Changing Placement: Helpful Legal References

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My principal is requiring that I have meetings to change students’ IEPs to correct the location of services under the direct service hours part of their IEPs.  All of their current IEPs state the location as “Special Education Setting.” Presently, a non-certified assistant is fulfilling direct service hours in an inclusive setting in the morning.

In the IEP, for location of services, could the “Special Education Setting” be interpreted as a setting where a special education teacher is present, such as in an inclusion classroom?

Good questions. It sounds like your principal is asking you to take actions about IEPs that are improper and illegal.

The law requires placement decisions to be made by a team – usually the team that developed the child’s IEP. Parents are required members of that team. Schools are required to offer a continuum of placements from regular ed class with supplementary services and supports to a special ed class, special ed school, home, hospital etc.

I expect you may have to deal with more requests to do things that are not legal.

Legal references are useful when you are dealing with an administrator who is not familiar with the legal requirements for placement, paraprofessionals, etc.

The following text is from Chapter 10 – Placement in our book, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs. The book includes over 200 questions and answers about IEPs. Each answer includes endnotes that reference the law or regulation that we relied on in the answer.


Placement Decisions
After the IEP team makes decisions about your child’s needs and the special education program, a team will decide your child’s placement — where the services will be provided. Placement decisions must be individualized and based on your child’s unique needs as described in the IEP.[i]

Who decides where my child will be placed?
In some states, the IEP team makes the placement decision. In other states, the decision may be made by another group of people who are knowledgeable about the child.

Do I have a say in decisions about my child’s placement?
Yes. Parents are members of any group that decides their child’s educational placement.[ii] The team must include people who know:

  • The child
  • What the evaluation results mean
  • What types of placements are appropriate

How does the team decide on a child’s placement?
The first option the team must consider is placement in the general education classroom at the school your child would attend if not disabled.[iii] The team needs to answer these questions:

  • Can this child be educated satisfactorily in the general education classroom?
  • What supplementary aids, services, and supports does the child need to be educated in the general education classroom?[iv]

Are there any rules about placement decisions?
Yes. Your child’s placement must be:

  • Based on your child’s unique needs as documented in the IEP
  • Determined at least once a year
  • As close to your child’s home as possible so your child can be educated in the school he would attend if he was not disabled.[v]

Your child’s placement may not be based on:

  • Your child’s disability category or label or severity of the disability (i.e., children with autism are placed in a class with other children with autism)
  • The school’s service delivery model (i.e., all children with learning disabilities receive “pull out’ or resource services)
  • The availability of special education and related services, staff location, or school district convenience. [vi]

Continuum of Alternative Placements
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that schools provide a continuum of alternative placements for children with disabilities.[vii]

What is the “continuum of alternative placements?”
The continuum of alternative placements refers to places where children receive special education services. Placements are on a continuum, from least to most restrictive. Your child’s placement may be in:

  • A regular classes, with needed supplementary aids and services
  • A special class where all children in the class receive special education services for some or all of the day
  • A special school
  • Home
  • A hospital or other institution
  • Another setting

In making a placement decision, the team must look at the full continuum of placement options.[viii]   . . . .

[i]  Commentary in 71 FR at 46588
[ii]  20 U.S.C. § 1414(e); 34 C.F.R. § 300.327; also Guide to the IEP: Deciding Placements from the U.S. Department of Education. URL:
[iii]  34 C.F.R. § 300.116
[iv]  34 C.F.R. § 300.42; 34 C.F.R. § 300.114 – 300.116
[v]  20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(5); 34 C.F.R § 300.314 – 300.317
[vi]  Commentary in 71 FR at 46588
[vii]  20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(5); 34 C.F.R. § 300.115
[viii]  34 C.F.R. § 300.115

  1. With virtual learning being the new norm, is it considered a change of placement when a student with an IEP is kicked out of a Zoom room into the waiting room by their teacher for reasons like not turning on their video or changing their user name, as these are rules the teacher is prescribing? I worry that our teachers are doing this too often, and not considering whether or not it counts towards the 10-day suspension limit.

