inschool detention, he also received no off campus activities for the last 2 six weeks. She considers that "minor" and not significant???

    Anyway, I just wanted to mention/make note on how the conduct grades were not only stated wrong on the pysch report but were changed on the report card to try to reflect less of a conduct problem. Curious isn't it? Or does that not surprise you at all? LOL
     
  13. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    you know Sheila, and all, I forgot to mention just another example of how this school/principal is and how she's really not cooperative and it implies that she's full of bull-hooey when she talks about getting him the help he needs even without an IEP. I really don't see it happening!

    I already mentioned about how he was treated unfairly (and in my opinion so was I- considering I was LIED to and told that if he didn't behave during a race that his punishment would just be no more races!) with his punishment for tossing pebbles as he was made to sit for "no more than 30-45min" according to the PE teacher after he ran the race- waiting for the other kids to finish the race.

    But here's something else to give you an example of how she's uncooperative.
    My son was normally a lunch "taker". In other words I made his lunch at home- primarily to save on money because I made all the kids lunches and I could get their lunch food/drinks rather cheap using coupons and shopping sales and such. Lunch here is $1.50 per child for lunch ($1.75 for my oldest in middle school now). I could make 3 lunches for less than $4.50 a day and besides- their school lunches are PRIMARILY junk food almost every day! So it's not like eating the school lunch would have been more nutritious.

    However, occasionally they'd have a day where something that in my opinion was good and nutritious- an oddball day if you will. So I'd let my son eat school lunch occasionally (and the girls too- occasionally). The way I did it back then is I paid by check in advance for like a month's worth of lunches and I'd send his lunch almost every day- some days just not sending a lunch and telling him to eat school lunch.
    Well that didn't work well last year because he started eating breakfast at school if I took him early (which I had to take him first- then the other two at two different schools so he was usually there a little early but not quite "breakfast time") and he'd be charging it against the money I had in there for lunch. Also sometimes he would get a school lunch even though I'd sent him a lunch- sometimes throwing away the food I sent!
    Also sometimes he'd forget and leave his lunch bag in the back of the vehicle and I wouldn't notice it until the last dtr getting out of the vehicle would mention it to me and I'd have to take it back to him. So I also started worrying that he'd leave it there and no one would tell me (and I'd forget to check) and the teacher would just "assume" he was to eat school lunch that day.

    So I came up with the plan that first off I told the lunch lady to put in his account NO breakfast or any other charges (like ice cream/etc.) except for lunch- and she did so. Secondly I talked to the teacher and told her if my son was going to eat school lunch I'd send a NOTE- that way she'd know if he didn't have a note he wasn't to eat school lunch and if he didn't have his sack lunch- that meant he left it in the vehicle to have the office call me and I'd bring it up there (I only live a few blocks from his school). This was supposed to show the TEACHER that he was supposed to have school lunch since they have to take a count of that in the morning first thing- no one ever told the lunch people about the note nor did we ever make a note in his account that he had to show a note to THEM. this is important later...

    We had some issues with lunch anyway. like one time he lost a tooth right at the beginning of lunch when he bit into a carrot and one of the cafeteria workers sent him to the bathroom because he was bleeding, he came back still bleeding- she sent him to the office, they sent him back to lunch and the lady sent him back to the bathroom because of his bleeding. By the time he returned the last time they were lining up to go back to class and a classmate had put his stuff back in his bag and gave it to him. When he told his teacher he didn't have lunch- she said sorry and he went on his day with no lunch. I talked to the principal about this and "supposedly" something like this would never happen again.

