February 18, 2011

Go figure!

I truly believe Alex's teachers like her and have her best interests at heart. I have never doubted this despite my battles over inclusive basketball and constant reminders to Alex's team to communicate with each other. These are genuinely good people who are dedicated and skilled teachers.

However, I am still a broken record and my song is communicate, communicate, communicate. One might wonder why I preach collaboration and cooperation when the culture of our school district does not provide the tools our teachers need to support our students with special needs. For example, I know and have known for a long time that our teachers do not know special education law. The school district does not mandate training nor will they strongly suggest our teachers attend training.

As I recently mentioned, I have asked the school district to co-sponsor with the SEAC, a speaker to educate the teachers and the parents about best practices in creating inclusive classrooms. I did not receive a response and followed up (the norm). In my follow up phone call (yes I was called) I was told the district was too involved in cutting the budget by $3 million and did not have time to even think about this. Silly me, here I was thinking we could provide a great opportunity for our teachers to become better teachers, and help them develop the skills they will need as the class sizes become even larger, and services are cut. Budget has overridden common sense the last five years Alex has attended school.

One of the communications I have requested is bi-weekly team e-mails (for the umpteenth time), these are brief check-ins on how Alex is doing in her regular ed classes relative to her goals. Her case manager sends out the e-mails and the teacher's respond. It seems to work well, however these messages always highlight how the teachers don't understand IEPs or Alex's goals.

The other day I mentioned about Alex's IMing prowess. I also suggested this was probably not the best use of her study hall period, but I applauded her ability to use the computer. Strangely enough, as the universe always completes my circles, the following e-mail chain was in response to Alex's case manager's request for information.

Study Hall Teacher

Alex has been working on something on my computer for the past few weeks. Not sure what it is but I only see her during Study Hall. When not on the computer she is always busy doing study hall stuff.



Thanks for the quick response. Case Manager, I am concerned Alex might not understand proper computer etiquette. For example she often instant messages me from facebook during school. Is there any way we can try and see what Alex is doing on Study Hall Teacher's computer during the day. Seems to me we could tie in her goals a little more?


Case Manager:

Hi Study Hall Teacher:

I know you are busy with all your students during study hall, but is there anyway you could just roam around Alex once in awhile to check if she is IMing mom? I will speak to her about it., too. Thanks!

All I can say is give me patience dear lord…..how much longer can I repeat my message…..WE ARE A TEAM…talk to each other, provide support, and honor the opportunity you have to make a difference. The rope on which I hold my patience is breaking very quickly.


  1. HA! I just went on a rant today on parental rights...

    I send hugs, and KEEP IT UP!!!!!

  2. oh geez! I have a 2 year old. We have been talking about prepping for out IEP meeting. I can only hope and pray that our school district is a little more involved. Home schooling is looking slightly more appealing....

  3. Oh mannnnn.That burns my BTM! I would be so frustrated. Study Hall is typically a euphemism for one staff to a lot of students doing whatever they want here too.


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