1. COVID-19 and IEPs – Interview with Georgianna Junco-Kelman

Episode Transcript

Hello and welcome to the if we knew then podcast I’m Stephen Saux and I’m Lori Saux and this is a very special episode. Everyone’s lives of been interrupted by this pandemic and it’s our experience that information is power. This is a situation where we definitely need some information and it would feel really good to have a little power. There are a lot of questions out there as to how we support our children during this time of distance learning will happen with IEPs and how we begin to contemplate approaching IEPs that should be happening right now. Compounded by the day to day it’s a lot and it can feel overwhelming, We are fortunate today to have via Skype Georgianna Junco-Kelman someone who has been by our side during our own personal journey and someone that we found seems to have the answers. Georgianna thank you so much for joining us today.

My absolute pleasure thank you so much for having me it’s important that I be here and I’m so glad you guys reached out to me because I think there’s so much information that families need to now. Just a little bit about me, I am a special education law attorney I’ve been practicing now for about eleven years have been an attorney for over twenty years and my son who has special needs is who inspired me to actually shift my legal career from criminal defense too special education law. My experience with him was a daunting eye opening one and I realized then that if I as an attorney have such a hard time accessing services and ensuring that his rights were being met then what happens to families who don’t have the same sort of level of advocacy training and are steamrolled and denied. And so long story short my experience with him let me down the special education path and it’s what I’ve been doing for 7 years and it’s my absolute passion now.

I think of you as being someone with all the information, that you’re coming from a similar place that we are and we’re trying to learn this as we go but you are someone that’s that’s delved into it and so you’re coming from… it’s a great combination and so we love using your information.

Yes I have most definitely walked in your shoes so I am here in a personal and a professional level.

We’ve been really fortunate to have you by our side on our journey which has been such a gift and one thing that Stephen and I always think of is the people who don’t have you or an advocate like yourself by their side and so now with the COVID19 we’re seeing so many questions out there I just want to thank you for putting the information giving us the information so we can share it because I know right now there’s a lot of parents that are they’re lost they don’t know what to do they don’t know how this impacts their rights they don’t know how this impacts their services or even when we go forward how they’ll be impacted.

Absolutely you know I can give you an example. You know your child in particular my child in particular all of our special ED kiddos with IEPs are at a higher risk of regression right now that’s the reality but even within that special education realm we’ve got kids in full inclusion for example like your child in my child and those tend to be the ones that are most neglected because while in school their accessing an alternate curriculum or they’re accessing specific modifications and specific accommodations way beyond that which the regular education or the special ED students with resource support gets and so at this time it is even more important to make sure that our kids will have much higher needs don’t fall through the cracks in aren’t just being told here is some enrichment work at home. Work on that for now and we’ll deal with making up lost time later. No absolutely not. There is an absolute responsibility by educators and administrators at this time to go the extra mile and to make their best efforts to make sure that our kids are also equally accessing an education and curriculum as are other regular education students who are online with their teachers who are being instructed daily. I’m hearing that a lot of our kid’s parents are being told just to do things at home to sort of supplement independently and there is not an extra effort being made to make sure that these kids have the proper instruction while at home. So, it’s important that parents understand that we aren’t any different than the regular education students. Our kids’ education doesn’t get to be suspended for the time being the same after it needs to be made to make sure our kids are accessing instruction now just as regular education students. 

It’s different than a summertime or just a break from school. Districts are saying that school is happening, education is happening so you say you know they need to go the extra mile. Are you seeing that and also if parents aren’t seen it what can they do about it?

You know I am seeing neglect. You guys know I don’t have any filter when it comes to calling districts out on under failures of their lack of sufficient care for our students.

That’s why we love you.

I call it out and I’m seeing different things across different districts. I actually sent a mass email to all of my clients who are all across various districts a lot of them in the LAUSD. Asking them to give me feedback as to what it is that their schools are doing for their kids and I’m seeing very different things. Some districts are on it. Some districts are truly implementing best efforts to the best of their ability because really, we can’t expect districts to fully implement IEPs at this time. We all know that is not feasible however reasonable attempts should be made. And other districts are actually, and this is super super important for families to understand. They don’t sign anything at this time. I learned today that certain districts are asking families to waive their IEPs for the time being and waive the access to the district’s responsibility to provide instruction at this time and so they’re being sent just like I said sort of enrichment work by teachers and giving them little packages work on this for now but this isn’t implementing the IEP for purposes of continuing to provide instruction with services to meet the IEP goals. As you know what drives an IEP are the student’s goals and the services are provided to meet those goals and so during this time that is not suspended. That needs to continue with the best of the district’s reasonable ability. So when parents are being told sign off a waiver that you’re not going to, that we don’t have to access the IEP at this time and we will later deal with compensatory education and  we will make up for lost time…there is no making up for lost time when it comes to our kids, specifically. Every day matters and so even though that the current climate does not permit the full implementation of their IEP, that doesn’t mean suspension of their IEP that doesn’t mean sign off on it. It means continued to demand that teachers and administrators continue to support your students at home. Every student with an IEP should have a customize level of support at home. And even though we can’t have an IEP for every student now to try and address the current times of IEPs. That’s not feasible either that doesn’t mean that this fixed cannot make some kind of a plan to make sure the child is still receiving daily weekly instruction that includes occupational therapy that includes speech and language support that includes resource support.

