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Help. I am a gen ed teacher but the parent of the student only wants IEP communication from me


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Like I said, I'm a general teacher. Happy to do whatever my role is. However, this year I have a parent who had a bad experience with the SPED team at her kid's last school and said she wants as little to do with them as possible. I've notified the sped team and they're trying to be as great as they can, but the parent is resistant. She says she wants all services and communication to come through me. Is this a reasonable request? 

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Not reasonable IMO.  Schools have an IEP team.  The team serves the student.  Communication, in theory at least, can start with any team member.  Services should be performed by whomever has the expertise to deliver the service.  You might be great with teaching dyslexic students and so-so with teaching social skills.  Makes sense that you do small group reading instruction for students who are part of your caseload as well as students assigned to other case managers and another teacher who has expertise in social skills teach groups who need that no matter who is the case manager.  There are other sp ed services where teacher credentials aren't enough - like doing a sp ed evaluation.  The rule is that these are personnel issues and the school gets to decide which employees do which tasks.  I feel you'll get in trouble with complying with this family's wishes.

Also, what happens if you get sick & take time off?  The IEP still needs to be followed.  I'd want the family to waive FAPE in the event you are not available to provide services (there's a new wave of COVID circulating).  You don't want to expose the school to a lawsuit if you aren't available to provide services to this student.  In my district, the sp ed supervisor would speak to the school's solicitor to see if this can be done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Parent, 

Realizing your previous experience with a different school we want to ensure we do everything possible to move forward in a team fashion. 

Of course I am available to answer questions and help, but my preference would be that you allow our SE team to take the lead on johnnie’s case. This will allow them an  opportunity to provide their specialty services and gain johnnie and your trust. If after three months you remain uncomfortable, we can readdress. 

Another option would be for me to get johnnie started on the right foot this school year and then do a handover to the SE department at the end of the X quarter. 

My experience thus far has me leaning to option one, but I take parent preference to heart when I’m able. 

Let me know your thoughts. 



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