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Sherry: Is it appropriate to place a low incidence disability student in a non grade appropriate regular education setting based on administrative convenience. For example – a third grade student attending a music class with kindergarten students because there is a paraprofessional already going into kindergarten class and the school does not want to pull another one to go with the third grader to the third grade class.

  1. We have similar concerns. Our son who is a 3rd grader was recently placed in a class with 2 other students who are received special education services. The issues we have are 1) he is on a 1:2 para ratio and the school is using staffing as a reason for not moving him switching his class (they said they would have to move all 3 students because they dont have another para; and 2) despite us notifying them before the start of the school year this would cause problems they advised us that “let’s wait and see if any damage occurs… we are 3 weeks into school and his new teacher said at last weeks IEP meeting “He is alone the majority of the day and the kids don’t really talk to him. He seems sad a lot”. They are more concerned with administrative staffing than my child’s unique needs.

  2. From my experience as a paraprofessional, this happened a lot. In some cases, when a third grade student for example was disruptive among peers, that same third grader calms down in a room full of kindergarten kids as that third grader may be embarrassed or just enjoy the calm and structure. I was put in this situation several times with students. Some teachers DO NOT want special ed kids in the their classrooms and principals will accommodate those teachers at the expense of students and parents unless parents speak up. In this day and age with budget cuts, schools are stretching paraprofessionals to the max.

  3. I think this is a great question. I hope that Mr. Wright will consider speaking about how to recognize administrative convenience.

  4. I would be curious to know how this arrangement will bring improvements to the third grader’s education. I would also be curious to know if there are any other non-IEP based third graders being placed in a class of kindergarteners. Perhaps this third grader could be placed with others who are doing this to allow him/her to access the General curriculum with peers.

    The parent or guardian could request something called Prior Written Notice for how this arrangement was created. This will give them a list of scenarios of the alternate arrangements that the school considered prior to coming up with this one.

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