  2. How does this apply in a virtual setting? I have someone trying to modify a child daily schedule without having a meeting to amend the IEP educational hours. I though any changes to the hours of educational service must be in the IEP. Is this legal?

  3. I live in a district that is 100% inclusion. Not always ideal. The district has agreed to an out of district placement in part because I documented well why “remote” learning did not work for my child. The IEP stopped early March and no one worked with my child since, and zero support all summer. My question is now that the town has agreed to out of district placement am I now forced to live in the town that agreed to placement? If I move could I make argument for staying in in person out of district school if it is documented said child is doing well there?

  4. Just found out today that my son will be in self contained classroom next year. No meeting was held and his gen ed teacher made the call. She hated having him the whole year. She refused to collaborate with us. The room they want him does not do any interaction with the outside. No gym, art, music, computer, or library. No time with non-disabled peers.They even eat lunch in the room. I don’t like this at all. School said its either this or he cannot come to school. What should I do next.

    • If you have not done so, I suggest documenting the call & your disagreement with this to the principal, & special ed director. Ask for an opportunity to discuss options for your child with them, & the IEP paperwork leading up to this decision. If you need to go beyond the district to challenge this, your state parent training & information center, &/or disability rights agency can assist you.

  5. My son is in 8th grade….I know we have to consider his local high school as an option, but can the district refuse to give us the full continuum of placement options until after we see the high school and have a follow up IEP meeting? I don’t understand how we can discuss the options if they refuse to give me the options alongside the local HS. (We did reject the placement, and I did agree to tour the HS, but they refuse to give me the other options in the meantime.) My son is 14, has DS/ASD, nonverbal, sensory issues, low vision, not toileting independently, approx 2yr old level per psych eval.

    • Kelly, the law about placements varies, depending on where you live. The law says schools must provide a “continuum of placements.” Through caselaw, a general rule evolved that the term “placement” doesn’t necessarily mean physical placement.

      Before you get into deep water, please consider consulting w an attorney who practices special ed law. This person can advise you how the term “placement” is defined in your state.

  6. How can a parent get a home based placement instead of residential that is being requested by the district?

  7. I have a student whose primary disability is Intellectual Disability. Standardized assessments, classroom assessments, etc supported that the student requires a more restricted classroom setting where has a smaller number of students and higher ratio of Sped teacher and para support. The problem is that the parent disagrees with the change of a placement. At this time, the student is non verbal and unable to access grade level general education curriculum. The parents want their child to continue to receive Resource specialist (pull out) program while he is in 2nd grade inclusion general education classroom. The resource specialist is not a full time teacher and he already has received so many hours of adult support since he is non verbal and has no access to the curriculum. HELP!

  8. my daughter is autistic in 5th grade. She receives reading and writing accommodations in the normal classroom by her special ed case manager. She is reading at 3rd grade level and has not improve, test scores show that she has regress. She has executive function deficits of memory and such. I asked that she be pulled out for an hour a day for specialized reading and writing, school refuses because it is least restrictive. Both teachers agree that she is not doing well, school is not equipped to deal with an Autism child and how to teach them…She is going to Middle school still reading in 3rd grade level for the last 2 years. How do I ask for the school to consider special placing her in an Autism School? What can I do?

    • I suggest putting your concerns, & requests in writing to the special ed director, if yo have not already done so. At this point it seems that they do not have data to show that with appropriate instruction she could not improve her reading skills & comprehension. If they do not realize this, you may need to use the dispute resolution processes that parents have. Your state parent training & information center can assist you.

