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driven_cosmos last won the day on November 12 2023

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  1. Another question you could ask is--if a student violated the school's code of conduct during this activity, would the school maintain the authority to discipline the student per their handbook (EX, suspension)? If so, then it seems they would be admitting that they have sufficient authority / jurisdiction over the activity to be responsible for providing appropriate supports.
  2. I don't know that there is a specific legal definition of this in the law itself, but there is a lot of case law that could be helpful. This looks like a great resource for your question, with a lot of examples of the types of activities that have been litigated in case law. It also covers protections under both IDEA and Section 504, which is great because both laws can help you make a case for appropriate supports. IMO, if an activity is held on school grounds, led by school staff, and is included in correspondence from the school district (EX: mass emails, posting on the district website, included in a handbook / list of clubs and programs offered by the school) it would be really hard for the school to successfully argue that it is not a school sponsored activity. https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/SES/legal/conf16/DHodgins_11-3_4-Nonacademic_Extracurricular_Activities.pdf?TSPD_101_R0=0812b43512ab20009d217104d1b72f79cda3d39aa524dae5ab9c087984a5b1bd0a015cabe94b776608c155e15514300039e8b6d14ae3d071aa87d4153a4121f6a69939f1afbad6d799ee64e3371bbb028044b21734429c27a78e1c4bfe9e0fc7
  3. That PTC conference sounds so upsetting. JSD has a good point about requesting an FBA to get to the underlying causes of the behavior and provide recommendations for addressing them. It is so frustrating when impacts of a disability are blindly pegged as "lack of effort" a "choice" or "defiance". Requesting the teacher you want to provide input attend the meeting will be more effective than asking a difficult staff member to NOT be included. Plus--you may find that the more difficult staff member is more receptive to hearing the strategies that help from another staff member than yourself.
  4. At some point if too many assignments or tests are below that threshold, the student ends up spending a lot of time focusing on retakes and could end up falling behind on new content...especially in HS. A few options you could consider: If you really believe in the retakes, you could suggest that the original score and score on the retest be averaged to produce the final grade. Or that he be allowed X number of retakes per quarter and would need to decide when best to use and advocate for them. This might address the district's perspective about "taking more responsibility." If this is more about content mastery, you could ask that the specific skills that he scored below a 65 / 70 on be targeted for reteaching. Perhaps those specific skills could be tested again after reteaching to determine content mastery. The pre-test is a good idea too. The only challenge I can see is that if the pre-test showed many students having difficulties and the teacher reteaches the skill with the entire group, what happens if that group reteaching didn't really end up helping this specific student?
  5. I'm not sure if a TOR is the same as the special education liaison where we are (the one who writes the IEP, tracks progress, etc). If this is a special education staff member, you would probably be contacting the SPED director. For a Gen Ed teacher it would probably be the principal. I ultimately did the same thing that Dallas suggested: once I had enough information to support the request, I reached out to the special education director and asked to be reassigned to another liaison, and that my son be placed with a resource teacher who would implement the instruction on the IEP (which left open the possibility that the same staff member could continue in the role as long as my son's needs were being met). It's important to handle this tactfully by neutrally communicating your understanding of the situation, focusing on what your child's needs are. EX: According to my son's IEP, X and Y should be happening during class. My son reports that this is not happening, and it appears that A and B are happening as a result. I have attempted to address these concerns by speaking with (describe your efforts to move up the ladder). I would appreciate your help in reviewing these concerns, and if my understanding of this situation is accurate to please assign us to another staff member and/or provide additional training to ensure my child's needs are met. I've successfully requested a change in staff, as well as additional training for staff using this approach. Save it for what really matters most, for what is causing a clear adverse impact, and what has persisted despite multiple efforts to resolve.
  6. UDL is overall a good thing if what it offers meets the needs of the student, especially in higher grades where teachers tend to be more difficult about providing something they don't already do. Personally, I think if a student needs a specific accommodation it should be on the IEP even if it (or something similar) is provided to everyone. There is a difference between happening to benefit from what is globally provided, and documenting that a particular student needs this accommodation to access their education.
  7. I'm following this because our situation is so similar I thought I sleep-typed this post! Also have a son that just completed Junior year that made little progress on his EF and writing goals. I am also concerned that he is not going to be prepared for his post-secondary vision of attending college. Please send updates as you figure things out!
  8. You have a lot of other good advice, but this stood out to me for someone new to the process. I email the entire team my own meeting notes within a day of the meeting that include what was discussed and agreed to (or not). I thank them for meeting with me, and attach my notes to the email. I request that they review these notes and to please let me know if I have misunderstood anything in our meeting. Most times they don't comment back. But this can be helpful down the road if you ever need to demonstrate that something was agreed to or discussed on that date. If they did not respond, they pretty much confirmed those notes were true and accurate.
