When my wife came home from work and checked her personal email, she discovered a copy of the prior written notice had been emailed to her. And evidently it had been emailed to me as well. To an account that I never use to communicate with the district. Very frustrating.
As to the content of the PWN… well, let’s just say that it is adversarial in nature. We are trying to figure out what the principal is attempting to do. First, the PWN isn’t from the Special Education teacher that our son would work with. It is from the school principal. Second, no contact was made with either my wife nor I regarding a date or time for the meeting. No effort was made to contact our advocate or any of the other staff from outside the district who works with our son.
I did learn that the principal is out of the building for the next three days. Rather convenient, as the meeting is scheduled for Friday morning. Our advocate can’t make it to a Friday meeting, and if the principal had taken the basic step of contacting any of the participants prior to sending out the notice, she would know that the date and time she set wouldn’t work. My wife and I need to be in the city that day for another of our kids who was born with a cleft palette and has his annual check up that day.
So we responded.
We wrote about how it is customary to contact people by phone to work out appropriate dates for an IEP meeting. This has occurred with almost every IEP my wife and I have attended for the past 8 years. Rarely does a meeting get scheduled without a phone call first checking for availability on a given date. Never, and I mean never have we seen a hand written prior written notice.
I am a stay at home father, they have contact information for home, cell, and email for both my wife and I. Plus they know and have the telephone number for the school district where my wife works. How do I know? Last year not one day went by when they didn’t call me for something. They have called my wife at work so that she can participate in conference calls. They have called both of us on days when they couldn’t work with our son and his disabilities so that we could come and get him.
The only reasonable explanation I can come up with for the manner of delivery of the notice is that principal thinks that if she isn’t in, we will think we can’t cancel. Two of the agencies listed as participants in the IEP received the notice via fax. Do you know how hard it is to read hand-written documents that have been through a fax machine? Especially when the writing is interspersed with a form that is meant to be completed on a computer?
So we responded.
We wrote about how it is unprofessional for her to do this. We wrote about how we felt that our son wasn’t being granted the opportunity to a FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education). We wrote about how our son has done everything that they have asked of him for the past year, and deserved the opportunity to go to public school.
So now we are waiting. Again. I am almost done writing our complaint to the Department of Public Instruction.
It goes to my editors and then back to me for corrections before I submit it. I want to make sure that I am sticking to the facts, and legal precedence necessary and not being more emotional than necessary.
I am just floored at the audacity that members of our district are showing. We asked for one other person to be included in the IEP meeting. That is our school counselor, who the principal has a strong dislike for. To the point where she has forced him out of the elementary school for all but one day a week.
So we responded. That they need to include the residential facility that our son was discharged from last week.
We will continue to fight the good fight for our children, and others in the district who are entitled to an education and being forced out by this principal.
And as much as they try, they aren’t making us feel stupid. They sure are trying though. Why do I say that? My wife is a special education teacher in another district and knows the law better than the school administrators do. (which they absolutely hate)