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Old 04-12-2019, 12:36 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
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Nice work, mom

 
Old 04-12-2019, 12:39 PM
Status: "PSALM 91" (set 7 days ago)
 
3,950 posts, read 3,172,213 times
Reputation: 5157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Nice work, mom
Ah thanks! Wish I had done it sooner, and not sure why I didn't!

ETA: we will see if anything actually changes, but at least I'm doing everything I can!
 
Old 04-12-2019, 05:33 PM
Status: "PSALM 91" (set 7 days ago)
 
3,950 posts, read 3,172,213 times
Reputation: 5157
Second update:

I spoke briefly to the person who oversees 504 compliance for the district. She was very serious and professional. Since I had already spoken to the principal, it was a brief conversation but the essence of it was that the teacher has to follow the 504 as written. The district coordinator will be there to support the principal's team. The next step would be a lawsuit. Don't panic! I don't see that happening.

I told my son all this and he says "mom, it's all my fault. I don't want her to get in trouble". And I had to very firmly tell him that it is NOT his fault . The teacher made the choices she made.

All of this was so unnecessary.
 
Old 04-13-2019, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,224 posts, read 9,926,303 times
Reputation: 19802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
Yeah, you need to talk to the principal. Try to keep it impersonal, non-accusatory, and matter-of-fact, with a “what can we do to help my son” as opposed to a “your teacher sucks” approach. The excuse for failing to not grade spelling is bogus.

I am very glad he is getting tested. I suspect when everything is said and done you’ll find out this is really about the teacher thinking he is capable of doing more and she wants him to try. Now that he is in high school teachers see a large part of their job as preparing students to be work/college ready, and tend to be less tolerant of accommodations which they perceive have the sole purpose of avoiding the student feeling frustrated - this would be especially true if it were 504 generated accommodations, as opposed to those dictated by an IEP. This is not saying this is your son’s case, only that it is likely to be what is part of an explanation for her behavior. High school is also when kids start being separated by ability, so the teachers don’t routinely provide accommodations on as wide of a scale as lower education levels. IEPs carry a lot more legal teeth and, like it or not, lend better credibility of need in a teacher’s eyes.

Part of it very well may be that she wants your son to make those requests, not you. He is at the age where he needs to learn to self-advocate, if he doesn’t learn he’ll never be a truly independent adult. That is part of the reasoning behind why they start including students in IEP meeting when they turn 14.
As usual -- except when you're criticiszing me -- a great post.

But I wanted to particularly comment on your last paragraph. Whether SPED or not, teaching students to self-advocate is extremely important. I particularly remember when this issue came up with a non-SPED student of ours about the grade on an assignment that the parent was disputing. And I said, "Well, the first thing we're going to do is let Jimmy go down and talk to the teacher one-on-one. I thought the parent was going to have a stroke. She insisted he couldn't do any such thing. And I insisted he could...and that I would not intervene with the grade unless we tried that approach first. However, Jimmy and I sat down and talked about how he might approach the teacher about the grade...and Jimmy had no problem thinking out how to go about it...and did so...and got an adjustment to his grade without the principal or mommy intervening with the teacher.

Yes, it's more challenging depending on what a sped diagnosis may be, but as you point out, it is essential that we lead kids...even SPED kids...to be all that they can be.
 
Old 04-13-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,411 posts, read 10,348,007 times
Reputation: 19431
Quote:
Originally Posted by calgirlinnc View Post
Second update:

I spoke briefly to the person who oversees 504 compliance for the district. She was very serious and professional. Since I had already spoken to the principal, it was a brief conversation but the essence of it was that the teacher has to follow the 504 as written. The district coordinator will be there to support the principal's team. The next step would be a lawsuit. Don't panic! I don't see that happening.

I told my son all this and he says "mom, it's all my fault. I don't want her to get in trouble". And I had to very firmly tell him that it is NOT his fault . The teacher made the choices she made.

All of this was so unnecessary.
So, you did decide to go ahead and pull out the big guns before you allowed to principal to solve it with less fanfare, despite him committing to fixing it.....

The district coordinator will not be there to “support the principal’s team,” she’ll be there to breathe down their necks - all of his teachers and the principal, it will not matter that the other teachers were doing what you wanted and that you didn’t give the principal a chance to fix it. Now instead of the one problematic teacher being addressed, everyone in the school who educates him will be scrutinized. The district, to be fair, will have no choice, they don’t want a potential lawsuit, which you have threatened, or a potential social media storm.

