A letter from the President of the Board of Education dated March 5, 2005 arrived at my home. It had been sent to all parents to notify us that a decision was made to retain the Interim Superintendent. It stated that he was the best in the state and was committed to run the district proactively, just as if he was the permanent superintendent. In the meantime, the board could continue their search and not just settle for anyone.
I thought to myself, Great we get to keep the double dipper who doesn’t give a shit about kids! Double dipping as in he was collecting an $80,000 a year state pension on top of being paid my district $650 a day five days a week. Committed to run the district proactively? Or committed to filling his pockets with as much cash as he could?
In any event, life was continuing and the IEP Process was about to start all over again. It seemed like we always started the process around March, never agreed, fought all summer and most of the school year till finally agreeing on an IEP around January or February and then one month later yes, it started all over again.
In March we made arrangements for my son to have his annual standardized testing to measure his progress. As per his IEP the Woodcock Johnson and WIAT would be administered in April.
I wrote my standard letter requesting to do a records review prior to the IEP meeting. It read:
“In order to prepare for our upcoming IEP meeting and pursuant to the NJ Pupil Records Act and FERPA I would like to review my son’s entire and complete school file including all cumulative and confidential educational records (tests, evaluations, special education records, medical records or letters, formal and informal correspondence, discipline records, tape recordings, all data collection, e-mail’s, and teacher to teacher notes).”
I also sent a second letter to the case manager which I cc’d to the principal and learning consultant’s. I requested that I have their test results two weeks prior to the IEP meeting and that they include all raw scores, standard scores, percentiles, grade level equivalents, age equivalents, etc… as well as the teacher’s present levels of performance statements and Draft IEP if they intended on having one.
We also had our monthly meeting and now that I had the vision therapy in place I started working on addressing another major need of my sons. Assistive Technology!
The case manager sent a letter confirming my requests. The records review was set for April 22nd. The Woodcock Johnson and WIAT results would be sent ten days before our May 27th IEP meeting. The child study team would NOT prepare an IEP draft so that we could develop the IEP together. She wasn’t sure if she could give me the teacher’s present levels of performance statements in advance and would check with her supervisor. And lastly she would discuss my request to consider my son for assistive technology with the child study team.
A couple days later I received a phone call from the case manager that the special education director had instructed her to not give me the teacher’s present levels of performance statements in advance of the IEP meeting. It was par for the course with this guy. I wrote to him:
“My case manager, informed me yesterday that you have directed her to not have the teacher’s give me my son’s present levels ahead of our scheduled May 27th IEP meeting. In order for me to fully participate as an equal part of the team I would like this information in advance. It is hard for me to process information directly on the spot and that is why I have requested this information in advance. The rest of the team has the opportunity to discuss and review my son’s present levels and test results and I would like to be given this same opportunity. Since, January this year the rest of the team and I have managed to build a good working relationship and move on from the past problems. This is truly a disappointment to me that you would discourage the rest of the team to not allow me to participate as an equal. If you will not allow me to have this information in advance, please have your secretary contact me to schedule a second IEP meeting.
Please inform me in writing of your decision.”
Perhaps, he liked the idea of having an unprepared parent but I wouldn’t be the one. As far as I was concerned I’d meet with them again and again till we could get it right. I waited……….
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT