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    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Your post brought to mind a friend of mine, her child has quite severe anxiety...

    She always puts a letter into the person who has the most pull in making the student / teacher pairings stating what kind of teacher works best (without naming names) for her child given his personality traits & anxiety. She also puts something 'nice' about trusting that the (private) school will make the right placement. To date this has worked really well for her and her DS12.

    Wishing you and your son the best of luck for a successful school year!

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    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.

    At this point, I don't know that I have enough valid information to request a teacher change. I have a close friend who has a child receiving special education services and she and her son had a bad experience. I've contacted my friend for details so I can make a better decision. I received similar negative comments from a total stranger while waiting on allergy shots.

    This is going to sound crazy, but I'm afraid of the negative repercussions this will have on DS and our future in this school. Independently, my husband and brother both asked if I felt that this was vindictive behavior. I had this same thought but it seems paranoid and crazy to even consider a school behaving this way.

    polarbear, I don't honestly know if he needs a 504 or IEP. From what I can tell, either will be very difficult to receive. I have requested a meeting and was told last year that the meeting would take place the first week of school. I sent the AP a request for this again last week and have had no reply. Do I have to send an actual paper letter?? I don't even know how to go about getting a local advocate.

    I get the sense that this school has a VERY high opinion of itself. It's an affluent area and the parents here are intense. I talked with three different moms that I would consider friends two weeks ago and was astounded by our conversation. One was concerned that their 4 year old couldn't properly grip a pencil. Another was chastising herself for slacking on the sight word flash cards with her 4 year old. Another asked my opinion of the educational content of the centers in the three year old preschool class. It just seemed a bit much to me for preschool. I don't get a sense that these are kids begging to be taught to read and write but I could be wrong.

    Feel free to keep sending your thoughts. This is uncharted territory for me. I do have a very clear narrative report outlining the diagnosis and recommendations from a ed psych. I feel 100% confident in her assessment.

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    I think you should talk to the principal and tell him you've had a conversation with this teacher and you're concerned that it's the wrong fit for your child based on x, y, z.

    My HG son has dyslexia & dysgraphia and the first time I didn't object to his teacher placement, and he got the teacher with the bad reputation, I tried to have an open mind. But it was a disastrous year. The teacher deserved her reputation and more. He was a 4th grader and this teacher merely presented information. Her opinion was that kids can learn from it or not-- their choice. If a kid got a C, they were obviously just average. She gave them no help. A poor writer? Obviously not very capable. She never gave extra help. My son did have a 504 that said he needed to write on the computer, but she never turned on the computer, which was in a hallway. When I asked why he wasn't keyboarding, the answer was always that he didn't want to do it. Go figure. The HGT teacher was furious with this teacher over the way she treated my son (she knew him), but there was nothing she could do.

    When school administrations wonder why some parents don't trust their decisions-- this is why. As you can tell, I'm still mad about it three years later. But I'm also mad at myself that I didn't do something about it.


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    Originally Posted by nicoledad
    it always cracks me up when people are always negative when people don't have any real facts. I agree with GF2's first two paragraphs.. I would agree with black at trusting the negative if this was 1974. when I was growing up parents were not involved enough. These days it's just the opposite.

    Probably depends on the school/district because here, everyone seems overly positive and trusting to me, and not particularly involved compared to some of the other schools. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only parent in the school who has figured out the school has no idea how to write IEPs, do evaluations, etc. It's like seriously? No one has ever complained about this or noticed it before? Wake up people. So I tend to trust the parents that I view as being somewhat involved (but not overly helicopterish, although I don't see many of those in the school) and intelligent.


    Anyway, to the OP, I think it's a good idea to try to get as much info and specifics as you can about the teacher, and the other teachers if you can, and then decide.

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    Quote
    I don't honestly know if he needs a 504 or IEP.
    Some resources which may help with learning more about IEP and 504 include: the book From Emotions to Advocacy, wrightslaw website, National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) website.

    Tips for meeting prep have been posted on other threads but in case it is helpful, here is a brief summary:

    - Research state laws and the school or district policies and practices. This information is often found online. You may wish to print and put this in an advocacy ring binder to refer to over the years as the laws and policies/practices may change over time.
    - Have any test results and other pertinent facts available to share (milestones, reading lists, other accomplishments/achievements)
    - It is good to have them speak first. If asked to speak first, you may simply wish to thank everyone for attending and summarize that you are all here to share information and ideas about how to best meet your child's educational needs... and that you would like to hear from them.
    - Agenda
    - Know who is in the meeting, and their role(s)
    - Stay calm
    - Know what you are asking for
    - TAKE NOTES including Who-What-Where-When-Why-How of support services and/or differentiation, so you can summarize in an e-mail afterward [Some families announce they plan to record the meeting and then do so, rather than taking notes.]
    - Use active listening (rephrase what has been said, and put it in a question form) to clarify understanding
    - Be open to receiving the school's data/observations.
    - Listen to any proposals they may make, ask appropriate probing questions, such as how a proposal may work, how the proposal may help your child, the schedule/frequency of service delivery, etc
    - Do not be forced to make a decision if you need time
    - Summarize next steps & time frames, and/or need for a follow-up meeting
    - Thank everyone for their time & interest
    - After the meeting, write a summary (points of agreement, etc) and share it, possibly by e-mail

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    My story is a little different. My daughter got a teacher in 2nd who had a bad reputation and parents who had older kids that had the teacher were getting their kids switched to another. My daughter had a bad 1st grade because the teacher seemed to have every "bad kid in her class be cause one of the other teachers was new and just out of college. The teacher couldn't control the classroom. To make a long story short that 2nd grade teacher ended up being her all-time favorite teacher (now she's in 7th grade). What I could tell parents didn't like her because she didn't put up with bad behavior and made the kids do homework. The funny part to me even after that year parents still hated the second grade teacher but loved the first grade teacher. Go figure. I will admit however my daughter didn't have any of the issues the original poster had.