    Anyway, back to the note thing. One day he was supposed to eat lunch at school and I sent a note with him. Somehow he lost it (probably taking it out of his pocket and playing with it) but apparently the teacher hadn't just been taking the note from him and adding him to the count for lunch in the morning- apparently he'd been showing it to the lunch lady every day and that wasn't necessary anyway! So he lost it- and when he went to lunch he TOLD the lunch lady he lost it and she told him without a note he couldn't have lunch! If that wasn't appalling enough- he then proceeded to be directed to his place at the table without a lunch and sat there without eating. NO one called me/etc. He simply didn't eat lunch and came home starving.
    Ofcourse I emailed the principal about it.
    She called me SCREAMING at me on the phone at 7am the next morning (hello, I'm trying to get my kids ready for school at that time!) saying that was untrue and he was lying, blah blah blah.
    'Sh said she was going to get the truth out of my son soon as he got there- well me, mama lion, decided oh no- I'm not sending my son into that lion's pit! So I took him last that day and walked in with him- she wasn't expecting that.

    Anyway, come to find out he was not lying but no one was admitting fault. Had a meeting right then with principal, teacher, myself, son and cafeteria mgr and no one admitted fault but I said apparently there's some misunderstanding that because my SON brought up that he'd "lost his note" someone took that to mean he NEEDED a note even though I'd never said that- and he flat out didn't get served because of it.

    How did the principal handle this?
    Oh she said no more notes and it would be up to my son to be responsible about getting a school lunch or not. Oh couldn't just admit that the lunch lady had no right to refuse him a lunch (I had over $20 in credit at that time already paid to them by the way!) even without a note and no understanding why the note was necessary- just no more note like she "put her foot down" about it. Thanks for your help, principal. She didn't care if I sent a lunch and my son used money I'd paid for lunch to get a school lunch and threw the lunch I'd sent in the trash- it's too much trouble for her to make sure the cafeteria lady isn't refusing people lunch just because they "say" they lost a note that wasn't necessary to them in the first place and money was in the account?

    (by the way might I also mention that for all but the last 2 months of school the cafeteria kept telling my son he could only get 3 items plus milk and I didn't make a fuss of it because I thought perhaps I was reading the menu wrong and he didn't eat at school often anyway- only to find out when I DID push the issue that they were "misinformed" because in previous years it had been that way but he WAS supposed to be allowed 4 items plus milk all along? Talk about ripping kids off- plus not getting nutritrous meals. You think a kid is going to pass up dessert or ice cream and get veggies instead? With 4 items they can get a well rounded meal plus choose a dessert)

    Anyway, just said that to show how uncooperative the principal is. I highly doubt she's going to be oh so cooperative about other things without an IEP in place where she HAS to be!
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Not much surprises me.

    Sometimes honest mistakes are made; sometimes “mistakes” and misinformation is intentional. One of the problems created by sds is that parents loose all trust they had in the process and suspicion arises as to educators/evaluators expertise and/or honesty – particularly when there is a series of instances that are questionable.

    in my opinion it’s a good practice to:
    * keep good records/journal,
    * keep written documents from school (such as disciplinary referrals, teacher notes, report cards, work samples, etc.),
    * occassionally get a complete copy of your child's educational records,and
    * trust but verify.

    A parent is entitled to access to all written records of the District concerning the parent's child, including attendance records, test scores, grades, disciplinary records, counseling records, psychological records, applications for admission, health and immunization information, teacher and counselor evaluations, and reports of behavioral patterns.

    Texas Education Code 26.004: Upon request of a properly qualified individual, access to a student's education record shall be granted within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days.
     
  15. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    I was wondering about looking at his records. I wonder how much would/could be changed and/or taken out of his records for me not to see when they are given 45 days (if they wanted to delay).

    In any case- I came back to post to see what you think about this.
    My son has been in what they call Challenge here (Gifted & Talented program) since Kindergarten. He's had behavior issues that entire time but they always say conduct doesn't count against a child for getting in G&T and such.
    Anyway- they test again at the end of 2nd grade and over the summer I received a letter saying he was still in G&T.

    Today I received 2 letters home that I'm supposed to sign.
    One is the NORMAL paper I've signed every year that basically says I give my permission for my child to participate in the challenge program and I understand that this program is designed to meet the needs of the individual students, further if at any time I desire my child not receive the services of the challenge program that I will need to contact the school in order to make these arrangements.

