Getting Ready for the School Year
This Talk has concluded.
Join NCLD’s Parent Leader, Marcie Lipsitt, in discussing how to:
- Prepare a “meet my child” packet for your child’s new teacher(s)
- Make sure your child’s records are in order
- Determine whether or not your child’s IEP is set for the new school year
- Prepare your child for a fresh start this fall
Read more about Marcie Lipsitt
It is never too late to meet the educational needs of a child whether age 3 or 21; so don’t for a moment believe that it is too late simply because your child is in high school. If your child is not currently receiving special education programs and services, and you suspect a problem, you will want to submit in writing a formal request to have your child evaluated for special education programs and related services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 and your state’s special education rules.
If your child is receiving special education and has an active IEP, you will want to read the IEP and then determine if it meets your son’s needs moving into the new school year.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I have a clear understanding of my son’s present levels in reading (basic reading, reading fluency, reading comprehension), written expression and mathematics? If you don’t, I recommend that you submit in writing a request to convene an IEP Team meeting the first ten days of the school year to “review all existing evaluations and educational data” and determine if a new evaluation is in necessary to understand your son’s “present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.”
- Has he achieved any of the annual goals in the current IEP? Does the IEP Team need to craft any new annual goals?
- How did your son perform on the ACT Plan and/or ACT Explore? In the case of high school students, I always review a child’s ACT Plan and/or ACT Explore. These are the “practice” ACT tests that are given anywhere from the 8th to the 10th grade depending upon the school district and state that you live in. The ACT Explore and ACT Plan can "red flag" students who need additional time to take tests, along with students with undiagnosed reading fluency, reading comprehension, writing fluency, written expression and math calculation disabilities. It never fails to amaze me how bright students can mask learning disabilities into their 9th and 10th grade school years simply by their willingness to read and reread books 2-3 times and working 3 times harder than other students.
- If there is an IEP does it include the computer software such as: Read:OutLoud 6, Write:Outloud 6, Inspiration 6, Draft Builder 6, Co:Writer 6, SOLO Literacy Suite, Start to Finish, Intel Reader, Simons S.I.O and WordMaker, along with Kurzweil 1000 or 3000, or Word-Q or Speak-Q? This is computer software that will allow your son to access the grade level curriculum and both accommodate and improve his reading and written expression? It is never too late to help your child get ready for school -- even a student attending high school.
When a new teacher is involved I always go to that teacher's state education website and look into his/her teacher certification/endorsements. Understanding the teacher's training can be 1/2 of the battle to helping you understand how to work with this teacher, and the potential need to bring in an administrator for guidance.
In your case, you may want to ask the teacher about her teacher training respective to students with learning disabilities. You may also want to very directly ask why she/he is unwilling to talk with your child’s reading tutor. You might avoid referring to your tutor as the “expert.” This may be rubbing a new teacher the wrong way and will make the teacher feel defensive instead of willing to work collaboratively.
You can also sign a release of information for the reading tutor to speak with staff employed by the school and then ask the tutor to contact this teacher directly. At times a teacher-to-teacher contact will garner better results. Every once in a while I have to counsel a parent to request a change in teachers due to a teacher’s unwillingness to work collaboratively with a parent and a parent’s private tutors and clinicians.
I hope this information proves helpful.
This is a great question! It is so important that child with dyslexia (or any learning disabilities) transitioning from elementary to middle school has a successful entry and start to the school year. If you did not have a "transition meeting" that included your child's IEP Team in the elementary school, along with at least one special education teacher or related services provider from the middle school, you will want to request a meeting to take place before the start of the school year and no later than the end of the first week of school.
You will want a meeting that includes the most recent general education and special education teacher from the elementary school (along with any related service providers), the special education teacher (possibly referred to as the caseload teacher or Resource room teacher), related services providers, and the general education Language Arts teacher.
You will also want to review the annual goals to assure that the new IEP Team members and general education teachers understand the goals, and your child's unique and individual needs.
I so understand the frustration I can feel in your question regarding the further learning available for a 20-year-old with lower proficiency levels in reading and other academics.
This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I feel the frustration for thousands of students age 18-21 (and up to 26 in my state, Michigan) who have not received the necessary research-based instruction especially in reading; and followed by written expression and math, to be fully prepared for post-secondary education in a vocational program, 2-year or 4-year college/university. This is when I wish I had a magic wand and could create a Grade 13, 14, 15 and even 16 that would allow students to continue raising proficiency levels in reading, writing, and mathematics and computer skills. Sadly and infuriatingly, I don’t.
