Toolbox Tuesday: What to do when the teacher thinks the ARD has goofed?

We celebrate the Toolbox on Tuesdays around here. The Toolbox is a full day program aimed at campus administrators and special education staff. The goal of the training is to empower school staff to use ten “tools” designed to serve students appropriately while maintaining discipline and good order.

Today, let’s talk about a situation that is quite common, especially when the student displays disruptive behaviors.  The teacher thinks the ARD Committee has made a big mistake.  Perhaps the teacher thinks the student should not be in her classroom at all. Or perhaps the teacher disagrees with parts of the student’s behavior plan.  Maybe the teacher finds some of the modifications and accommodations unnecessary or unduly burdensome. What’s a good teacher to do?

Here are eight possible steps to take:

  1. Implement the current IEP completely and faithfully, including modifications and accommodations that the teacher disagrees with.
  2. Give it some time.
  3. Meet with the parents.
  4. Seek assistance from special education staff or an experienced teacher.
  5. Document all of the above.

If the desired improvement is not evident, move on to the final three steps:

  1. Ask the principal to call for an ARD.
  2. Prepare a written report for the ARD.
  3. Ask to attend the next ARD.

This brief outline recognizes that the ARD is the architect of the building and the teacher is the contractor.  The IEP is the blueprint.  A building contractor makes a big mistake by ignoring parts of the blueprint. On the other hand, if the blueprint is flawed, the contractor is likely to be the first to notice.  The contractor should speak up….but only after following the existing blueprint faithfully.


 Tomorrow: some suggestions on the definition of “boundary violations.”