What you have done should resolve the issue of the one teacher’s laundry list, so good for that, but you should be aware there will be unintended consequences - four years worth of them. While the particulars will probably stay with just his classroom teachers, the fact that Ms. Calgirlinnc reported a teacher to the district and created trouble will not. Your child will now be part of the teachers’ lounge lore, with you fitting quite nicely into the “helicopter parent from Hell” category, and anything you or the principal try to do will not end it and, matter of fact, will only make it worse. The relationship between your child and his teachers will become stiffer, they will try to be professional but they won’t be able to help it, what just happened will be in the back of their mind and most will be wary. A surprisingly high percentage of his teachers, either now or in the future, will just “A” your child out theorizing it will keep you off their back, therefore off the district’s radar. They will ask nothing of your child. That might sound nice, but it means your child will not be properly academically challenged during high school.

I sincerely hope the teacher in question is tenured, not for her sake, but your son’s. He is already feeling guilt that his teacher may get in trouble over him, how is he going to feel if she gets fired? I have seen this play out before, it won’t matter how much you tell him it was because of her choices or if they had been planning on getting rid of her anyway and it had nothing to do with him, if he’s a sensitive kid part of him is going to always feel it’s his fault. It may not even matter if she just moves, developmentally he is at the age where he’ll assume it is tied to this event.

I’m not trying to be mean or critical, parents do need to do what they can to protect their child and I agree the spelling grading response and making him read aloud are troubling, but I have to wonder why once the principal committed himself to addressing your concerns you decided not to give him time to follow through.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:20 PM
Status: "PSALM 91" (set 7 days ago)
 
3,950 posts, read 3,172,213 times
Reputation: 5157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
So, you did decide to go ahead and pull out the big guns before you allowed to principal to solve it with less fanfare, despite him committing to fixing it.....

The district coordinator will not be there to “support the principal’s team,” she’ll be there to breathe down their necks - all of his teachers and the principal, it will not matter that the other teachers were doing what you wanted and that you didn’t give the principal a chance to fix it. Now instead of the one problematic teacher being addressed, everyone in the school who educates him will be scrutinized. The district, to be fair, will have no choice, they don’t want a potential lawsuit, which you have threatened, or a potential social media storm.

What you have done should resolve the issue of the one teacher’s laundry list, so good for that, but you should be aware there will be unintended consequences - four years worth of them. While the particulars will probably stay with just his classroom teachers, the fact that Ms. Calgirlinnc reported a teacher to the district and created trouble will not. Your child will now be part of the teachers’ lounge lore, with you fitting quite nicely into the “helicopter parent from Hell” category, and anything you or the principal try to do will not end it and, matter of fact, will only make it worse. The relationship between your child and his teachers will become stiffer, they will try to be professional but they won’t be able to help it, what just happened will be in the back of their mind and most will be wary. A surprisingly high percentage of his teachers, either now or in the future, will just “A” your child out theorizing it will keep you off their back, therefore off the district’s radar. They will ask nothing of your child. That might sound nice, but it means your child will not be properly academically challenged during high school.

I sincerely hope the teacher in question is tenured, not for her sake, but your son’s. He is already feeling guilt that his teacher may get in trouble over him, how is he going to feel if she gets fired? I have seen this play out before, it won’t matter how much you tell him it was because of her choices or if they had been planning on getting rid of her anyway and it had nothing to do with him, if he’s a sensitive kid part of him is going to always feel it’s his fault. It may not even matter if she just moves, developmentally he is at the age where he’ll assume it is tied to this event.

I’m not trying to be mean or critical, parents do need to do what they can to protect their child and I agree the spelling grading response and making him read aloud are troubling, but I have to wonder why once the principal committed himself to addressing your concerns you decided not to give him time to follow through.
Wow, you really assume a lot and have done so since your very first post in this thread. And this post is way out of line.

My initial call to the district was to ask about the appropriate procedure, whether it was to go to the principal or to the district as a next step. The district coordinator told me she would follow the principal's lead. If the principal doesn't want her at the meeting, she said she wouldn't go.

You have called accommodations "crutches", blamed my parenting for not teaching my son how to prepare for adulthood, blamed my son for not self advocating, blamed the school for not issuing an IEP instead of a 504, blamed Texas for having weird laws, and dismissed dyslexia and dysgraphia as not true "learning disabilities". You've done everything but put any responsibility at the teacher's feet.

