Ron: Our nonverbal, in diapers, autistic, Down’s syndrome 13 year old, 8th grade daughter was moved to a MS closer to our house by the school, which is good. She requires one on one, safety reasons being one, but for learning is another.
A problem classroom observation of her, without interference to her or others, just for 5-10 minutes once in a while. Not necessarily regular visits. We are fine with with calling ahead of time and be escorted. The principal has made it restrictive and burdensome. He wants at least 2 hour notice and it has to be on his time.
I called, made an appt, was given a time to observe, but stop in the principals office. The principal then gave me his observation rules for the year. Restricted visits getting fewer and fewer as he “weaned” us off observation for the rest of this year.
Because of my daughter’s many needs, I would like to observe her in action, her progress, to take joy in her development.
Note: Last week we had a meet with school district officials (special needs director for the district, the principal , the principals boss, school social worker) Mom and Dad. After meeting ended on a positive note, the special needs director came rushing out to the point of threatening us, saying they could send out a restraining order letter to us. Shocking and totally inappropriate. We felt we had done nothing wrong or threatening to deserve this kind of threat.
I’m sorry to hear about the mess at the end. Sigh.
At any rate, my personal opinion is that it is reasonable for parents to be asked to make an observation appointment in advance (as opposed to dropping in).
I realize this puts up another barrier for you as a parent, but I’ve seen worse, and if I put myself in your shoes, I think I could live with this one.
If I’ve missed something, please write another comment.
The school should have a policy on parent observations. Search their website for policies or ask for a copy. You can determine if the district is following their policy. Your state parent information & training center can assist you in determining your options. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/
Our school district says that observations are at the discretion of the principal.