Swh**know Anything About FAPE or Wright's Law or IEP "Rules" That Can Answer A ?

Updated on April 13, 2017
M.6. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
6 answers

Grrrrr . . . so our out of home placement (voluntary - requires 24 hr awake care in addition to secure environment, etc.) son was moved to a new placement starting tomorrow. Which means a new school. He has a very well crafted, nearly brand spankin' new IEP from his previous placement that was sent to the new school about two weeks ago.

The new school called today and said that our son cannot start school until AFTER an IEP meeting is held, and the earliest would be maybe late next week. So, in other words, our son simply will not attend school for up to two weeks until the entire team can meet to discuss an IEP already in place. Additionally, they are not making accommodations for us to attend by telephone (because of the distance we are from his placements, we normally attend by phone, but do go in person when it is master evaluation time) because "there are only two phones and we need one to call the Special Ed Director." Say what?????

I think that Wright's Law could be read in such a way that the school is not allowed to do this. I know they have to make the accommodations for us to attend, but I am unsure of the keeping him out of school until we all can meet. He has a team of like 15 people between county workers, social workers, etc., who all want to/need to attend.

I call b.s. but has anyone actually faced this? I am thinking about filing/writing some kind of objection ASAP since I think he should start school on Tuesday - the school has a 1/2 day tomorrow (and that is the first day at the placement and he may not arrive until after lunch anyways), and school is closed Fri and Monday.

Thoughts? I have also put a call into PACER here, but no call back yet, and I am worried I will run out of time to file this for him to start on Tuesday.

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So What Happened?

ETA** I would NEVER be "afraid" of a school or that they would take anything out on my kid. We are all professionals - I'm not running around like a crazy person demanding crazy things. If anything, THEY were pretty crazy to think that the placement would allow one of the kids to just sit there for a couple of weeks, requiring additional day staffing, until an non-needed IEP meeting happened, especially since the school had over two weeks to let us know about this (and have the meeting), but decided to wait until literally the day before he arrived at his placement to bring up the potential issue. The school staff would have to be pretty low-brow to think to themselves - "well, this mom rocked the boat, let's make her child miserable." I am my child's only true advocate. I am the only person in all of this who does NOT get paid for the effort - county staff, social workers, school teachers, placement caregivers ALL get paid to help my son. While they may have his best interest at heart, they also have their own agendas and often have a large caseload and need to focus their efforts on kids with no other advocates except paid ones. If I didn't fight for my child's rights, who would? Isn't that what Wright's Law, IDEA and all of those other laws are for?


I finally got ahold of the District SpEd Director and he tried to convince me that what was happening was totally fine and appropriate. I hadn't heard back from PACER with an answer to my question yet so I just told him that I felt like I needed to file an objection with the District because I simply wasn't sure of the answer - can my child be kept out of school until an IEP meeting is held (which could take weeks to get his team together) when he has a valid, active, legal IEP, which they have had a copy of for two weeks. He then said "what do you need." Clearly, although he was originally telling me it was fine, it would not have been had I filed the objection. Our son starts school next Tuesday - which is the first full day of school after he arrives at the new placement. Additionally, I was able to find out that the school he was going to go was not the correct school and after some discussion with the Director, we ended up enrolling him in a much more appropriate setting anyways.

Thanks for the help!!!

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

Simple equation, will it take more than two weeks to fight this? If yes, let it go because he will still be out for two weeks but you will also have the school pissed at you

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

I am no professional special ed. guru, but i do work in a school district. My understanding, in my state, when a student changes schools, the student starts with the IEP in place (from the old district). Then the new district has 30 school days to hold an IEP, even if the current IEP was just implemented. Maybe you could contact the state board of ed. to see what they say as well. Good luck. That's tough.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Ask yourself this - do you REALLY want to start his "career" off at this new school on a bad note? If so? Go for it. Create a boat load of trouble.

Sounds like things were not planned out well. Why can't he stay at his old school until this meeting takes place? I don't understand what the issue with that would be.

From MY point of view? They ARE making accommodations. This IS a "master" meeting. it's his first. Don't you want to meet these people face-to--face? I know I would.

I'd stop panicking. I'd ask the old school if they can still keep him until the Master Meeting happens. If not? Deal. Don't make a stink. If you do? You're stepping off in a bad way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I have no idea how any of that works.
Maybe it can be like a 2 week spring break?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with Julie. How long will it take for you to win this battle if you go and fight? If it's longer than two weeks, your fight is mute.

I also agree with Wild Woman. You make a stink now? I think it will make it harder on your son at this new school.

Weigh your options and figure out if you want to spend the effort to fight and start off on a bad note.


I agree with Julie. How long will it take for you to win this battle if you go and fight? If it's longer than two weeks, your fight is mute.

I also agree with Wild Woman. You make a stink now? I think it will make it harder on your son at this new school.

Weigh your options and figure out if you want to spend the effort to fight and start off on a bad note.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I've been through the IEP process with one of my kids, who attended school uninterrupted before and during. However, it was a traditional school not residential or involving 24-hour care so I'm not familiar with the procedures that you're experiencing. I don't know why they don't want to start now. It makes me wonder if there is something in your IEP that the new school can't accommodate and it needs to be modified first to avoid a potential legal issue. That seems like something they could simply disclose to you upfront, however.

I have no good advice, but you have my sympathy.

3 moms found this helpful

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