    Last edited by nicoledad; 08/05/14 08:44 AM.
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    As if if you need a 504 or IEP? You may not know until you have testing completely done. I was surprised yesterday when the nuropsyc evaluation my son suggested we have enough to push a IEP. I had presuming that we would be looking for a 504. In my mind I had seen IEP for issues like Learning Difficulties and 504 for more social difficulties (ADD, ASD). But I guess the difference is really more what kind of accommodations you are asking for with the 504/IEP. The psychologist also said it depends on the school. Some schools one is easier to get than the other.

    Good Luck. I like master_of_none's advice that you keep this at getting your DS what HE needs. Write to the school. But keep in mind that they aren't likely to be handing out a 504/IEP the first week of school. There are policies and procedures and these take time. School have to start the process, try obvious things first and then usually show they aren't working before they will even start testing.

    GF2 #197885 08/05/14 09:39 AM
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    Quote
    unwilling to differentiate
    Some have found that not all differentiation is positive or beneficial. Differentiation may imply support for the development of gifted pupils, but "different" does not necessarily mean "better suited for".

    While a teacher may be a factor in the effectiveness of differentiation, placing demands on a teacher to effectively teach students with a broad range of readiness and ability concurrently may be less conducive to learning than cluster grouping students for each subject by readiness and ability without regard to chronological age.

    A roundup of other posts to inform about differentiation include:
    - differentiation which holds gifted kids back: selective redo opportunity & leveling out
    - differentiation in instruction, or in output
    - differentiated task demands for CC
    - differentiation in assignments
    - differentiated task demands, compared to running a mile
    - differentiating within cluster groups by readiness and ability
    - differentiation as a buzzword
    - differentiation which masks lack of teaching with appropriate curriculum and pacing
    - differentiation to thwart talent development or obfuscate the level of acheivement
    - Seek clarification on the 5Ws of differentiation

    It is my understanding that many areas do not consider being gifted, or the asynchronous development often associated with being gifted, to be an impairment in accessing education, therefore in many areas only a learning disorder/disability would provide a legal basis for ensuring support services.

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    Originally Posted by master of none
    I'd send a follow up email, this time with a cc to the boss of the AP, and just keep widening your field. Each time, mention the previous emails. "In follow up to my email of x date describing my son's difficulties last year...(substance)....If you aren't able to help me, please feel free to forward this email and let me know who I should contact to help my son have a successful school year". Always be nice, to the point, and even though you are moving up the chain, avoid threats, whines, or a mention of motivation (even if you are clear what it is). If there is nefarious motivation, you can get to it by just listing the facts out, as if there is innocent intent. The person who wants to help will pick up on it.
    Well said. smile

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    nikiharp, the question re whether or not your ds needs a 504 or an IEP depends on whether or not he needs individualized instruction (an IEP) or accommodations to allow him to fully participate in the classroom and to be able to demonstrate his knowledge (504). If a student has an IEP and needs accommodations, they are typically included in the IEP rather than having a 504 plan while the IEP is in place.

    One other thing to consider - a 504 plan is quicker and easier to put together. An IEP will require eligibility testing by the school in addition to the documentation you already have. A 504 plan can most likely be written from the private eval report that you already have. On the other hand, IEPs come with more legal protections and requirements for the school to follow the paperwork whereas 504s seem to have less safeguards built in. All that said, the deciding factor re pursuing an IEP vs 504 should always be - does my student need an individualized education plan, or will he/she be able to fully access their education with accommodations through a 504. Hope that makes sense!

    I can't tell you which your ds needs, and as mentioned above sometimes *some* instructional services (in some districts) are covered under a 504 plan (teaching a child to keyboard, for instance). Typically with dysgraphia, students need accommodations (scribing, keyboarding, copies of notes, etc), but sometimes they might also benefit from OT (for handwriting or fine motor), and sometimes the issues with writing go beyond simply accommodating (need help with learning various skills involved in written expression.

    Originally Posted by bluemagic
    But keep in mind that they aren't likely to be handing out a 504/IEP the first week of school. There are policies and procedures and these take time. School have to start the process, try obvious things first and then usually show they aren't working before they will even start testing.

    What blue magic is describing is called "Response to Intervention" (RTI). RTI is supposed to take place before an IEP eligibility evaluation is held (this is what happens in our district). You do *not* have to have your ds go through RTI first if you are requesting a 504 and have documentation of needs from a credible source. You can also go ahead and request the IEP eligibility evaluation even though RTI hasn't taken place. If the school staff replies that RTI needs to happen first, listen to what they are proposing, then respond by listing the history of what has been tried, what did/didn't' work for your ds, and referring back to the needs listed on the evaluation report you already have. RTI might be general policy, but that policy is aimed at understanding students who haven't been evaluated yet.

    polarbear

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