Your post is everything that is wrong about the system. Your accusatory and angry tone is exactly why parents are afraid to speak up. You don't know that I've gone out of my way to thank the other teachers, how I told the principal how much we appreciate how much the other teachers help my son, that even one of the other teachers told me to complain, because all of the teachers have to follow the plan. I have emailed all of his other teachers (regardless of his grade) to say thank you for all they do to encourage him and I've relayed the nice things he says about them. I always do this at the end of the year.

If I were out of line, at any time since October, I would have expected someone to tell me so. I have been extremely cautious and it was not until the teacher literally blamed my son for not getting the help that not only had we repeatedly requested, but that the law requires her to offer, that I escalated this. She is the adult and the professional, and I wonder that you or any other poster on here can find it acceptable that the only way my son could get his accommodations was to fight for them, mostly by doing so in front of his peers. Students have a right to privacy that this teacher repeatedly disregarded. Did you know that when my son has to ask for accommodations that other kids will call him stupid? Or ask him what's wrong with him? Or tell him he's faking dyslexia so that he can get out of doing the work? That is partly why it is the teacher's responsibility to establish the procedure for the accommodations at the beginning of the year.

By the way, my son has two years of school left not four. You don't know anything about his school, his courses, or him. Clearly you don't have a child with a learning disability, because you have no idea what it is like.

And I have never, not once, threatened a law suit. That is completely false.

Last edited by calgirlinnc; 04-13-2019 at 12:29 PM..
 
Old 04-13-2019, 12:46 PM
Status: "PSALM 91" (set 7 days ago)
 
3,950 posts, read 3,172,213 times
Reputation: 5157
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post

But I wanted to particularly comment on your last paragraph. Whether SPED or not, teaching students to self-advocate is extremely important. I particularly remember when this issue came up with a non-SPED student of ours about the grade on an assignment that the parent was disputing. And I said, "Well, the first thing we're going to do is let Jimmy go down and talk to the teacher one-on-one. I thought the parent was going to have a stroke. She insisted he couldn't do any such thing. And I insisted he could...and that I would not intervene with the grade unless we tried that approach first. However, Jimmy and I sat down and talked about how he might approach the teacher about the grade...and Jimmy had no problem thinking out how to go about it...and did so...and got an adjustment to his grade without the principal or mommy intervening with the teacher.

Yes, it's more challenging depending on what a sped diagnosis may be, but as you point out, it is essential that we lead kids...even SPED kids...to be all that they can be.
A problem with a thread like this is that because my son has a problem with one class, everyone assumes that he is not learning to self-advocate.

To begin with, the principal made it clear that it is up to the teacher to ensure that accommodations are offered,

Second, my son is more than just this one class. Earlier this fall my son was confused about what he was supposed to be doing for one of his projects, because one teacher wanted one thing and the other teacher wanted something else. We encouraged him to speak to both teachers and work out the expectations. When he had a certain vision for the project, we encouraged him to explain to the teachers what he needed to make the project come out the way he wanted it to.

Finally, the idea that my son should have had to keep begging the English teacher for his accommodations is very troubling. That is not the way it is supposed to work.
 
Old 04-13-2019, 03:56 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,411 posts, read 10,348,007 times
Reputation: 19431
Quote:
Originally Posted by calgirlinnc View Post
Wow, you really assume a lot and have done so since your very first post in this thread. And this post is way out of line.

My initial call to the district was to ask about the appropriate procedure, whether it was to go to the principal or to the district as a next step. The district coordinator told me she would follow the principal's lead. If the principal doesn't want her at the meeting, she said she wouldn't go.

You have called accommodations "crutches", blamed my parenting for not teaching my son how to prepare for adulthood, blamed my son for not self advocating, blamed the school for not issuing an IEP instead of a 504, blamed Texas for having weird laws, and dismissed dyslexia and dysgraphia as not true "learning disabilities". You've done everything but put any responsibility at the teacher's feet.

Your post is everything that is wrong about the system. Your accusatory and angry tone is exactly why parents are afraid to speak up. You don't know that I've gone out of my way to thank the other teachers, how I told the principal how much we appreciate how much the other teachers help my son, that even one of the other teachers told me to complain, because all of the teachers have to follow the plan. I have emailed all of his other teachers (regardless of his grade) to say thank you for all they do to encourage him and I've relayed the nice things he says about them. I always do this at the end of the year.