    Okay fine but what's this other piece of paper that's printed up that I'm supposed to sign? I've never seen this before and I don't know what to make of it- especially considering they've said before that conduct doesn't come into play with G&T and especially because they already know of his behavior "issues" and in fact have even stated they've had some behavior problems in G&T. Even in the ARD meeting the diagnotician said there were problems when she observed him in G&T (such as not wanting to stop what he's doing to start something else or listen to the discussion with the teacher/students/etc.)

    This is what the paper says:
    Gifted & Talented agreement
    I, _____, wish to participate in the challenge program.

    I understand that to do so, I must continue to be a good student in my regular classes and do work in Challenge to the best of my ability (I'm not sure what "good student" means there- make good grades or have good conduct or both?)

    I understand that I must contribute ideas to the group without monopolizing all of the time. (last year the G&T teacher, who is also the vice principal by the way, said that when my son does deem the discussion worthy of his time ie: he's not doing something else he wants to finish and refuses to stop because he always wants to FINISH stuff, that he monopolizes either the teacher or the entire conversation. She said those exact words! Is it coincidence that this is now on some paper I've never had to sign before??)

    I understand that I must listen to the thoughts and ideas of my classmates and teacher carefully. (again this was mentioned by diagnotician in the ARD meeting that he didn't want to stop working on something and listen to the classmates/teacher discussion)

    I understand that I must work on independent projects, individual work, and learning centers quietly.

    I understand that I must not disrupt class or interfere with the rights of my classmates to learn. (last year the vp/G&T teacher said -in one of our many principal office meetings due to conduct issues with my son in the regular class- that he gets frustrated if he messes up on anything and disrupts others. Are you seeing a pattern here about how things they mentioned about him last year or recently at the ARD meeting are now in this new paper I'm supposed to sign?)

    I understand that if I do not attempt to assume these responsibilities that I may be dismissed from the Challenge program.

    Then he (student) and myself are supposed to sign this.

    I don't know what to think. If I sign this- it's likely NEXT WEEK he'll end up being thrown out of Challenge. The paper they sent me in the mail over the summer stated he'd be in Challenge throughout his school years (meaning they don't test them again once they make it after the testing in 2nd grade) unless he chooses not to be in it (or I choose for him not to). In the past they have assured me that conduct doesn't get them thrown out of G&T when I've grown concerned about his behavior in and out of the G&T class and worried he'd get tossed out because of it- but then they send this? And if I'm in the process of trying to get an IEP or at the least a 504 where a BIP was specifically discussed he'd need- isn't signing this basically saying I agree that if he doesn't do these specific behavioral things that they can throw him out- regardless if we're in this process and/or if he has a BIP soon?

    I'm tempted to just sign the first paper, the one that we normally get and pretend I didn't get this one or something- just ignore it. Because I'm afraid to sign this and he end up getting thrown out of G&T either before, or even after, we get an IEP and/or BIP within a 504 (as last resort ofcourse) or something. It just seems weird that all the sudden I'm getting this paper (that easily could have been typed up within 5min and I have no idea if every G&T child actually received this) and how it coincidentally lists exact situations he's been in -in that class -even down to the same wording used in the paper that the G&T teacher/VP mentioned last year.

    Odd.... no? What do you think?
    The reason I'm worried is because I'm not sure he CAN abide by all these rules all of the time the entire school year. I mean duh, he obviously has behavior issues! But yet he's highly intelligent and it's going to destroy him if he gets thrown out of G&T. He loves this class AND he's smart enough to know that the "bright" kids are in this class- he already gets upset if he does poorly on anything, he's going to be upset if he's thrown out of the "gifted" class. Know what I mean?? It will definitely cause major issues in all areas of his psyche and school in general for him.

