Zoe: My 3-year-old son was just placed in a special ed school without my consent. He has an IEP for speech, and a few weeks ago, the team met for the first time. We decided to put him in the AM/PM program, which is a half-day program in a special ed school. After that he would go back to his regular daycare / preschool for the rest of the day. The only problem was transportation from the one program to the other. It says on his IEP that he was to be in a regular classroom 40% of the time.
The day after the IEP, the speech pathologist and my ex’s mother (my son’s grandmother – also principal of this special ed school) decided to enroll him in a special ed school for the entire day.
What I am mad about is that they made this decision without me. Can they even do that? Change his placement the day after the first IEP meeting, without consulting me?
I will second what the others said. You’re going to have to channel your frustration and anger into some very deliberate advocacy. You’ll have to write emails and letters and make phone calls, and you’ll have to remain calm but firm, each time. You will tell them that you did not have full parent participation in the decision, and that parent participation is required by IDEA and state regulations. You may need to say it more than once. Unfortunately sometimes districts don’t play by the rules, and a parent needs to remind them of the rules.
You are not alone.
Speaking of which, if you can find a friend or volunteer to attend meetings with you to take notes, you will be in a stronger position, in many ways.
Ok, so what if I specifically asked everyone present at the IEP meeting if they could include me in any more decisions regarding placement assessment or anything really. I told them that I felt left out that I was not notified that my child was getting an assessment until after the assessment. And the meeting the following day is exactly what I had feared. Can they really just yes me at the IEP meeting and then go do the opposite thing the next day?
As Sharon mentioned, decisions regarding a student’s placement can only be made during a Team meeting. If you have decision making power regarding your child (like joint or full legal custody), the Team must invite you to such meetings. They also must provide you with written notice of their proposal, and what you can do if you disagree.
That said – if you share decision making power with your ex, it’s unfortunately very likely that he/she does have the “authority” to make placement decisions without your agreement (and you without his/hers) – unless state law provides otherwise.
I encourage you to contact your local parent center: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/. They can help you identify any state laws that may apply, and your options for disputing the changes.
Changes to the IEP must take place via an IEP meeting with the parents present. If that was not done they are not in compliance.