There are districts that are having their %HESITATION teens will virtually guarantee I need time that say your child requires thirty minutes of speech and language or M. ori our speech and language a week whether it’s individual or group phase that still needs to happen parents need to know that those services are being provided and should be provided and if they’re not being provided week after school that’s your administrator we tax you teacher at that service providers and say listen I want to know how you’re implementing my tiles the language therapy my files thirty minutes a week of specialized academic instruction how are you supplementing back while we can’t be unreasonable demands you know the same level of support that we have at school there needs to be a concrete level of support that is actively being offered and parents need to demand that at this time do not think that because we’re going to this theory is that your I. E. P. is on pause it is absolutely not and parents should know who can say this now that if they get a letter or an email or notification from the district or the the administration of their school that they’re not pressured to sign anything or get back to them about the I. E. P. being put on hold holder paused absolutely a lot of parents are sort of waiting for teachers are their schools to reach out to them with the plan and I know that on week three people hadn’t heard anything from schools I’m from certain schools and so I think the parents need to take the bull by the horns on and the parents need to be the ones to reach out if you’ve not heard anything if no one’s reaching out to you to provide guidance and instruction you need to reach out to them and demand that a plan be created for the time being should your journal let me ask you a question because I know that there are letters for services being sent out and what is a reasonable offer as far as from these service providers because I know we’ve re received a letter that’s like tell me what your concerns are or tell me what you need to do or hear something that you can do on your own is that a reasonable doubt but it’s not to be honest I let me give you an example email I know for a fact that regular education students are receiving regular instruction from their teachers no they’re online perhaps not every day I think some dissidents this is making an effort to meet everyday so you’ve got on Zillow %HESITATION twenty students on the screen and their teacher and they are being instructed as if they were in school and sell the same has to be the mandate for our children and it’s tricky to save what is reasonable because obviously an IP is an individualized documents and it’s created to meet specific needs of every child every child within IT has me every child has a different program and so while some children with an I. E. P. R. E. regular inspection where is our resource support which is the specialized academic instruction so a lot of the times children typically in elementary school would you have specialized academic instruction get pulled out from the classroom for that R. S. D. that research academic support for my roommate a credential special ed teacher and so then they go back and integrate into the classroom for regular instruction other children are in special day classes all day long and their instruction is accommodated the act a credential specialist teacher but they’re they’re setting the record setting is eight special ed classroom so it’s hard to say here’s what needs to happen so every case is unique so for example a student who is a regular education who receives research support and gets pulled out of the classroom that students should still have the opportunity to obviously participate with the rest of the classroom with instruction as being provided or whatever the work is being instructed to the regular ed students while at the same time that resource support teacher should reach out to parents and say your child get let’s say a hundred and twenty minutes a week of specialized academic instruction I pull your child out of the classroom with three other students and I provide instruction there is no reason why that can’t continue to happen there is the ability need to have a virtual V. as your whatever the technology the district applies within three or four regular students that are typically pulled out of the classroom and worked on on an individualized matter that should continue to happen that is a reasonable effort to continue to apply ninety the same with a special day classes teachers should be able in collaboration with parents obviously a lot is being asked of parents now and it’s also tricky because a lot of these kids that are regular education or even a special day class have won the money on those one to one aids are there to apply certain strategies to ensure that distance behavior is regulated to ensure the signals axes in the curriculum with the attention and the focus that that guide is there to provide and so obviously you can’t have your one to one aide at home to help during that instruction time and so it’s possible that that aid could be in the zoom as well and provide support however she can’t or provide one on one support on still with the parenting giving strategies to the parent as to how to help the student at home while Justin was trying to access education B. as you know a lot of students and a special day class on zoom with the teacher these things should be happening they’re very musical and so while it’s hard to say here’s what is reasonable it’s all reasonable it’s going to depend on the particular student harvesting is inspected typically in school back certainly the same types of accommodations that are being made right now for regular education students can also hopping arts special education students specifically for the related services psychological counseling for example my child gets designated instruction in terms of the ice counseling and here’s the I. S. counselor is meeting with him thirty minutes weekly until or calling him and so they’re still spending that thirty minute a week on the phone are still the same it is including facilitator she’s out in the end and his behavior and prevent consumers also want Sam when he sort of you know turning out or when he’s not going to pay attention the behavior intervention team is on its own to kind of grab his attention on getting guided gallery back to accessing what is being instructed by the inclusion