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Absolutely likely going beyond my scope here, but I as a teacher am struggling to help a p


EmilyM
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So this is Teacher Me talking. I don't know if anyone here has the legal know-how to advise me, but I'll happily take anything.

I teach at a virtual school and have a student who could possibly qualify for an IEP. She's not my lowest performer by our beginning of year assessment by any means, but is on the low due to some observed attention struggles. Her mother has been talking about the struggles since before school started and keeps talking about how the kid needs an IEP.

Except... Mom is making it so hard and I'm not sure what else I can do.

So far, Mom has stated (only by voice) that she thinks Kid needs an IEP and possibly a modified curriculum.

Our special education department has called her multiple times, left voicemails and texts and emails about this, but no response from Mom.

I've told Mom flat-out to send a request to start the process in writing. 

I'm trying to keep data, but the family doesn't do enough schoolwork to give me much to look at (chicken or egg?)

I'm not sure what else is my duty here. Everytime I speak with Mom, she asks about the IEP and modified (not accommodated) work, but it's almost like she doesn't want to do anything on her end.

That probably sounds judgmental, but is there any point where I can jump in to speed up the process without Mom? I've passed on the concerns to the special education department per our state policy, but without Mom helping us more and Kid giving me more data I'm worried we will just be stuck in RTI hell.

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Not a lawyer or a school administrator. Who at the school does Mom have the best relationship with? Could you or that specific person reach out from your school email address and request a video chat with the parent to explain who the SPED director is and that she's left multiple texts/voicemails/etc. for her? Maybe texts/calls from the SPED director go through from an unknown number, or maybe they're flagged as a scam call? Perhaps emails from the virtual school are sometimes sent to a "promotions" or "spam" folder? Has the school mailed a paper letter to the parent? If the student is attending virtual classes, has the staff asked the student to have the parent call/email/etc?

You mentioned that Mom asks about the IEP and modified work...did the child transfer to the virtual school? Perhaps she thinks that the child already has an IEP that the virtual school should be following?

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The way IDEA is written, Child Find is on the school.  Schools can & do sent out requests to parents for them to OK a sp ed eval to happen for their child.  Has the school done this?  The next time the parent tells you they want an IEP, I'd take that as a verbal request for a sp ed eval to be put in motion.  (My state, PA, even has timelines on when this has to happen.)

The next time this mom asks for an IEP, tell them that the school can reach out to her but she needs to provide a written OK for a sp ed assessment.  That's the 1st step in the IEP process.  (It is a complicated process.  I know I didn't understand that when I saw my child had needs for sp ed.)

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Teachers and staff can absolutely refer for evals. Most of the time the parent initiates it, but it doesn't have to be that way. Have the school send a permission to evaluate form, let mom know it's coming. That should expedite things.

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On 10/10/2022 at 5:25 PM, JSD24 said:

The way IDEA is written, Child Find is on the school.  Schools can & do sent out requests to parents for them to OK a sp ed eval to happen for their child.  Has the school done this?  The next time the parent tells you they want an IEP, I'd take that as a verbal request for a sp ed eval to be put in motion.  (My state, PA, even has timelines on when this has to happen.)

The next time this mom asks for an IEP, tell them that the school can reach out to her but she needs to provide a written OK for a sp ed assessment.  That's the 1st step in the IEP process.  (It is a complicated process.  I know I didn't understand that when I saw my child had needs for sp ed.)

The school has sent out the request for evaluation, just no response from Mom. I'll go ahead and bring it up next time we talk and go with a verbal request. Are we still stuck if she never okays anything? 

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On 10/10/2022 at 7:39 AM, Jenna said:

Not a lawyer or a school administrator. Who at the school does Mom have the best relationship with? Could you or that specific person reach out from your school email address and request a video chat with the parent to explain who the SPED director is and that she's left multiple texts/voicemails/etc. for her? Maybe texts/calls from the SPED director go through from an unknown number, or maybe they're flagged as a scam call? Perhaps emails from the virtual school are sometimes sent to a "promotions" or "spam" folder? Has the school mailed a paper letter to the parent? If the student is attending virtual classes, has the staff asked the student to have the parent call/email/etc?

You mentioned that Mom asks about the IEP and modified work...did the child transfer to the virtual school? Perhaps she thinks that the child already has an IEP that the virtual school should be following?

