My 9 year old son, a child with autism, is in a 3rd grade inclusion class on a Basic Ed diploma path.
He is required to take the FCAT to determine whether he will progress to the 4th grade. His teacher told me he will not pass the FCAT and my only recourse was to pull him out of school the last 2 months of the year to avoid the test.
From K – 2 his report card stated ‘passed with instruction’. This year they will grade him the same as every other child in his class and he does not stand a chance. The Florida Statute requires mandatory retention.
Retention would be a major setback for him that I fear he will not easily recover from. What can I do to give my son every opportunity to get to 4th grade?
Don’t bet the farm on the elementary school teacher’s understanding of state and federal law.
I assume by “Basic Ed diploma” you mean something less than a standard diploma? There is nothing called a “Basic Ed diploma” on the Florida Department of Education website. http://facts23.facts.org/navigation/detail_ext/grad_req.do?pageId=4
- You need to be very sure that you understand which diploma you have agreed to.
If there has been a misunderstanding of what you agreed to, get that straightened out now! I am guessing that since you do not know what the diploma is called, you may not have all the facts about it.
- Look at his IEP to see what it says about how he will be tested.
If you, and the rest of the team, have determined he is not able to learn the Florida curriculum and should be taught an alternative curriculum, it is only appropriate to test him on the alternative curriculum he is being taught.
If you still have questions after reading the IEP,
- Write a letter to the Director of Special Education for your school district briefly explaining your son’s situation.
Include a copy of your son’s IEP so the Director can see what your son’s program consists of without having to look up the file.
- Ask what the testing procedure will be for your son.
- Ask if he will be retained if he does not score proficient on the test the district intends to give him.
- Request a written response to your letter.
If you do not agree with what you are being told or do not understand what you are being told, contact the people listed below.
If you have any problems, contact these people in FL*:
Address: Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities
2671 Executive Center, Circle West
Webster Building, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301-5024
Phone: 850-488-9071 \ 800-342-0823 (in state) \ 800-346-4127 TDD
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Tip: Bring a well mannered friend with you to the meeting if it will help you concentrate, stay focused, or take better notes.
*If you have the same concerns, but are in a different state, contact your Advocacy and Protection Office.
Use the Yellow Pages for Kids at http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/legal.advocacy.htm to find assistance or this state Protection and Advocacy directory from the National Disability Rights Network http://www.napas.org/aboutus/PA_CAP.htm