facilitator in special ed teacher and this is being done for him he’s a fourteen crews and students on a regular education setting but his his instruction is modified and click because he’s on the alternate curriculum and it’s difficult because obviously the resources are limited and and it’s a matter of making sure that it’s a coordination between parents and in a facilitator to %HESITATION teacher to make sure that the student is available at whatever particular time the teachers are going to %HESITATION a lot you know it’s it’s it’s a collaboration on both sides there really is no reason why those efforts can be made in my students can be capped the best ability on track on a daily basis with instruction I think that’s great wording is the reasonable effort because I’m seen it with our typical child to try to keep a reasonable schedule to you know it it’s not going to be maybe the same amount of time as you would have in a six hour school day but they need to be contact each teacher need to be able to contact that that child and obviously not happy in some places and it is happening some other places you just advise the parents understand that this effort needs to be made and it may take reaching out to the service providers what’s the ramification if this effort isn’t made and if they do not receive their services or support because I know that right now parents are home and they’ve got a job at their their life has been turned kind of on its ear and they’re trying to deal with all of what that encompasses whatever multiple children and pop possibly multiple children so the amount of energy that they can put into it I can I can totally understand if a parent reaches out reaches out reaches out gets nothing but that’s gonna eventually go to the back burner unfortunately yes well yeah I still have the same ability to pursue compensation it’s the same mechanism as if we were in school B. I. E. P. at this time like I said every reasonable effort needs to be made to implement the ICT and if in a situation for example where a parent hasn’t been reached out to where %HESITATION or hearing has just been given some sort of supplemental work involved here you go work and this was the one to get back to school that is not a reasonable effort to implement this in thank right he said that is that right that is a violation of this insight and so the parents are able to pursue it to process complaints to request compensation for this last time and so whatever it may be academic construction related services and I would go to whatever it may be a parent can still pursue I do process complaint to try can’t for recognition and to obtain I think they would never gonna get that time back but it’s the same prices as as we’ve always had with the parents will still pursue that right to file a complaint in pursuit of lost educational time and that typically is translated into compensatory education now some parents are opting to virtually contract with educational therapy agencies are not public agencies that may still be providing education therapy are educational support yeah Jim the service is available so parents are going out of pocket and paint because they’re not getting the support they’re they’re requiring from the schools some parents are opting to privately find support during this time virtually and so parents can file a complaint later for reimbursement for the cost %HESITATION that they had to encourage the result of the disk is failing to provide proper support that all I suspect will come down the pike regardless in my opinion compensatory education will be owed to pretty much every eighty because students at this time aren’t accessing the level of support that they need in their eighties and that’s nobody’s fault I mean it’s tricky I suspect will be mitigation about how to handle this last time there is no president you know there is no road map there is no legal guidance as to what happens during this time and what is the responsibility what is the standard that is expected that we don’t know that and so moving forward I I do know that kids are not accessing on kids are not being provided to the extent that they should be because I’m seeing it and those will all turn into ultimately can’t turn into the process complaint the China Tang compensatory education and out of pocket reimbursement for families during this time %HESITATION I would encourage parents to form zero groups at this time and try to commiserate and exchange ideas about how to help in their their children and and how their how either distance or other schools might be handling things that could give them a glimpse into what’s not being done for them you know what I mean %HESITATION so I I think read that network is actually helpful %HESITATION I know that some families are reticent to share about your children’s experiences I get back who are these who will have the absolute right to confidentiality %HESITATION I am very concerned for the families that have a high crimes of advocating that have language barriers are back on having people setting rules that are kind of being brushed off by this fake I know that because I’ve seen it with my own clients and I’m starting to get involved that’s I’m still working there still an option I’m still you know reaching out and had some families reach out to me about how the districts have basically gone the marks and I’m still avoiding I’m contacting this person saying no that’s not gonna fly what do you do for my clients this is not going to be acceptable and so you know you push the envelope that way that also works I see no attorneys are being being that we had during their beach still being essential workers go figure we absolutely are are still very I am still very much onboard and reaching out and talking to districts and on demanding that the same treatment you know when asking for anything above and beyond honestly we’re not we’re asking for equal treatment we are asking that our children be given the same attention and seven portents and this insignificance as regular education students and I guess like I said under regular circumstances under not a club in nineteen no pandemic local climate our kids I have a really hard time it’s my MBA I will be sent to you guys I have a job for a reason I have a very easy job for a reason because as it is kids are neglected and special education children’s ideas are not properly implemented so I can’t imagine what families are going through this time and