Honors / AP Classes: SCHOOL CHOOSING NOT TO USE IEP ACCOMMODATIONS IN AP CLASSES

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Zoe:  I am a high school student with high-functioning ASD (Asperger’s) and ADHD. I’ve had an IEP since I was ten, and my list of accommodations hasn’t changed much over the years. Unfortunately, my school has decided that, in order to “simulate a college environment,” they won’t allow me to have some (but not all) of what’s listed on my IEP. Out of all the resulting challenges, the biggest thorn in my side is not having alternate assignments; having this accommodation has been a make-or-break factor in multiple less advanced classes, so they can’t just take it out of my IEP altogether. This is actually part of a universal, long-standing policy at my school, and maybe even in my district. Some teachers even claim that this is a College Board policy. This hasn’t caused me to fail any AP classes traditionally offered at my grade level, but now that I’m entering junior year and the pace is picking up, I’m VERY scared, and my parents and I aren’t sure what to do. How could we go about this?

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7 Comments on "Honors / AP Classes: SCHOOL CHOOSING NOT TO USE IEP ACCOMMODATIONS IN AP CLASSES"

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First, kudos to your self advocacy. Be careful, as while “alternate assignments” may have been and continue to be your accommodation in high school–such may not occur in college for you. The school is trying to help. For now, your goal is to graduate and to prepare for college. Can you manage without the alternate assignments in 1-2 of your classes? What other accommodations that already exist in your IEP can better serve you? Talk to your case manager. I would not recommend “alternate assignments” for a student who is on the college track in high school with an IEP. Disability student services on the college level do not offer “alternative assignments.” What are your goals for college? I think this can work out for you.

I have been involved with advocating for many cases like yours. I can tell you that what you are describing in my opinion is a violation of special education code and of course your IEP. In fact there are specific cases dealing with this. I have been advocating for students for the last 25 years however before that I was a school principal and director of special education.

Barry – in what state are you located? Can you post links to the case law? We are in KY and our AG has been asked to issue an opinion on this. I have considerable evidence to support our position that it is denial of FAPE as well as civil rights. We are considering filing a class action suit. I have repeatedly asked OSEP to issue an opinion; thus far, they have not but that may change b/c our state dep’t of ed is now requesting that our AG join them in requesting. We are thinking that this could be a class action suit – am looking for attorneys/advocates who may have an interest – thousands of dual credit students are being denied opportunity/access. Thoughts? Thank you for posting.

My “2E” son has been accepted to a residential dual enrollment high school academy for high achieving math/science students. It’s on the campus of a public university and is funded by our state legislature. The academy says that it is unable to implement his IEP because all of the courses are university courses. It’s a two year program – for junior & senior years – at the end of which he will receive a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours. The state attorney says “it’s a choice” – stay put or give up IEP to participate. State says it cannot control the university’s implementation of the IEP. However, student receives accommodations and modifications for the dual credit course he presently takes at his current high school. Fuzzy thinking – at best. Any case law?

Judith, we are in the same boat as you and your son. My 10th grader is enrolled in a Concurrent Enrollment (CE) program through his public charter school in Colorado for next semester. Just days ago I learned that the school will be terminating his IEP at the end of the year (May 24) because all of his courses will be on the community college campus. I am searching desperately for case law that states that he can remain on an IEP while participating in CE, because the program allows him to select courses on a semester-by-semester basis at either the community college OR his high school campus (where he could receive services). The high school argues that if he isn’t on campus at all next semester, they have no way of providing services, and thus he no longer could retain his IEP. Help!

I read this article about courses on college campuses. http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/transitional-programs-on-college-campuses-or-in-the-community/
I don’t know if your son is transition age, but it still seems like what IDEA and the Commentary says would apply here — about courses of study, advanced placement, vocational ed, programs on college campuses, or community-based settings. Seems like the district is still responsible for providing FAPE and can’t just “dump” the IEP.

He has not graduated, so the school’s responsibility has not gone away. Your state parent training & information project will be familiar with the state & federal law, & rules and can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

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