  9. I want a law to be created and passed that explicitly states and rules that if a youngster used to disrupt classes but no longer does so, that even if he/she has all regular mainstream subject classes and a regular mainstream homeroom class, that it is illegal for the youngster’s regular mainstream homeroom teacher to refuse to give permission for him/her to go on a regular mainstream school club trip and that it is illegal for the youngster’s regular mainstream homeroom teacher to tell him/her to get the permission from a special education teacher. This is no way to reward a youngster for controlling his/her behavior and it causes the youngster irreversible psychological damage. Furthermore, whoever the youngster is made it clear that he/she turned over a new leaf, that he/she wants to be in the regular mainstream only, that he/she does not want anything to do with special education or any other stigmas whatsoever, and that he/she wants to be treated exactly like everybody else! This is not too much for the youngster to ask for!
    Please reply.

  10. Student is 5 yrs. 4 mo. Parents agreed to keep the student out of Kindergarten until testing could be? done. Student has NEVER been in a school setting of any kind. Student qualifies as Developmentally Delayed. Had of special ed. says he will be in a 33 self-contained classroom with no data from a regular classroom, no medical diagnosis. Now wants the self-contained teacher to write the IEP yet she has never met him. Can he be placed there with no reason, FBA or BIP? And if placement can’t be predetermined how can that teacher be TOR? Wouldn’t that be the boundary school sped teacher?

  11. We are in the final stages of an FBA for my 1st grader. He is a gen ed student with special Ed supports. The FBA observer changed his placement from the gen ed classroom for 2 hours in the afternoon and placed him in a resource room with no peers. That lasted 1 week and my sons behaviors have continued to increase. The observer has now changed his afternoon placement to a “stage one” room that is set up as a play room for the duration of his afternoon. He is to receive gen ed math and gen ed writing instruction in this stage one room with no peers. The school staff and FBA observer are not including me in these decisions. We have not had a PPT do determine either placement change. What are my rights? Are these placement changes legal?

    • It sounds to me like they are not. Your state may allow “trial placements” to see if something will help with the behavior. But this should have been shared with you. A complaint to the state education agency seems appropriate.

  12. The IP team including the parent and at the parents request looked into a placement change and decided on a placement change from RSP to SDC. The district required a request of change of placement form and required that to be submitted with evidence of the need for this change to the district office to be examined by a psychologist who could then say yes or no to this placement change. I received an email back that did not say yes or no specifically but was critical of the placement change and offered suggestions as to what to do instead in the email. I responded by inviting to a meeting since we already had the request from the parent. The district intends to disagree with this decision from the IEP team in the next meeting against the wishes of General and special education teachers.

  13. My child is in the 1st grade and the IEP team has decided, against my wishes, to change my child’s placement to a ED class at a different school. The school did an evaluation and had a FBA done and neither gave a diagnosis of ED. Is this legal and what are my options?

    • The services are to be based on a child’s needs, not their disability label. Placement is to be based on where the needs can be met in the least restrictive place possible. So this is legal, but parents have access to the state dispute resolution processes. You can learn about those on this website or through your state parent training & information project.

  14. Is a change in eligibility considered a change in placement. Example: The re-evaluation team decides to change the child’s eligibility from LD to OHI, but the services the child receives will remain basically the same. Is this change in eligibility considered a change in placement?

    • No it is not. However, the services, and specially designed instruction the child receives could change.

  15. Hello, I see above that the iep team can decide on a placement determined by the specifics of the iep, BUT contradicting the law states that placement cant be determined by the sevwriry of the the disability. My 14 year old is severly aggressive and has been since she was in preschool. Could we as the team decide for her to be placed in home hospital for safety reasons?
    Concerned Mom

  16. What do you do when your preschooler (attending a structured preschool) has a placement change without a meeting or notification of change in placement?

    • You can start with writing to the special ed director requesting an explanation of why this change occurred without a meeting, that the child be returned to the previous placement. You should study your options for challenging district decisions. Your state parent training and information project can assist you with this.

  17. what do you do when the only school placement that is offered is the one school you dont want your child to attend .this is a kindergarten child. and when you tell the iep team you dont want your child going to this particular school and the director tells the parent that they DONT need her permission to do this.