being fair to teachers administrators it is a very daunting I’m Presidente time nobody again has a road map for this but that is not a pass on not exercising best efforts on reasonable efforts and some some districts are making the effort some are not and so ultimately can’t you know we talked to legal counsel and advocate for help during this time they need to have a voice and they need to be proactive and they need to constantly email our caller it’s hard to call anyone because most parents don’t have access to anybody’s phone numbers typically but continued to reach out to your schools via email I don’t know that and I don’t believe that any administrators at schools and must close a close I don’t know that anyone is going on but continued to email and request and make a record make a record specifically send emails clearly memorializing what isn’t being done what is being done but is insufficient so do you have a clear record later when you do personal compensation to say on these dates I reached out and this is the outcome and therefore now I’m owed explains the as a result of that black %HESITATION so make sure you keep a very breaking a record about not only what isn’t being done by it’s about what is being done because what is being done may not be sufficient also you’re in essence sort of eighteen your record and and establishing your case that you likely will need to pursue later ten be able to ensure that your child has a block of compensatory education whether it’s resource support academic instruction whether it’s more support in school moving forward you know this summer a lot of kids have extended school year services we’re not sure what’s gonna happen this summer even it’s everything’s opened up again on may or June districts are going to have the infrastructure set up for summer school over yes why support I’m hoping that maybe those plans are being worked out now I doubt it but I’m hoping that this will be able to take advantage of some summer support we don’t know that yet %HESITATION but these are things that are owed %HESITATION kids many of my students yes price according that should be granted if it’s not then that is order information argue prices complaint that is were not supported in the need in the way that they need to be %HESITATION again keeping in mind we have reasonable goals a difficult time it is a time that nobody has a compass for and so it’ll be interesting moving forward to see what sort of %HESITATION arguments our defense says districts have not to provide or to excuse having them available to support it’s going to be a factual argument estimate should have should not dine on that parents need to create their record now and very very clear record of what’s being done right now I’m in something I really want to touch upon which is important is %HESITATION hopefully this won’t happen but it’s still at risk are happening in the currency in this package there was an attempt to include a clause that allowed the secretary of education %HESITATION the power to grant waivers to the idea the individual’s education act and so it didn’t it didn’t make it to the stimulus so it’s not something that was granted however there is a clause in there now that allows her to petition Congress to enact further legislation to go ahead and grant that state by state labor are which means it would in essence give dates all districts that power to suspend would be ideal %HESITATION mandates for a period of which means it’s she passed on them not to implement IEPs and only do as they will however they will be absolutely no records and no obligation or responsibility to apply ninety P. as mandated by Aidid and sell I know there are certain lobbying going on %HESITATION there’s groups like hope by that are working very hard to prevent that and ultimately though you need to hear cock Congress needs to hear us the parents and yet if it comes to it we need to flood them with phone calls and emails about how much this would be detrimental to our children there should be no period of time what so ever that the idea is let’s not whatsoever as it is with the idea in place we struggle so much when we have these powers in these rights that our children are entitled to you and still we struggle so if you can just imagine idea is listed for any period of time I think what he lost and it’s unacceptable and parents have to fight against them we just watch the documentary crip camp which really that it was it was so great because you understand what people went through just to get an idea absolutely well and that those reasonable supports and that’s that’s where people like you %HESITATION %HESITATION advocates of parents that are that that are self advocating %HESITATION that’s that’s where this back and forth going to have to go to find that that does need a line of what our results support is but hopefully everyone can keep in mind that that suspending idea would would not be reasonable thing you would recommend parents now call Congress and talk about that I can provide you guys the %HESITATION link where it has all of the different congressmen and women all of your representatives all of your senators %HESITATION and families need to reach out to the particular representatives and senators to urge that this not be allowed great I’ll include that link in the show notes there was a great line in that documentary again where the woman was grateful that there was access to a bathroom and she said when I’m no longer grateful just to be able to use the bathroom that’s when I know I’m equal and I think that’s what parents need to know is all everybody’s doing their best to support all children and teachers are working really hard there having to learn new programs are having to re learn how to learn a new way to teach but that applies to our kids too sometimes parents don’t speak up and they feel like well this is kind of more of a gift you know not not a right and so we’re actually out spoken about this and we still you need people like you around us I was told parents that don’t be afraid to request to demand because that is your right it’s not it’s not an ounce isn’t it please can you do this it’s no this is what you are legally entitled to and it’s why they have an obligation to implement this is not the time specifically the ID a risk it’s not the time to remove safeguards that typically even when in place it’s difficult to access what our children will even with these safeguards in place so this is a