I wrote a letter to the case manager regarding the IEP Draft that I had picked up on June 2, 2005 that was the proposed IEP from the May 27th meeting. I had called for another IEP meeting that was held on June 15th however, that was the meeting that the Learning Consultant had called me a “Bully” and ended the meeting unilaterally. I had numerous major concerns that we still had not discussed about the draft. The meeting had only gotten as far as re-discussing my requests for assistive technology and why certain decisions had been made by them unilaterally after the May 27th IEP meeting as well as some inaccurate statements about what had occurred at the actual meeting.
Besides the assistive technology dispute I had noticed that they had removed the “Project Read Trained Teacher” from the IEP. I had gone all the way to Due Process to get this service for my son back in the summer of him entering second grade and now BAM it was gone after our May 27th IEP meeting. NO DISCUSSION!!! They had never even mentioned it at the meeting. Was this more retaliation? How could they do this to my son?
They also removed certain test measurements that I had fought to have put in place so his progress could be tracked using objective test measures. The draft no longer contained that my son would be tested using the end of unit Project Read Mastery Tests and the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT).
They had also not incorporated the occupational therapy goals using the metranome nor had anyone gotten back to me explaining my sons progress with the Earobics program. I still had the sheet of meaningless dots that was printed out from the Earobics program that nobody apparently knew the meaning of.
In this same letter I documented some crucial information that I had found out after reading a newsletter and on the last day of school at an assembly I just so happened to be at. My son’s reading teacher who was his one on one Project Read Trained teacher was becoming a learning consultant at another school within the district. During the awards ceremony the Principal made the announcement wishing her well. I immediately felt sick, my eyes welled up with tears and I had a knot in my stomach while all the other parents were happy watching their kids get awards and celebrating another school year of success.
I saw the one on one reading specialist make a move for the door probably intending on leaving early since apparently her classroom was already cleaned out and she would no longer be teaching at the school. I darted into the hallway to catch her as the applauds were still going on and children were receiving their awards. I congratulated her on her new position and asked if my son had been aware of her departure. No, she had not told him. He like me had heard it in the assembly. His one on one for two years had not even given him the courtesy of a Good Bye. I then asked her since she had been at the May 27th IEP meeting why the words “Project Read Trained Teacher” had been removed from the IEP with no discussion. She pretended to know nothing about it. I said, “Well you do know that the previous IEP called for a “Project Read Trained Teacher” , RIGHT?” She said she did not remember. She had been a part of the initial settlement at the Office of Administrative Law, helped the lawyer with wording to draft the settlement, had been my son’s one on one reading teacher for two years but she claimed in her cutesy voice keeping an honest look on her face that she had no idea if my son had ever had this service in his IEP, the “Project Read Trained Teacher”. I was FLOORED and amazed of what LIARS they could all be.
After the assembly I spoke with the Principal who informed me that a new reading specialist had been hired. When I asked about her training the Principal stated she believed she was only trained in Project Read Phonology and not the other stands of the program. She said she would have the new reading specialist contact me which she did. Yes, she was only trained in the Phonology strand of Project Read. She shared with me that the child study team had been aware of this for weeks now.
I documented all of the pertinent information in my letter along with my belief of why the child study team had removed the wording “Project Read Trained Teacher” from my son’s IEP. Their reasoning seemed to be based upon the availability and training of their staff and not my son’s individual needs. I ended the letter asking that the district resolve this in writing within five days or that I would be forced to file due process. I also informed them that if I were to file a due process that the last agreed upon IEP from December 8, 2004 would be the stay put IEP.
On the same day that I sent this letter I received the district’s response to my previous letter. Once again they re-iterated that they were refusing my request to evaluate my son for assisitive technology. They stated, “We do not believe he needs an evaluation. We believe that he can communicate well and that he is able to write.” They went on to say my son’s writing abilities were in the average range, that they had tried to compromise with me to offer him assistive technology in school, and that he could do his book reports in school in occupational therapy and or his individual instruction instead of home. While the thought of me not having to go through the painful experience of book reports at home was nice I did not believe this would benefit my son. First off he desperately needed both the one on one reading instruction and occupational therapy. I did not want time taken away in those areas to do book reports.
Their letter ended; “Enclosed are copies of the Parental Rights booklet and New Jersey Administrative Code for your review.” I thought to myself, “IS THAT A THREAT?” Or perhaps they knew where this was going even before I did. DUE PROCESS!
I then received a second letter from the case manager. She offered an explanation of the writing journal. “The assignment is to encourage writing and the creative process.” Hmmm, I suppose my son would have said at the time that the assignment was to engage torture upon him. She went on, “It also encourages him to take a risk and write his thoughts without fear or judgment.” Were they kidding? My son felt constant fear and judgment. He felt all eyes were on him just waiting for him to fail. The next line read, “Children are not expected to write without grammar and spelling errors. His errors are typical for his grade level and part of the learning process.” To me a student about to enter fourth grade should know how to spell words such as “tent”, “clay”, and “God”. Although, I wasn’t an educator I couldn’t imagine that this was typical and if it was I thought to myself, God, please save our country if this is our future leaders. I was one hundred percent serious. I really feared for our youth if this was “typical”.
At this point, I knew in five days would decide mine and my son’s fate. I waited…………
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT