Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jill:   My son has an IEP, is in general education NY Regent Level courses and is failing his Chemistry and Algebra 2/Trig courses. He receives resource room 1 period 5 days a week, but this is not helping. Can we request that the school provide 1-1 tutor?

  1. My daughter attends a virtual public school. She cannot learn in the virtual classroom for several reasons. When I asked the teacher to repeat the lessons privately with my daughter, she said she doesn’t have the time in her day to do so and instead offered us the recorded videos of each lesson. I think the 1:1 lessons would be better for my daughter, but the special education teacher says the IEP has the general education classroom (being the virtual classroom with all the kids) is the LRE right now. I get that if we were in a building, but the virtual lessons are such a challenge.

    The school’s model is a lot of independent learning with only a couple of hours each day with the teacher. Can I request to the IEP team the teacher repeat the lessons 1:1 with my daughter?

  2. My son is in 8th grade now and I had requested to retain him and the principal said no … he is at a 3rd and 4th grade level for reading and math and they want to send him into high school . He can’t even do a basic division Problem from 4th grade . He is so far behind .. and I found out the math teacher has been giving him good grades for work that is incomplete and some assignments are blank and The teacher still puts good grades on them .. He has never passed an EOG and made D and F all elementary school .. he has adhd , learning disabilities, and low IQ…

  3. I received 1:1 tutoring for my son in math, but this was only after push in instruction wasn’t effective. Too many distractions and no progress with push in. I documented with excruciating detail how pushin wasn’t effective and requested 1:1 and got the team to agree.

  4. I’ve witnessed a talented Physics teacher pair w/ a talented Spec Educator to “teach jointly together the entire block” supported by “in-class & on-line Power Point notes.” Referred to as a 50 – 50% Approach, students are better distributed as 65 % Gen Ed to Gifted & 35 % Spec Needs, or Disengaged. Instead of 50-50, I like to keep the Spec Needs ratio <. Students must keep their own proper version of notes & artifacts like labs & assignments. BTW: 33% with Special Needs can overwhelm 1 Elementary level teacher, esp if the SpEd educator is not there 100% of the time. I've watched too many Principals allocate too many with Special Needs into 1 single educator's classroom — bad deal for every student in the room, & awful work expectations to expect 1 talented teacher to deliver.

    • I’ve also seen principals put all the low kids, students on RTI and behavior problems in the co-taught classroom since there are two teachers in there- totally defeating the purpose of inclusion. Very frustrating.

      • Yep — I am amazed at how easily K-12 Principals mess-up foundational legal tenets, or fail to recognize when their teachers do so. Last year a K-6 Principal in our community was fired for going against my objection, & requiring his Spec Ed Teachers to convert 2 full learning periods during their work-day to benefit Gen Ed & Gifted Students — which, duh — means these teachers were forced to short-change their Spec Ed Caseload to meet this Principal’s illegal demand(s). The hour I heard this, I strongly recommended he find a different way to provide these “seemingly helpful benefits” to every student at his school. There are Legally Defensible Ways to implement benefits to Gen Ed & Gifted Students, without subtracting instructional talent from IEP students.

    • Is there any legal guidance on how many special ed kids they can shove into one classroom in Virginia? We have 30 students in middle school classrooms with 2 teachers (one special ed) and I suspect almost all have 504’s or IEP’s. For example, the grade has 500 students and I am being told that there is only one inclusion class for math.

      • One inclusion class? Inclusion is not a class. It’s a civil right. All classes should use inclusive education strategies to accommodate all students in the class. There is no evidence that placing all students with LD, or any other disability together in one classroom does anything. But there IS ample evidence that these same students make gains in regular education classrooms with supports.

        • I was a smart kid growing up. I did great in school, learned fast, always had the right answers when called upon, finished my work before everyone else. When I was in advanced classes where everyone was on the same level, I paid attention and did my best. I was interested and engaged. When I was in classes where I was the only well-behaved/smart/one who understood the work and there were a bunch of students on different levels so the teacher was all over the place keeping up, I helped my friends cheat just so we could move on. I didn’t pay attention because I didn’t have to, I played instead. Because the class was usually chaotic, I didn’t care about doing the homework because the teacher was always behind or could be convinced I’d given her the work because she lost people’s wok all the time anyway.