    And I guess another question I have is that if he had an IEP and/or a BIP within a 504- would this allow him more leeway on these supposed "new rules" they've sent me on this paper? Or would he still have to follow the rules of this paper and still get thrown out of G&T for misbehavior? I guess what I'm saying is would an IEP or 504 that had a BIP included allow him more protection against specific behaviors related to his disability getting him thrown out of G&T or perhaps allow some other way of behavior modification for him (such as- I'd be agreeable to losing a week in G&T or something if he misbehaved or broke these rules- they only go one day a week to G&T by the way- but NOT agreeable to getting thrown out which basically means thrown out forever or atleast the entire year. Know what I mean??)
     
  16. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    This may be a new form letter given to all students in the gifted program. Have you checked with any other parents with students in the program?

    It wouldn’t look too good for a sd to single out a student to enter into a behavior contract when they’ve just denied him behavioral supports.

    FYI, Texas has educational laws regarding Gifted and Talented children.

    From http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ :
    Chapter 89. Adaptations for Special Populations
    Subchapter A. Gifted/Talented Education
    §89.1. Student Assessment
    (3) include data and procedures designed to ensure that students from all populations in the district have access to assessment and, if identified, services for the gifted/talented program;
    (5) include provisions regarding furloughs, reassessment, exiting of students from program services, transfer students, and appeals of district decisions regarding program placement. [emphasis added]

    From http://www.tea.state.tx.us/:
    5. Should there be special provisions in identification procedures for students who have special needs such as learning disabilities or other handicaps?
    Yes, section 1.6A of the Texas State Plan states, "data and procedures assure that all populations of the district have access to assessment...." This includes students in special populations. The assessments used should be appropriate for them.
    (Ref: 19 TAC § 89.1(4); TSP Section 1, 1.6A)

    Regarding IEPs and 504s, the documents must reflect the student’s placement. For instance a child may have only one Special Education class and the rest mainstream; all mainstream with-classroom supports or related services, etc. If the student is to be in a particular class or program (such as gifted), it should be written into the 504 or IEP doctor. No one can change the placement but the IEP or 504 Committee.

    Ordinarily, giftedness isn’t protected under IDEA or 504. Perhaps by virtue of Texas enacting TAG laws that apply to all students, that has changed. It would be my personal position with-the sd that it has if my son were in your son’s situation anyway. But you’d have to check with an attorney specializing in education law to see if, under your particular circumstances, the discrimination citations in Section 504 are applicable. Another potential resource would be the OCR regional office in Dallas. Another would be TEA’s TAG division in Austin.

    Re: signing the document, the only input I have is a tip pertaining to what I do personally. On any contract type document from the school district related to behavior expectations, when difficult child didn’t have a 504 or IEP, I always wrote something to the effect that “XISD is aware that difficult child has disorders that impact his ability to consistently follow school rules. See student file.” When he had a 504 Plan, I wrote the same and “see 504 plan.” Now I write, “See IEP.” We get a Student Code of Conduct Book each year and usually several teacher handouts. All require student and parent to sign.

    Our Student Code of Conduct Book is so ridiculously long and complex, that I usually write “minor child” where difficult child is suppose to sign agreeing to the contract. This year, they had made the student’s sign them at school. Oh, well....
     
  17. Sharon1974

    Sharon1974 New Member

    Linda, I don't mean to jump into this but I just wanted to stress the importance of record keeping. I didn't really keep notes sent home and "behavior charts" (that the teacher wanted back). I was very sorry for my ignorance.

    Now I have one of those accordian style folders. One space for each teacher or other contact at the school. I stopped sending the behavior charts back at the end of the week. I told the teacher to make a copy before she sent it home on Friday if she needed it for her records.

    Now I keep EVERYTHING no matter how minor. Every note I send in to them, I keep a copy for myself. Every note or anything else they send home, I keep it. No matter how minor it may seem - it may come in handy one day.

