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ICR to Gen Ed but keep IEP


NSN322

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Hi, I'm trying to determine the best path forward for my child. He has had an IEP for 2 years, was evaluated to enter Kindergarten in Sept 22, but due to delays and a birthday just a few days before the cutoff, we opted to pull him out of the district and into a private preschool program.

We are now about to re-enter the district for the fall and strongly feel he is ready for a general education classroom but also needs to maintain his IEP through kindergarten and then reassess with the goal of focusing on increasing social skills as well as OT and some speech concerns. The ICR placement is not at our home school and we feel he would benefit from transitioning schools once over the next 1.5 years vs twice. Making friends, familiarity of building, routine, staff etc... this will all help him thrive. 

How can I best make this point to the CST? All of our private therapists and developmental pediatrician / current teachers all agree this is the right placement for him, now we just need to make the case for the CST. Help! 

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The public school district is required to consider the least restrictive environment for each child. Is the school the district has placed him in an out of district placement, or a different building within the same "home" public school system? What is the district's reasoning for placing him in a different school? What supports/services does he receive in the other building? Are they available at the home public school building?

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In my area it's fairly common, even the norm, to have ICR placements scattered over the district at some but not all schools. Even if it's unreasonable for them to uproot their whole program, could you request for a 1:1 aide for a classroom in your home school?

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Your child has to go to the school that can follow the IEP.  In my district, we have 11 elementary schools.  If you need emotional support, only one of those school offers this service.  If your child needs this, they go there - no matter where in the district you live.  It's similar for ASD support (4 schools), MD support (1 school), life skills (1 school).  I was working with a parent in another district.  Her child is severely dyslexic.  They have 0 people trained to treat dyslexia in her district.  (I have a feeling they are not identifying these students & when they do, they aren't getting the researched based remedial programs required under IDEA.)  She's looking at her child going to a private school as that's the most appropriate placement given the severity of the disability.  If a school doesn't have what your child needs, it's not LRE.

IDEA doesn't consider what's best for your child from a social/emotional perspective.  They look at the student getting what they need/following the IEP.  You might need to waive a service or 2 (ones that you neighborhood school lacks expertise in) if you want for your child to go there.  This is the angle to use to sell the neighborhood school as the right placement for your child.  (I waived FAPE for my son.  I had to sign paperwork in the presence of witnesses.  It took awhile for the school to prepare the paperwork.  I don't think this happens that often.  BTW, it was the best thing for my child.  I took him to 1:1 speech therapy - school did group - and he was cured in 4 months.  He had over 4 years of school therapy with little progress.  He moved his tongue laterally.  That was his speech problem.  The school therapists didn't see this in group therapy.)

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