    • Parents only need to agree to the services. Where those services are provided (ie: which school) is up to the school district.

      • That’s not true Tasha. It depends on the state. In Virginia for example, that’s only if you sign off on placement can they move the child. You don’t have to agree to placement.

        • Lawsuits for specific schools have been lost by parents. The parent agrees to the services not the location of the services. For example, the district only has one self-contained classroom for students with severe intellectual disabilities- the child will need to go to the school where the class is located and not necessarily their home school. The parent agrees to placement (self-contained classroom) but not location.

        • Hello!! I”m having the same placement
          can some one please help , I really DON”T want to change school

          • As Anna said, state law/rules can affect what the school can do about location. But it is important to find the district policy on determining the campus a student will attend to determine if they are following it.

          • I’m experiencing the same now and do not want to change schools.

  18. My son (16) wants to attend the national guards youth challenge program. The OC school district partners with them & has a high school on base. They do take IEP students as long as they have full copy of IEP & can meet the students needs. One of the requirements is a letter of rec from a school official at his current school. His current school say they can’t write one due to the IEP. I called the district & they confirmed that, without telling me why or where that policy exists. They just told me no because they can’t ensure that this program can provide for his IEP needs but their district certainly can.

    What can I do? The LOR is about my son not the school.

  19. My school is refusing to allow my son’s aide, whom he has had for seven years, to continue next year with him because he is considered a student of the ESC and ” they supply their own aides”. I have no doubt this is purely a financial decision for the district to get out of paying for his aide. They had no problem with his aide continuing with him from last year to this current school year. We were not informed that science/social studies with the ESC would change his school. Is this technically a change of placement? If so it was never marked in any IEP or PR-01 form that there was a change in placement.

  20. My 18 almost 19 year old son with autism has been in an excellent residential program for 7 years. We made the family decision to move closer so we do not have to make the 5 hour round trip to be involved in his life. Now the new school district wants to pull the residential placement. They have established no criterion for this change and when asked for criterion the response was “there is no magic formula… document, document, document.” Well his behaviors are under control and he is succeeding because of the 24-7 services, supervision, and extra curricular opportunities. They have presented no plan for transition back to our home and offered no services to help saying, “That’s the parent’s problem.” But they say residential ends August 1. Meeting again in May. What are our options?

    • Dawn – I assume your son will be facing a lot of transitions in the next few years that everyone will hopefully take into account. States have different ways of handling disability (DD) services for children and adults. In my state we try as best we can to coordinate with different agencies that can support our children and families to make the school-work-independence transition as smooth as possible. Your state should have a developmental disabilities board or council etc. that should assign a case manager for your son to help with this. The same case manager should be able to direct you to an advocate (some may be at no cost to you) that could help you get the best support for your son right now.

      The link Chuck provided should get you to someone who has the contacts you need.

      • Mau I receive the contact info for the state Councel of Developmental Disabillities ?
        The only one I have is to an old website that servrscthe elderly
        No case managers mentioned
        My adult daughter is about to age out and is just beginning developmentally to make sence of letters and numbers our school district is not interested in providing spec. Ed services we haven’t a complete iep and she still loves school. And wants to keep going
        School is sitting on their hands UNTIL after her 22 birthday 6 months from now…
        So please forward if possible
        Cathy For Emily in oc Ca.

  21. My son who is only 9 has been diagnosed with anxiety and emotional distressed and last year started IEP services. About 3 weeks when his aggression started coming out. This week he was placed in an isolated classroom with only one other student without notifying my husband, and told my son that this would be where he would be until further notice. After I emailed the administrators it was then told to me with less than 48 hours notice when his ARD meeting would be. I later listened to messages on a home phone that we do not use, but the 1st message was still less than 48 hours before the meeting. My husband also talked to the principal and she said they tried to have a meeting 2 weeks prior but couldn’t, we were not made aware of this. What can I do?

