As I venture into the world of advocating for more families across the US, I am stirred to not only conduct a webinar about who to talk to when in public education dealings, but also to write this list with FIRM commitment and a strong urgency to parents:
A. If it is not written, it did not happen. DO NOT SPEAK TO PEOPLE AND EXPECT RESULTS LEGALLY. Accept and have as much written communication with specifics as humanly possible (dated with people and places identified).
B. Read your procedural safeguards and if you are told "that is our policy" ask where it is written in the Procedural Safeguards. If you do not know what this document is then ASK for it...then date it and write down who gave it to you, where and that you had to ask for it.
C. The IDEA law is the law that gave you the IEP. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Individual Education Plan. FAPE - Fair and Appropriate Public Education and LRE - Least Restrictive Environment are acronyms from this law.
D. The order goes:
1. RECOMMENDATION for Special Education Eval. (needs parent consent)
2. EVALUATION (parent can reject and ask for an independent one at the district's cost)
3. RECOMMENDATIONS (In Evaluation...the things the IEP should be based upon as well as current levels)
4. WRITING THE IEP WITH THE TEAM...PARENTS SHOULD BE 'INVOLVED' IN THE PROCESS (ie parents present and feeling heard.)
There should 3 things given to the parent in
a. Parent Recommendations and Concerns letter...I call the 'hopes and dreams' page.
b. The district's Procedural Safeguards should be offered to you, each state regulates this policy differently so check your state board of ed website or call them to find out the policy.
c. A written notice with IEP team members names, contact info and the meeting agenda. IF YOU DO NOT GET ALL THREE then ASK for them.
5. PLACEMENT IN THE LRE - Least Restrictive Environment where the child will receive the highest level of progress in all IEP goals. IF the goals are social/emotional and communication based, think about where the most progress could happen. If there are no general education peers, how will the social/emotional and communication goals be met? These are the sort of things parents should pay attention to and consider whether the school is suggesting the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) or the path of least resistance...there is a huge difference.
If you need help with these terms, procedures and/or acronyms then the district is required by law to explain them to you, in your own language and UNTIL THIER FACES GET BLUE IF NECESSARY. Please, hold them accountable AND NEVER ATTEND THESE MEETINGS ALONE...AND...LAST BUT NOT LEAST...ask who the official note taker for the district is in each meeting and ask for a copy of the written notes before leaving the meeting. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT BY LAW.
xoxo go get the best for your kids!!!!!!! peace and love, zjen
Hey all you Guru V People. I figured it out!!! Her is the link to my Guru V People FB page and the second Guru V minute with Zen Jen.
Zen Jen Garden Photos
It is a great story...Have fun, forgive and feel Guru V!! See ya next week. Send me a messages if you have any questions or comments.
jen and her gurus
A mom with passion, action and an inclusion revolution on her mind shares moments, mantras & wisdom gained from her autism adventures. A single mama of two children on the spectrum, whom she considers
Guru V People
Please know that I am a poet and a scientist...so how I deal with discomfort is I ask questions, I manipulate words and rhythms and I dance around issues that I feel strongly about. When I use the word dance, please know that I am no ballerina...I prefer sharp, awkward maneuvers that express my passion. So when I dance around issues, there is no guessing how I feel about them...take nothing personal but please