So I move on to what I can do, and that is to urge parents to either keep their child in the high school receiving formal instruction or to consider maintaining special education programs and services through online learning or dual-enrollment in a high school and community college; high school and technical training program; technical training program and 2-year college or any of the aforementioned along with community based work instruction for a portion of the student’s day or week.
A student that has a 7th-8th grade reading and writing proficiency level will do quite well in both a technical training program and community college. Clearly I don’t have enough information on your 20-year-old to be as helpful as I would like. I will respectfully make an assumption that your child is reading somewhere at the end of 2nd to beginning 4th grade level. If I am correct, there is still time for your child to improve reading skills and other academic skills necessary to be successful as an adult.
Remember that IDEA requires that your child is educated through age 21 and nowhere in the IDEA does it say that students must stop receiving academic instruction at the end of the 12th grade. Post-secondary programs can and must offer “real” research-based instruction in reading, written expression and mathematics. And parents must push our educational system to truly educate each and every child through that child’s very last day as a student with an IEP.
Don't stop fighting for your 20-year-old's right to read to his/her highest level of proficiency. For every year that your child increases his/her reading level, he/she increases both quality of life and opportunities to contribute in the community and work place.
In my humble opinion it is egregious that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) does not recognize a Nonverbal Learning Disability (“NLD”). For that reason, parents continue to struggle with many of our nation’s 14,000 school districts when their child has been diagnosed with NLD. The same typically holds true for a child with gifted intelligence. Gifted intelligence coupled with a NLD is especially difficult. It is important to have comprehensive testing of a student with a NLD -- with and without the gifted intelligence.
That being said, I find that typically school districts evaluate with either the WISC-IV or Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Achievement (“WJ-Cognitive”) respective to I.Q. (working memory, processing speed, verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning) and either the Woodcock Johnson-III (“WJ-III Achievement”), WIAT-III or KTEA-II for Achievement testing.
Private clinicians will also use the WISC-IV and some use the WJ-Cognitive for I.Q. and a cognitive battery. They also use the same achievement tests as the school districts but typically add additional assessments to provide more comprehensive testing. What I find that both school psychologist and private psychologists still too often fail to evaluate are a child’s “executive functions.” The “executive functions” encompass a global set of functions that include a child’s ability to organize, plan, initiate, shift-set (flexibility), self-monitor and self-regulate.
When I hear about a child who is purported to be an underachiever by choice, my typical response is "hogwash." I will forever believe that 98.5% of children are born wanting to achieve and be successful students. Students labeled as underachievers, un-motivated, lazy and not stepping up to the plate more often than not have deficits among the executive functions or somewhere in their neurocognitive functioning or language processing. There are assessments that can be used to evaluate the executive functions, such as the NEPSY-3, Delis-Kaplan, KABC-II and even portions of the WJ-III NU, Tests of Cognitive Abilities.
If your child’s executive functions have not been evaluated, I strongly urge you to request an evaluation through your school district or through a private psychologist, especially if you have insurance coverage. In addition, if your child has not had a Speech and Language evaluation, I would recommend that as well. In addition, if you have not formally requested in writing for your child to be evaluated for special education programs and related services pursuant to the IDEA 2004 and your State’s special education rules, I urge you to do so. In the IDEA 2004, a “free appropriate public education (FAPE)” must be offered to any individual child with a disability who needs special education and related services, even though the child has not failed or been retained in a course or grade, and is advancing from grade to grade. I typically have children with NLD identified under an “Other Health Impairment” (OHI). This is the same area of disability that ADHD falls under and with a strong pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses that is having an adverse impact on a child’s ability to reach his/her maximum potential, a child with NLD can be found eligible. Although you may need an educational advocate in your corner. Every so often I support a 504 Plan for a child with a NLD and simply because the child needs accommodations and not special education programs.
Once you have successfully worked through the NLD you can then move on to the “gifted” side of the educational equation. Depending upon the age of the child I have been suggesting online courses for students in middle school and high school to address their giftedness. I also have students in middle school bussed to their high schools and students in high school sometimes dually enrolled in a community college to take higher level coursework. You will find information and resources on NLD at www.nldline.org, www.ncld.org, www.ldonline.org, and www.NAGC.org for information on students with gifted intelligence.
I hope this information proves helpful.
My son Andrew is 22 years old. Andrew had an IEP beginning in the 2nd grade and until we began homeschooling him with private instructors six years ago. I can very much relate to the recordkeeping.
