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Reply To: Dealing with the School System

Reply To: Dealing with the School System2013-11-13T22:28:04+00:00

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My guess is school counselors “work with” AKA pressure kids into taking classes that are available and convenient for the school. Where I grew up, kids chose their classes, but those choices required a parent’s signature for approval. Here, they don’t even have to notify us. At all. The District is notorious for secrecy and double-speak.

Learning buddies might be a good thing – depending on the subject and the buddy. Mainstreaming could be a good thing if it is done in conjunction with proper accommodations.

From what I’ve read in the past couple of days, I now know that our son’s IEP is a complete disaster. It was too vague. It didn’t ask for measurable or objectively verifiable results or progress tracking. It includes information it shouldn’t, and excludes information that is required by law. They got me to make a personal statement I never should have made, which essentially lets them off the hook for all the other things they are not doing.

I’m now reading one book about how to write a proper IEP, and another about how to accept the fact that the school system is not for you, it is against you and your child. Out of 5000 surveys of school psychologists, the reasons for a child’s school problems were identified as 10-20% the parents’ fault and 100% the child’s fault – with no responsibility whatsoever placed on curriculum, teaching, or school climate. This is because the school psychologists were not allowed to say anything negative about the school. This is reflected in school culture overall.

Basically this one book says it’s the job of the school district to avoid providing services, and that parents should never give them personal information they can use as ammunition. EVER. They are not now, nor have they ever been, nor will they ever be –  in any way, shape or form –  on the side of families. They demonstrably don’t know the law – but we as parents have to know the law. Whatever they say about the law we should assume is based in ignorance that comes from District policy. That’s pretty condemning, but in a practical sense, if expectations are low, I will not have a reason to get angry and will be better prepared to take for granted that they have no desire or intention to help us – and keep the focus on what my child needs. It sounds like we should expect the relationship with the school to essentially be adversarial while everyone must behave as though we’re all trying to work toward the goal of helping my kid. And that if we as parents don’t become informed, document everything, and continue to lobby for what our kid needs, there is ZERO chance of us getting it.