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Intra District Transfer Revoked for 7yo w/ IEP

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My 7yo son who is on an IEP is on an intra district transfer from his home school. He has missed quite a few days but I have doctors notes he has caught everything under the sun. We were sent to a DART meeting stating his intra district transfer has been revoked and he will have to go back to his home school for next school year. This meeting was with the school district’s Assistant Superintendent I filed an appeal stating he has excused doctors notes as well as explained emotional distress he was going through at times from what some of the staff has put him through. Which made some days hard to go to school (he cried threw tantrums and was literally in fear to go back to school) he struggled so much. They didn’t care they denied my appeal. This has been the ongoing issue my son is misunderstood. He doesn’t feel seen, heard, or safe. I feel this school where he is at doesn’t want to deal with him. You probably think why do I want him there. You see it’s been a journey to finally get where he has friends he struggled for the past 3 years in making friends he was lonely at school nobody wanted to play with him he now has a group of friends. 🥲 He has his routine he knows his school and the staff and where to go. It’s not scary for him anymore he is now in the routine where he is going to school. And it’s not a full blown 2 hour meltdown every morning. Changing to another school would be so emotionally detrimental for him. They told me kids are resilient he will be fine Mom. Yes kids they are resilient but they don’t know my son and the emotional struggles he went through he has made progress and is happy yes of course he still has challenges but to finally get him to where he is now is such a leap forward. Sending him back to a new school, new staff and now having to make friends they may not want to play with him he struggles with his ADHD will spiral him into fear, not wanting to go to school, it’s a lot of emotional distress for a little guy. My question is if I have doctors notes for his absences can they deny my appeal. What rights does my son and us parents have? It’s the same school district he just does not go to his home school. They told me his home school has less kids on IEPs okay that will not help my sons emotional and social skills nor will it help his education if he is lonely and going through stress and emotional issues due to this big change for him. Why wouldn’t they take into consideration the emotional side of it and how it would hinder him instead of help him especially through those behavioral hurdles we are over coming. What are our rights can they just do this? 

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My thought is very simple.  The school is saying he is emotionally resilient and will have little issue with changing schools.  Where's there data on this?

According to the way rules are written, schools can generally do things like this.  There is nothing that says they need to consider a student's resilience or mental health status when making this sort of decision, so they are in their right to transfer him because there is nothing that says anything to the contrary.

I see this as the ball being in your court and you needing to strategize how you will return it back to them.  If you are concerned that he will have 2-hour long meltdowns if he has to attend the school they've picked, mention that you have concerns about school refusal and request that the school evaluate that this would be OK (that he can handle this without tantrums and other disruptions to your household) given that you see his emotional dysregulation/disability being a big factor with making a huge change like this.

Do this in writing so you have it documented in a paper trail.  Write this out as a parent concerns letter.  (More info here on writing a letter:  https://adayinourshoes.com/parent-concerns-on-the-iep-parent-letter-of-attachment/.)  Request support to help him make this transition.  I know that some of the things that can help are being able to explore the building over the summer or in off hours, meeting with staff.  Playdates with other students (this would depend on the other student's families being OK with this).  Also request an evaluation that this isn't going to trigger anxiety and school refusal.  My perspective is they decided to make this change and you need to move forward from where you are which is him attending a new school where he's unfamiliar with the floor plan, staff and classmates.  You need to plan your strategy from here.  My thought is that if he doesn't cooperate with touring the new school & meeting his new teachers (things that are in the IEP because you requested the school support him with this transition), you now have data that shows this is causing him anxiety which is something they didn't consider when changing his placement.

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