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No longer eligible?
Old 04-08-2016, 05:59 PM
 
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I'm a regular ed teacher (3rd grade) with 7 sped children. 1 of them has an reevaluation meeting on Monday. The sped teacher told me he will no longer be ruled in reading due to his numbers. They need to be 23 points and they're only 11. He will only be ruled in language due to speech. Does that mean his speech teacher will give his language lessons?

I'm a veteran teacher, but I'm new to sped. How do you suddenly become ineligible? Why do they retest? Without going into more detail, I can't even imagine him in a regular classroom on a daily basis.

Please enlighten me on all that you know. How does this happen?


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Old 04-08-2016, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm guessing your district uses discrepancy and the sped teacher is saying that his discrepancy between reading scores and cognitive score is now 11 pt instead of the 23 that is required under your model. I know some districts are still using the (antiquated) discrepancy model to qualify for learning disability, but I'm surprised to hear they are applying the same criteria on reevaluations. Isn't the point of special ed to try to teach kids at their level with intense services above and beyond what can be offered in the general ed classroom? If so, aren't we hoping to minimize the gap? But if he is making that progress with sped support and we take that away from him, then how do we expect him to continue to close the gap/make this great progress?

That didn't answer your question, I know. But sped law requires a reevaluation every 3 years, minimum, to determine continued eligibility. Some districts think they need to redo all tests at reeval time, some don't do any new evaluations and just use progress monitoring/classroom data, and some do a combination, depending on the current strengths and needs. If he still qualifies for language services, then the speech/language therapist will be responsible for the language goals. Speech services would be more about the way he says words (e.g., articulation), while language services revolve around his use of language (e.g., grammar, syntax). Depending on his levels of need and your school/district policy, the slp may do pull out, push in, or just consultation (supporting you working on those goals in the classroom).
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:33 PM
 
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That helps me understand it better. I'm going to ask a bunch of questions at the eligibility meeting and use some of the wordage you used (because I love how you worded this part):
Quote:
Isn't the point of special ed to try to teach kids at their level with intense services above and beyond what can be offered in the general ed classroom? If so, aren't we hoping to minimize the gap? But if he is making that progress with sped support and we take that away from him, then how do we expect him to continue to close the gap/make this great progress?
in hopes of getting some answers on him specifically.

I'm sad for him. I don't see him getting the help he truly needs in a classroom full of 28 children when he's been used to having a small group of 3-4.
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*facepalm*
Old 04-08-2016, 07:26 PM
 
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Clearly they didn't think this through.

This is like getting a kid with low vision glasses, seeing that they can read/get around/live more easily, and then saying, Oh, the kid is doing so much better now, I guess they don't need the glasses anymore!

Poor kid.
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:50 AM
 
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Good analogy! I feel that way when a student is on meds and he makes huge improvements, so Mom decides he doesn't need them anymore.

I've never been in one of these meetings, so I'm not even sure how much I'll get answered, but I'm sure going to attempt it!


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Old 04-10-2016, 08:58 AM
 
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I've had kids that no qualify for sped because they are now working at grade level. For some kids it's the right decision. I had one last year that had a math eligibility that he didn't need; he was working at grade level and didn't require the accommodations anymore. It's a decision that should be made WITH the classroom teacher. She should have asked what you thought, not just told you. Sometimes how a kid performs in small group doesn't transfer to the whole class setting and spent ones they still need the accommodations that come with the IEP.
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Reading
Old 04-10-2016, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
It's a decision that should be made WITH the classroom teacher.
I'm wondering if I have any say in the matter tomorrow at the meeting, if that's the case. Some how I think it's more of me signing on the line.

The thing is.... he's NOT working on grade level. He didn't pass the reading gate that is required of 3rd graders to pass 3rd grade. That right there tells me he's not reading on a 3rd grade level. It's very upsetting to know he'll be struggling next year to be in a regular classroom (mine again) rather than in small group with different curriculum like he needs.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:22 PM
 
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Making the decision with the classroom teacher sounds nice, but legally that's just not really how it works. If the child's testing is in the average range, they don't qualify. It's not something that I or the classroom teacher really have any control over. I know the perception is that we make all of the decisions, but really it's the testing that makes the decision for us. Same with parents- they're welcome to refuse services/identification, but we can't keep a child on an IEP who doesn't qualify just because their parent thinks they need it. The only cases where it is truly a "team decision" are those when the child's scores are right on the cusp, which for me only happens a couple of times per year. Usually it's either very obvious that the student qualifies or very obvious that they don't. What most teachers don't understand is that there is a HUGE gap between "average" and "on grade level." When I say a kid is "average" or "low average" many teachers I think I'm trying to say that the child is about average/middle of the pack compared to the rest of the kids in their specific classroom, but that's not what it means.

We have meetings with classroom teachers before initial or reeval IEPs to go over the testing and what it means for the student. If your sped team didn't do this, I'd ask whoever did the testing to go over it with you in detail (typically we don't get into that much "technical" detail with parents) and explain exactly why the student doesn't qualify. In my previous district the school psych did all of the testing and I never really felt like I understood why decisions were being made/ why the student did/didn't qualify from what she explained in IEP meetings with parents. I had a few students who I felt still needed services but had to be exited at their reevaluation meetings. I didn't really understood how everything worked until I started working in this district, got training, and started administering/interpreting the tests myself. Now I understand situations that didn't make sense in my previous district and I wish I would have just asked more questions while I was there.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:39 PM
 
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Thanks for your input! It really helps me to hear thoughts on this. You're right about the classroom teacher not knowing these things. I took some sped classes in college, but that was many moons ago and no doubt things have changed anyway.