time to ensure our their enforcement moving forward more than ever we need to rely on those safeguards at and those legal entitlements more than ever because that’s what’s going to protect families that’s what’s going to secure your rights to pursue whatever requires you need in the future can trying catch up your kids there’s there’s no question our kids are regressing there’s no question no matter what best efforts are being implemented right now it’s never going to be equivalent to what our children receiving schools not you’re in school that I used sometimes I act very intricate plan in place with so many different moving parts in variables that have to come together in order for them to access their education from service providers to teachers to resource supported by senators that worked throughout the day to make sure that this plan is implemented on a daily basis all of that has been removed it’s like the brothers been pulled from under them and they’re being given one or two resources on told here you have to manage with S. and again nobody’s fault we can’t expect that reasonable implementation that you have in school every day that’s not going to happen we are going to have a loss and that is nobody’s fault and we can’t say you know play is this crazy and reasonable standard on people I get back %HESITATION but that doesn’t get in the past not everything that they can lead to believe that that in some some places in some situations given that teachers are doing so much at night so appreciative because I’m seeing back to %HESITATION I do think that that more can be done on because I’m single and I wish me that that there are sort of a relaxed service up sort of climbing to order some of my kids and that’s not OK and ultimately it is up to the parents to say no not okay make a clear record of it I can’t emphasize that enough another point I want to give families is not many children’s IEPs are due at the end of the school year this is what we typically call I T. season now between early March early June this is the height of the season and arms jeans and a light a review at this time the goal of the reader are you determine whether or not privacy is being made with the current services and placement is appropriate moving forward and you know as you know they offer state of free up her public education but the following year and SO in IP has to be currently active %HESITATION and it needs to be updated for the following school year and it has to be an offer of state acted awful state for the next school year and so unfortunately at this time I these are not taking place because it’s it’s just not logistically possible for many districts how you said that many districts are doing them I’ve had several of them by zoom out so reach out to your school districts and inquire as to what’s going to happen with your annualized meeting %HESITATION because technology is criminal I and it’s been L. as long as the parent absolutely agrees to let Jim is completely legal in terms of confidentiality on a constant habitat your pies on zoom and so as long as parents and sent to it there’s no reason why if districts have the bandwidth on the technology front right why I can’t at least the attempt at the proper time to them all it’s impossible %HESITATION bites if you have an IP meeting that you should hide in March are you happy in April you have next Monday may reach out and see what’s what’s gonna happen with my I. you cool I used for conducting those he has your and make a record that you requested your I. E. P. meeting greenhouse they are not exams are absolved from making an attack to continue to convene annual IEP meetings on the alley UST in particular that’s far I’m being told they’re not conducting meetings yet and they are responding that’s going to be a problem %HESITATION obviously the alley UST is is blue mess you’ve got probably over eighty thousand IDPs students in our district of number eight hundred thousand students so I get that logistic quote right now that that presents but I don’t believe that any effort is being mauled to conduct meetings blossom in my opinion I think there should be an effort should be made said he’s got some of them are attempted to get meetings on the books at least the ones that are obvious you do now it’s one of them thousands of them likely but my understanding is they continue to postpone I came along but just because they tell you meeting has been postponed don’t accept that follow up on that well when is my meeting what is the next state are we are all sort of it’s been sort of school allotted that we are going to be able to and that quarantine by April thirtieth I think is the marginal rate I dont know that stroke back to working on right now so parents should be reaching out to see if they can get the IP meeting scheduling mall with the knowledge that it will be difficult that would be a bottom up there’s no question about that but at least make the record that you did make the request for your IP meeting on get a response and demand a response in writing asking what’s going to happen with the IEP meeting that is that right your child services in place now but the problem’s going here and that is what will determine %HESITATION what child is this with the I. D. %HESITATION calls completion and what needs to change for next year what can still happen and like I said many districts I have one on Monday many districts are conducting the IEP meetings VS one and inquire as to what your district is dealing that’s fantastic because I don’t yeah I don’t think that’s that’s the that’s what happened L. U. S. T. but it’s cloudy I’m glad to hear that some districts are attempting that maybe other dishes will get on board because that’s seems like the only reasonable way to get things done at this point and you would recommend an IP to resume is that correct absolutely yeah obviously some information will be missing when we’re talking about about four weeks obviously whitest of information that data that isn’t being collected progress that isn’t being tracked because it’s happened in the school for the past four weeks back we had an entire school year you know we started in August it stopped when the school March nineteenth last month I’m so there’s enough data and enough information to gauge whether students with the poll completion S. and why did you get into a car moving forward by Boston each week but services will be changed there’s enough information from his passport