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    #142253 - 11/05/12 09:01 AM What to ask for in school meeting - help
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    We are finally getting a meeting with the school regarding DD8 getting a GIEP (our school doesn't have GIEP's until 3rd grade and we have had to battle to get accommodations). Now our concern is what should we really ask for. For sure DD8 needs advancement in reading and spelling. She was really into math last year, but this year is balking at anything math related. We recently found out math is the last class of the day and this may have something to do with it. We are trying to do some fun math/physics games at home to try to keep her doing math without really pushing the subject. She should be able to continue her pull out with the gifted teacher which was 2 times a week, but DD8 recently told us it is more often 1 time a week. I've read pull outs aren't the best options, but that is really all our school offers so we will take what we can get. We just want to go into the meeting with some clear goals and I'm afraid we will get into the meeting and the GIEP will already be written out before we can give our input. I don't want to be on the defensive right off the bat and end up seeming like we aren't going to be "team players". I know we what to ask for DD8 to be challenged on a daily basis and to not have to repeat things again and again that she has already shown mastery of. At this point we are not interested in any type of grade skip, but would like to see some form of subject acceleration - whether she goes to a higher grade class or can work on certain things on her own. We are a very small, rural school and we don't want her to feel uncomfortable with any changes we make. If there is anything else anyone could suggest we would be grateful!

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    #142263 - 11/05/12 09:35 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    I would request she be given MAP testing (or whatever equivalent testing your school uses) to determine the appropriate level of material, and that she make x% of progress during the course of the year. If that requires she visit another grade for a particular class, then have them work that out. My son has been getting differentiation in class, and it seems to be working out well, but I know that's more work for the teachers.

    Good luck!
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #142265 - 11/05/12 09:40 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    I agree that it's a good idea to be as open and friendly as possible. If one of you is more diplomatic and less likely to be uptight during the meeting, I'd get your plan of attack straight in advance and let that person do most of the talking.

    If you have evidence supporting your requests, then consistently refer to that evidence (test scores or what have you). If your evidence is in the form of work samples from home or past years, you might consider bringing them to the meeting and offer copies. If there is no recent testing or you believe that past testing was inaccurate, consider asking for testing to either be administered by the school or accepted from an outside tester.

    Be alert to vagueness. One problem that we had early on was that vague plans were made with no definite deadline, and complete delegation to the teacher, resulting in little or no implementation. Ask politely for specifics on timeframes for any follow-up steps such as planning meetings, deadline for implementation of any accommodations, exactly what will be implemented, etc.

    If you want subject acceleration, I would personally think about advocating for a subject pull-out (going to a different class for a subject) and possibly fall back to in-class enrichment from there. You might browse this site, Hoagie's Gifted and A Nation Deceived for info to bring to the meeting or supply before or afterward, in arguing for acceleration. Does your district and school seem open in general to acceleration, or more likely to provide in-class enrichment?

    Offer to shoulder any of the burden you can; this plays well even if it's often not accepted. Throw lots of little supportive and appreciative phrases and burblings in at odd moments. But above all, as long as you remain polite, don't be afraid to be a little bit pointed in stating exactly what you want, openly though politely disagreeing when necessary, and asking for details.

    If your school district is like ours, the school will generate written meeting minutes. If they're not provided, ask for them, and follow up to correct any inaccuracies as to what was agreed upon. Also, even if some things are agreed to orally as you go forward (for instance in a phone conversation with a teacher), find ways of following up by email to document what was said and done, without being too obvious about it.
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

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    #142330 - 11/06/12 10:30 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: epoh]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    This is a good idea - our school does do MAP testing in the fall and spring. I believe the MAP reading score is what they are using for her AR book level so that would be something we could use showing she needs acceleration for sure in reading. The teacher has already agreed to give DD8 more challenging spelling words just from us asking, but we probably need to have that written into the IEP also. I'm writing all this down so I can remember it all - thanks!

