We are about two months into the school year. You’ve had enough time to get some idea of how things are going. Perhaps you have a student who is not doing well. Is it time to consider a change of placement?
In the all-day Toolbox training that our firm provides we outline the various ways in which a change of placement can be accomplished. If the parents and the school are on the same page on this issue, a change of placement is easily accomplished. Have an ARDC meeting to discuss it, and make the change. In Toolbox lingo, we call this Tool #2—an Educational Change of Placement with Parental Agreement.
What if there is no agreement? If the educators who work with the child on a daily basis are convinced that the present arrangement is not going to work, it may be time to call for an ARDC to propose a change. We should not let a bad situation linger on for an entire school year. But there are several things to do before you reach that point.
First, we should be in contact with the parents to talk things over. What is their perception? Is there something else we should be doing? The parents should not first hear of problems at the ARDC meeting.
Second, we should brainstorm among the staff. Does anyone have any good ideas that we haven’t yet tried?
Third, let’s make sure that the evaluation data that we have is up to date and accurate. Should we seek out a new evaluation?
Fourth, consider reaching out to experts outside of the district for help. Education Service Centers are there to provide “service.” Take advantage of that.
If and when you get to the ARDC meeting on this issue you need to be prepared to demonstrate three things:
*First, the current placement of the student is not appropriate. It’s not working.
*Second, we have really tried to make it work. We have made a good faith, consistent effort, and we’ve given it enough time.
*Third, the change we propose will be an improvement for the student. There are services we can provide in the placement we propose that we cannot feasibly provide in the current situation.
That’s a general outline of what we call Tool #3—an Educational Change of Placement Without Parental Agreement.
Here’s hoping you don’t have to use that tool this year. May all your placements be, and remain, appropriate.
DAWG BONE: TOOL #3 IS USED WHEN 1) IT’S NOT WORKING; 2) WE’VE TRIED HARD; AND 3) WHAT WE PROPOSE WILL BE AN IMPROVEMENT.
Tomorrow: What did you know? When did you know it? What did you do about it?