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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3 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.

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?

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