  22. My son is autistic last year he was in RR science this year we were not given meaningful participation in choosing classes we have gen ed science lab it’s way over his head he’s not cognitively able to handle glass beakers or chemicals smells the sped director refuses to change his class now I am pulling him out every day before this class as he is having ptsd triggers and I fear he will self harm how so I for the sake of safety get the school to comply his IEP is a mess no measurable goals I’m scared

      • good luck! Just did this and it was a joke in IL! We tried ALL the resolution/conflict supports and we have been doing this since 2015/2016 and then agreed to “trust” the district and spent hours and meetings making an IEP in negotiations that they would surely follow to help our student. HA HA the joke was on us. They did not follow the previous predetermined IEP, the one we negotiated in negotiations or even any following that they predetermined also! We have been told to our face that the “school district and board” have the final say in the end! We pulled our student (with a letter to the district) and home schooled in Feb 2018 and finally went back into negotiations and ended up going thru the Due Process this time (what a joke!) We even had a state complaint in 2015/2016! $$$
        The state complaint stood waiting (unknown thru mail processing and then passing around in the state) until the due process complaint progressed. The school was notified and they added a line to the IEP about it and then removed it immediately in next meeting! Worth zero to student! School never provided the services even with slap on wrist! This time we didn’t drop the due process and moved forward (no state complaint this time we thought). What a joke! $$$ 400 to online AWESOME home school for ESY and $$$$ to pay for copying and costs of due process. Darn near killed me and huge stress for the family. We are 300% poverty level and none of the “list” from their counsel would offer attorney services. Do NOT trust their counsel and watch it as our DP judge and her were WAY too cozy!

        • I am an advocate in the Chicago area. This is not a surprise. As a parent of children with unique needs as well as a former teacher & administrator this is too common.

          • Renee – Can you please provide your contact info. if you still advocate in the Chicagoland area…I’m in Schaumburg and have a few questions.

  23. My daughter is in A direct instruction special education class for reading and math. For the past few years she has been in a small group of 4 or 5 for reading and math. And it states in her IEP she need to be in a “smaller group environment “ and is in need of direct instruction for reading and math. This year the school increased her group size to 14 and 15 for reading and math and says it is still a small group with a special education teacher. My daughter is not keeping up. Is there any precedent or case law that says the Increase in teacher to student ratio is a change in placement?

  24. I am a teacher who see’s most of my students 4x’s a week for 60 minutes or 240 minutes a week in a resource room. I have been told that I need to pull them 5 days a week, which bumps their minutes to 300 even though it is not written in the IEP’s. Can I do this legally or does it change placement? IEP states placement as less than 21% in resource.

    • Any change in minutes served in Special Ed requires an amendment to the IEP at a minimum stating the reason for the change (this is not meeting the least restrictive environment either-each student needs to be looked at individually and their needs and abilities considered prior to making a change like this).

  25. My child current school is trying to change my child’s placement from PI (physically impaired) on special standards to SLA supported learning academics…in the new placement my child will be in classes with children who run away throw things and are often fighting with others…what are my rights as a parent to say no? And on which grounds?

      • That is great that you offer the parent center, but I have found minimal or almost no support from these areas. Equip for Equality returns your calls then disappears and requests tons of records faxed to them (while you are supposed to be doing DP or state complaint work) and then they will not acknowledge what they got, what they are doing, or their plan to help and if at all! Then, if you stop sending faxes they send a letter “we are gonna close the case” and bye! I did get, once, copies of some laws/regs for some needed areas by getting a hold of someone after 10 calls. But in 16 years that is all I have gotten for support with two special needs students. I have gotten more by myself and online in research than thru any group in the IL/IA areas! And, yes, that is depressingly sad!

  26. My son has down syndrome & was in an inclusive pre-K class. The school lost funding for this class & has informed us that we must place him in an all sped pre-k class or bus him across the county if we want him to be in an inclusive class. His IEP states he is to be in a general ed setting. We’ve been told that as long as the services are offered, we have no say in where they are offered. Is this true?

