IEP Commandment #1: The IEP Does NOT Change to Fit the School. The School Changes To Fit the IEP.
I was in an IEP meeting for a fifth grade student with learning disabilities in reading and math. He was below grade level and receiving small group instruction, five times a week, 45 minutes for each session. Both his teacher and ESE teacher said he really needed this level of help and the service was added to the IEP for the rest of the school year.
However, when it came time to list the services he would be getting at the middle school, everything changed. The five times a week intervention was replaced with support facilitation once a week for reading, and support facilitation once a week for math. That’s it.
I explained that the parents didn’t think that was enough instruction considering he was below grade level, and even with the current daily intervention, he was barely maintaining his current academic levels. Combine this with the fact that he was going to middle school with seven teachers, seven different classes, social changes and so much more, this little guy was not going to make it without more support.
The school’s first response was, “We called the middle school. That’s what they offer.” Aaack! That was NOT an appropriate response! Remember this:
“The IEP does NOT change to fit the school. The school changes to fit the IEP!”
It took a lot of serious discussion but ultimately we were successful! Because we persevered, he received small group instruction in math and reading, 45 minutes a day, five days a week, AND support facilitation in math and reading.
Please, please, please! If your child is going into middle school beware of changes the school may have made in the new IEP that you may not even be aware of. If, after your IEP meeting you want us to take a look at it, give us a call at 407-342-9836.