If I were out of line, at any time since October, I would have expected someone to tell me so. I have been extremely cautious and it was not until the teacher literally blamed my son for not getting the help that not only had we repeatedly requested, but that the law requires her to offer, that I escalated this. She is the adult and the professional, and I wonder that you or any other poster on here can find it acceptable that the only way my son could get his accommodations was to fight for them, mostly by doing so in front of his peers. Students have a right to privacy that this teacher repeatedly disregarded. Did you know that when my son has to ask for accommodations that other kids will call him stupid? Or ask him what's wrong with him? Or tell him he's faking dyslexia so that he can get out of doing the work? That is partly why it is the teacher's responsibility to establish the procedure for the accommodations at the beginning of the year.

By the way, my son has two years of school left not four. You don't know anything about his school, his courses, or him. Clearly you don't have a child with a learning disability, because you have no idea what it is like.

And I have never, not once, threatened a law suit. That is completely false.
I never said whether dyslexia/dysgraphia was or wasn’t a disability - I was trying to explain that not all states recognize it as a disability using that terminology. Both fall under the processing disorders - which is considered a disability. It is the terminology at issue, not the disability of the person labeled as such.
Quote:
While dyslexia and dysgraphia not recognized in all states because they are considered diagnosis instead of the actual learning disability, both fall under the information processing disorder umbrella, a category of learning disorders.
One of my sons didn’t learn to talk until he was almost three. Testing, even in his junior year, consistently placed him in the 1 percentile in auditory processing, 3 percentile in decoding, he spent his entire school career in speech, and he didn’t learn to read until 3rd grade, reading below grade level until the end of middle school. Added to his burden was being a minority male, leading to far too many of his teachers having zero expectations of success. Oh, and we were a military family, which meant we moved frequently. I had many a battle through the years, but I always tried to look at the whole picture and keep in mind what he needed for long term success, not just protecting his feelings or seeking the immediate quick fix. We tried to emphasize with him that it was more important he learn how to successfully work around his disability than it was for him to get a specific grade. It must have worked, by high school he was an A student taking AP classes whose only accommodations were extended time, use of a spelling aide, and not being counted off for errors in spoken word selection. And, yes, by high school we held him responsible for asking for help, we didn’t want him automatically given it - we wanted him to try to do as much without accommodations as possible, because we knew colleges and bosses don’t give them. I did have to intervene twice, it never got past talking to the teacher, but to be fair to you, getting other teachers to cooperate probably was easier since they knew I was an educator too.

He is now in his 30’s and is currently an officer in the Army. He was automatically rejected by all four service academies, despite in every other way being the ideal candidate, merely because he had a history of special education services at the high school level. He always wanted to be an officer in the Army like his father and uncles. He ended up getting his bachelors, enlisted in the Army and became an officer through OCS. He has since added a masters degree. I used to tell him his disability was unfortunate and unfair, but it was the reality of his life and he needed to figure out how to work around it. It was hard to do that, every time my big burly son cried over his struggles in school it took monumental effort on my part not to cry right along with him, but sometimes you have to let your child hurt for their own good. He has thanked my husband and I for our insistence that he could succeed and teaching him that there are multiple ways to succeed at a task.

I said several times the teacher wasn’t right, specifically about the reading aloud and spelling grading. My problem is you didn’t allow the principal to fix it before you escalated. And, I’m sorry, but everything I said about the teachers’ probable reaction is reality. If you’ve had such a lovely relationship with all of them prior to this then it is less likely to happen, and I would be wrong, so don’t worry about it.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:31 PM
Status: "PSALM 91" (set 7 days ago)
 
3,950 posts, read 3,172,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post

One of my sons didn’t learn to talk until he was almost three. Testing, even in his junior year, consistently placed him in the 1 percentile in auditory processing, 3 percentile in decoding, he spent his entire school career in speech, and he didn’t learn to read until 3rd grade, reading below grade level until the end of middle school. Added to his burden was being a minority male, leading to far too many of his teachers having zero expectations of success. Oh, and we were a military family, which meant we moved frequently. I had many a battle through the years, but I always tried to look at the whole picture and keep in mind what he needed for long term success, not just protecting his feelings or seeking the immediate quick fix. We tried to emphasize with him that it was more important he learn how to successfully work around his disability than it was for him to get a specific grade. It must have worked, by high school he was an A student taking AP classes whose only accommodations were extended time, use of a spelling aide, and not being counted off for errors in spoken word selection. And, yes, by high school we held him responsible for asking for help, we didn’t want him automatically given it - we wanted him to try to do as much without accommodations as possible, because we knew colleges and bosses don’t give them. I did have to intervene twice, it never got past talking to the teacher, but to be fair to you, getting other teachers to cooperate probably was easier since they knew I was an educator too.