    • Unfortunately, yes. but I would request an IEP to see if you can’t come to an agreement on an amended placement.

    • You can also talk with your state parent training & information project. They will know more about your state rules, & procedures. The district has already determined that an “all sped pre-k class” is not the LRE for him. Therefore, I feel that they should be responsible for transportation or an LRE setting.

    • Yup, that was just told to us in DPH in Illinois. The words were “brick and mortar” and that is not placement and they get to choose that. We were told that like GE or special ed is the placement. So VERY black and white! Strange, as you read the law there IS more than that in the law! But, at hearing they go with what the district wants! PS we had student in GE with accommodations and school said nope to ESY, and then forced they tried ONLY to bus miles and miles to a day school for only special ed students (and note there was NO bus support, nor IEP discussion of ESY and ZERO about goals, services or anything at the school named and WE were not part of this DECISION (or team) at all as it was done with phone calls of counsel to district during DP timelines and before hearing! 🙁

  27. When making changes in placement of a students IEP, does the law require a NEW IEP be developed stating the change in placement and reasons for the change? or is a handwritten note on the current IEP good enough if all parties sign the handwritten ammendment? Example: A student placed in a self contained classroom and the placement was changed to part of the day in a general education classroom. .

  28. Can someone help me please. I just recently move out of CT but before I moved I had a PPT meeting at my son school at the end of the school year where they make a decision for him to go to all day summer school. I have agreed and signed off on all the changes in his IEP at that time but when summer school started they told me that they have withdrawn him from the summer school because I have moved out of District. Now no one had notified me about my son being withdrawn from the summer school program. now can someone tell me if I was wrong or they are wrong for withdrawing him from the program without notifying me about the changes that they decide to make.

  29. I have a 6 yr. old autistic son who could only spend 2 hours 45 minutes 5 days a week due to behavior issues in Kindergarten class with some special assistant occasionally. At the IEP meeting the Principal threatened to report me for not agreeing to move him to 1st grade. I need an advocate in July to go with me to let them know my husband & I disagree.

  30. where is the federal law for;
    Your child’s placement may not be based on: The school’s service delivery model (i.e., all children with learning disabilities receive “pull out’ or resource services)

    For example, a district, that has a “Structured” classroom that is strictly for children with autism.

  31. Is it considered a change of placement if the student is assigned 5 days (within the 10 days) to be served at DAEP at a different school? Would it require an IEP meeting/MDR since it is a DAEP and not home campus? Thanks!

  32. Our IEP for placement is next week. My husband, daughter and I have pretty much made up our minds already about where we want her to go, and hopefully the team will agree… Wish us luck.

    • Maryann I wish you and your family luck with your IEP placement. I would actually take evidence in writing explaining why you like the deciding placement. This may make the meeting go a lot smoother.

  33. Our school district has recommended educational placement for our 14 year son due to his behavior and not being able to provide FAPE. They have recommended a TEA certified school, that they have a contract with, and are wanting to have a transfer ARD.
    The SPED team leader emailed and said that they were removing related services, counseling, music. adaptive PE, and course curriculum, then once it is approved by the district, then the new school placement will evaluate for speech, OT, and ABA.and hold a ARD.
    Last goals update, in a email, stated that no data was been in taken, as the teacher, district could not provide FAPE. We go into ARD on 12-18-17. Not sure what to do.
    We are in Texas.

    • There is much info that you, & anyone trying to assist you need to know. Is this for a day or residential program? You need time to research, & visit the school that is being recommended. Being certified by TEA does not tell you much. You need to try to determine if there is a good chance that the school can provide FAPE. If you are not ready to agree to their recommendations on the 18th, you can disagree with the recommendations. Then they must recess the meeting for about 10 days. This can give you more time to research, & consider what is best. I work for the TX parent training & information center. I can assist you, & connect you with our staff in your area.

