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an open letter

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Wyoming, Maddie was supposed to have access to the teacher for the deaf every day, during the entire day. I thought we were being quite generous in cutting it back to twice a week for 30 minutes...silly me.

Dear Mr. Mean, Mean Man...
Last year when we first met via that conference call, we didn't quite get off on the right foot.

I have apologized for that.

I was overly emotional - undoubtedly because I knew I was getting ready to uproot my family for the second time in a year, rip Maddie away from the utopia of school districts for special needs services and move my children back to the wonder that is the Emerald City.
And you were particularly snotty, condescending, paranoid and haughty.

I chalked it up to a really bad day. Certainly you hadn't quite made it to your overdose level of caffeine by 9 a.m., someone must have run over your little dog or little green aliens had to have beamed down and swiped your favorite pen off of your paper-pushing desk.
I was wrong. It really is just your lovely personality.
Let me just make this perfectly clear for you...
When I tell you that I am not going to sign off on an IEP change until I've had a chance to talk to Maddie's teacher, what I really mean to say is...I'm not going to sign off on an IEP change until I've had a chance to talk to Maddie's teacher.
I see where you could get confused. Things often get muddled when people have to repeat themselves!
Again, just so we're clear here... I. AM. NOT. GOING. TO. SIGN. OFF. ON. AN. IEP. CHANGE. UNTIL. I'VE. HAD. A. CHANCE. TO. TALK. TO. MADDIE'S. TEACHER!
No matter how many times you call me and tell me that the changes are absolutely necessary because of budget constraints. No matter how many times you have your lackey call me to try to get my address so they can send me the forms. No matter how many times you tell me that the formal meeting I am requesting is not necessary.
I'M. NOT. SIGNING. Just so we're clear.
In Wyoming, Maddie was supposed to have access to the teacher for the deaf every day, during the entire day. I thought we were being quite generous in cutting it back to twice a week for 30 minutes...silly me.
Yes. Its the same amount of time.
No. I don't think the two plans are the same.
Quite frankly I'm not absolutely positive my FIVE YEAR OLD will not be able to sit still for an hour-long session from a teacher for the deaf. Nor am I certain that even if she COULD sit still for that hour that she could retain the information an entire week until her next session.
So...until we've had a chance to discuss this with her teachers, who share our concerns. AND...until we have had a chance for everyone to pow-wow about how this would affect Maddie. AND UNTIL...Shad and I have had a chance to mull over that information over and come to an independent conclusion away from the pressure of your omniscient wisdom...

Just so we're clear.

12 salty messages:

Diana January 26, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

OOOHHHHH, the schools make me so stinking mad sometimes! We were strong-armed into signing a reduction in services IEP change for Matthew earlier this year. Even though we formally rescinded our signatures on the document less than 24 hours after we stupidly signed it, they still cut his services, including bussing. Even though they promised more testing, promised to review his previous tests, yada yada yada, none of it happened...and they refused to allow him to attend school on the day they decided to cut without any warning to us...AND they did this with full intent of "completing" his IEP and sending him to mainstream K without one. And to make things even more fun, as soon as our meeting was finished, they just walked in his classroom told him he didn't get to come to school on Tuesdays anymore, told him to get his coat and backpack, and promptly sent him home with me... at which point he promptly shut completely down (and I mean COMPLETELY) for over an hour and then he raged for a week after that. We finally ended up pulling him completely out of special ed preschool and putting him in a different mainstream program through our local university 5 days a week. It's not ideal, and it is $$$, but it was our only option.

Anonymous,  January 26, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

Go you. Stand your ground. You rock at doing what's best for your kids... don't give up!

MamaPoRuski January 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

Don't forget to add the verbiage:"We will consider further action against the school district if they fail to reasonably accommodate our daughters disability thus failing to educate her." On that letter CC the Department of Justice for good measure...
Other than that. I think what you wrote is fine :) Praying for resolution for you and help for Maddie!

Drew, Michelle, Luke and Sage January 26, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

You go girl!!

I am getting ready to pounce on Sage's IEP team also...

Tina in CT January 26, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

Good for you! You stand firm! Go Momma!

Anonymous,  January 27, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

Way to draw your line in the sand! You go, girl.

Annie January 27, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

Oh, right - and you say OK to that plan, they'll keep that pattern going and soon (if not this year) seeing the teacher from the deaf will IMPEDE her education because she will either miss important classroom instruction and practice OR she'll miss wonderful things she wanted to experience, like birthday parties...and develop a not surprising aversion to seeing this teacher. Your reasoning was spot-on too, of course.

So odd how one district can be SO different. Another girl from Sergei's class in Russia was adopted by a family who live 10 or 15 miles north of us....in a little bitty town. But, they have so few ESL students, that they hired a Russian speaking woman to accompany this girl throught the day for two years. So, Yulia did not get chronically behind in school, basically wasting two years, AND she didn't ONLY learn basic daily English, she also learned subject-matter vocabulary. It is SO UNFAIR!

Troy and Rachel January 27, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

Stick to your guns lady! Way to go!

SLColman January 27, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

I hope that you are able to get them to understand that you aren't signing off if it isn't in the best interest for your daughter! OMGosh how hard is that for them to understand!!???

Michelle January 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

i know that entry wasn't meant to be funny, but it did make me chuckle. NOT because of what you're going through - it wasn't the subject matter i was laughing at, it was the way it was written. you're SO much like me! i write just like that when i'm frustrated or venting or whatever you want to call it.

i will be praying for Maddie's IEP issues.

- michelle

kate January 30, 2010 at 12:58 AM  

Don't sign.

But, be glad you have an IEP for Maddie. No such thing here...and boy, does it show!

Rtiner February 5, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

I know this is late...
You don't have to do anything and they cannot change her IEP without your approval. Do not let the ponytailed man bully you. Just because it may cost them less money doesn't mean that it the right thing for Maddie. If they do not uphold the IEP to the letter then you may sue them, I don't know about the district because they are contracted. Another term that may be beneficial for you is least restrictive environment, meaning they have to provide the neccesary educational tools for Maddi or again you may sue. Good luck!

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