to convene an IEP meeting in a multi reasonable assessment as to what a child educational bicycle bike next year just because we’ve had these pies doesn’t mean that night the meeting no that’s not enough information check out there and having a meeting and create a plan for next year absolutely there’s enough information to do that and it should be down to the extent available district should be making an effort to move out of the exam it stands at the ministry %HESITATION sixty charges service providers they all can be on there they’re all my understanding is are all still out working arms %HESITATION considered employed at the moment end date there’s no reason why I meetings which are the typical part of of their responsibilities can’t be held at this time as long as the technology permits it I think an offer needs to be mowed down Pat should ask for and who would they email would you say their teacher the APIS the principal asked if Eccles and the alley UST that person at that local school in charge of IDPs and special education is the assistant principal most parents have the assistant principal’s email aren’t if they don’t they can go on the school’s website and look up understaffing typically that information is on there so you should be reaching out onto your assistant principal some districts handle it differently some districts have special education directors so you reach out to them that whenever the person in charge of special education is whether it’s a director or whether it’s a must in principle that is believed to be reaching out to you and if you’re not getting a response then we talk to your teachers on asking teachers about in regards to your administrators on ask that someone reach out to you because you want a status as to what will happen I’m light and what would be the ramifications for not having an I. E. P. what did with the parents just go to a stay put for next year into one was scheduled or yes so technically it’s a violation I will like me has to be done on a timely manner bite the bullet so if you had like me last year on April first yeah I like meeting has to be conducted this year by April first obviously given a second chance Rundle mile it’s very difficult to expect that that will not be violated and again being reasonable it’s nobody’s fault but it is what it is it’s still a mandate it’s still legally required that the students ITP be held annually on a timely matter and so it’s all going to depend on the after the school is making its I mean I’ve been conducting and yours isn’t being done that’s a violation they they violated the I’m a lightning bolt I’m so what happens is your child isn’t going to not having IT obviously moving forward it stayed quiet and so whatever it is that the current services and placement that will just continue onto the onto the new year I’m telling you right the meeting is held and then you know whatever new changes are made but in the meantime the parent would just continue with whatever services are in place now those aren’t going to end that will continue I have a concern for children who did file you know parents did file the process complaints last year because they disagreed with their I EPS but they weren’t sufficient and so be Bobby process complaints and settle %HESITATION settlement agreements expire and so whatever services that were granted the other settlement agreements those are not stay put you know we file another due process complaint to continue those services are if we disagree with the I. E. P. the subsequent IP subsequent to the settlement agreement we tend to buy another due process complaint that we tend to pursue the services that are necessary unfortunately until there’s an I. U. P. we can’t go filing the devices complaint request something that we haven’t yet addressed and so that becomes tricky the same students that are privately placed %HESITATION VS settlement agreement and and I the meeting needs to be held to the all replacement and whether or not the districts offer is going to be appropriate with the parent disagrees and Pat will opt to continue doing that replacing the patch about devices complaint for tuition reimbursement X. year until there’s an IEP meeting to go over the Oxford St as for settlement agreement so that gets tricky that’s all going to be on Popeyes and so it’s the vehicle because families that are privately placing aren’t going to place our children in a public setting without having any kind of supports in place for it because it’s not in the IP or the I. T. services are insufficient and so these families are gonna happen at the choice to continue to be placed in a laterally and that’s gonna be a little tricky because in order for a family to continue placing unilaterally and pursue reimbursement the body give written notice to distract so it’s it’s a it’s a muddy water specifically for parents that are privately placing their students or at a non public school I’m typically the non public school is funded by the district that continues but if you’re at a school like west mark for example or by century parents should give notice to districts that they will continue to be highly placed in given that I. P. meetings are being held and it’s the only reasonable thing that we can continue to do but they should give written notice to make sure that they preserve that right to pursue reimbursement although it’s going to be a little bit tricky given that I haven’t been helped settle be interesting to see moving forward what we lack in men’s will be drawn from all of this undersides because you have students that say if a child is going from preschool to their home school to start kindergarten that’s a jump or if they’re going from fifth grade to a middle school middle school to high school those are things that are gonna be very severely impacted does it gonna be that hardest scenarios for families because you’ve got preschool to kindergarten even can under first grade in some instances on the cot elementary to middle middle to high school and then you’ve got high school transition services but he is a graduate and so those are gonna be the most difficult cases because they stay put that applies in elementary school isn’t going to apply for middle school it’s it’s gonna be a completely different system going from elementary where you’re in a classroom of thirty you know twenty four to ten twenty five kids sometimes higher than thirty in all day long on to the middle school right now kids are