Retention: CHANGING SCHOOLS, IEP, RETENTION, NO MODIFICATIONS OR ACCOMMODATIONS

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Lisa:  My son, who is a fifth grader, was born with a congenital birth defect that included a small and webbed left hand (he is right-handed), tubes (he was deaf for the first 2 years),etc. He received services for physical, occupational (released years ago) and speech, of which he was released from his school speech path close to a month ago. We transferred him and his brother from one school to another at the beginning of the second semester this year as we moved to another county. On the second to the last day of my son’s school, I received a phone call from his teacher asking if we saw the letter in his backpack. She told me that it was a letter of retention. No meeting prior to discuss this and I know that the school must notify the parents at the end of the third nine weeks. They did not. At the meeting that WE initiated, the teacher (who was a special ed teacher first), the inclusion teacher and the math teacher concurred that he has not demonstrated mastery of what he needs to know for sixth grade. However, if this was the case, why wasn’t this addressed earlier? They wrote letters saying that they will NOT provide him mods or accommodations if he is promoted to sixth grade. He had an IEP though it was for speech. Does he not have rights or us?

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2 Comments on "Retention: CHANGING SCHOOLS, IEP, RETENTION, NO MODIFICATIONS OR ACCOMMODATIONS"

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It sounds like your instinct is that retention would be counterproductive for your son, and that he should be with his peers next year, and get the support he needs to get where he should be academically. In principle that can be done. You can request a special ed meeting right away, to take place over the summer, to get an IEP that better suits his needs. If the district gives you a hard time over this, consider filing for due process and requesting “pendency” — i.e. request in your complaint letter that he be placed in sixth grade with his peers pending the outcome of the hearing.

Shame on those people. What they’re trying to do could not be called inclusion!

You have several issues/questions. I don’t have enough info to answer all. Re: teachers saying they won’t provide accommodations & modifications next year – you need to write a letter to document what you were told about A & Ms, and nothing in progress reports about retention – use the words in the question you posted here. Your child’s IEP team determines the accoms and mods he needs. Teachers don’t have a choice about whether to provide. Teachers who refuse to provide have been successfully sued.