In Tips

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Same Old, Same Old

All of us like to think we do not make the same mistakes twice. Maybe you do not repeat your errors, but some of our IEP teams do. In the last two weeks, the following has occurred:

  1. 5-day documents have not been sent home in a timely manner.
  2. The Assistant Principal has tried to serve as the general educator, who is an essential team member. Bulletin: The Assistant Principal is not the general educator unless the Assistant Principal teaches a class.
  3. The IEP chair has not distributed timely submitted private assessment reports to the other team members prior to the IEP team meeting.
  4. Someone said and/or wrote in the Prior Written Notice/Minutes of the Meeting that “we do not usually provide this service.”
  5. The parent/advocate/attorney has repeated her point so many times that you have finally given in just to be done with the conversation.
  6. There is such a long list of Supplementary Aids and Accommodations that no human being could possibly implement all that is promised.

Then there are the good things that occurred:

  1. The school based members of the team declined to review a private report submitted minutes before the meeting or to review private reports submitted only 2 days before the meeting as there was not sufficient time to read, understand and consider them prior to the IEP meeting. The reports will be reviewed at the next meeting.
  2. The attorney for the parents was asked why a private report completed in May was not given to the team until 2 days before the meeting in September and the PWN noted her “non-answer.” The attorney also said it was “disrespectful” to the parents to even ask the question! Really!
  3. School-based team members read the private reports prior to the IEP team meeting and questioned the whereabouts of documents referenced in the reports but never provided by the parents to the IEP team.
  4. Team members were willing to state that the student is not making the progress he could make because he keeps using his cell phone in class. The parent was asked to give permission to have the cell phone turned into the office when the student arrives at school.
  5. Team members were willing to state that a reason the student could be sleeping in class is because the student stays up at night on his laptop or cell phone.
  6. The IEP team insisted on conducting its own assessments after reviewing a private assessment despite a grandparent’s insistence that the private report already contained the kitchen sink. The team still had questions after reviewing the private assessment and wanted an opportunity to fill in the blanks.
Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
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