Can I Ask the School to Adjust My Child’s Grades?

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My high school son’s dyslexia is having a negative impact on his grades. This will affect his ability to get into college.

The school is failing to provide appropriate remediation or accommodations. He spends hours on homework and gets As and Bs, but he fails tests because his IEP accommodations are not provided in class. He fails tests, then fails the class.

Can I ask to have his grades adjusted? Can we require his grades be based on homework only?

No. You do not have the power nor is it in the law, that grades can be based on homework alone.

However, this is the wrong question to ask.

Look at the North Carolina case of Brody v. Dare County. The parent initially wanted accommodations and modifications because the child could not read upon entering high school.

The most important question was…

What will it take for my child to learn how to read?

The answer was Landmark School, a private special education school – ordered by the Hearing Officer and upheld by the Administrative Law Judge.

So change the question. What will it take for your child to learn to read?

It might mean:

  • intense daily tutoring
  • a private school placement

But, “changing grades” is not the answer that will prepare your child for further education, employment, and independent living.

Purpose of IDEA 2004

20 U.S.C. Section 1400 (d)

(d) Purposes. The purposes of this title are –
(A) to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.

See page 48 Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.

Read James Brody – Letter to the Stranger

  1. My child did not receive the appropriate reading program until middle school. Dyslexia is a very complex condition. After intensive intervention, ESY, at home tutoring and many extracurriculars to build confidence, my child is now in college and very independent. This was a long journey but he worked hard to achieve his goals and participated fully. The brain is amazing-brain plasticity and intense SBRI had a strong impact on my child. He uses assistive technology but also now enjoys reading. Learning to read will change a person’s life and trajectory–I saw this with my own child. “Changing grades” will only lead to failure. In terms of college, focus on “fit” as there are many colleges with structured dyslexia programs and summer programs for high school students.

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