There for a second, I forgot. I thought maybe I was blowing everything out of proportion, maybe my faulty memory is to blame for all of the utter bullshit I remember. Maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe things aren't quite as bad as I thought and I am just being an unreasonable woman imagining things that didn't really happen the way I thought they did. With ADHD, questioning my memory and my perception is a constant. I started to feel bad.
I requested the meeting. The next day the Area Coordinator e-mailed me, I told you about that, I told him I was available any of the offered dates after Alex went back to school. The next day, the counselor e-mailed me asking for a time. I told her mornings were best, but I was available any time. The Area Coordinator e-mailed back that the 10th and 14th were good for him in the morning. The next day, *silence*. The next day, last night, actually, the counselor sent out an e-mail asking people to check their calendars for January 8th at 8am. I forgot about Area Coordinator's dates and said yes, but I will have to take Goofy because his bus doesn't pick him up until 8:24. Then, *silence*.
Now, by this point, I'm seeing a pattern. Out of 6 people in the e-mail conversation, only 3 are participating- me and 2 others. and it's once a day. with no serious attempt to set a date. It looks to me that they are sending out periodic messages to shut me up and to stall though the last day of school before winter break- which would be today. but then I think, woman, you are losing your ever-loving mind to be so paranoid! Until I realized this e-mail came after the e-mail I sent that exact person earlier the same morning. The e-mail that had me seething at the silence and chanting: don't lose your temper, don't lose your temper, don't lose your temper.
"RTI (Response to Intervention) plays a critical role in how students are identified as having a disability and needing special education services." and "The purpose of RTI is that of a prevention model to limit or prevent academic failure for students who are having difficulty learning by providing "scientific research-based interventions" to bring students up to grade level achievement."
and "LDA supports the promise of RTI as an early intervention process initiated by general education to ensure that, at the first sign of school problems, students will receive academic supports including:
- Early, high-quality, scientific research-based interventions
- Continuous monitoring of student performance and progress during interventions
- Use of response data to change the intensity or type of subsequent interventions
- Parents and families informed and involved in team decision making throughout the intervention process"
This is how I found out what RTI is: *GOOGLE*
So, if I'm reading those descriptions correctly, RTI is important for identification, is used for evaluation, and helps provide a Free Appropriate Public Education- an education designed to meet the individual child's needs as adequately as those of their non-disabled peers. That's great! Under FERPA, I have the right to examine all records relating to my son's education, period. I have the right to review records relating to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and the provision of FAPE for my child under Section 504 (#44) and IDEA.
So, I asked nicely for all data collected regarding Goofy's RTI to review before the meeting. and then I asked nicely again. by the third time, I'm pretty pissed off. I keep hearing this voice in my head, "Mac, I will not allow cursing at staff." and I'm all @!#@#!@##$@# don't lose your temper. don't lose your temper. don't lose your temper. Then comes the light bulb... don't lose your temper, this is going to look great on your request for an impartial hearing. ...I wonder if I can choose Alex's school if things go the way I expect, they have general ed kids and I think it would be perfect for Goofy with the small class sizes, and the staff having a clue.
and then I got to work. I wrote a formal written request, documenting my concerns of not having a meeting date a week after my initial request for one, documenting my concern that after 2 attempts I still don't have Goofy's data or the agreement to provide the requested data a reasonable time before the meeting, my expectations of working as a team to identify and meet Goofy's educational needs, and underscoring the fact that I am available any date they suggested after Alex goes back to school and that while mornings are better for me, I am available at any time. and then I asked for my letter and their written response to be added to Goofy's educational record.
I followed Wrightslaw's advice on this one- I printed up copies for the Area Coordinator and the principal and delivered them to the school office. The person available to take them just happened to be the principal. I documented who was there, doing what, what I was wearing, what she was wearing, what was said, and what time I handed them over. I wrote it all on the back of my copies and filed them in a labeled envelope under communication attempts when I got home.
I'm not messing around this time. If he doesn't qualify for an IEP, it will be because he doesn't qualify for an IEP- not because we were jerked around, our rights being trampled in the confusion.