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    #142336 - 11/06/12 10:54 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: Iucounu]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Thanks for your reply! Our goal is to go into the meeting with some clear suggestions. Our DD8 was accelerated in Kindergarten into 1st grade reading, then for some reason in 1st grade she remained with her class. 1st grade was an absolutely horrible year for her, so we were preoccupied with what was going on and not worried so much about her going to 2nd grade for reading. It was at the end of her 1st grade year that we spent our own money to get psychoeducational testing done to rule out ADD/ADHD since the school was certain that was the problem. Her 1st grade teacher even said she felt DD6 (at that time) was ODD or had conduct disorder. We wanted to rule these things out and so we had her tested. Soooooo glad we did because even though we knew she was smart we didn't really know just how smart she is until they explained the test results to us. We were also able to rule out any disorder. She was just very bored in class and frustrated at having to repeat simple tasks over and over that she already knew. We have been fighting for accommodations since then and have felt we weren't doing enough for our child. Now that the time has come to get some accommodations in writing through an IEP it is almost overwhelming. We want to make sure we cover everything in the meeting and are afraid we will forget something. I've been looking on this forum for a while. There are so many things I can learn from everyone that has already been in our shoes. Believe me..I'm taking notes and want to thank everyone who puts their story out there for everyone to read - it really helps! We plan to ask why she was accelerated in Kindergarten for reading, but then didn't get to continue that accommodation in 1st, 2nd and now 3rd grade. I read Genius Denied and took lots of notes from that book and glad you mentioned A Nation Deceived because I just got that book from the library and plan to dive into it tonight. Thanks again!

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    #142890 - 11/15/12 01:49 PM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Okay, our meeting is in the morning. I found out the school's gifted teacher has already worked on putting together the GIEP. I'm not sure if that is typical or not, but I'm hoping we can give our input and our ideas will still make it into the documentation. We asked DD8 her opinion of what she would like to see change. She mentioned some game they play in P.E. that she doesn't like....lol! We asked if she wanted to go to a different class for reading like she did in kindergarten. She is leery of going to a higher grade class for reading because as she put it, "I don't know all those kids!" Other than the P.E. thing she said she wanted harder spelling words, so she wasn't very helpful. Her attitude goes along with what I mentioned to the school psych when we first gave them our paperwork at the beginning of this school year - we are concerned she is already settling for middle of the road and becoming apathetic. She had such a spark in pre-school and kindergarten, then in 1st grade she had such a bad experience that it sucked some of the spunk right out of her. If anyone has any last minute ideas or suggestions please let us know and please be thinking of us tomorrow and sending good vibes our way - thanks!

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    #142916 - 11/16/12 06:22 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    I am fairly certain you have to sign off on the GIEP before it's implemented, so if you want something changed/removed/added, you'll have an opportunity to do so.
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #143069 - 11/19/12 07:26 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Just what I was afraid would happen - the GIEP documentation was all neatly typed out when we got to the meeting. They went over it with us and basically DD8 will be given 2 hours of a pull-out program per week with the gifted teacher and she has 1 goal to complete this school quarter. I had my notes with me from reading "Genius Denied" and "A Nation Deceived". One of the lines I wrote out and highlighted said something along the lines of a complete GIEP is more than just a pull-out program, it is every day and all day. We had to advocate for accelerated reading and spelling and differentiation. This was all documented on the "green sheet" which is basically notes from the meeting. Luckily we have a very accommodating teacher who is willing to make these changes. We probably won't have the luxury of a willing teacher next year however, so we will continue to push for more changes.

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    #143079 - 11/19/12 09:40 AM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    I don't know about gifted IEPs - they are not used in our state (as far as I know). But for "regular" IEPs, this is absolutely not permissible.
    Originally Posted By: 71 Fed. Reg. 46678
    It is not permissible for an agency to have the final IEP completed before an IEP Team meeting begins.

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    #143168 - 11/20/12 12:05 PM Re: What to ask for in school meeting - help [Re: 1frugalmom]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Wow ElizabethN...believe me, I have done my fair share of research, trying to educate us as parents going through all this for the first time, but I never came across your tid-bit of info. I looked at our state's laws to check on our parental rights, but didn't think to go beyond that. I know we are "supposed to be" equal partners in the GIEP process, but didn't realize there is a federal regulation regarding a "draft" IEP, which is exactly what we got. We obviously have more to learn! This is why I love this forum! There are so many things we can learn from one another. Guess we need to decide where to go from here. Thanks for the info!

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