          Also, I think in this case, the lofty philosophy is actually potentially more harmful than what its meant to cure. Children are horribly self-conscious about everything from their appearance, socioeconomics, their family dynamic, their clothes, etc already. Even if noone says anything, you don’t think it makes a kid feel bad that everyone else is on O level books and they are on D? Or when everyone is reading, they keep messing up every other word or they always get super low scores on tests, wrong answers when called, etc? I think that’s hell for a child.
          Appropriate grouping is important and its more practical and functional.

  5. My child is a freshman with an IEP for SLD;severe dyslexia, dyscalculia and Language Impairment.His reading and math levels are very low without accommodations and support. His overall IQ is average and 112 in nonverba. He is successful only with after school OG tutor support which I currently pay for. At school, he currently only gets an untrained 1-1 aide in Eng and Alg1 class which he does not use because of the negative stigma with peers and her lack of subject matter competency and no training/knowledge of dyslexia. Can we request after class/school support with a trained dyslexic tutor and dyslexia remediation.

    • You certainly can. Typically schools will say they can provide what the child needs during school hours. In some cases it may be possible for them to provide these during school hours, if you push hard like Laura did. Also learn what your state says about teaching students with Dyslexia, & after school services. TX has laws & rules about teaching students with Dyslexia, & providing services after school hours.

    • As an advocate I have been successful arguing for after school OG. More times though we are able to secure 1 period of OG or Wilson between 3-5x weekly during the school day. Usually in place of foreign language or an elective period.
      As you clearly recognize, all the staff in the world supporting him will not replace direct, research-based, reading instruction!
      Definitely ask! And be strong.
      Where are you located?
      Good luck!

    • Emma — you’re an awesome advocate..! Consider :
      1. mapping your own Master Plan for each course he’ll take from now until graduation. Make sure the Plan you create considers the work or learning path he may gravitate to after 12th gr.
      2. see if any Deep Training courses he might otherwise take after 12th gr can be substituted as Concurrent Enrollment now, so that he can begin college work, Cisco or Microsoft certif’s, or vo-tech in 10th gr – 112 I.Q. is fortunate.
      3. supplement w/ strong OG, but also give him plenty of opp’s to “see how he can fly amongst the eagles” in his favored passions that can earn him money in the future.
      Jay Leno is a master communicator who overcame dyslexia & a speech lisp, Jennifer Aniston – dyslexia, Peter Wright, Esq. – dyslexia

  6. I have struggled with our school since kindergarten. He is now in 4th grade and they r now helping him with what he needs after I told them I was talking to an attorney. Now for about a month or more my son’s EC teacher for math has been on leave. No one told me. I found out through my son. I have made a ton of threats and now I just don’t know what to do.

    • Are you in NJ?
      Unfortunately my experience is contrary to the intent of the law and the IEP requiring the special education teacher in the first place.
      While working in various NJ districts on Child Study teams, the district has very few restrictions as long as the class is staffed. The person does not have to be SPED certified, nor be consistent. The district simply has to claim they are “looking” for a steady SPED teacher. Worse the sub often has never even seen the IEP.

  7. You can request whatever you want, but the school will likely be hesitant to provide a 1:1 tutor to a student to help them pass Chemistry and Algebra 2/Trig. Those are difficult courses and lots of students without disabilities fail them. The school is not obligated to provide the best possible education to students with disabilities, just what is appropriate.

    My question to a parent in this situation would be “What are you hoping a 1:1 tutor will provide?” There are probably other ways to accomplish the same thing.

    • I am a tutor and retired classroom teacher who also raised a special needs son as a widow. For math support, I highly recommend what we educators have used for several years with good results: YouTube KHAN ACADEMY. These 2-15 minute videos began a decade ago. It’s now supported by the Gates Foundation. The content and delivery is outstanding. http://www.khanacademy.org . It is free. For Chemistry? Try finding a retired HS Science teacher in your area who does tutoring. Check with the Science teachers themselves because administrators typical are hesitant for legal reasons to do so. Finally, there are many colleges now that don’t require their undergraduates to take math or science. I’ve worked in the best schools and corporations and attended colleges and grad schools without these.

      • Valerie, good advice! We’ve been fans of the Khan Academy since Mr. Khan started making instructional videos for a nephew … in a closet.
        Recommend that parents explore the Khan academy site.