  34. We attend a public Alternative school in our district. My school principal states that it is NOT the school’s legal obligation to provide a ‘continuum of services’, but the district’s. Therefore, a student can be transferred to another school to receive services. This has resulted in multiple students being in essence removed from this school under the name of ‘location’. Is it the school’s or district’s responsibility to provide services?

  35. If ‘A continuum of services’ includes a special school, yet the recent decision ruling against GA in having these special schools, how am I to know which way to advocate?

  36. My son is in 6th grade and it does not feel that his IEP is being implemented and is considerably behind. Next meeting is at the end of February . If ESE only classroom is recommended by the team, Can I ask for more services inside the general education classroom until the end of the school year and then start the new ESE classroom next school year. He is in middle school which means all his classes will have to be changed. It would be a huge deal to him. It took him a while to get used to teachers, friends and classroom routines

  37. My son has ASD and also qualifies for GT services. The district has decided to move all GT services to one school, but only for 2 mornings per month. Otherwise, the kids attend their neighborhood school. Our neighborhood school is the site for GT services, but my kid nearly got kicked out of that school before we got his ASD dx. Now he’s being forced to go to this school where he failed to function in order to participate in gifted programming. We just found this out, but I don’t think it’s legal to move him anywhere without at least a meeting.

  38. My child is transferring to a new school district. She receives excellent SBRI reading instruction ( thanks to an IEE ), is making progress, but not yet achieved goals. School district wanted to discontinue the reading instruction to give her a break and let her enjoy her last few weeks in the school district. She is fully included, plans to go to college, etc. They provided no data, truly wanted the teacher for other staffing needs as my daughter is her only student four days a week for one class period. I was nice and stated, “there is no data or adequate progress to support a major change.” and, I stated that it is late in the game to change the IEP since she is transferring. They did not ask to drop her program after my comments.

    I know it’s hard to service one student. But, the school did not remediate during the early years which resulted in a major reading deficit. I had to involve an advocate and the state. The school district did their job once I had back-up. I am collaborative and supportive, we have a great relationship. But, the request to discontinue a major component of the service on the IEP for a dyslexic student is important. It was requested only to assign the teacher to other duties as my child is transferring. Regression has occurred unless she gets the program. I do ask questions,attend workshops and read Wrightslaw. The request proves that parents need to be aware.

  39. Jean: Excellent questions for parents to ask. I’ll add one more:

    How will progress toward the measurable IEP goals be measured? How much progress is sufficient in a school year?

  40. It is alarming that changing services based on staffing considerations is such a widespread practice. Parents are made to feel foolish if they ask questions, and are given excuses by people who know better. Teachers are fearful for their jobs if they speak up. Some teachers do great things; others want to but don’t have the skills as the district hires whoever they can get to take the job. The knowledge/strategies necessary to educate children has existed for years, but skilled professionals are needed. It takes a willingness to raise the profession to a higher level,so only the best compete for the right to be educators. At the IEP parents need to say: 1)explain the specialized instruction my child receives for ___ 2)what does it look like and why are you doing it? 3)what supports are necessary for this to happen? 4)show me the data!

    • Comment on the ‘show me the data’ . Though this post is years old. I feel this is ONE of the many areas that parents forget to request. When parent do request data, it becomes a number of excuses or ignored request. This has been the most challenging piece . Enforce . Show me HOW student will meet the goals . Step by Step.
      Still we have no data. Just excuses. It was in our favor that 90% of the district special ed. staff left. Wonder if that was due to the increased liability last year.
      With in one hour of our 9 IEP meeting (ready to file due process), 1 week before the start of his 11th year, New director agreed to private placement. However, we still do not have an IEP that makes any sense . IT is far from measurable. He is behind TWO years of learning, transition skills.

      • I’l add to this old post. I personally cannot wait to ask to see some data. He has benchmark/present levels for goals that were not even taught during the year.

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