My Agenda Going to the CSE Tomorrow

I make it a point to have a written agenda going into a CSE and bring enough copies for everyone. This is what I came up with for GB’s meeting tomorrow.

Agenda for GB’s Program Review, 12/5/12

She is spending 80 – 90 minutes a night.
She is unable to complete it independently.
Every night, there is something she has not learned yet.

Last year was Touch Math, this year Saxon (Grade 4).
GB can add/subtract with regrouping and round numbers.
GB is very weak in numeracy, patterns, fractions, and is     struggling with concept of multiplication.
On a typical Saxon Hw sheet, GB can only complete 1 or 2 groups     of problems, out of six.
Math is being taught to the class as a whole.
GB scored a low 1 in Math on the state assessment last spring.

GB typically can read between 50% and 75% of the words on the     spelling list.
She is unable to complete the first exercise of each unit.     (analogies,     opposites, definitions)
She is not getting the RTI reading she had last year.
GB scored a low 1 in ELA on the state assessment last spring.

Her anxiety is through the ceiling. She worries about not being able to complete the pattern and losing recess, not being able to complete the Hw and losing recess. The Hw time each night is not allowing her enough “down” time.
Not being allowed to go to the school store because Hw is not completed is not acceptable. My email asking for clarification of this incident went unanswered.

We would like GB to have as normal an experience as she can handle.
For example, typical fourth graders do not need to bring ice cream and school store money in a sealed, labeled envelope. GB is capable of managing this on her own and we would like her to have the opportunity to do so.

Any good thoughts or prayers you can spare would be appreciated.

Happy Versus Educated: Part II


The comments on my last post left me much to think about. Thank you to each person who took the time to share their thoughts. I realized my first post was incomplete. There are children who have special needs and are being educated and are happy. This is not the situation I find myself in. However, I should have stated that this decision is not one that  all parents of children with special needs face.

I have a meeting tomorrow with Hope’s school, but it is not consuming my energy. Hope has been as volatile and hard to contain at school as she has been at home. In true RAD form, she has been trying to triangulate between us and her school. This is one of those periodic check in meetings to try and contain the manipulative behavior.

Wednesday the CSE is for GB. GB’s situation is different. GB is never a problem for the school and always works hard. I expected this to be an easy year. Even though she changed schools, she brought her teacher, aides, and support services from the old school. The new school is the neighborhood school, with all the social opportunities that implies. The only note of warning in the background was GB’s state test scores from last spring. They were as low as they could be. The committee assured me that the tests did not really measure what was learned. Having been in the education field for so many years, I knew the one thing these tests were good for was to predict who would be able to pass the exams in high school and earn a diploma. When I said that out loud, nobody could disagree with me.

This year GB’ teacher  has structured things differently. GB is still in a class with seven other students, two aides, and Mr. Teacher. This year, all eight students are doing Saxon fourth grade math. It replaced the Touch Math GB used the previous two years. Saxon has a spiraling curriculum, which means that they cover a little bit of everything each year, each year going into more detail. At the moment, they are doing two step patterns, place value, fractions and multiplication with regrouping. GB struggles with simple repeating patterns, does not understand that for fractions to work, the pieces have to be the same size, and was working on multiplication facts with Touch Math. Since the class is doing math as a group, GB is lost much of the time. The whole group is working on fourth grade spelling. GB comes home with spelling exercises where she can read less than half the words on the list. Homework is taking eighty minutes a night, when GB is cooperative and focused. GB’s anxiety level is through the roof.

GB is a fourth grader this year, but the aides still require ice cream money and school store money to come in a labeled, sealed envelope- a requirement none of the other fourth grades have and one she doesn’t need.

CSE meetings only go well when I can tell them exactly what I want and why. I have no answers going into this meeting. I only know they better be expecting Mama Bear.

Things I Didn’t Know

  • There was a court ruling that said “teacher observation” is an inadequate way to determine whether a goal has been met or not.
  • There has to be a well defined, easily accessible (for parents) method of determining necessity of an Extended Year Program. Regression is not the only criteria they can use to determine eligibility.
  • There have been requirements for adequate teacher training since 2004. This includes training particular to your child’s disability(ies).
  • IDEA 2004  raises the quality of  FAPE. NCLB actually did accomplish something.
  • I didn’t know you had to save up Mojo before an important meeting. I smiled sweetly Friday. I will spend the  next 4 weeks, until we reconvene, lining up my ducks.