  8. Instead of putting tutor directly in my daughters IEP, they scheduled 30 min blocks in the morning before school for her to do homework with her teachers? Once per week with a couple of her teacher, informally….not sure this is what she actually needs.

    • Getting help with homework does not always equal tutoring or teaching needed skills. I suggest asking your daughter specific questions about the help she gets, & what the teachers tell her. If they say something like “Let me know if you have any questions”, that may mean that little if any instruction is being done. Students are often reluctant to ask questions or do not know what questions to ask. Ideally the teacher should review the student’s past & current work to determine, if they have the necessary skills or knowledge for the assignments. If she has difficulty with reading no matter what the subject, then the teacher needs a variety of skills, & supports to assist her. Let us know what questions you have after looking at this.

  9. can the student in a special day class with and IEP get tutoring or does the placement need to GenEd?

  10. THis happened to us. WE requested an IEP meeting to discuss. The IEP is set up for your child to meet goals & be successful. It seems obvious that if he is failing he is not meeting the goals of the IEP & not receiving a free and appropriate education. The school must do something to correct this. Do NOT let them water down the goals or extend the time. See what they have to offer first (we have found that ususally it is minimal or nothing). Then request the 1:1 tutor. We had success getting our son 1;1 tutoring for English because he was not doing well in the class. If the school refuses to provide any corrective action they need to put it in writing in a prior written notice document to you % at that point you can discuss with an advocate or take legal action.

    • Why would tutoring not be the parent’s responsibility? When my children were having trouble in school, I hired a tutor and considered it my parenting responsibility. Just wondering what a parent’s responsibility is to students with disabilities vs. a parent’s responsibility to students without disabilities. Wouldn’t it be the same?

      • No it is not the same because the child with a disability is already at a disadvantage. Furthermore, if the disabled child is not passing classes, the law requires the school to make greater efforts to support their learning, especially if the child has proven they CAN learn and just need appropriate support. I was able to add math tutoring for my son as part of his IEP because he is severely behind but he didn’t start out that way, so it’s on the school to fix it.

        • Great comments herein– Melanie, make sure his teachers are not with-holding calculators from him. I can not believe the way that MANY gen ed “know it alls” think they know better than the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics-NCTM. I can not believe how frequently teachers with-hold one of the most beautiful & natural of all Assistive Tech devices from kids who would benefit tremendously from becoming familiar with them. Just last school year I was asking a K-6 Principal to authorize purchase of $12 simple calculators for several of my students. His secretary overheard me & pulled out a huge box of simple calculators that were shoved to the very back of the supply room. Where did the box go after I was done..? It got shoved way to the back of the supply room again.

        • How did you get them to add it? My daughter is in 4th and is way behind in reading/writing. I asked for help in kindergarten and told me she was fine. At the end of first grade, she was put on an iep but that was after I had a full evaluation done on her at my expense. Skip ahead to now and I requested her to be put in an instructional reading class because she is still so far behind. Now I would like them to assist with extra tutoring she the school district is failing in providing appropriate education to met her needs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

          • Cori, It is important to learn the rules in your state & approaches that might work there. Your state parent training & information center might be able to assist you. In Texas the rules require schools to provide accelerated instruction to a number of groups of students, including those with disabilities. (Of course, many schools do a poor job of this.) http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center &nbsp;

          • Cori, You had a full evaluation done when your child was in 1st grade. You think she falling even further behind and are requesting that the school provide extra tutoring and other services.

            A few thoughts. What evidence do you have that your daughter isn’t making adequate progress? Can you contact the person who evaluated her before, ask this person to do educational achievement testing only — unless you/she suspect that your child’s IQ is also falling, which happens often when children don’t acquire basic skills, especially in reading. See “The Matthew Effect” here: https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/test.matthew.effect.htm

            Do the teachers at your daughter’s school have the training needed to bring up her reading and writing skills? I ask because most special ed teachers are not trained to teach or tutor kids with learning disabilities like dyslexia and dysgraphia. We’ve posted articles about teacher training for years. This article stirred up a firestorm: “No Offense: But Isn’t It Alarming That So Many Children Are Not Learning to Read?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please help us defeat spam. Thank you. *