    Had I kept everything from the start, my son would probably have all the supports he needs at school - but he doesn't. When he returns he will have an in-class support teacher and Occupational Therapist (OT). I think he probably belongs in an ES class (at least for the time being - he has shown incredible improvement over the summer, but there was no stress of school).
     
  18. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Thanks again for the posts ladies!

    Sheila, I haven't yet- but I intend to try (to find out from other parents if they received this same form) because this form is just way too weird that it's listing out exact problems my son has had in there previously and the exact same wording used in this paper that the VP/GT teacher has used when describing my son last year and recently.
     
  19. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    Oh dear Lord give me strength. Now I receive a phone call today (7th day of school- short honeymoon huh?) that my oldest who is in middle school/7th grade now is like totally wacked even on the medications. Here I thought she was doing well and all I did was mention she's ADHD/ODD on medication to each teacher during orientation/meet the teacher but apparently she has not been doing well. She's doing stuff like she did before she ever went on medication back in 3rd grade! Fidgeting constantly, zoning out not listening, even standing up and just walking around while the teacher is teaching a lesson! Not turning in homework that I KNOW she did (saw her do it- saw it completed in her binder) making up stories about how she was sick the night before and unable to do it.
    Why? Why would she do that?

    She's taking her medicine but she's on Adderall and Strattera now- Strattera added over a year ago when the Adderall seemed to not be as affective possibly due to her going thru puberty. Not to give too much information but she started her period in June and now I'm wondering if the hormones are kicking in into a level that even the Adderall and Strattera are not helping and/or she might need a higher dose? She gained 15lbs (still average to thin weight but she grew 4 inches from May to July also! She hasn't grown in like forever- then bam... shot up soon as her period started) -so she's 4 inches taller than her last appointment with dr on May 11th plus 15lbs heavier- will that make the medicine ineffective? I wonder if they can increase her dose or if we are just in a major world of hurt due to medications not working as well. The pediatrician did mention over a year ago (when the medication seemed to not be as affective and she started Strattera) that hormones during puberty can cause all sorts of problems with the medication not being as effective/etc.

    Ps. now I feel like a FOOL because difficult child 1 has always made straight A's besides 1 B she got last year in one class one 6wks and she's always tested way OVER the exemplary standard on TAKS/TEKS tests- won awards in all those tests/etc. So when they told me they were basing their "schedule" at middle school based on testing- I was a bit shocked to realize she was not in advanced classes EXCEPT FOR Math (she did get advanced math class). During meet the teacher when we got our schedule, I talked with the team leader (of the teachers group she was in with her classes, if you know what I mean) and asked what testing they used/etc. to decide the classes and she said that she wasn't sure how it worked but basically that "some" classes they didn't get in advanced unless they were also in GT. difficult child 1 has never been in G&T because we moved to this town when she was in 3rd grade and no one in the previous school/town had ever recommended her for G&T (I thought based on her behavior because she obviously was bright and made straight A's- but then I was told when my son went into G&T that behavior wasn't an issue- but he was recommended in K for G&T and they test again for G&T upon recommendation in 2nd grade- she started here in 3rd grade). Nevertheless- point being that I brought this up with the teacher team leader and she said the kids in advanced reading/etc. were also in G&T -but difficult child 1 was in advanced math. After talking with her and hearing that- I'd come to realize maybe it was a blessing in disguise that she was NOT in all advanced classes because maybe her grades would drop/etc. due to her having the ADHD/ODD issues like not paying attention, forgetting to turn in work/etc. which her teachers in previous years had made allowances for- yanno?
    But now I'm embarrassed I even asked because sure enough when the team leader called me just a bit ago to tell me about all of this going on with difficult child 1 she stated this is probably why she's not in G&T and all advanced classes... because of her behavior not paying attention, fidgeting, getting up out of her seat, making excuses for not turning in homework, etc.
    arghhhhhhhhh

