IEPs: IF IT LOOKS AND ACTS LIKE AN IEP, IS IT AN IEP?

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Chris:  My son is presently being evaluated (at my request) by the LSD. The LSD has just informed me that it has an intervention program that is not part of the IEP process. They had a meeting with a school psychologist, social worker, guidance counselor, gen ed teacher, special ed teacher, speech and OT therapists. They created a plan that included current levels of performance, goals and strategies for those goals. I was not informed about this meeting or invited to participate in it, nor was my consent obtained for any part of this. This feels like the LSD had a CSE without me and created an IEP without me. Does anyone have any input on the legality of this?

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Sophie
01/05/2016 6:15 pm

What is “the LSD”?

The IDEA is quite clear that the parent has to be a full participating member of the CSE and has to be invited to its meetings. Response to Intervention (RtI), on the other hand, doesn’t give you these rights and protections. It sounds like that is more or less what they are setting up for your son. However, the IDEA is quite clear that RtI cannot be used to delay the special education process. If you referred your child for evaluation for special ed eligibility, remind them of that. If you didn’t, go ahead and do so. There are lots of sample letters around, e.g. the first letter listed at http://supac.org/resources/sample-letters/

Chris
01/05/2016 6:15 pm

Thank you for your reply.
LSD- Local School District
This is not the nature of RtI that I have experienced in the past. This seems very formal and the written plan, without any information or input from parents, is very concerning. I have not seen or heard of an RtI committee of this size or the production of a plan that includes present levels of performance, goals and interventions. It sounds very ‘IEP-ish’. Perhaps my range of experience is too narrow.

Sophie
01/05/2016 6:15 pm

Well, I can imagine that a district might try to do an end run around the IDEA in this way. Some districts will do anything to try to block parental rights!

You just have to insist that the child be evaluated for an IEP, and if found eligible, that an IEP be created. Because having the IEP gives you state oversight. (Note, you are permitted to file a state special ed complaint even if the child doesn’t yet have an IEP, as long as you have REQUESTED and IEP.)