My son is 11, his academic skills are at the 4-yr old level. He gets one hour a week of APE, but we do not have the APE teacher on his IEP team. A general classroom teacher is part of the team, but my son does not receive inclusion services.
Is it advisable to replace the general classroom teacher with the APE teacher who actually has contact with him during the school week? Does such a decision fall under federal or state mandates for special education?
You may not want to replace the general education teacher on your child’s IEP team, but there is no reason the APE (Adapted Physical Education) teacher cannot also be part of the team. IDEA 2004 requires one regular education teacher as part of the team, but in no way restricts or limits the number of teachers.
As a parent, you have the right to invite other people to the meeting that have special knowledge and expertise about your child – his APE instructor. This is in the federal statute, IDEA 2004, 20 U.S.C. 1414 (d)(1)(B).
Appendix A to IDEA 1997 strongly encouraged input from all teachers. (Remember, IDEA also allows for alternative means to participate in meetings.)
Here’s what Appendix A to IDEA 1997 says:
If the child has more than one regular education teacher responsible for carrying out a portion of the IEP, the LEA may designate which teacher or teachers will serve as IEP team member(s), taking into account the best interest of the child.
In a situation in which not all of the child’s regular education teachers are members of the child’s IEP team, the LEA is strongly encouraged to seek input from the teachers who will not be attending.
Turn to Chapter 2 in your Wrightslaw: All About IEPs book – you will find what you need to know about IEP team members, input from teachers & service providers, and attendance. You’ll also have reference to the legal resources to back you up.
I hope you will take advantage of the information and resources on the Physical Education page.
The slide presentation (video is no longer available) on this page has a wealth of information. http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/phys.fit.htm
When the IEP team meets to review your son’s IEP, you may want to consider these questions.
- Why only 1 hour a week of APE?
- Does this meet your son’s needs for motion, motor development, fundamental motor skills, etc.?
- Is this what all the other kids get?