He is now in his 30’s and is currently an officer in the Army. He was automatically rejected by all four service academies, despite in every other way being the ideal candidate, merely because he had a history of special education services at the high school level. He always wanted to be an officer in the Army like his father and uncles. He ended up getting his bachelors, enlisted in the Army and became an officer through OCS. He has since added a masters degree. I used to tell him his disability was unfortunate and unfair, but it was the reality of his life and he needed to figure out how to work around it. It was hard to do that, every time my big burly son cried over his struggles in school it took monumental effort on my part not to cry right along with him, but sometimes you have to let your child hurt for their own good. He has thanked my husband and I for our insistence that he could succeed and teaching him that there are multiple ways to succeed at a task.

I said several times the teacher wasn’t right, specifically about the reading aloud and spelling grading. My problem is you didn’t allow the principal to fix it before you escalated. And, I’m sorry, but everything I said about the teachers’ probable reaction is reality. If you’ve had such a lovely relationship with all of them prior to this then it is less likely to happen, and I would be wrong, so don’t worry about it.
First, well done with your son and I apologize for that comment. He sounds like an exceptional person.

Second, I have been thinking about this all afternoon.

We are raising our son to also be the best person he can be. I push him plenty. Our expectations are high regarding his behavior and moral character and work ethic and all those other things parents want for their children. I am not a helicopter parent.

This situation, though, has never been normal, and even teenagers sometimes need their parents to step in and handle things. I truly doubt this is the first time this has come up with this teacher, and unless the school really gets their point across, I doubt it will be the last time either.

Should I have not said anything because I feared the repercussions of speaking up? That's not a lesson that I want my son to absorb. I know this is an extreme comparison, but I can't help but think of Harvey Weinstein, and all the people who said they knew about it but were afraid to say anything. So meanwhile, he kept violating more and more women. If another parent before us had spoken up, then maybe my son wouldn't be going through this.

FWIW, I don't nit pick with every teacher over every single thing on his 504 and they don't nit pick with me either. For example, when there is a sub in my son's foreign language class, students are usually given word searches. My son can't do a word search (finding a word backwards and diagonally just won't happen) but after a quick email to the teacher at the beginning of the year, she just excuses him from those. It isn't a big deal. If she wanted to give him a different assignment that would be fine. His math teacher doesn't give him oral exams (even though technically she's supposed to) because she has developed a relationship with him that works and she has even called me to explain to me why she thinks her approach is better. I am fine with that.

My husband has accurately said that the problem with this teacher is that she has dug her heels in. Maybe she doesn't believe in accommodations. Maybe she believes she can "fix" him. Maybe she is on a power trip. Who knows? But when we first brought to the counselor's attention in October that my son was not receiving his accommodations, that should have been the end of the matter. But she didn't change, so there were meetings in November and December and February. There were regular emails where I kept asking her to honor his 504. None of that worked. She only got more snarky in her replies.

A few weeks ago I asked her in writing to send him to the resource lab for every test. She did not. When I emailed her again, her response was that he had not asked her to go. He did ask, through me, and has since October. She wrote four paragraphs blaming my son for not asking.

I don't believe, at that point, I had any "good" solutions left. I could do nothing, and wimp out in the hopes no one would get mad at me or say anything bad about me and still "like" me, and cross my fingers that she would still pass him. Or I could fight for my son and his rights and for all the kids who will come after him, even if that meant causing waves. That is what I chose. In the end, if the teachers whisper and gossip about me for the next 2 years, oh well, it is only 2 years. And they don't really know me. My son, however, will remember for the rest of his life that his mom had his back.

Last edited by calgirlinnc; 04-13-2019 at 04:47 PM..
 
Old 04-13-2019, 05:04 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,411 posts, read 10,348,007 times
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I suspect your husband is right about digging her heels in. Every profession has their duds, maybe your son got one. I just hope you give the principal the chance to fix it and everything gets worked out. I am glad the testing is scheduled, as I said from the getgo, as an long time educator, I am troubled by this being covered by a 504 instead of an IEP, which I know is not in your control and you are trying to fix. There have recently been a slew of school systems getting dinged for placing kids on 504s when they belong on IEPs (sometimes it is pressure from the parents and sometimes it is a mixture of federal and state laws, including ones involving funding and student/teacher ratios, that have led to this practice).

But... I do highly encourage you to continue transitioning towards him taking over more of his own advocacy, embarrassing or not.
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