I have a binder for every year that my son was in school. I developed a fairly simple and typical system for maintaining Andrew’s educational records. I arranged my yearly binder with tabs that read; IEPs, IEP Progress reports, General Education Report Cards/Progress Reports, school district and state assessments, school district’s evaluations, private evaluations, emails between me and school personnel, and medical information.
I also had one tab for what I used to refer to as “show and tell.” Under “show and tell” I collected some of Andrew’s daily school work and homework that I used in IEP Team meetings when I felt he was not making the progress reported in his IEP progress reports. I tell my parents today that when in doubt, save any questionable document in your yearly binder. If necessary, add a tab that says “catch-all.” If you have ever filed a formal complaint with your state department of education against your school district, you will also want a tab respective to formal complaints.
The same would hold true for any complaints filed with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), or due process complaints.
Good luck with your recordkeeping.
When a child with an IEP moves from one state into another, the receiving school district is still required to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE). Your child’s school district must provide an education comparable to that of the previous district until a decision is made to either adopt your child’s IEP from the previous school district, or develop, adopt and implement a new IEP that meets the applicable requirements pursuant to the IDEA 2004 and your state’s special education rules. The new school district must also take reasonable steps to promptly obtain your child’s records, including the IEP and supporting documents and any other records relating to the provision of special education or related services to the child, from the previous school district in which the child was enrolled; and your child’s previous school district must take reasonable steps to respond to the records request from the new school district.
When moving to a new state I always recommend that a parent obtains a copy of the state's special education rules. Every state has state-imposed rules that exceed the federal minimum set forth in the IDEA 2004. Your child's IEP must be comparable, but may change due to the sometimes subtle and sometimes substantive, changes in special education rules from State to state. I hope you are not moving to Michigan. Our special education rules have been eroding for almost a decade.
Good luck with your move!
Honestly, there is not one right or preferred way to help a child with homework. The key is always to make certain that the homework is at your child's independent level and not at a frustrational or instructional level. You are the parent and should not have to be an extension of the teacher. Other than that, it is always helpful for a child to have a designated place to do homework and daily schedule based upon extra-curricular activities.
Your child may have more time on one day than another, and simply due to other scheduled activities such as sports, dance classes, tutors, medical appointments and play-time with friends. If your child is overly stressed by homework, or you are feeling that there is too much homework, or the homework is not formatted to meet your child's needs and based upon your child's IEP or 504 Plan, you will want to schedule a meeting with the general education and special education teacher -- if your child has an IEP -- to review your concerns.
Whenever a child moves from one grade into the next there are always higher academic expectations. I refer to this as upping the educational-ante. There is definitely a noticeable change in the educational atmosphere from 2nd to 3rd grade. The reading, writing and mathematics increase and especially as it pertains to reading comprehension.
I suggest that you request a meeting in writing to take place preferably just before the start of the 2011-12 school year, or no later than the end of the first week of school. The meeting should include the 3rd grade general education teacher; along with your child’s special education teacher or related services provider. At the meeting you will review the current IEP and can ask the new teacher if she has any questions or concerns. If you have concerns regarding the new teacher's support of the IEP following a meeting, you may want to request a meeting with your building principal, and if that is not helpful, you can then move on to the school district's director or supervisor of special education.
I hope your child finds success and meaningful educational benefit as a 3rd grader in the 2011-12 school year!
I too am a big proponent of assistive technology (“AT”) and continue to be amazed by the sophistication of computer software such as Don Johnson's SOLO Literacy Suite-6, Kurzweil 3000 and Word-Q/Speak-Q. The word prediction, mind mapping, graphic organizing, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, study guides and digital text (Bookshare and Start to Finish Literacy) at varying levels of reading comprehension are nothing short of fabulous and absolutely necessary for students with learning disabilities.
While I have not heard of a parent going into a classroom to demonstrate the use of assistive technology and how it can provide access to instructional materials, along with the grade level curriculum; I often include an AT consultant under the “Supplementary Aids” to address instruction for “all” of the student’s special education teachers; along with the Language Arts teacher (and sometimes Social Studies if reading and writing software is in the student’s IEP).
I also include instruction for the student and his/her parents. In addition, I arrange for the AT consultant to work with the student on the identified computer software by involving one or more students in both the general education and special education classes. There is growing consensus in the educational field that computer-assisted software for reading and written expression can benefit “all” students and is a clear example of “universal design for learning.”
