Afraid I've made a giant mistake :(

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrsCK, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    I'm so very worried. I've had a student since the beginning of the year, was recommended for special education testing at the beginning of the year, and is just now being pulled for testing. I had to continue monitoring his progress on Tier 3 since then. The problem is, I had monitored him and kept track of his numerical data for his progress, but I do not have the actual copies of his work. I talked with the principal today and he said that because I'm missing the copies of his progress monitoring at Tier 3, there could be the possibility of a lawsuit from the parent! I am so concerned, mostly because I know this student needs to be served in special education, but I fear that because of my mistake, not only will he be disqualified, but my district will suffer a lawsuit.

    I'm not sure what I'm asking for. Maybe a similar story? Some comfort? What is the worst that could happen to my student, my school, and to me?

    Please send prayers to me and to this student who I have let down.
     
  2.  
  3. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jan 31, 2014

    You made an honest error, but did track his progress as requested by your admin. Now you know to save work samples. A lot more goes into a sped referral than copies of student work. And he can be referred for assessment even without any work to prove he is struggling.

    Now, maybe you are saying that the parent does not want him referred to sped and wanted to confirm that the tier 3 work showed inadequate progress? If that is the case, your school could just graciously offer to keep him tier 3 for another few months before holding an IEP meeting.

    What would the parent sue for? More intervention or to gain sped services? Either of these options can happen even without saved school work.
     
  4. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    Why could they sue because of that?
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jan 31, 2014

    I don't think the parents would sue for any reason I mentioned. I think the principal was being very harsh and a lawsuit is improbable.
     
  6. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    The parents really want him to be in special ed, but my principal made it out like he won't qualify because these work samples are missing in this one area (math) even though all of the reading samples are present. If he doesn't qualify in math based on the lack of work samples, the principal said the parent could sue because their child did not qualify, maybe because not everything was done for the child that could have been? I'm not sure either. It made me really upset to hear it this morning. I assumed that special ed testing would show the need for special ed, not my work samples.
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jan 31, 2014

    Your principal does not know what he is talking about. The child is being evaluated via formal academic and psychological assessments. If he has a disability it will show up on those assessments. No work samples are needed. Work samples would be useful if the parents needed proof that their child was struggling, in hopes that they would agree to have him evaluated.

    It's not unusual for a principal to misunderstand the sped process, by the way. It is out of their area of expertise. Your principal may have heard horror stories of a school being used for not providing services.
     
  8. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    I hope you're right. It seems like everyone is of the same mindset as my principal in this county. The psychologist says that in order to be eligible in a subject, there must be Tier 3/SST interventions addressing that skill deficit.

    Now I'm afraid of losing my job/teaching certificate, on top of this child not getting the true help he needs because of a technical mistake.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Jan 31, 2014

    Either your principal is misinformed or he's using scare tactics for some reason.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    791

    Jan 31, 2014

    So... are parents fighting against him being in special ed? If so, it's my understanding that any due process action would be started by the school, not the parent (and usually a school won't bother, since it looks bad taking a parent to court). If parents are trying to get him into special ed, I'd think that data would totally serve the purpose of getting him in.

    Either way, I don't see why a data log wouldn't serve the same purpose as work samples. Good lord, special ed teachers don't have enough space to keep every single work sample they collect. During my special ed days, I'd document regular data, and then take an occasional physical work sample that was representative of the child's progress. It would have been a cold day in hell before I kept EVERYTHING a child did.
     
  11. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    Honestly, it would not be the first time scare tactics have been used from this administration.

    The problem is, it's everyone involved--the principal, the psychologist, the county even seems to share the same sentiments about the special ed process.
     
  12. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jan 31, 2014

    Student work does not prove or disprove a disability. I think you may have some communication misunderstandings taking place. Upon a parent request that child has to be formally assessed, whether or not the school provided any Tier of intervention. Poor school work can be a result of social, language, attendance issues and so on. Lack of work will not skew the formal assessment scores.

    You certainly will not lose your license because of this one incident. If your school is upset with your practices, I suppose they could decide to not renew your contract, but this seems so overblown.
     
  13. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    Special-t, your knowledge definitely makes me feel better, but of course nothing can change the way that my principal is viewing this situation. NOW I'm afraid that because of their misunderstanding of the process, the child will not qualify. I know the parents well, and they are very kind and truly just want their child to get what he needs. It just makes me sick to think about what could happen.

    Did I mention I'm 9 months pregnant on top of all this? Haha
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    791

    Jan 31, 2014

    First things first, I'd strongly consider seeking greener pastures next year. You've done nothing wrong here (if you've been keeping data logs), but it sounds like your administrator is trying to build a termination case against you.

    With that said, I'd look carefully at all the district SPED paperwork. The whole point of doing educational and psychological testing is that they should be guiding the process. Work samples can (literally) say whatever you want them to say. They're interesting, and can back up what educational testing shows, but putting any real significance on work samples in the evaluation process is bad practice, at the very least, and probably against state and federal eligibility laws.
     
  15. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2014

    Definitely will be happening. :) Thanks for your response, I will be looking more closely at the county policy to see how it matches up nationally.
     
  16. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Feb 1, 2014

    Do not fret.

    If a student qualifies per the testing, which is to encompass all areas of disability, they qualify for an IEP, end of story. Then they can get services in any area they need, not just the ones they got RTI in, that would be ridiculous.

    RTI isn't even required if the parent requests an eval - well most of it, anyway, as districts cannot delay requested evaluations because of RTI.

    You cannot be sued - the district would be, and there isn't nearly enough to make it a decent case. It would just eat a bit of the legal budget the district has set aside.