    by the way I started the IEP process with her back when she first started 3rd grade because at the school district we were in that year she started having more than one teacher in 3rd grade and therefore we weren't getting as much cooperation with how the teachers dealt with her (ie: more motivation/less punishment worked wonders with her in previous grades and we had only minor conduct issues from K-2nd grade.. preschool was horrible, and 3rd grade was starting to be horrible) however, then we moved here shortly after 3rd grade started and we decided to just give it a chance here (here they didn't have tons of teachers until 5th grade) and she did well. So we never continued the IEP process. Back then I didn't know the procedures of mailing the letter to ask for evaluation/etc. I just talked to the counselor at the other school and she started some sort of evaluation having the dr, teachers, and myself fill out questionaires and such. Anyway- now what? I'm going to take her to the dr and see if she needs adjusting of her medications but I don't know what else to do. I don't know if I should ask for an evaluation of her too and what in the world the SpEd director is going to think if I were to do that! She's in 7th grade, I'm already going thru this with my son and them thinking he's not eligible. They are going to think I'm some kook wasting their time wanting evaluations and such. I'm not even sure what an IEP would do for her anyway. How does an IEP help her stop fidgeting, pay attention, not get out of her seat, etc?
    Oh and she hasn't been wearing her glasses in class. I had my suspicions that she was only taking them in her binder and not actually wearing them in class but I didn't have the teachers' email addy's yet to be able to contact them and ask if she's wearing her glasses in class and I'd forgotten to mention it to them at meet the teacher. She has a tendency to not wear them (starting the past year) without constant communication with the teachers so that she knows I will KNOW if she doesn't wear them- then and only then will she wear them. This all started with some kids telling her last year that she looked like a dork with glasses and her glasses were not cool. I thought we solved this problem by letting her pick out new (and more expensive by the way) frames that she thought were "cool" but apparently not- she still didn't want to wear them last year and she's not wearing them so far this year.

    Oh and my youngest (easy child) didn't bring her folder home yesterday. I have half a mind to think she did it on purpose so I wouldn't see on her behavior calendar that she'd got in trouble for talking again. Sometimes I think my kids are just a wee bit too smart for their own good. Yeah, she's definitely smart enough even at barely 6yrs old to realize if she didn't bring her folder home I couldn't see she'd misbehaved again.

    arghhhhhhhhhhhhh calgon take me away please. Sometimes I just cannot help but think why me. Why me? Why do I have to have so many problems with not just one kid but atleast two if not three, plus ofcourse husband that is bipolar. Why me why me why me.
     
  20. linda3

    linda3 New Member

    I read another thread where a link was provided to here:
    http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/elig.sld.osep.felton.htm

    This is ALL about eligibility for a child that is passing grades but shows severe discrepencies in one or more of 7 areas (of which my son showed severe discrepencies up to 35 points! in oral expression and listening comprehension- two of the 7 areas mentioned, he also scored -14 in written expression so that one was close also). I can't figure out how this information can help me though. It clearly states over and over that a child can be found to have a specific learning disability and eligible for an IEP even if passing grades because it's supposed to be based on if they are achieving at their own level of ability or not, rather than compared to some standard level (I'm paraphrasing ofcourse) and that's exactly what is going on here. They are saying the severe discrepencies don't matter because he's still falling above the 85 standard mean and because he's not making failing grades as of yet.

    Everything else it mentions about these children not being allowed to fail by parents and teachers is right on the money also. We do help in ways at home with his homework and such and his teacher last year made accomodations in several ways as well.

    But everything I read in this seems to be talking about North Carolina and we're in Texas and it's not exactly a listing of the "law" there- this is someone's article or letters to someone else, right? Am I reading this right? I'm confused. I wish I could find stuff stating this in federal or state law- so I could point blank say this is the law and you're not following the law by doing the opposite of this- but I am not sure how THIS webpage/article can help me. Can someone help me figure this out or find where this is mentioned in federal or state (Texas in this case) law?