AP Classes and Accommodations

Posted by: Irena

AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/10/20 05:21 PM

Hello all! My son is heading into high school. Twice Exceptional - severe dysgraphia. So he will be taking AP courses. Today on one of my dysgraphia groups someone told this terrible story about their son with dysgraphia was rejected from the college board for both computer and speech to text for essays in AP exams. How do I make sure this does not happen to my kid? He does not need text to speech (I don't think, maybe he would) but he definitely needs to be able to type!
Posted by: Kai

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/10/20 05:48 PM

You need to be sure that he has had all of the assessments he needs and that the reports are written in such a way that the CB is happy, and there is a documented history of disability. He also needs to have been actually using similar accommodations in school.

I've read that the CB is being less stringent with granting accommodations than they've been in the past, especially for kids who attend b&m schools, so what I've said here may be overkill. My experience has been as a homeschooler trying to get accommodations. It was a multiyear process to ensure that the history was there, and it cost quite a bit of money.
Posted by: frannieandejsmom

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/12/20 10:43 AM

we submitted full near psych report along with teacher reports to get approval for SAT accommodations. I believe that also includes all AP testing. We had to do it on our own since DYS ds is not yet in high school. It took 7 weeks to get the approval.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/12/20 08:00 PM

Irena, it's been several years now since we applied for our ds' CB accommodations, but he received them easily with no questions asked, and based on your track record of advocacy I'm guessing you have everything you'll need to get your ds' accommodations. Our ds didn't ask for speech to text, and he didn't ask for computer for math problems but that's because he doesn't use either. He was approved to use his computer for essay questions and he received extended time, quiet room, and marking answers directly in the test booklet instead of on the answer sheet.

When it was time for ds to apply, the CB was encouraging students to have their high school counselors submit the applications rather than students submit them, but ds' high school counselor wouldn't - he said every student at their school who'd applied for accommodations had been denied so they were certain ds wouldn't be approved. So we submitted the application - I provided a cover letter explaining why ds was qualified etc (based on what I read at the CB site), an indexed list of very piece of documentation I was submitting that backed up the request starting in elementary school and all the way through high school, copies of each set of professional testing we had showing his diagnoses and impact on handwriting, copies of each of ds' IEPs/504s, and some third category that I can't remember at the moment! The CB at the time was requiring recent testing, so we had ds take the TOWL and the person who administered it (if I remember this correctly) gave ds both a timed and untimed version to demonstrate the impact of dysgraphia.

Is your ds going to high school next year? Will he have a re-eval or meeting to write his 504 plan going into high school? If so, I'd bring your questions to that meeting and ask what the school's experience has been, do they anticipate he'll receive accommodations or not. If they're wishy-washy in thinking he might not, or say they've had a lot of kids rejected, I'd seriously consider going ahead and applying yourself now.

As frannieandejsmom mentioned, it took us around 7 weeks to get the approval.

Best wishes,

polarbear

ps - when we were applying, there were two levels of requests you could make for accommodations - one had 1.5 times extended time, one had more extended time + other things (none of which I can remember at this point!)... we just applied for the "standard" accommodations for ds rather than asking for extra extended time... and that may be part of the reason his request went through - we weren't asking for extras that were beyond "standard" (whatever that was). FWIW, even the "standard" proved to be a bit challenging to actually put in place once ds had the ok.. but that's a whole other story and has nothing to do with CB really!
Posted by: polarbear

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/12/20 08:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Kai
....there is a documented history of disability. He also needs to have been actually using similar accommodations in school.


This is what we emphasized in our cover letter - ds had a documented history of the disability, and of using similar accommodations in school.

polarbear
Posted by: OCJD

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/13/20 10:48 AM

Echoing what is stated above. When DS entered high school, we worked with his counselor to get his 504 for ADD/dysgraphia right away. His school has a disability services department that then spearheads the College Board accommodations request and handles it for us. We submitted his most recent testing along with the cover report from the Neuropsych ADD specialist who did the testing which set out specific recommendations for extra time and typing with citations to his very long testing reports to back that up. DS was approved quickly by the CB for 1.5 time and typing. We did not ask for the double extended time.
Good luck!!
Posted by: Irena

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/13/20 05:44 PM

Originally Posted By: polarbear
Is your ds going to high school next year? Will he have a re-eval or meeting to write his 504 plan going into high school? If so, I'd bring your questions to that meeting and ask what the school's experience has been, do they anticipate he'll receive accommodations or not.


Hi Polarbear! Yes, He is entering high school in September. Yes, he was in the middle of his reevaluation when schools shut down but we have an abbreviated reeval report and will do additional reevaluation when schools open in the fall. I talked to the school psychologist today about her reevaluation (this is the middle school psych not the high school) and about my concerns that his writing disability be clearly and directly documented in his IEP in preparation for accommodatiosn in AP classes and colege testing. She understood my concern and she did revise it to make sure the dysgraphia and writing disability is very clearly documented in her report. I did not read your advice before I talked with her but I will meet with her and the team virtually April 22nd so at that time I will inquire about what the school's experience has been re accommodations and if they anticipate he'll receive his accommodations or not. Unfortunately, I am actually just about to take the school district to due process regarding my younger son and the new Sped Dir and I really do NOT get along - at all. I am almost afraid to bring it up in front her in case she decides to somehow retaliate against me for advocating for my younger son by hurting older DS's chances of getting accommodations. eek


ETA - by the way, unless CTY cancels it second summer session (they did cancel their first session), DS will going again this year. You really helped a lot in helping us both feel comfortable about his doing it a few years ago. I think of you every year when he considers signing up again. He does not really go for the "rigor" (tends to look for 'easy' classes or ones that his friends are doing) but I think the social aspect and being is really good for him! So, thanks!
Posted by: Irena

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/13/20 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: OCJD
When DS entered high school, we worked with his counselor to get his 504 for ADD/dysgraphia right away. His school has a disability services department that then spearheads the College Board accommodations request and handles it for us.


Thank you OCJD, I believe this is how it works with our school, but not entirely sure. I will find out. Thanks for the advice!
Posted by: Irena

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/13/20 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: frannieandejsmom
we submitted full near psych report along with teacher reports to get approval for SAT accommodations. I believe that also includes all AP testing. We had to do it on our own since DYS ds is not yet in high school. It took 7 weeks to get the approval.


Thank you!
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/26/20 12:41 PM

I meant to reply to this earlier and forgot, but I wanted people to know that we requested accommodations last Fall for our DD, and we were approved in just over a week. DD has a 504 which the school employee mentioned in the request. I was amazed at how easy it was.
Posted by: Wren

Re: AP Classes and Accommodations - 04/29/20 12:13 PM

Just wondered how they make accomodations this year. DD got notice that AP languages (not sure if this includes English) will be done on their app and you need to do it on your phone or tablet, not computer. She has a 2 in 1 that can go into tablet mode.