    If the district mishandles it and the parents know their rights, they'll file DP against the district. Not because of you, but because of how the principal/psych act. Just a tip, make sure you don't delete any emails about this student. If your district is as... poor with regards to special education as it sounds, any emails might be useful for the parents.

    I'd say compare the state laws to what you find on wrightslaw and http://nichcy.org/
     
  17. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 1, 2014

    I didn't read all of the replies, but we don't have to save samples. We just have the progress monitoring and it is graphed. (RTI-MTSS) Hope things work out for you and the student. I guess districts/states may vary.
     
  18. AliLand

    AliLand Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 1, 2014

    Although I am a teacher, it is as a dyslexic person I am writing this post. When my English teacher required that I was tested, the head was incredibly negative and seemed very critical of her efforts. Fortunately, she was a strong willed lady who managed to stand her ground (and on two occasions went over his head tactfully requesting guidance from the authorities rather giving up).
    At several points during my education, law suits were mentioned. However, what parents want more than anything else is to know that some one is in their kids corner. Sample work is useful when a teacher is trying to convince others that there is a problem, but not having any will not effect diagnosis. If this is held up, your head is at fault not you. So long as you continue to help this child, you are doing your job.
    Good luck
     
  19. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 1, 2014

    I'm feeling like if anyone messed up, it was your P. Does she not have a system in place to notify teachers and keep them informed of what exactly is required in these situations? How are you supposed to know what you need to include if you've never done it and no one has told you? She messed up and is tying to pass the buck. I would definitely be trying to find my way to another district.
     
  20. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    65

    Feb 1, 2014

    I keep work samples, but my kids are already labeled as special ed. People throw those words, "We can get sued" around a lot. Most of the time it's nonsense. To your knowledge, is this the first thing you have messed up on? You will not lose your license over this. If you didn't know, then you just didn't know. Someone should have informed you of the process before hand.
     
  21. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    28

    Feb 1, 2014

    I have only used work samples to show a parent that a students is struggling and during the S-TEAM meeting when looking to see if a child meets the qualifications for initial testing. The work samples are not used to determine if the student goes into a SPED program. The data for progress monitoring and the results for the school psychologist determine if the students gets in the SPED program and to what extent the services will be.
     
  22. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 1, 2014

    I agree. That phrase is pretty common. It's just a reminder that we have a formal and legal process to follow with special ed. There is formal assessment that takes place to determine if a child qualifies for special ed. There are other ways too but work samples would not be enough to qualify a child or disqualify them. They are one part of a process.

    Principals do not always know the process and yet are still your supervisor. Do you have a program manager with the district or someone you can refer to?
     
  23. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 2, 2014

    This is so ridiculous. You think he needs special ed, the parents want special ed, test results will most likely show he needs special ed, but because you don't have his actual work to go along with the data he won't be in special ed? That's insane. Do you have any work samples from the year you can show? Have the parents saved anything at home?

    There's nothing you can do about it now and it was an honest mistake I agree with previous posters who've said that. We keep portfolios of major work for our kids in writing and math, so I always have work to show whenever I need it from any point in the year. Maybe you'd consider doing this in the future just to help you out in situations like this. Although I still don't see what the big deal is with the work for this year- it seems crazy. Sorry!
     
  24. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 2, 2014

    After being scolded, I went and pulled every CFA he's taken this year, as many work samples as I could find, and ended up with a packet of about 15 different samples. My principals "hopes this will be enough." So do I. If this kid doesn't qualify because of some missing copies, I don't know what I'll do with myself. Thanks for your advice, his portfolio may be the only thing that saves me.

    I looked up our county's policy on progress monitoring and data points--only 4 are required from the time the student is recommended for testing, to the time of his qualification meeting. Out of the many many weeks of data points that I've kept, there are definitely at least 4 that I have copies of his work for. I just hope I can explain that to the people in charge. I feel helpless and blamed in this situation.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    791

    Feb 2, 2014

    You have 15 work samples, and administration is trying to say that might not be be ENOUGH?

    At the risk of being blunt, your administration is so [redacted] ignorant that they should recuse themselves from any matter involving special education.

    If I went to an evaluation meeting with 15 work samples, my school psychologist would have rolled her eyes and tell me to pick out two or three that were representative.
     
  26. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Feb 2, 2014

    I know I work in a different country than you, but 15 work samples in 1 subject area would me MORE than enough to support any claim I was making about a student. I bring in my basic assessments and that is enough. Do not fret about this anymore. You have more than covered yourself and will be able to help your student.
     
  27. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 2, 2014

    Your principal is full of .....

    He or she has no clue how a child goes through an initial to get the child into the special ed program or the district you work for has broken IDEA rules so badly it is not even funny.
     
  28. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Feb 8, 2014

    My thoughts exactly- I gave 3 writing samples for a child study team and my guidance counselor was thrilled.

    Your P is being a jerk to you probably to cover his own butt. :mad:
     
  29. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 14, 2014

    Update: the student qualified for special ed in all areas. Nothing else has been said about it. I'm so happy the student is getting what he needs and that I am through working for this county next year.
     
  30. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    791

    Apr 14, 2014

    Glad to hear everything seems to have worked out positively for everybody. I hope you can thrive once you're in a better environment.
     
  31. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 14, 2014

    That's good to hear.
     
  32. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Apr 15, 2014

    Glad to hear he qualified. I will add that students have been referred (and qualified) in my district with a lot less.
     
  33. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 16, 2014

    I'm so glad to hear!!! And good for you for finding a different county!!!!! No principal who values their employees will purposely stress them out that way.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. zoomvsf
Total: 461 (members: 1, guests: 434, robots: 26)
test