  9. If school avoidance is due to school related anxiety or difficulties with meeting expectations within the school environment due to her disabilities, then addressing those issues (as you suggested) could help. An FBA is a good idea--it hopefully would at least provide information that would stop the school from enabling the behavior, and ideally help the team develop a goal and plan for improving attendance. My son experiences this as well, and would have easily gotten to the point of your daughter if I had believed their excuses and followed their suggestions and advice. I heard excuses like "everyone has problems with Mondays / rainy mornings / coming back from vacation / when their big left toe hurts, etc etc." I have been asked to pick him up from school when he was at the nurses office wanting to come home. At one point they made a plan with him where he could take days off for his mental health (without my permission, and outside of the IEP team of course) and told him that if he didn't think he could retain information that day he should stay home. Well, my kid with generalized anxiety, depression, and EF issues could almost always feel that way...and avoidance almost always increases anxiety symptoms in the long run. What I keep reminding them is that he needs to be educated in the least restrictive environment, and that home is the most restrictive environment. He should only be home if he is required to stay home due to illness per their handbook, and that students have an extensive amount of vacation time built into their calendars so he shouldn't need to take additional days off just to get through the school year. Plus, when he gets the appropriate supports for what is expected of him at school, his avoidance behaviors improve. My son has benefitted from counseling outside of school, in addition to the counseling minutes he gets in school. Some of what they tell him needs to be "corrected" so to speak. I've found this website to be really helpful for this as well: https://schoolavoidance.org
  10. If the data on progress reporting indicates that she has met her current goals, but us not yet at grade level, then the data shows that the goals should be increased. My guess is reading fluency in the 5th percentile has not met grade level since the beginning of this school year. Have you requested this in writing? Did they put their refusal in writing explaining why they won't increase them? Have you contacted the Special Ed director to ask for their help or attend a meeting? Sometimes they will intervene once they are aware of what is going on...especially if they know that they couldn't defend their actions if you move up the procedural safeguards list.
  11. When was the last evaluation done? What did it say about note taking, and is this accommodation worded consistently with the eval recommendations? If not, you may be able to use that to support making a change. Would she be able to read a chapter and take her own notes if this was assigned? You may want to address this at the same time, because right now the accommodation is technically only for copying notes from the board. Providing a copy of notes is a very common accommodation, so it seems the teacher should be able to provide this. The path of least resistance may be to obtain a copy of the notes from a student who takes good notes. Or, put a reasonable time limit on how long she works on this, and if her grades drop without complete notes you have evidence of educational impact. I agree that they shouldn't be using special ed minutes for this. If they won't remove "when applicable" you could request that they define when it would and would not be applicable and put this definition in the IEP. Ask for that PWN if they refuse. For your second item--which modifications are they referring to? Does she currently have any goals that should be providing these opportunities along with instruction? I think that you want to see a goal and data being taken on progress for skills they acknowledge are lacking and are attached to modifications. The eligibility category may not be as important, as long as she's getting the services needed. I would just make sure to not allow any goals under SLD to be dropped altogether until you are satisfied that she is at grade level. They can change based on proficiency and meeting previous goals, but be very careful before agreeing to a complete removal. You should probably request a new evaluation before removing any SLD related goal.
  12. I wish you luck--what I would say is if his VSI is low average or below average, it's a pretty strong sign to get an independent evaluation. Schools seem to not handle this area well on their own.
  13. My son has a WISC V visual spatial score that has been 16-24 points lower across 4 different test administrations, even though it was still in the "average" range. This discrepancy was validated by supplemental testing. Our private neuropsychologist said that for him, this indicates difficulties with integrating information and understanding part whole relationships. He finds it hard to recognize and use the larger organizing structures for information and create his own structure to keep himself organized. According to his report, this causes issues with higher level executive control / functioning and can contribute to generalized anxiety and social perception issues. In my experience, the school spent years putting band aids (excessive accommodations) on a problem that needed stitches (specialized instruction). Are your child's visual spatial scores a lot lower than the other scores (especially verbal) and are you seeing similar results on non-WISC testing? If so and you're seeing executive functioning or anxiety issues, then the visual spatial issues could be playing a role in this and are likely to have a bigger impact on academics as your child gets older and is expected to be more independent. Definitely request their sources for this "research". And please don't let anyone at the school convince you that your strongest gut instincts about your own child are wrong--because they probably aren't. If your gut is telling you that the school is being really dodgy about something--they probably are.
  14. Can a school district deny eligibility if their own objective data shows that 2/3 IEP goals have not been met? Their progress reporting admits that my son hasn't been given the opportunities to work on these goals, but they essentially dismissed the lack of meeting these goals by giving all these anecdotes about "what they're seeing" when denying eligibility. Also--does anyone have the ability to provide a second opinion scoring of a WIAT III essay composition (word count and thematic organization SS)? I'm just looking for a casual idea of what the SS would be from someone outside the district to help determine how hard I should push back on this. They said that one of the teachers that looked at it would have graded the response as a C, so they called it "good enough" to deny eligibility despite an unmet writing goal. Thanks!
  15. I'm surprised they could do an evaluation and determine eligibility without an IQ test to begin with, especially with an autism diagnosis. Maybe that's a state thing in Missouri? I don't see that you get anywhere meaningful by asking them to look at the old evaluation. If anything, the lack of IQ testing might suggest that they did not perform an adequate evaluation to begin with. In my state it would at least. It should at least help you make a case for requesting a new evaluation from them, I would think.
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