Please spread the word far and wide that access to instructional materials through computer-assisted software must be explored and implemented for students with learning disabilities.
It is important to be concerned with proper nutrition, brain health and incorporating healthy practices into your child's daily life. We preach the need for adults and especially those over 50 to exercise our brain, but we don't do the same for our children. How nuts is that? It is no less self-defeating for an adult to eat a wad of tootsie rolls before focusing on a project at work, than it is for a child needing to focus on a math or reading assignment. Teaching children to understand nutrition and how to keep their brain in working order is vital, and no child is too young to learn.
At the same time, it is equally important to teach children moderation and that tootsie rolls in moderation are more than okay from time to time. You may also want to volunteer in your child's school to push a healthy nutrition/healthy brain campaign. With our First Lady Michelle Obama giving much of her time to the nutrition offered in our public schools, the concerns you share are both important and timely.
It is difficult for me to answer your question without knowing more about the reasons behind your daughter's very difficult 2010-11 school year. If you would post another question and provide more information regarding your daughter's age and some of the specifics regarding the previous school year I am happy to offer advice.
I am also happy to answer your question offline. Please feel free to ask the folks at NCLD to email me your contact information. That being said, you may want to start planning for a better 2011-12 by reviewing your daughter's educational records; along with emails or notes between you and her teachers.
You will need to understand what made the previous school year so rough in order to jump start her school year on a positive note in the Fall. Sorry that I cannot offer more targeted advice.
Depending upon the age of your child you will want to demystify the learning challenges and areas of deficit; along with presenting your child with his/her strengths in an effort to build confidence and self-advocacy. My son Andrew is 22 years old. I began teaching Andrew about his Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, NLD and LDs early in his elementary years and built upon his knowledge with every new school year. I also had Andrew’s private psychologist talk with him to build his understanding and learn how to be his own best advocate. This does not happen over night, or even over one school year, and can be quite a journey for a child.
I also have and continue to do a lot of roll-playing with Andrew. I pretend to be his teacher and have him practice his advocacy skills. Then there were the many days when I was at school with him and he would ask his teacher a question initially looking directly at me. I would gently and with some humor redirect Andrew to look at and speak to, his teacher.
Like I said, it continues to be a journey!
Why don't you schedule a meeting either prior to the start of the 2011-12 school year, or shortly after the school year begins to talk with your child's new teacher about teaching and supporting your child's self-advocacy skills? If your child has an IEP you may also want to request an IEP Team meeting to draft an annual goal to address self-advocacy.
It is important to remember that children do not become self-advocates without the necessary instruction, modeling, and lots and lots of practice.
It is difficult for me to answer your question regarding after-school activities to potentially strengthen academics without knowing your child's age and grade. That being said, there are typically after-school clubs that focus on skill-building as early as elementary school. You might look for any after-school clubs or age-appropriate classes taught in your community that build and strengthen academic skills.
And don't forget the creative ways to build skills such as Chess (builds organization, planning, initiating, focus and attention) and the piano (builds focus and attention); along with after school opportunities in math-builders, reading-builders, spelling and written expression.
You’re right. IEP Teams spend an inordinate amount of time in banter regarding the transition from high school to post secondary. Unfortunately I find it is too often off the mark and not directed at crafting an IEP that will allow the student to continue learning with an education calculated to confer meaningful educational benefit; and it is more about moving the student out of high school. That being said, it is vital at every transition -- elementary to middle school and middle school to high school -- that a transition meeting is scheduled prior to the end of the school year. A meeting attended by members of the IEP Team at the current school and from the receiving school. The transition from elementary to middle school is actually more nerve-racking than the transition to high school, and simply because the student is moving from an environment with primarily one general education teacher to six or seven teachers for the very first time. Six or seven classes require more organization and planning and this can be hard for students who struggle to navigate one homework binder let alone six or seven.
A student that struggles to complete and/or forgets to turn in homework to one teacher will now be tortured into completing multiple assignments for multiple teachers, and turning those assignments in. As an educational advocate I educate my parents on the importance of building-in the necessary Supplementary Aids (accommodations and supports) for students in middle school and high school. Supplementary aids such as “a daily check of a student’s planner by both the parent and special education caseload teacher” can be critically necessary for many students with LDs and ADHD. Binder checks to make sure that a student’s binder does not become the Grand Canyon is also a typically important accommodation in middle school and high school. Study guides at least 3-5 days before a test, teacher copy of notes and extended time on tests and quizzes (and on district and state assessments) are also among the more typical but important, accommodations for students in the middle school and high school. I can’t stress enough the importance of scheduling a transition meeting for students moving from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school.