obviously rotating classes of about forty five kids throughout the day and so I did that might be a better education in elementary school that whatever support in place may not be successful in a large three thousand students middle school rotating throughout the day still the right supports and services have to be in place in order for that transition to occur as smoothly as successfully as possible the most difficult situations for families are the ones that are in those transfusions basis this is why does families need to absolutely reach out to your schools and request that support be provided that guidance be given that I. P. meetings be convened even if districts are convening meetings and their corresponding them and they may not hold meetings this year as a parent your job is to advocate for your child and step outside the box and reach out and say look my kids transition to middle school how are we going to do this I need help with a meeting B. as soon after we discuss the options that’s what you’re gonna have to deal and and again if you can we talk to an attorney you can reach out to an advocate do sell I don’t mean to be a pessimist but that’s going to be probably the most effective way to reach someone unfortunately it’s sink or swim right now and everybody’s just sort of vying for our attention so to speak hi my name is traders well the deeper we dive into this whole thing the the money or the waters get you know it’s it’s just gets more more complicated from summer school and yes whites to now you’re talking about transition into another school or %HESITATION you were put into a private school it’s it really does get complicated it is it is complex all the way around and more so for some families and then for others reaching out and definitely to your ministry to trying to get that I. E. P. for these situations where we’re making those large transitions is there any other advice that you would give them like so I’m just gonna say I am transitioning from elementary to middle school and I’ve reached out and they’re giving me nothing I cannot start next year with what I have what would you advise me to do the only real thing you can do is to knock down the proverbial door of an administrator at your school you know if you’re going from let’s give a local example from carpenter elementary what to read and your child is on full inclusion announcement curriculum that’s a very complex I can’t cast transition over smoothly without a clear plan created with new goals %HESITATION because it’s gonna be a very different environment was very different demands on the student and different services that are going to be required to access that was the student needs to meet those goals and so the primary thing to do is to be consistent and to reach out to the administrator at your school and asked that they help you with the transition N. M. I mean in my opinion I think that districts should at the very least making efforts to calliope meetings for those particular transition cases I don’t know that they’re doing it I’ve been reaching out specifically to the LAUSD for guidance for the particular families because I have this one once I have the families that are in private school I don’t know what to do for next year because and I will have to be and so you have you can’t have to just continually reach out and demand answers on demand that in nineteen will be healthy as you so that the plan for next year can be addressed otherwise you’re just back on its its subject I know north last time that there is a like a legal you know typically we can we can easily look to a legal recourse and say well we’ll do this even if you follow due process complaint now that it’s not going to really help you any because I do process complaint is really to pursue yes placement and services but is more compensatory education based option and so it can’t be resolved by the proper placement should be and the proper supports and services the agile process agreement right now because they can’t address those issues because the relevant information isn’t there to make those determinations S. O. N. I. E. P. meeting has to be filed if it’s not held and it’s ultimately help later and you do not compensate you know you do have recourse to file a complaint to try and make up whatever the opposite time was lost the act out in a little request but that’s not gonna help you right now right now hands need practical solutions and the only possible solution but transition as the whole night and the district to the best of their ability will finish that they do have about the student now offer business for next year at least provides that died in that transition guidance that bridge between now and then and then we can deal with an IP meeting at the school later to talk about what may not have been addressed by parents need to reach out and demands that these meetings be held at the very least the transition meetings and that the Democrats will be annoying be insistent be persistent send email every day once we hear back from them and keep that record so you can establish later that you made every attempt to reach out and elements that tia thank you said knocked on the door I can’t say enough to have an advocate or lawyer at your side because I I do feel I don’t think that was being when you said it was pessimistic to say that different things get done in different ways it has been our personal experience that too %HESITATION it it’s you’re you’re playing a different game when you have somebody that knows a lot by your side and because they know that that person knows the law I wish I could say differently you know I used to do a lot of workshops and seminars and I would advise families listen you can design your own reader writes learn you could not get your procedure guides %HESITATION and read them and an advocate and I just I really believe parents needed to just be wires which I still do believe political and they can work things out and they just knock the door down but in my experience as yes I’ve gone by as I’ve seen the system actually get worse at times than better I am seeing more than ever that families need advocates on the trains I’m not trying to promote my business fast me I’m busy I honestly believe that the best way to optimize results for your child is what I’m trying to run out again best I would state attorneys are because you’re great but they can only go so far especially during this difficult here I don’t want to downplay