BLOG|| Special education & equity focused
Disclaimer: It is time to use my mommy voice to show how much I love education. These are my opinions supported by facts via my experiences and book knowledge.
12.27.18 What is an IEP? It is not a label!
Innately, parents want the best for their children. When is comes to education, the new systems, policies, and approaches leave many parents in the dark about the rights their children have and are entitled to. Students who are deemed “specical education” students, referred herein as Student with Disabilities (SWD), have the added protections of IDEA, 504, and ADA -the applicable protections depend on the child’s needs.
IDEA or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the strongest protection because of it long standing and evolutionary measures to protect students from birth to age 21 or when they graduate High School*. IDEA allows for student to be identified- by parent or school agents via child find. Schools are required to create measures to ensure that children in academic need and beyond have the SWD evaluation process initiated once the system deems the child in need beyond ordinary measures. These measures called interventions compound each other. Once a child has reached the highest level of intervention, an evaluation is suggested. If a school suggests the evaluation, the parent reserves the right to decline the evaluation process, thus, the process never begins.
PARENTS can request an evaluation and the process must commence within a timely manner. The time frame varies as some states like NY are more zealous about citizen rights, and have shorter turn around goals than fellow states. Be advised these time frames vary for children birth to 3, and children over 3.
Future blog postings will expand upon Special education info including: timeframes for processing, who is involved, and if deemed in need services- what services, where, and how often. Most importantly, NOTHING can be done without parental/guardian consent. A parent may stop the process at anytime, you may object to not enough to too much services, and the accommodations and modifications’ propriety.*
The IEP!!! (Insert Beyonce’s Halo instrumental)
The Individual Educational Plan/Program (IEP or IESP depending on the school type) is document that lists what is going on, what your child is entitled to, and how the school system and you [referred to as the IEP Team] will work together to mitigate the disability. IEP acts as the baseline for your child’s services and is reviewed annually, and is REQUIRED to be re-evaluted every 3 years.
The IEP, and its peers: 504 and ADA*, work together due to overlap in needs. The latter two can work alone. An IEP for school aged children is complex but on its basis, identifies the disability or disabilies that adversely affect the child’s educational performance. It is not a label. It is a tool that society has attached to SWD as all services pivoted off this document. The IEP, along with other back office documents, are used to “fund” the child’s services in school, and/or at home.
There are 13 classifications that can be noted as the cause of the disabilities. Within the classifications, there are more specific manifestations (signs), and terms, that may be used to identify the SWD.
John has Specific Learning Disability (SLD or LD) -Dyslexia
Sandy has Emotion Disturbance (ED) and LD- Dysgraphia, social hindrances, and Decoding issues
The most important part of it all is asking questions, and exploring options right for your child and their goals.
12.3.18 || Hey All!
I am a regular Bronx gal -- a Bronx Mom, who grew up in a tenement on Webster Avenue. I gave up a lot and faced a lot to get here. I barely graduated High School but aced my SATs. I always loved school but the peer pressure and rebellion took be off course for most of HS. I fell in love with learning again in college. I have been academically ambitious ever since. The goals I have set for myself, I hold for my sons and all people of my community.
Let legacy build together. Let’s focus on who we are and take pride in loving that. What we have lived; we must inform our children of but set examples of what not to do and what to do. The world has changed: there is no one-way to get to success. There is truth in being transparent and reciprocating what you know. The Bronx is my home. A community often overlooked and stigmatized. There should not be a stigaa associated with the community we live in with our children. The Bronx is a community that has the potential to be so great but continues to be tempered by its history, infrastructure deficiencies, and poverty.
Tutorthebronx, Inc. has many function and goals. One underlying goal, and the purpose of this blog, is to create an informed parent and promote family literacy. More importantly, our goal for parents is to solicit comprehensive involvement.
Tutorthebronx, Inc. is the immediate result of my efforts to ensure that my son TJ (photo: left) received supports at school, like the quality of supports he received from me at home. His school lacked the resources to respond to my concerns with actual change so I put the onus on my back to ensure my son was “good” beyond the classroom.
WE as parents often relinquish out responsibilities unto others i.e. teachers, and care providers. Know that these same people expect us to do our jobs at home. Teacher/care providers and parents point fingers at each other our children suffer from the disconnects. Disconnects in communication, in home support, parental encouragement, and teacher burnout.
Teachers expect you to help your own child. Parental involvement is critical to a child success. We must remember that teachers are at their “9-5” during our children’s’ school day. After “5,” teachers want to go home and deal with their own lives. They too have to prepare for school the next day.
Tutor the Bronx, Inc. is my brainchild. The ultimate goal is to get Bronx parents to the point where they can navigate and ADVOCATE for their children. Advocacy is an innate function that requires knowledge to support a stance. We as parents need to be objective, and open minded to fairly advocate. Advocacy also takes time.
Thus, this blog is the blog for parents who want to learn about concepts and perspectives from a Special Educator, Mom, and Regular Bronx gal. This blog is part of the TutortheBronx, Inc. mission to ENGAGE you, ENCOURAGE you, and ENRICH children and parents to become successful pillars within our BRONX commUNITY.
Hope you check out my monthly posts. xoxo
-TASHI, Founder of TTB
**Scared: what is an IEP? Hint: It is not a label.
**How to know when your child needs more then just tutoring.