I also suggest for my parents to read “Late, Lost and Unprepared” by Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Ph.D. and Laurie Dietzel, Ph.D. This book is a wonderful resource for parents of students with LDs, ADHD, executive functioning deficits and other disabilities who struggle with initiating, organizing, planning, prioritizing and completing homework assignments and learning to manage their time. There are also a wealth of resources at National Center for Learning Disabilities, LD Online, CHADD, and Massachusetts General Hospital, School Psychiatry Program. And never forget about the power of search engines such as Google and Dogpile.
Special ed supports absolutely differ as children move up through the school system. Careful planning by your child's IEP Team or 504 Planning Team are necessary if this transition is going to be smooth and eliminate special education speed bumps along the way.
I hope that you will post another question because it is difficult for me to answer without more information. I would like to know the age of your child, his disability and the type of private school (for children with a disability, parochial or preparatory) that he will be attending. I'm sure that you have already shared some of the information pertaining to your son for enrollment purposes.
That being said, I suggest that you request a meeting with the school's administrator, your son's new teacher and either a counselor or social worker for the purpose of reviewing the data that you have on your son and discussing his disability and its potential impact on his academics and success in the classroom and school environment. If there are concerns about social thinking and social skills you will bring this up, as well. Your information should not offend staff. The staff should welcome your information and want to know as much as possible about your son and how to ensure that he reaches his maximum potential in their school.
You have not shared if your son has a current IEP. If he does, I suggest that you share it with the school. You may want to consider having the school district where the private school is located provide some special education-related services. If your son does not have an IEP, you may want to request that he is evaluated for special education programs and related services. The public school can provide some important support and services to a student enrolled by parents in a private school.
My heart goes out to you. I represent a number of students in their 9th, 10th and 11th grade of school and they clearly present challenges simply due to the urgency. The first steps that I take when I receive a call from a parent of a high school student is to review every available educational record and going back to elementary school.
I read every IEP, school district evaluation, district and state assessments (the ACT Plan and ACT Explore can provide invaluable information), report cards, progress reports, teacher reports, private evaluations and any discipline records and relevant medical information. I then build an action plan that is immediate and urgent. My perspective is that this is a child on life support and every day is critical if we are going to reboot and rebuild this child’s education.
You may want to secure an educational advocate if possible to guide you through the steps. It is not too late to improve your son’s educational programs and services. It is not too late for your son to raise his proficiency levels in reading, written expression, math and technology, but you don’t have a moment to waste. I recommend that you request in writing to convene a meeting before school starts to review your son’s educational records and you will want to include the director or supervisor of special education.
Please don’t hesitate to post another question or request to contact me offline for my thoughts and information. Good luck!
In a perfect world and if IDEA would deliver on its promise to students with disabilities, every child and parent would have an educational advocate. I always tell my parents that children don’t come with a play book and that children born with special needs do not come with instructions. As an educational advocate I struggle daily with what I see going on in our public schools. I see dedicated teachers who intrinsically are wonderful people and yet they are doing some pretty crummy things to kids and a part of an almost toxic environment. I see far too many fake “A’s and B’s” given to students with learning disabilities.
I see a lack of research based instruction provided with fidelity and far too few are given access to computer-assisted technology to address reading and writing deficits. So yes, I believe that educational advocates are very important if a child with a disability is going to have even a semblance of an IEP that is calculated to confer meaningful educational benefit. The achievement gaps for students with IEPs across our nation tell the terrible truth about the poor outcomes for students with learning disabilities.
Thank you for all that you do.
Your instincts are most likely correct and hopefully your friend will follow your lead. I suggest that your friends submits a written request to have the child evaluated for special education programs and services pursuant to the IDEA 2004 and to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Pursuant to the IDEA the parent should request consideration as a student eligible under an “Other Health Impairment” (OHI) and a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). When and if the school district does an insufficient job of evaluating, your friend will then be able to request in writing for an Independent Educational Evaluation at Public Expense (IEE) and have the school district pay for a comprehensive evaluation through private clinicians.
Please don’t forget to include the “executive functions” in this child’s evaluation.
I suggest that you request a meeting with both your son's previous teachers (general education and special education) and the receiving teachers to review his IEP. You will also want to understand how the school provides access to the IEP for all of your son's teachers to read. If necessary, request in writing for an IEPT meeting that includes the special education and general education teachers from the previous year.
