It’s IEP season again, and we have our appointment set. We’ve also had a curious email from The Boy’s program teacher. She was excited to tell me that they were going to offer science and social studies in a special ed classroom next year, as well as math and language arts, which The Boy already has. He would be with students who are “academically equivalent” to him, but in classes taught by resource teachers. He would still have access to her social skills class and his elective classes.
Considering the goal of special education is to place students in the least restrictive environment, and considering he would lose virtually all access to his neurotypical peers, I politely pointed out that I did not think this would be an appropriate placement for The Boy. His program teacher cautioned me not to make any decisions just yet, because she felt this would be a good placement for him “due to his academics”. Curious, because The Boy has gotten all A’s and B’s this year. I told her I wouldn’t rule it out, but at this time, I didn’t think it would work for him.
I added a post-script, and asked if she thought the pilot program in which The Boy participates in the Middle School would extend to the high school, to which she replied that she didn’t think so.
Fast-forward to a few days ago, when I heard from a friend whose son is in the program, as well. She said she heard they may not continue the program at all, as in not even for next year’s 8th graders… And the tumbler clicks into place.
Even though I trust this person with my child each day, I cannot take her suggestions to heart because I fear she has been directed to encourage me to accept this put-all-the-kids-in-resource-room plan so that they can both comply with IEPs and discontinue the program. Once we change the IEP to say he needs to be in resource, they no longer have to fund a paraprofessional to be with him in his general ed classes. It’s not what’s best for the kids, but what’s best for the school district.
Silly school district! They continue to underestimate me, because I know the law, and I know my son’s rights. They are going to have to have data to back up that he is “academically lacking” in his general ed classes to show that he needs so much more support as to be placed in a self-contained classroom, and removed from the general ed curriculum. And they don’t have it.
Let the games begin.