advocates get whatever help you can get to have your voice heard by lawyering up as they say is was going to maximize your child’s support and success it’s ugly out there like I said I’m still a bit of a regression under normal circumstances and the fire has has increased the good news is we get the results we absolutely do but you got to fight for them this is going to be an easy path S. specially in this climate moving forward it’s going to be difficult it’s going to get difficult to buckle up and brace yourselves but if I did not line you can afford not to engage that’s right and not only dealing with what’s going on now but also prepare for the future and get in touch with your congresspeople and I will I will put that in the show notes I think that that was a great point you brought up and I’ll make sure that again contact your administrators put on the record that you requested your annual IEP meeting and get an answer as to how that is going to be handled well it’s an unprecedented time and that’s why we reached out to you to to to try to get some of your guidance and share that with parents and we really appreciate your time and your information you’re just such a great advocate and I just I think what we love most is your strength and when you’re saying that you don’t pull your punches I’d I’d negative yes thank you I think I’d like to see more that you stand in your strength and you stand beside the parents that may be very strong but at that moment don’t have their strength and I think that’s so important and it’s such a gift for parents to have even just giving us this time today because I see so many questions out there and parents are are really lost and I think that the information is is so valuable and it’s it’s kind of that that’s the that’s the path that I’ve been on with Liam this entire journey as that not having the information impedes me and when I have that information I have at least a knowledge of where to go and and I just I I don’t I don’t I’m not I know it’s not trying to sell having a lawyer would that’s not that that’s not what we’re going here for today it’s to have the right answers and have the strength and and having a lawyer Laurie not having someone who knows knows the truth even the things about what what is reasonable what can I reasonably ask for and expect you don’t know because they don’t tell you and often times they make you feel like what you’re asking isn’t reasonable and that’s just a lie and I can say that because I’ve seen it time and time and time again was families come to me and say I went to my assistant principal I hide my IP meeting here’s what I told them I needed I was told that’s not possible and my brain goes out and that is why it inspires me and why it moves me because I know they’re lying and I know that it’s not true and I know that they’re steamrolling families on because families want it trusts that administrators and teachers are acting on your best interest and I don’t want to make this into a bashing educators obviously there’s so many great teachers out there that are trying their best most of them but unfortunately due to complications and complexities and and by jets and limitations and red tape in March the mortars that was take the dude’s tend to take president sometimes and sometimes teachers are given marching orders behind the scenes where they want to speak on your behalf and smart because they love their job and I have no compunction school I often get criticized for saying those things that the people out there listening no it’s a hundred percent sure and I’m told is off the record all the time you were right I couldn’t speak up at that meeting and validate what you were saying because I fear for my job and your right to ask what you did for that student because it’s what they require but that makes me angry because it is a teacher is on administrative responsibility to first and foremost advocate for the students best interests aren’t parents can be scared parents getting frustrated a motion L. I’ve been on the other side of the table as the plan and not the lawyer where I’ve lost it and I’ve had to leave the room because it’s your child when it’s your child it’s emotional but you need to be in there you need to demand you need to leave no stone unturned and not be afraid to speak up and if the two weak and tired and exhausted and just mentally drained then go find someone that can speak on your behalf but knows how to do that and isn’t afraid to do that that’s my model right and sometimes parents get caught up in this negative connotation of like rocking the boat or things like that but I would think of it as as we’re helping steer the boat boat we’re not rocking it what we’re trying to we’re trying to focus where we’re going so if we can make this more of a positive light of it and and we use words like fight and some of that but it shouldn’t be a negative thing it should be that we’re possibly doing this for our children yeah I’m often accused of being adversarial no I’m not being adversarial I’m just starting my students rights it’s it’s as simple as adding at the end of the day what would China do you maximize a child’s potential to ensure that they can be contributory members of society one day to the best of their ability that’s all we’re trying to do is to improve the lives of the child as an adult and they have the same rights to an education with the same scaffolding the same support that needs to be informed Ted in order for them to access curriculum and maximize their their potential as a regular education students all we try to do is even the playing that is all the asking for it no more no less and those are nothing but reasonable request and not for nothing when I’m asking what demanding it because the rights of our children state they have while accessing education we’re thankful for you my pleasure we chat I’m happy to help you stay safe and stay at home for Portland and stay healthy thank you so much thank you Georgianna.

Please follow us on Twitter @ifweknewthenPOD you can drop us a line on our Facebook page @ifweknewthenPOD or visit our website http://www.ifweknewthen.com to send us an email with questions and comments. You can join our mailing list there and get alerts of future podcast episodes. All these links will be added to this episode show notes. Thank you again and we look forward to you joining us on the next episode of IF WE KNEW THEN.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: