Friday, January 14, 2011

Anything for Special Ed parents yet?

Is Woodstock District 200 School District providing any services to parents of students in Special Education yet?

It made an attempt at a survey of SpEd parents last April, when survey forms were to be distributed to the parents of all 1,000+ students in Special Education. Only about 60-70 surveys were completed, which caused me to wonder how many parents didn't get them or were discouraged from completing them.

How could a parent be discouraged from completing them? Little comments like "You know nothing will change" might discourage a parent. Or, "I was supposed to give this to you" wouldn't be particularly encouraging.

However, about 60 parents did complete them and the interest in programs and training was representative of what all parents might want.

And what happened after that? The survey results were compiled. And .... and  ...   and, nothing...

There are a few parents who, over the past few years of their own child's years in District 200 Special Education, fought many battles for their child's rights. The rights under Illinois School Law and the laws of the Federal government. Some of these parents are willing to continue to devote time to improvement in the Woodstock District 200 Special Education Department and operations.

But they can't make anything happen now, because they no longer have a child in the system. However, parents of current students can make something happen. For example, read the Memorandum of Chris Koch, State Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education. He wrote this particular Memorandum back in about 2004, when he was Director of Special Education for ISBE. At that time he asked all Superintendents, Special Ed Directors and staff to disseminate that Memo to parents of all Special Ed students. Did it happen?

No way. Not even after it was brought to the attention of both the Superintendent and the then-Director of Special Ed (who is no longer with District 200). I think it is still on the ISBE website, but now buried well down. Basically, it reminded School Districts what they must do for parents of Special Ed students.

Maybe that's why it was never disseminated to parents...

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