The School Just Told Me They Plan to Retain My Son

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My son with ADHD will be retained this year.  He did not receive the services I felt he needed to increase his reading skills. He received an IEP only for expressive and receptive  language skills.  I have been paying for a tutor to try and help him increase his reading skills.

1. Can I make the school system pay for his tutoring, since poor teaching is the reason he is so far behind?

2. Where can I find the state law about retention?

I’ll answer the easy question first. To get your state regulations about retention, find your state Department of Education contact information on the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities. Ask where you can read a copy of the regs, or request your own copy.

You will need to educate yourself before you can get the school to educate your son.  Here’s how…

Get an Independent Evaluation

You need a private sector evaluation for your child. IDEA calls for the team to use the most recent evaluation. Make sure your evaluation is complete and contains excellent recommendations. Then ask for a  meeting of the IEP team to rewrite the IEP based upon this evaluation and its recommendations.

Revise the IEP to Meet Your Son’s Needs

It is unlikely the district will pay for private tutoring. You can always write a letter and ask. But concentrate on getting a decent IEP that addresses all of your son’s needs.  Addressing his expressive and receptive language issues is not going to teach him to read.

Neither is retaining him.

Educate Yourself

Information on teaching reading

Preventing Reading Failure

Information on Writing IEPs

Information about Grade Retention

Find Your State Branch of the International Dyslexia Association

Find a Local Chapter of CHADD

Find Your State Resources in the Yellow Pages

Find Your Parent Training and Information Center

Find Advocates and Attorneys in Your State

  1. As a school psychologist I often get asked about retention for kiddos currently being evaluated etc. In my opinion to retain a kiddo with an IEP reflects the IEP was inadequate, so it really a big no no for my district. For kids that are not making it with an IEP, we reevaluate or adjust the services at an IEP meeting, such as adding minutes, changing goals, or in some cases even placement. I would agree that you should educate yourself so you go in ready for the meeting for your son, bringing an advocate is a great idea for support. Just be sure to notify the school in advance that you will be bringing an advocate as they require notice. Considering your situation you may want to notify them in writing.

  2. I recently received a meeting notice for a transitional/yearly/triennial IEP for my preschool aged son. The notice did not mention the teachers by name that would be in attendance. When I asked for them to be named they said I would find out when I went to the IEP meeting. I was also told that this is the way it is handled. The Special Education teacher and General Education teacher are supposed to be the teachers from one of two possible placement school. I asked for the transitional IEP to be held seperately from the triennial and they refused. Any thoughts or comments?

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