Release letter - help.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by letsteach, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2014

    I had a student in my class 3 years ago who needed to be referred for assessment (language, developmental, cognitive, processing, etc). His parents would not consent as they believed (his father in particular) that there was nothing wrong with him.

    He went into Year 1. The Year 1 teacher met with the parents and said he needed to be assessed and they would not agree to having him assessed.

    He went into Year 2 and the Year 2 teacher says he needs to be assessed and the parents are still saying no. The gap now between where he is and where he should be continues to widen.

    Obviously all the teachers involved explained why we were recommending a referral for assessment and what could be expected after assessment.

    We are now at a stage where teachers feel they have done/are doing all they can but are going to be blamed for this child not being up to Year level standard. It has been suggested that the parent sign a release form which basically states that this is what the school recommends but we (the parents, acknowledge this but) disagree with it.

    Have you ever had experience with a 'release letter' and if so what did it look like? What things should/shouldn't be included?
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Aug 6, 2014

    I think it makes sense to have the parents sign such a letter (and wonder a little bit why they wouldn't have already). As far as the release itself, you should probably be having a district lawyer draft it. State law around such things can be pretty detailed and sometimes depends not only on what's actually in the release but how it is phrased.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Our consent letters all have a place for parents to sign that they DO NOT give consent for evaluation. The top portion states what testing is recommended and why (data and observations).
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Here is the only part of the equation that the school has allowed a legal loophole. You need to ask the school district lawyers about the release because the law requires the school to assess any student who appears to have a disability. Your district did not follow the protocols of the law which is taking the family to due process to force an evaluation or have a judge deem it is not needed. The district has not fulfilled all measures allowed by law.

    The time parents can refuse without due process is when the evaluation has been done and the initial IEP is to be written. They can deny the official IEP and stop the process. At this point, the child having a disability interfering with his academics is just conjecture (surely based on experience). However, until those results come back or the top level of RTI fails, it is just a guess.

    So, check with the lawyers. Your district might have to take them to due process to force the evaluation at which point they could deny an IEP if the student is found to have a disability.... unless you have had him in the top tier of RTI without sufficient progress.
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2014

    You would still need it in writing that they did not give consent or documentation that you attempted to get consent.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2014

    You need consent to assess.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    As a2z said, the district can file due process against the parents for not consenting and the hearing officer can order an assessment of the child without the parent's consent, as under Child Find, the district is obligated to assess all children with disabilities 3-21 under their purview.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Unless you're talking about a Down Syndrome or worse type of case, it's highly unlikely that a school would ever go the due process route. Without going the due process route, parental approval is necessary.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 6, 2014

    We had this situation last year. We held a referral meeting and typed up the consent for eval and the parent checked the box that says they refuse consent for the evaluation. So we have documentation that we tried and they refused. We also of course had documentation for all of the meetings that we held with them. The child was a 2nd grader last year performing on a pre-k level in all subjects. Apparently in this family's culture, it is not acceptable to have a child with a disability so they wouldn't even consider the testing. Yes, the child's performance does fall back on the teacher. This is one of the many scenarios that I wish people would consider when they're all up in arms about "accountability" based on test scores. Theoretically, we could take them to court, but like gr3 said that doesn't really ever happen. The school district does not have the money to spend on taking a family to court in order to get a student extra services. When the family refused to even allow teachers to have a meeting to problem solve for the student, my principal did call social services for an educational neglect call, but of course nothing came of it (which she knew, but wanted to have the documentation).
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 6, 2014

    But if the parents ever come back and sue the school, the district didn't do all that they were required by the law and the district could lose.

    So, you are right. A school will most likely not go the due process route if the issue doesn't cause too many problems for them, but it doesn't mean that they aren't supposed to file due process.

    I was under the understanding that this letter that is suggested is to save them from legal problems down the road. If that is the case, I will restate that they should check with the district lawyers because they may still be required to file due process in order to gain the protection of the law they wish to obtain with a release letter.
     
  12. GTcub

    GTcub Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2014

    Where I teach they can't just refuse to hire you based on a prior arrest or conviction unless there is a direct relationship between the offense and the job or unless hiring would create an unreasonable risk. , There are allowances to review a person’s arrest or conviction record under certain circumstances. I think most likely your criminal record won't be used against you.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 7, 2014

    Yep. The district, like the parents, must exhaust all options available to them.
     

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