IEPs: ISP/ IEP OUT OF STATE STUDENT DYSLEXIA?

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Sarah:  My child (7 yo 2nd grader) resides in CT, and we choose to send him to a private school in MA. We were able to get testing, in MA and found the testing is consistent with Dyslexia, or as it is being termed, Specific Learning Disability.
Is it important that the paperwork says Dyslexia?
Determined there is indeed a learning disability. Because my child attends a private school, the admins say 30 min 5x week recommendations must be carried out at their school (or in a public place). The school is 15 minutes away from the one he is attending, and they conduct the sessions before the beginning of their school day. The same issue with post school tutoring, distance and timing. So services have been offered, but in a way that is totally inaccessible.
I have been told that the difference between an ISP and an IEP is just a public/ private difference. Is this the only difference?
The admins tell parents to go back to their local school and get an iep there or move to MA so we are in their region. This can’t be the only way. Any help or experience is greatly appreciated.

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Jill G

The district *could* provide the services at the private school, or you and they could negotiate a better schedule for your child. But, as you live out of state, your ability to work through this dispute is basically limited to working it out with the Team or other district personnel. If you did live in Mass, you would have the ability to use Mediation or request a hearing, and have the leverage that comes with that.

One thing I would suggest is giving PQA a call (http://www.doe.mass.edu/pqa/prs/). You can’t access their complaint system, but you should be able to use them for technical assistance/support. Try running your situation by them, and see what they suggest. They may be able to intervene with the district on your behalf.

Jill G

Sarah –

Under federal law, students who attend private school at parental expense have no individual entitlement to special education services/support. Instead they have a right to a services plan (the ISP) which lists what the school district *intends* to provide – but, again, the student has no right to the actual support/services in the plan. And they have very limited rights to use mediation, due process hearings, or the state complaint process.

Massachusetts law offers stronger protections for private school students with disabilities. Eligible students are entitled to an IEP and all the procedural protections available for public school students, including the ability to use IDEA dispute resolution options to resolve complaints.

Unfortunately, because you live out of state, Federal law applies to you and your child (see this for an in depth explanation http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/07_2.html).

Pam

I have a not dissimilar question. I have a child in a private school in the neighboring county. The public school district in the county in which his school is located has done the testing, concluded he has dyslexia, and is conducting the meetings for the “ISP” claiming they are responsible for doing the testing, but services must be by the public school district in which we live. I see no representatives from the county in which we live at the meetings or as part of the team. How can this possibly work for his benefit?

Jill G

Pam –

Under IDEA, the district where the private school is located is responsible for testing AND providing services, though your state law may say otherwise (like it does here in Massachusetts). I suggest contacting your local parent center for guidance regarding who is responsible (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/).