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Jacqueline:  My daughter is in middle school (6th grade). Her IEP is written so that she spends part of her day in the CDC, but goes to two regular education classes (Science and Social Studies) and two electives (band and P.E.) during the week – she spends over half of her school day with her CDC class.
Regular education teachers said she has trouble focusing with pace and complexity. At annual IEP all teachers seemed to be trying to get me to agree to pull my daughter out of reg ed classes. I requested part day, work in small groups, projects. They have not tried different methods to keep her interested or engaged.
We agreed in the meeting to try her for at least 30 minutes. When I received a hard copy of the IEP, however, the wording was changed to imply that she would go to those classes at the discretion of her teachers. Then I learned she has not been going to her Social Studies class for several weeks – even before this IEP meeting. My daughter said she was told she didn’t go because she “didn’t pay attention”.

I sent a request to my daughter’s special ed teacher/case manager, asking her to change the wording in the Prior Written Notice to reflect what we agreed upon in the IEP meeting.

What my options are if they continue to try to keep my daughter out of her regular ed classes, and what our rights are to have my daughter included in these classes with necessary supports and accommodations?

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I have seen this a lot. Some kids do not engage in social studies or such classes. If the class is large, the teacher does not even have the time to engage with the students beyond hello. Middle school is very different. However, my fellow paras and I would work with the teacher and bring work on our own to help the students engage in different ways to keep them focused. I have seen case managers and teachers at odds over who should provide alternative assignments and work to such students. In the end, it was the paras who cared enough to even bring coloring pages related to the topic so the students will focus, somehow engage and not disrupt. There are ways to make it work but paras, case managers and teachers must work as a team. The kids love getting out of their contained classrooms.


The IDEA puts strong emphasis on educating a child in the least restrictive environment (LRE). It appears that the teachers need training & help to be able to do this with your daughter. You have the right to request that the state do mediation, &/or make a complaint to the state. Your state parent training and information center can assist you in dealing with the school.