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Anna
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I am a first grade teacher. Last Friday I had an IEP for one

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I am a first grade teacher. Last Friday I had an IEP for one of my students. This student is more then 2 years behind as far as academics is concerned. My question is this: Do I have to sign the IEP if I don't agree with it? I did not sign it Friday because I was only in the IEP for 15 minutes and had to go back to my classroom. But, the way the IEP was heading I did not agree with. I don't feel I can meet the goals in the IEP since I have 29 other students.

I was also falsely accused on issues from the parent. There was no adminstration in the meeting.

Judy
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hello Judy,

I was a special ed teacher for 20 years so I understand IEPs. Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Am I correct that you were asked to sign the IEP without reading it?

Did you have any input into the IEP as it was being written? If not, who wrote it?

What is the student's label - Learning Disability, Behavior Disorder, etc.?

Is there a special ed classroom in your school?

What state do you live in?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I was asked to sign the IEP without reading it. They only allowed me to stay in the IEP for 15 minutes and then I had to go back to my classroom. I told them I would sign it after I read it. I was told signing the IEP was only stating I was at the IEP, I do not agree.

 

No, I did not have any imput into the IEP as it was being written. I had to leave after I gave my evaluation of this student. The resource teacher wrote it.

 

The child has learning disablities. He was born at 26 weeks. So, has a lot to do with cognitive. In my classroom the only thing he does is scribble and crawl around on the floor. He can write letters if he has someone sitiing with him one/one.

 

No, there is not a first grade SDC at my school.But, there is at other school sites in our district.

 

I live in the state of California.

 

Thanks,

 

Judy

Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX'm working on your answer, and will post it shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, problem, thank-you.

 

Judy

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I want you to answer my question so please do so.
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay, it took me awhile to type this, and I had to do some research first, since I'm familiar with laws in a different state. I just spent some time reading California special ed laws, and as I suspected, they have to follow federal laws for students with disabilities as well as No Child Left Behind. The IEP has to follow a certain format, and the IEP team has to make as many adjustments as possible to keep each child in a regular classroom, rather than in a special ed class. If you want to read all of this for yourself, here's a link:

http://www.sccoe.k12.ca.us/depts/selpa/iepforms.asp

Once you get to that site, you can click on other links for downloads on the 7 step IEP process, etc.

What all of this means is that it is most likely your administrators' hands are tied, and so are yours. Of course, you do have the right to read the IEP before signing it. If you feel you can't provide what they are asking you to do, you can also make recommendations of steps they can take to make it possible to provide for this student, for example, you could request a full-time teacher associate in the classroom for the student. You can't force them to do this, but you most certainly can make requests and recommendations. I wish I could tell you that you have more power in the matter, but unfortunately, you don't. If you actually refuse to sign the IEP after reading it, you could face disciplinary action, as unfair as that may be.

To me, it sounds as if this student probably would be better-served in a special classroom. But that isn't being realistic. The parents can, and probably would, decline that option. Because of the laws, the IEP team wouldn't consider it either. The climate of special ed has changed in recent years because of federal requirements that students be kept in regular education classes as much as possible. No one on the local level can do anything about that.

If I were you, I would read the IEP thoroughly, take some notes on what you feel you can't provide and what measures would assist you. Then ask a supportive administrator (I hope you have one) to accompany you as you meet with the IEP team - or perhaps just a key member- to discuss your concerns. After the meeting, regardless of the outcome, you'll probably have to sign the IEP and live with it.

You should keep the administrators updated with your concerns about the student, and about the other students as the school year progresses. If an associate to help the student isn't provided, you could approach your teachers' union rep about that.

I know this doesn't help you very much, and I feel bad for you and the other students in your classroom, but for good or bad, the law is the law. I do hope that at least you can get some support in working with this student.

Anna
Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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Experience: Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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