Unfortunately, he's not on the cusp. A part of me wants to think that the results will put him where it's best for him (in the regular classroom), but the more realistic side of me thinks the poor guy is going to flounder trying to keep up in the regular classroom. He only scored a 1.7 on his last STAR reading test.

I read online that a parent can request an IEE (at the meeting) at the school's expense, so I'm wondering if I can request it or if I should just let it go. I feel like I should be going to bat for the little guy.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:23 PM
 
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How did the meeting go?


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Old 04-12-2016, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm also wondering how the meeting went!

Different schools have different requirements for eligibility on reeval. Some require them to meet the initial criteria all over again (e.g., still have a significant discrepancy, or still show significant deficits), and some just require them to "continue to require sped services." I don't get the idea of requiring them to meet initial criteria because of course we are hoping/thinking the sped services will have helped bridge the gap at least a little.

Haley makes a very good point about the average range being very big. Kids can be in the average range but not working exactly on grade level.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:21 PM
 
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The meeting was interesting. The psychometrist was there and attempted to explain everything to us, but there were a few things that put us over the edge. She waited until day 60 (of a 60 day window) to get all the paperwork done so that messed up the timeline of making any disputes. After I fussed and questioned for a while, the principal came in and pretty much said the same thing as me - but in a much firmer tone - that something should've been done long before now other than us just signing paperwork. We should've been notified ahead of time that this was even happening.

So..... to make a long story short, we talked to the head of the sped dept. and we're doing some more paperwork in the hopes of him qualifying in another area that she didn't test.

By the way - THANK YOU - I used some of the verbiage and thoughts y'all told me and it really made them listen. My guess is they're used to people just signing paperwork and not asking questions. I kept thinking about that poor parent (who wasn't in there while we were ranting) who didn't even know what was going on.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:47 PM
 
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Thanks for the update! I hope you experience some success. Having been the one doing the assessments, I know sometimes timelines get short because of other testing (when you have 30 signed evaluations and 60 calendar days, time gets short!), so I'm not sure if that happened at all in this case but I know it's happened to me! She should have assessed in all areas of suspected disability, though. Interesting that you have a psychometrist versus a school psychologist though. I know some districts do, usually due to a shortage or budget requirements, and I've worked in districts like that. The services are usually not all that effective in those cases.

In any case, keeping my fingers crossed for your student
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:05 PM
 
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One good thing with RtI and data collection is that it isn't all tests that determine eligibility. We use a lot of class data and compare the student to grade level peers. If the student isn't performing at the same level as his/her grade level peers we can still consider him/her eligible (taking other things into account). So to flat out say the tests make the determination isn't accurate. There are a lot of factors at play. The tests are only one factor.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:25 PM
 
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Quote:
One good thing with RtI and data collection is that it isn't all tests that determine eligibility. We use a lot of class data and compare the student to grade level peers. If the student isn't performing at the same level as his/her grade level peers we can still consider him/her eligible (taking other things into account). So to flat out say the tests make the determination isn't accurate. There are a lot of factors at play. The tests are only one factor.
That may be true in your area, but it's not in mine. Like I said, there is a huge gap between "below grade level" and "below average." It's possible to be pretty significantly behind grade level peers and still be average or low average. In my state a student has to test around the 12th percentile or lower to be considered learning disabled. A child testing in even the 20th percentile (in my opinion) is going to have a hard time being anywhere even close to grade level, but that child would not qualify for sped in my area no matter what their RtI/classroom data said. I would say we have some leeway up to maybe the 16th percentile; these are the students that I was talking about it truly being a "team decision" for because we can use all of their other data to make a decision one way or the other. Above the 16th percentile or so the testing makes the decision for us. Documentation that shows poor response to intervention would cover one half of the criteria to qualify, but if they test in the average range they don't meet the other half of criteria in my state. It goes the other way too. Last year I worked with a teacher who thought a child we were testing just needed "more time." The student had made very minimal progress all year and tested in the 3rd percentile for reading. With that kind of data I can't just not qualify him because his classroom teacher doesn't feel he has a disability. He ended up getting an IEP even though that's not what his teacher felt was the right thing for him.

My district does do "needs based services" where kids can get services they don't technically qualify for if they do legitimately qualify for sped in another area. This usually happens if a kid legitimately qualifies for speech. Even if they don't meet the criteria to be labeled with a learning disability, if their classroom/RtI data shows they have significant needs in some academic area they can get academic services on their IEP. However, not all districts do this. Our large city district doesn't and I get calls from them all of the time when my kids move asking why I was seeing a speech only kid 3 hours per week or whatever.

Last edited by Haley23; 04-15-2016 at 07:23 PM..
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Old 04-19-2016, 03:48 PM
 
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Wow that's nice that your P came in. Mine never would have. This unfortunately happens, kids get "dismissed" from sped. I don't like it one bit, especially because teachers have no say in what happens. We had a kid last year who got dismissed who never should have and they don't do anything to help him. This year he's right back to failing. This kid also still qualified for SLP.

At my school the SLP teacher (who just quit) doesn't even work on articulation. They work so much on vocab. and language association and retrieval.
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Testing out
Old 05-15-2016, 02:56 PM
 
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The student will be monitored for 1 year after testing out of services. If the scores go down again, special Ed services can be added without further testing to requalify.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
If the scores go down again, special Ed services can be added without further testing to requalify.
Interesting. Which scores? His classroom test scores? State test scores?
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