Friday, September 28, 2012

Mama vs School... Is it time??

When do you think it is time to blow the whistle on the school when they are not following an IEP?  I understand that it is illegal not to follow the IEP; but at what point do you really pull the 'you're not in compliance with this legal document' card?  Advice, opinions, and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

I found out yesterday, through casual conversation with Sadie's aide, that there are a few issues with this year's schedule.  First, I have to say that Sadie has the BEST aide on the planet.  She is wonderful, kind, works hard, and takes the extra steps to help Sadie with inclusion.  Her aide is going to school to become a teacher and you can tell that she loves to teach and really cares about the kids: especially Sadie.  Also, the reason Sadie has an aide is because she is a runner.  The school is an open campus and there have been two different times she ran into the parking lot (and once more she was released by a teacher and she wandered around trying to find me in the parking lot).  This parking lot is located next to a very busy street. 

So here's the scoop:

1) Her aide does not stay with her during lunch (because this is her break time) and there have been two 4th graders assigned to walk Sadie from the lunch area to the playground. Nobody is assigned to making sure she stays on the playground and doesn't run off.

2) Her aide drops her off for resource then goes back into the general ed. classroom to help the teacher out.   (My thought is this would be a great time for her aide to see how to modify her work and follow through with what she is learning on her level)

3) Her teacher does not modify her work- the aide does. 

4) Because of the mix of children in the school this year, Sadie does not go to Math 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day as stated in her IEP.  She only goes 3 times a week- which means she is shorted 60 mins a week or 36 hours a year.  Considering the fact that she is already behind and it takes her longer to learn, this seems like a huge disservice. 

I was able to briefly talk to the resource teacher to ask her what was best for Sadie, but she seemed worried about making sure the IEP was honored and said that she may have to put Sadie in class with older kids when higher math is being taught.  Sadie is really enjoying and thriving in school this year and I would hate to enforce the IEP just to put her in a class where it stresses her out because the material is beyond her level and the kids are too old.

Please... any thoughts?  I am not a complainer; but I feel like 36 hours less of math is huge!


Becca said...

I totally agree that she should not be in math for LESS time than the other students!! That's a HUGE issue. Not sure what to tell you about that, other than that they need to figure out a way to make that work. What do you mean about the "mix of students" in the school? Why does that affect the days/times she goes to math? Frustrating Sadie with material she's not prepared for is completely unfair.

About the aide going to lunch when she's at lunch? Not cool. Sammi's aide goes to lunch at a different time, and another aide fills in. The group of resource aides in the school often have to switch back and forth on some days and some hours in the day to make sure all of the students are backed up appropriately. We're totally fine with that.

It sounds like it's time to call a meeting (not necessarily an IEP meeting), at least with the Vice Principal and the Resource teacher.

Meghan said...

I'd agree with the above comment. Missing that much math time is HUGE and is definitely not following her IEP. But, I see your point - not wanting to mess up with her groove when she's comfortable. But that math is super important, so I'd say call a meeting. I'd also think that her aide should DEFINITELY be going into resource with her. That is PRIME opportunity for her to be learning what modifications Sadie needs for the subject. I'd address that too. That's my two cents :) Good luck!

Angela said...

I think its time for mommy to schedule a meeting. I just came from a school where there was two aides in the classroom. The aides both went to lunch with the students and supervised the students. Students are not equipped to handle emergencies. They also took alternate lunches so that there was always an aide in the classroom. Her IEP Should be followed to the letter. Call and schedule a meeting with the teacher, aide and principle. Discuss your issues. If this does not help then there are resources I have available to help you. But open communication and expression of your concerns are essential to Sadies success.

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