At our school, all email goes through a school system (when they log on) so it's impossible for it to be flagged as junk mail because the system doesn't have that option. All emails are being read (we can check that). I'm going to pass on the idea of mailing something in paper to see if that shows a greater sign of importance.

The child was in a different school last year but only attended a few times, so the grade is being repeated. There was no IEP from that school according to Mom.

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On 10/9/2022 at 12:32 PM, EmilyM said:

So this is Teacher Me talking. I don't know if anyone here has the legal know-how to advise me, but I'll happily take anything.

I teach at a virtual school and have a student who could possibly qualify for an IEP. She's not my lowest performer by our beginning of year assessment by any means, but is on the low due to some observed attention struggles. Her mother has been talking about the struggles since before school started and keeps talking about how the kid needs an IEP.

Except... Mom is making it so hard and I'm not sure what else I can do.

So far, Mom has stated (only by voice) that she thinks Kid needs an IEP and possibly a modified curriculum.

Our special education department has called her multiple times, left voicemails and texts and emails about this, but no response from Mom.

I've told Mom flat-out to send a request to start the process in writing. 

I'm trying to keep data, but the family doesn't do enough schoolwork to give me much to look at (chicken or egg?)

I'm not sure what else is my duty here. Everytime I speak with Mom, she asks about the IEP and modified (not accommodated) work, but it's almost like she doesn't want to do anything on her end.

That probably sounds judgmental, but is there any point where I can jump in to speed up the process without Mom? I've passed on the concerns to the special education department per our state policy, but without Mom helping us more and Kid giving me more data I'm worried we will just be stuck in RTI hell.

 

CM

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you are in PA, you would be out of compliance with timelines.  In PA, you have 10 days to get this form to a parent after they make an oral request for an IEP evaluation:  https://www.pattan.net/Forms/PERMISSION-TO-EVALUATE-ORAL-REQUEST-FORM?NodeId=1548112.  Seems like the only way you have not tried to communicate is snail mail.  I would see about mailing the mom a request to verify her info as voice mail messages & email have not been returned.  She might have new contact info.

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  • 2 months later...

Does Mom understand that the school needs permission?  
Maybe a paper note AND e-mail stating in plain English
1. We are happy to evaluate your child for an IEP and/or modified curriculum.  Step one is getting a written reply from you stating that we have permission to do this.  We MUST have your written permission to proceed.  That can be a written note or a reply to this e-mail stating "I want my daughter evaluated for an IEP and give the school permission to do so."
2. Step 2 - Once we have permission, we will evaluate your child in all areas of suspected disability.  Please list any parental concerns you have about your child's ability to function in school.  
3. Step 3-  and so on.... give her a plain-English checklist of the steps so she understands what happens, who will do what, and a time line (within 30 days after receiving your written permission to evaluate your daughter, etc.)

A LOT Of parents find the process intimidating and these days everyone is stressed.  And honestly, I think less than 10% of the parents of kids with IEP's I've ever worked with as an inclusion teacher have ever actually read the procedural safeguards booklet or know where to find info on the process on the state, county, or school websites.  She may already feel she's done her part by just mentioning it to you.  

How does the child feel about it?  Some kids (especially the middle and high school kids I've taught!) are scared they'll be labeled "dummies" or "retards" or teased by their peers.  (Not a fan of those words either and kids CAN be cruel!)  

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To give an update, due to the virtual nature of the school and Mom's own admitted ADHD, Mom confessed she struggled with staying atop the communication. 

The family wound up homeschooling as Mom felt that would be easier for herself and her kid.

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Does your school use DocuSign? If not I'd highly recommend this being put in place. The form is filled out and then sent to the parent or guardian to review with a request to be digitally signed. Then after digitally signing all the parent or guardian has to do is click on the submit button. It makes the parent part of the  process super simple and super fast. 

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5 hours ago, Angie D.C. said:

Does your school use DocuSign? If not I'd highly recommend this being put in place. The form is filled out and then sent to the parent or guardian to review with a request to be digitally signed. Then after digitally signing all the parent or guardian has to do is click on the submit button. It makes the parent part of the  process super simple and super fast. 

Are you saying to write the request on behalf of the parent and then have them sign it?

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