TEACHER, CAN YOU PLAY WITH ME?

Today is April 18, 2020. I’m only marginally stir crazy as Gov. Abbot announced yesterday that Texas will soon reopen for business, although it is beyond infuriating that the DISTRICT is using the Corona virus as its latest reason to deny meaningful special education services. Actually in this CHILD’s case, the DISTRICT continues to refuse to provide ANY SE services. These PARENTS have been asking for additional services for their CHILD since September 2017 when today’s video, TEACHER, CAN YOU PLAY WITH ME?, was filmed. Note that the CHILD is 8 years 4 months of age while his gross motor, expressive language and articulation skills are functionally less than half of his Chronological Age (CA).

 

The DISTRICT assessment team comprised of an LSSP, OT, PT, Speech Path, and Dyslexia teacher completed their new testing on March 6, 2020, the Friday before Spring Break. Consents for this testing had been signed on 8.21.19 and re-signed on 1.27.2020 when the DISTRICT finally coughed up their 8.14.19 REED/EVALUATION report. On the last of the CHILD’s six test appointments, the LSSP, described on the DISTRICT’s website as the DISTRICT behavior specialist, said, “We’ve done all of the testing that has to been done. We’ll have to score everything and write it up so the REED/ARD will be held at least one week after Spring Break.”

Spring break ended in the DISTRICT on March 12th, however, by that date, schools were no longer hosting students, or teachers either for that matter. All of the DISTRICT staff members began working from home, and all have been allowed to come into their offices and retrieve any supplies necessary to do so. All SE ASSESSMENT STAFF have received their regular paychecks without interruption. Perhaps you’d like to guess what is going to happen when this PARENT emails the DISTRICT SE DIRECTOR to inquire about the ARD that she has been requesting since September 2017? Go ahead, hazard a guess, and then read the email exchange between the PARENT and the DISTRICT SE DIRECTOR reprinted below:

DEAR PARENT:
Please note my response to your question.  I have used “pink” to identify my response.

DEAR DISTRICT SE DIRECTOR:
We would like to know the status of THE CHILD’S special education testing that was completed at THE DISTRICT Central Office by the DISTRICT LSSP, OT, PT, Speech Therapist, and Dyslexia Specialist prior to THE DISTRICT’s Spring Break over 30 days ago. We brought the CHILD to the DISTRICT for 6 test appointments ending on March 6, 2020 and were told by the DISTRICT LSSP that all testing had been completed. We are wondering if the REED/ARD to discuss THE CHILD’s SE status has been scheduled and we have missed the notice from you. 
Please refer to and review the prior written notice document we provided you on 3/31/20 explaining the District’s notice to you that the evaluation will be reviewed at an ARD that will be scheduled after we are able to complete the in-person components of the evaluation.  

We would like a copy of the Initial Evaluation Report at least 5 days before the meeting is held, as well as a draft of the REED if the DISTRICT plans to attach any reports to its current 8.14.19 REED (which does not include any of the test reports and information we provided to you at that meeting) as well as a draft of the IEP that THE DISTRICT plans to purpose.
We will do our best to provide you with any draft documents of what the ARD committee will review prior to the meeting.  We will be in contact with you when we are ready to schedule the ARD after the evaluation has been completed as discussed above. 

We would like copies of all test protocols and observation notes and records/reports to accompany the REED/EVALUATION, if possible. If it is not possible for you to provide us with the data that forms the basis of your SE Evaluation Report, we, accompanied by our educational diagnostician, would like an appointment to come to the district to view the test protocols and all documents and observations that have been used in your report. We request the opportunity to view The DISTRICT’s testing notes and protocols a minimum of 5 days before the REED/ARD is scheduled.
We will do our best to accommodate your request for this information and we’ll be in contact with you prior to the ARD to discuss your request to review this information.  At this time, we have not scheduled the meeting due to the global pandemic and resulting public health crisis which has resulted in our inability to complete the remaining in-person components of the pending initial evaluation. 

  1. Pursuant to 34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.305 relative to additional requirements for evaluations and reevaluations: We remind the DISTRICT of the information we provided to the CHILD’s IEP team prior to the 8.14.19 REED held to discuss the CHILD’s SE status. At that meeting, we signed consents for the DISTRICT to obtain information from the various experts who have tested the CHILD during his three now almost four year absence from The DISTRICT; at this time we would like copies of all reports and other information that you have obtained about the CHILD from the professionals who have provided us with the assessment information we began sharing with you after January 1, 2017 as we attempted to get meaningful SE services for our CHILD.
  2. We request that our assessment information, which was not included in the DISTRICT populated 8.14.19 REED document, be inputted into the CHILD’s REED report, which we understand now stands as the CHILD’s CURRENT Full Individual Evaluation (FIE). Although your REED/EVALUATION report states that it is a Re-Evaluation and that the MEETING to discuss the report was held with the PARENT and the ADVOCATE on 8.14.19, our names appear nowhere on that document, nor has any of our information, which we provided to you in written form prior to the REED meeting, been included in the REED/EVALUATION document that you sent us for the first time on January 27, 2020.
  3. In regards to SE Disability conditions, we remind you that the CHILD was first determined to be eligible for services as Speech Impaired by the DISTRICT on May 18, 2015, and as Other Health Impaired–Developmental Coordination Disorder on 11.1.16, and thus continued to be eligible for SE services at the time the DISTRICT held the REED on 8.14.19. We also remind you that the CHILD’s medical doctor submitted an updated OHI Eligibility report to the DISTRICT in September 2019; we would like you to send us a copy of that OHI eligibility report immediately.
  4. Regarding the CHILD’s eligibility as speech and learning disabled, on or prior to 8.14.19, we submitted assessment reports from Olmos Speech Language and Learning Center, Learning Foundations Center, and Dr. Michael Roman, neuropsychologist, documenting that the CHILD qualifies for SE services as speech impaired and learning disabled in basic reading, reading fluency, reading comprehension, written expression, and oral expression. We submitted to you a 25 page summary of all current assessment information written by our ED DIAG. We anticipate that this information will be included in your updated  REED draft report that you send to us at least 5 days BEFORE  the meeting to discuss the assessment results and the SE services that you will recommend for our CHILD.
  5. We request that your Speech Therapist send us a draft of the SE Eligibility Report that she plans to complete at the REED/ARD.
  6. We request that the LD Eligibility Report Draft, to be signed by an Assessment Specialist, General Education Teacher, and Special Education Teacher, be provided to us five days before the REED ARD meeting is held.
  7. We request that due to social distancing requirements, the REED ARD be held in a room large enough to accommodate all meeting participants and that the screen that projects the REED and ARD documents as they are being formulated during the meeting be large enough for all to see them. For meeting planning purposes, we expect that both my husband and I will attend if we are able to arrange a babysitter for our 2 year old and if our CHILD’s homeschool teacher is able to resume classes for our CHILD and her other students. Our expert witnesses, Dr. Steve Arnold, PhD, and Janis Arnold, educational diagnostician, will also attend the meeting.
    Thank you for this information.  We will be in contact with you regarding next steps as soon as we are able to.  … THE DIRECTOR

see our response on tomorrow’s post . . . for now, that’s all folks!

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