Placement: WHO MAKES PLACEMENT DECISIONS?

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Alicia: Isn’t the Case Conference Committee the place where placement for a transition year (starting middle school) is made? We’re being told it’s solely a parental issue because the decision is between 2 schools with “like” programs. Both programs are within the same school district but there is a lot of difference between how the schools are run and the experience of the special education staff.

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Mom

My child is developementally 8 or 9 and is being placed in 8th grade because of progression. his classmates are 13-15 and are much more mature and we want him placed in the 6th grade at least wiht kids that are his developmental age. What rules back our request

Jill G

Alicia –

Generally speaking, it’s the job of the IEP Team (i.e. the Case Conference Committee) to determine the appropriate placement for the student. The appropriate placement for a student is determined after the IEP has been developed, and based on the content of the IEP.

Sometimes the Team will identify more than one placement that the IEP can potentially be implemented in. It is not uncommon for the Team to ask the parent to make the final decision regarding placement in such cases, based on his/her individual preferences.

I’m assuming that you’re a parent involved in such a scenario. If you are unsure about what placement to choose, there are a few things you can do.

You can ask to observe both of the placements. You can ask to speak with staff in each of the programs, and possibly even parents of students in the programs. You can bring what you learn about the placements back to the Team for discussion. You can further memorialize your thoughts and decision in a follow up letter to the Team Chair. And you can ask that the Team meets again at a set time, say 3 to 6 months after your child begins in the new program, to review his/her process and make sure that the chosen program is the right one.

Nancy

My IEP team were aware that I was putting in a transfer for my child but the district declined her transfer because of her IEP. Should the district or the IEP be making the decision as to which school is the most suitable for my child?

sally

Does the school you are requesting the transfer to offer the services your child requires? This could be the reason they denied her transfer.