For parents who have children with special education plans; whether that be an IEP or a 504 plan, most of the battle seems to be getting one in the first place. What parents quickly find out once they have jumped through all the hoops of getting a special education plan in place is that they don’t always get followed to the letter. This can be monumentally frustrating when the whole point of the plan was so that there would be something to follow in the first place.
Not every special education team is so connected to the educators and specialists in the school system that following up on making sure all is being adhered to is routine or easy. Many educators report that IEPs and 504s are not digital in their school system and needing to view one or get a copy of one means having to go to a specific office and pull a paper file to view. This is time consuming and archaic. With all this technology, you’d think it’d be easier. You’d be wrong to think that when it comes to school systems.
Your Child’s Teacher Is Not Always Made Aware Of Details Or Changes
The teacher initially involved in developing your child’s special education plan will more than likely have all of the information they need to successfully implement and follow exactly what is written. The rub becomes when new teachers and specialists who are unfamiliar with your child take over to oversee their education, as is typical every year. This is especially true when nuanced changes get made to the IEP or 504; details they may not have been privy to or at least to the extent that you’d expect.
Before you launch a full-scale war with your child’s teacher over email or telephone over what is not being done, ask them what they know about your child’s special education plan. It may be that the reason your child’s plan is not being followed to the letter is because they just don’t have all of the information they need to make sure that it is.
It is usually quite unlikely that a teacher doesn’t follow a child’s special education plan purely because they don’t care or they don’t want to. Quite the opposite. Help your child get their best experience with an IEP or 504 by first making sure their teacher has all of the information they need and if they don’t, help them get it. No teacher likes to hear from an angry parent when it can be avoided. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Wise words from Stephen Covey.
When The Teacher Has The Plan But It Is Not Being Followed Well
Sometimes your child’s teacher does have your child’s special education plan but services outside of the classroom that have to do with enhancing your child’s education experience are not happening. This kind of thing arises usually when resources and demand are out of balance. There are only so many resources to go around and sometimes they get stretched to their limits. This does not mean your child should go without the agreed upon resources that correspond with their IEP or 504. This just means the battle isn’t to be waged with your child’s teacher but whomever is heading up the special education team at your child’s school. Reach out to the school psychologist or principal and find out why your child is not receiving the services they agreed to offer your child in their IEP or 504. Ask them what they plan to do to implement all of your child’s special education plan and require a timeline.
Make sure you email back everyone involved with the issue you raised, the details of the discussion you had and what the resolution was agreed upon to be. Keep this as a record in case you need to bring up the issue again. That way everyone is on the same page and everyone has the information they need to proceed. Be sure and copy your child’s teacher as well.
Make Your Life Easier By Using eCare Vault For Better Collaboration
Does keeping track of all the emails, documents, conversation records and everything else keep you up at night? With all the points raised, wouldn’t it be easier if you could store your child’s special education plan in one place for every educator, administrator, specialist and teacher to see, comment on and collaborate with?
Introducing eCare Vault, the first cloud-based, secure platform specifically created to make education collaboration the kind of thing it should be for busy parents and overstretched educators. How about not only collaborating on IEPs and 504s, but being able to write progress notes on demand to share with everyone involved? What about taking a picture of your child mastering a new skill and sharing it with the special education team?
The possibilities are endless and the stress of it all can be greatly reduced with eCare Vault. You don’t have to chase down information, share documents everyone should have, and worry about where to store all the communication threads in emails any more. Get your login today.