One meeting with all of the educational players in one room can go a long way for a child.
I also attached a copy of the IEP page that stated his accommodations so there would be no excuse for claiming "I didn't read or receive the IEP".
I received either email or phone "thank yous" from every teacher.
If you are unable to locate the teacher verification information on the Maryland website you should call the Maryland Department of Education and ask to speak to an employee in the Office of Professional Development/Teacher Verification, and have that person take you through the process to locating teacher verification on their website.
State Department of Education websites can most definitely be tricky to navigate.
You are absolutely correct and I thank you for your contributions. When I am in an IEP and a teacher or related services provider questions documenting an accommodation or supplementary aid in the IEP and says, "We do this for all of our students, and it does not need to be in the IEP."
I respond by saying that while I appreciate that these accommodations are made for all students, if this particular student were to move to another city or state, it would be important for all accommodations to be documented in the IEP.
Like you said, if it isn't in writing, it doesn't have to happen. Best, Marcie Lipsitt
I always include a recent picture of the child on the cover of the "meet the child" packets that I assemble. In the packet I include the most recent IEP (even though this should be provided through the school district), any evaluations that you feel will provide helpful information to the new teacher(s) and related service providers; and a statement from you that speaks to your concerns for the upcoming school year, along with your hopes for your child's success.
I hope this information proves helpful. Best, Marcie Lipsitt
You need to be very careful about students earning regular diplomas that have transition goals in their IEPs. Not all states will hold the diploma while a student achieves the goals documented on the transition page. I live in Michigan and our State Department of Education has told districts to no longer hold a child’s diploma. If a child with an IEP is on a diploma track and is on track to graduate but has not achieved transition goals my suggestion is to withhold at least ½ credit necessary for graduation until the parent is ready for the student to graduate.
This way a student can always take a ½ credit in a high school, alternative high school or through an online course without waiving their right to stay in school in order to achieve the goals necessary for a successful transition and post secondary education.
Thank you for your input!
A child in the 5th grade who is reading at a 1st grade level and with a supposed IQ of 62 would benefit from comprehensive testing. There is an old and famous quote, “The least dangerous assumption is that a child can learn.” I believe this wholeheartedly. I also believe that as a nation we have put students with cognitive impairments into a very narrow box and built a misperception on their ability or inability, to learn to read, write, and understand mathematics and technology. I suggest that you request in writing for your son to have a comprehensive evaluation to include; a Cognitive Battery (I.Q., executive functions, language processing); Achievement (comprehensive reading, written expression and mathematics…and not simply a single standardized achievement test); Speech and Language (expressive, receptive, phonological and pragmatics) and Assistive Technology (low-to-high tech).
Through a comprehensive evaluation both you and your son’s IEP Team will better understand his neurocognitive pattern of strengths and weaknesses; along with his present levels in academics and speech & language. You will also want to make sure that your son's IEP has reading goals that are measurable and accountable to ensure his progress. Your intuition is correct regarding the Portfolio. Most likely it is not in your son’s best interests to be taken off of a diploma track at this time. In addition, the IDEA 2004 does not require your son to be taught by a “Highly Qualified Teacher” if he is not on a regular diploma track.
Best of luck!
I can't honestly say that packets assembled for the purpose of introducing a child to a new teacher will vary dramatically from state to state. If a child has an IEP or 504 Plan the child's school district is required to make those documents available to all teachers and staff that will be working with the child.
A "meet my child" packet should be a parent's introduction to his/her child that goes beyond the IEP and 504 Plan. While an educator should be able to read an IEP or 504 Plan and understand everything that has been stated and embedded in this document for the purpose of understanding the child's unique educational needs, a picture on a folder can go a long way, and begin to build a relationship between a teacher and student. And a letter from a parent that details concerns, hopes and dreams for the upcoming year can open necessary dialogue between a parent and teacher.
A "meet my child" packet also sends a message to the teacher(s) that this is a vested and involved parent. In addition to a "meet my child" packet parents will want to make sure that any necessary releases for information have been signed for the upcoming school year. If a child is seen by a private therapist, tutor or doctor, I always counsel my parents to sign a release for information to allow the child's teacher to have access to the private clinicians.
I hope that I have answered your question.
This Talk has concluded.
Summertime offers a much-needed break for your child with learning disabilities and you. Now, when the day-to-day pressures of the regular school year are “on vacation,” you can use this as an opportunity to reflect back on your child’s recent school year and prepare for the coming one.Resources